A Short Grammar of East Circassian (Kabardian) by Ranko Matasović

By Ranko Matasović

This grammar may be used with a few warning, not just since it used to be written through a linguist who's faraway from being a fluent speaker of Kabardian. it really is mostly compilatory in nature, and lots of examples have been drawn from the present works on Kabardian by means of M. L. Abitov, Mukhadin Kumakhov, and others. notwithstanding, i've got additionally excerpted and analyzed many sentences from the literature, particularly from the Nart corpus (Nārtxar, 1951, Nārtxar, 2001), and a few examples have been elicited from local audio system. even supposing i've got relied seriously at the released scholarly works on Kabardian, my interpretations of the information are often very various from these within the to be had literature. i've got attempted to method the Kabardian language from a typological standpoint, evaluating its linguistic positive aspects, which may look unusual to audio system of Indo-European languages, to related good points present in different languages of the area.

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Af. "Karašavey fed his guest and his horse" (in this sentence the name Q'arašəwyay would be in the ergative as the causer, the undergoer of the underived verb, i. e. the food, which is unexpressed, would be in the nominative, and the only case-marked nouns (haś'a and šə) are in the ergative as the indirect objects viz. non-macrorole core arguments). These unusual rules of case assignment with causative verbs are related to the rules of case assignment in subordinate clauses (see below), where the case of the nouns in the main clause depends on the role of these nouns in the subordinate clause.

Lead-inf. "Once, a group of Nart riders came to Himish, to take him on a raid (together with them)" RECIPROCITY The verb in the reciprocal form expresses that its two core arguments (the Actor and the Undergoer) act on each other simultaneously. -af. poss. -neg. -af. -af. -3-NOM "And, after avoiding one another, the three brothers met on the hill" REFLEXIVITY Kabardian does not have reflexive pronouns; reflexivity is expressed by the verbal prefix za-/zə-/z-, which indicates that the subject of the action is the same as the object; from the historical point of view, this is the same prefix as the basic reciprocal prefix.

G. the verbs hə-n "to carry" and ś'ə-n "to do" are always transitive. If we assume that the basic form of the verb is the one with final stem morpheme -a-, while the form with the morpheme -ə- is derived, then a large majority of Kabardian languages are intransitive. With some exceptions, Kabardian is a language without (underived) transitive verbs. Intransitive verbs with two arguments often express the fact that the Undergoer is not entirely affected by the action, i. -read "the boy is reading" – intransitive verb with 1 argument 39 According to Kumaxov (1971), in the closely related Adyghean language the number of "labile" verbs is significantly greater than in Kabardian.

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