Lezgi verbal forms

This is yet another post on Lezgi verbs. I feel it is needed, because a thorough knowledge of the Lezgi verbal forms is needed if one wants to achieve a minimal level of proficiency in Lezgi. On the surface it looks plain and simple, as Lezgi verbs don’t inflect (change) for person, gender and number, but once you take a closer look, you see that there is a bewildering variety of forms, some of them quite unfamiliar (so-called ‘converbs’ for instance.

I will start with listing (as always with the help of Haspelmath’s grammar) all main forms of the verb fin ‘to go’. Later on I will add explanations and examples to this list, for now let’s just marvel at how many different forms are there. Sorry for all the big grammar words, I’ll try to explain them later.

Masdar: fin ‘going; to go’; tefin ‘not going; not to go’
Optative: firaj ‘may it/you go’ tefiraj ‘may it/you not go’
Imperative: alad ‘go!’

Infinitive: fiz ‘to go’; tefiz ‘not to go’
Imperfective: fizva ‘is going’; fizvach ‘is not going’; fizvaj ‘the going one’; tefizvaj ‘the not going one’
Past Imperfective: fizvaj ‘was going’; fizvachir ‘was not going’
Continuative Imperfective: fizma ‘still going’; fizmach ‘not going anymore’; fizmaj ‘the still going one’; tefizmaj
Past Cont. Imperfective: fizmaj ‘was still going’; fizmachir ‘was not going anymore’
Future: fida ‘will go; usually goes’; fidach ‘will not go; usually doesn’t go’; fidaj ‘the one who will go’; tefidaj ‘the one who won’t go’
Past Future: fidaj ‘was going to go; would go’; fidachir ‘wasn’t going to go; wouldn’t go’
Hortative: fin ‘let us/me go’; tefin ‘let us/me not go’
Prohibitive: fimir ‘don’t go!’
Posterior converb: fidaldi ‘until he goes, before he goes’
Graduative converb: firdavaj ‘as was going’
Immediate-Anterior converb: fizmaz ‘as soon as he goes’

Aorist: fena ‘went’; fenach ‘didn’t go’; feji ‘the one who went’; tefej ‘the one who didn’t go’
Past Aorist: fenaj ‘had gone’; fenachir ‘hadn’t gone’
Perfect: fenva ‘has gone’; fenvach ‘hasn’t gone’; fenvaj ‘one who has gone’; tefenva ‘one who hasn’t gone’
Past Perfect: fenvaj ‘had been gone’; fenvachir ‘hadn’t been gone’
Cont. Perfect: fenma ‘is still gone’; fenmach ‘isn’t gone anymore’; fenmaj; tefenma
Past Cont. Perfect: fenmaj ‘was still gone’; fenmachir ‘wasn’t gone anymore’
Aorist converb: fena; tefena
Immediate-Anterior converb: fenmazdi ‘as soon as he went’; tefenmazdi ‘he didn’t manage to go yet when’

Converbs are verbal forms used in complex sentences and demanded by the sentence structure and other verbs being used. Apart from the ones mentioned above there are also some endings which create other converb forms:

Temporal: -la ‘when doing sth’
Immediate-Anterior: -valdi ‘as soon as’
Conditional: -t’a ‘if’
Interrogative: -ni ‘?; forms question when added to the verb form’
Purpose/Manner: -val ‘ so that’
Causal: – vilaej ‘because of’

9 thoughts on “Lezgi verbal forms

  1. Really,it’s difficult to count ‘em.Later, I try to do that.But still I think it’s a bit easier to learn ‘em as all verbs in Azeri are regular.But as afr as I remember Lezgi verbs are divided into two groups:SV and WV=)

    • There are more groups than two, because various forms of the strong verbs are sometimes impossible to predict (especially the vowels). For some of them you have to know four basic forms (masdar, imperative, infinitive, aorist) in order to be able to form the rest.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot on which verb system is more difficult.And still it’s Lezgi just because of prefixes=)

    So when you gonna add sth new?

  3. Well, somewhere you mentioned the vowel harmony which helps us to predict the form…Is it true?
    P.S.thx for new material=)

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