Inchoative verb

An inchoative verb, sometimes called an "inceptive" verb, shows a process of beginning or becoming. Productive inchoative infixes exist in several languages, including Latin and Ancient Greek, and consequently some Romance languages. Not all verbs with inchoative infixes have retained their inceptive meaning. In Italian, for example, present indicative "finisco" 'I finish' contains the form of the infix, while present indicative "finiamo" 'we finish' does not, yet the only difference in meaning is that of person subject; the infix is now semantically inert.


The Latin language uses the infix -sc- to show inchoative force. The infix is normally seen in the present tense stem, and is not present in the third and fourth principal parts.
*"apiscor, apisci, aptus sum" reach
*"cresco, crescere, crevi, cretus" come into being, spring up, grow up
*"convalesco, convalescere, convalui" recover, get better, grow strong
*"disco, discere, didici" learn
*"irascor, irasci, iratus sum" be in a rage
*"lapidesco, lapidescere" become stone
*"misceo, miscere, miscui, mixtus" mix
*"nanciscor, nancisci, nactus/nanctus sum" get
*"nosco, noscere, novi, notus" get to know
*"obdormisco, obdormiscere, obdormivi, obdormitus" fall asleep
*"posco, poscere, poposci" demand
*"proficiscor, proficisci, profectus sum" set out
*"rubesco, rubescere, rubui" (Ancient Greek

Greek also uses -sk- to show inchoative force in the present stem. -σκ- is added to verb-stems ending in vowels, --ισκ- is added to consonant stems.
*αρεσκω to please
*φασκω to feed

ee also


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  • Inchoative — aspect (also called inceptive aspect) is a verbal category, referring to an action soon to take place. It can be found in conservative Indo European languages such as Latin and Lithuanian, and also in Balto Finnic languages. In other languages,… …   Wikipedia

  • Inchoative — In*cho a*tive (?; 277), a. [L. inchoativus, incohativus: cf. F. inchoatif.] Expressing or pertaining to a beginning; inceptive; as, an inchoative verb. Some inchoative or imperfect rays. W. Montagu. n. An inchoative verb. See {Inceptive}. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inchoative — [in kō′ə tiv] adj. [LL incohativus] 1. Rare INCHOATE (sense 1) 2. Gram. expressing the beginning of an action; inceptive, as, in English, through the use of the auxiliary get (Ex.: “we got going early”) n. an inchoative verb or phrase …   English World dictionary

  • inchoative — [ɪn kəʊətɪv] adjective Grammar denoting an aspect of a verb expressing the beginning of an action, typically one occurring of its own accord. Compare with ergative. noun an inchoative verb …   English new terms dictionary

  • inchoative — I noun aspect with regard to the beginning of the action of the verb • Syn: ↑inchoative aspect • Hypernyms: ↑aspect II adjective beginning to develop inchoative stages …   Useful english dictionary

  • Verb — This article is about the part of speech. For the physical activity program, see VERB (program). For English usage of verbs, see English verbs. Verbs redirects here. For the Christian gospel rapper, see Verbs (rapper). Examples I washed the car… …   Wikipedia

  • inchoative — Inceptive In*cep tive, a. Beginning; expressing or indicating beginning; as, an inceptive proposition; an inceptive verb, which expresses the beginning of action; called also {inchoative}. {In*cep tive*ly}, adv. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inchoative aspect — noun aspect with regard to the beginning of the action of the verb • Syn: ↑inchoative • Hypernyms: ↑aspect …   Useful english dictionary

  • inchoative — in•cho•a•tive [[t]ɪnˈkoʊ ə tɪv[/t]] adj. 1) gram. inceptive 2) 2) gram. an inceptive verb • Etymology: 1520–30; < LL inchoātīvum (verbum) inceptive (verb) …   From formal English to slang

  • inchoative — /in koh euh tiv/, Gram. adj. 1. inceptive. n. 2. an inceptive. [1520 30; < LL inchoativum (verbum) inceptive (verb). See INCHOATE, IVE] * * * …   Universalium

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