The Aorist / Perfect distinction in Nizh Udi
The paper considers the two main synthetic past tenses in Udi and argues that they should be identified as the aorist (‘perfective past’) and the perfect (‘past with present relevance’) respectively. While the former is the main means of foregounding in discourse, the latter has the prototypical ‘current relevance’ meaning, and is also used with experiential and resultative functions. The perfect is also the source for the pluperfect, derived by means of the “retrospective shift” enclitic. The hypothesis put forward in the paper deals with the putative grammaticalization paths of the two forms: most probably, the aorist was based on the perfective converb, and the perfect on the construction with the perfective participle. The evidence for such a development is both typological / comparative (especially stemming from the data of genetically related languages) and language-specific. In particular, it is the perfect in Udi that has a special negative construction involving a perfective participle and a postpositional negation, which may point at the participle as a diachronic source of this particular form.
A general theory of logical oppositions is proposed by abstracting these from the Aristotelian background of quantified sentences. Opposition is a relation that goes beyond incompatibility (not being true together), and a question-answer semantics is devised to investigate the features of oppositions and opposites within a functional calculus. Finally, several theoretical problems about its applicability are considered.
The paper considers morphology, morphosyntax and semantics of causative formation in Agul, a Lezgic language of Southern Daghestan (Russia). In Agul, the two most frequent causative patterns, periphrastic and compound causatives, apparently share one source of grammaticalization. The former are combinations of ‘do’ with the infinitive of the lexical verb, while the latter put them together as two bound stems. However, semantically 'do'-compounds belong with non-productive causatives (labile verbs and lexical causatives) and are opposed to fully productive periphrastic causatives. All non-productive causatives – only available for intransitive verbs – have parallel periphrastic ‘do’-causatives, the distinction between the parallel forms conveys the semantic contrast of direct vs. indirect causation. The paper makes an attempt at decomposing these typological categories into simpler components (intentionality, physical interaction, event structure), and provides a detailed semantic analysis of labile verbs and semantically irregular causatives. Periphrastic causatives are peculiar in their own way: they may introduce locative or ergative Causee, the choice depending on the degree of the Causee's control over the caused situation. Basing on this morphosyntactic variability, we argue that periphrastic causatives are intermediate between bi- and monoclausal constructions.
The Caucasus is the place with the greatest linguistic variation in Europe. The present volume explores this variation within the tense, aspect, mood, and evidentiality systems in the languages of the North-East Caucasian (or Nakh-Daghestanian) family. The papers of the volume cover the most challenging and typologically interesting features such as aspect and the complicated interaction of aspectual oppositions expressed by stem allomorphy and inflectional paradigms, grammaticalized evidentiality and mirativity, and the semantics of rare verbal categories such as the deliberative (‘May I go?’), the noncurative (‘Let him go, I don’t care’), different types of habituals (gnomic, qualitative, non-generic), and perfective tenses (aorist, perfect, resultative). The book offers an overview of these features in order to gain a broader picture of the verbal semantics covering the whole North-East Caucasian family. At the same time it provides in-depth studies of the most fascinating phenomena.
In the article the author looks into the theoretical prospects of socialist utopia rebirth as the so called horizon line that is impossible to cross, but easy to see as if it were reachable. The author shows that post-Fordism capitalizing and alienating nonmaterial labor has become a real problem for the radical negation in the framework of neo-Marxist utopia since under such conditions any social alternative is in danger of becoming a part of the capitalist reality. Such disciplinary power of the modern capitalist logic generates rejection of the political action as it is rather than a protest. In this situation radical Marxist utopia comes down to the affective negation that cannot become a subject to reflection. Its creators and proponents do not want to find themselves in the capitalist present, aspiring in their expectations into the future that will not grow out of the modern capitalism and will never be capitalism in principle.
Mehweb Dargwa features a particle gwa, a peculiar element which is basically used for emphasizing the assertion. The paper explores some grammatical characteristics of this particle. It is shown that, in both verbal and non-verbal clauses, gwa serves as a predicative marker forming a complete predication and is an equivalent of a copula (even though, unlike the neutral copula in Mehweb, it lacks inflection). Similarly to typical East Caucasian predicative markers, gwa may occur in different positions, though its place is syntactically constrained (e.g., it cannot be embedded within syntactic islands). Still, Mehweb speakers allow gwa not to be adjoined to either the predicate or the focus. This makes the distribution of the particle surprising as compared with similar predicative markers in well-described East Caucasian languages, where they may either occur on the predicate or immediately follow the focused element.
The volume includes papers devoted to various aspects of grammar, lexicon and history of Udi, a Northeast Caucasian language originally spoken in Northern Azerbaijan.
The paper discusses a kind of relative constructions without dedicated markers of subordination. The author focuses on the problems related to their differentiation from other patterns, the grammatical means that may imply subordination without expressing it directly and touches upon the diachronic issues concerning unmarked relatives.
This book is an investigation into the grammar of Mehweb (Dargwa, East Caucasian also known as Nakh-Daghestanian) based on several years of team fieldwork. Mehweb is spoken in one village community in Daghestan, Russia, with a population of some 800 people, In many ways, Mehweb is a typical East Caucasian language: it has a rich inventory of consonants; an extensive system of spatial forms in nouns and converbs and volitional forms in verbs; pervasive gender-number agreement; and ergative alignment in case marking and in gender agreement. It is also a typical language of the Dargwa branch, with symmetrical verb inflection in the imperfective and perfective paradigm and extensive use of spatial encoding for experiencers. Although Mehweb is clearly close to the northern varieties of Dargwa, it has been long isolated from the main body of Dargwa varieties by speakers of Avar and Lak. As a result of both independent internal evolution and contact with its neighbours, Mehweb developed some deviant properties, including accusatively aligned egophoric agreement, a split in the feminine class, and the typologically rare grammatical categories of verificative and apprehensive. But most importantly, Mehweb is where our friends live.