Tense, aspect, modality and finiteness in East Caucasian languages
Based on selected presentations given at the conference “Morphosyntax of Caucasian Languages” held in December 2006 at the Collège de France (Paris).
Optative is an inflected verb form dedicated to the expression of the wish of the speaker. Caucasian languages tend to have morphologically specialized forms to convey this meaning. The purpose of this paper is to explore the volitional domain basing on an analysis of the Optatives in 16 Caucasian languages, including 15 East Caucasian languages and one Turkic language of Daghestan (Kumyk). The paper provides typological arguments for distinguishing between two different kinds of optatives. Performative Optative is dedicated to the expression of blessings and curses, while Desiderative Optative expresses a Џpowerless wishђ of the speaker (his/her dreams, longings etc.).
This paper discusses those finite verb forms found in the Lezgic languages whose main function is to express present or future time reference. As a rule, such forms are built on imperfective non-finite forms and include a present copula. The following source patterns which usually give rise to Presents and Futures in these languages are analysed in detail: the Infinitive Pattern (“Infinitive + Copula”), the Locative Pattern (“Imperfective Converb + Locative Copula”), the Imperfective Converb Pattern (“Imperfective Converb + Copula”), and the Participle Pattern (“Imperfective Participle + Copula”). The grammaticalization paths of these patterns have much in common, in particular the semantic development from ‘present’ to ‘future’.