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Book chapter

Перфект и Аорист в ниджском диалекте удинского языка

С. 315-378.

The paper focuses on the two most important perfective forms expressing past time reference in the Nizh dialect of Udi, a language of the Lezgic group of East Caucasian family. The form with the suffix -i is the most frequent in narrative texts, and can be properly characterized as the Aorist (perfective past). The form with the suffix -e is less frequent, but has a wide range of uses, including the expression of current relevance of past situations and the experiential meaning, as well as the resultative meaning (present state); on the whole, this form fits the crosslinguistic category of the perfect. There is also the Pluperfect, which is derived from the Perfect by means of the “retrospective switch” enclitic, and is semantically a “perfect in the past”. Apart from the functional differences between the Aorist and the Perfect, there is a number of morphosyntactic ones. In particular, the default position of person markers on the verb is enclitic in case of the Perfect, but endoclitic (intraclitic) in case of the Aorist. Also, there is a special negation strategy available only for the Perfect, which includes the perfective participle and the postpositional negative complex. According to the hypothesis put forward in the paper, this negation structure may at least partly disclose the origin of the Perfect form, which seems to be based on the participle. The diachronic scenarios of the Aorist and the Perfect origin and evolution are discussed in the paper, as well as the perspectives for future research of the system of past tenses in Udi.