The way that participants are marked on the different verb classes varies in one of three basic patterns, which provide us with what have been referred to as the basic Verb Orders.
– The Independent Order most resembles Possession-marking on Nouns, particularly in the use of first and second person prefixes (ni(t)- and ki(t)-), and the combination of person prefixes and suffixes (e.g. ni(t)- -(i)nân). Independent Order paradigms include expression of all of the participants possible for a given verb class and all verb classes have Independent Order paradigms. The Independent Order is only used for main clauses, but can be used to express both statements (declaratives) and questions (interrogatives). Examples of Independent Order Verbs include:
– VII: mihkwāw “it is red”
– VAI: nimīcisonān “we (but not you) eat, we are eating”
– VTI: nimīcinān “we (but not you) eat it (inanimate)”
– VTA: nimowānān “we (but not you) eat it (animate)”
– The Conjunct Order also occurs in paradigms with the full range of possible participants per verb class. However, person marking consists solely of a suffixes in very different form from the Independent Order. Instead of person prefixes, Conjunct Order verbs take a variety of grammatical preverbs. Like Independent verbs, Conjunct Order verbs can appear in both statements and questions. Although some Conjunct Order verbs can occur in main clauses (particularly in content questions), the majority occur in subordinate clauses. Examples of Conjunct Order Verbs include:
– VII: kā-mihkwāk “that which is red”
– VAI: ē-mīcisoyāhk “(as) we (but not you) eat, (as) we are eating”
– VTI: ka-mīciyāhk “for us (but not you) to eat it (inanimate)”
– VTA: mowāyāhki “if/when we (but not you) eat it (animate)”
– The Imperative Order is the most restricted in terms of possible participants and verb class. Imperative Order verbs express commands or suggestions and can only be directed towards second person participants (2s, 2p, and 21). Thus, only verbs capable of referring to animate participants can have Imperative forms. Since VII stems cannot refer to animate participants (including addressees), there are no Imperative VII forms. Examples of Imperative Order Verbs include:
– VAI: mīcisok “(all of you) Eat!”
– VTI: mīcihkan “Eat it (later)!”
– VTA: mowātān “Let’s eat it (animate)”
Of these three verbal Orders, only the Imperative appears to clearly reflect the category of Illocution (or Force), in that it is the grammatical form that expresses commands. In contrast, neither the Independent nor Conjunct are specific to expressing statements (i.e. Declaratives) or questions (i.e. Interrogatives). Thus, as argued by Harrigan (2023), the notion of Order is not one that expresses three distinct forms on the same level. Instead, the traditional categorization of Order in Algonquian languages is simply a recognition of the patterns of participant-marking. Imperative Order verbs do indeed express the Illocutionary Force of commands (and hortatives). The distinction between Independent and Conjunct verbs, however, is not one of Illocution. This will be discussed further in the next section in which subdivisions of these basic Orders are introduced (Illocution and Mode).