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cir­cass­ian grammar

01 Apr 2007

Tagged with Miscellaneous

North­west Cau­casian lan­guages have rather sim­ple noun sys­tems, man­i­fest­ing only a hand­ful of cases at the most, cou­pled with highly agglu­ti­na­tive ver­bal sys­tems so com­plex that vir­tu­ally the entire syn­tac­tic struc­ture of the sen­tence is con­tained within the verb. They do not gen­er­ally per­mit more than one finite verb in a sen­tence, which pre­cludes the exis­tence of sub­or­di­nate clauses in the Indo-European sense; equiv­a­lent func­tions are per­formed by exten­sive arrays of nom­i­nal and par­ticip­ial non-finite verb forms (although Abk­haz appears to be devel­op­ing lim­ited sub­or­di­nate clauses, per­haps under the influ­ence of Russian).

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