Screeve

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A screeve is a term of grammatical description in traditional Georgian grammars that roughly corresponds to tense–aspect–mood marking in the Western grammatical tradition. It derives from the Georgian word mts'k'rivi (მწკრივი), which means "row". Formally, it refers to a set of six verb forms inflected for person and number forming a single paradigm. For example, the aorist screeve for most verbal forms consists at least of a preverb (და da-), a root (წერ c'er, "write"), and a screeve ending (ე -e, ა -a, ეს -es), and in the first and second persons a plural suffix (თ -t) to form the form (დაწერეთ dac'eret):

  Singular Plural
First person დავწერ davc'ere "I wrote it" დავწერdavc'eret "We wrote it"
Second person დაწერ dac'ere "You (singular) wrote it" დაწერdac'eret "You (plural) wrote it"
Third person დაწერ dac'era "He/she wrote it" დაწერეს dac'eres "They wrote it"

Given the presence of similar terms in Western grammars, it is important to understand how screeves differ from them. In many Western languages, endings encode all of tense, aspect and mood, but in Georgian, the screeve endings may or may not include one of these categories. For example, the perfect series screeves have modal and evidential properties that are completely absent in the aorist and present/future series screeves, such that წერილი დაუწერია c'erili dauc'eria "He has apparently written the letter" implies that the speaker knows the letter is written because they have seen the letter written on a table. However, the present form წერილს დაწერს c'erils dac'ers "He will write the letter" is simply neutral with respect to the question of how the speaker knows (or does not know) that the letter will be written.

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