Lezgi verbs of perception (UPDATED)

If you read carefully one of the previous posts, entitled “Lezgi syntax trivia” you may have noticed that the sentences with the verb ‘to see’ looked a bit strange. I’ll repeat them now for the record:

Рушаз гада акуна. The girl saw the boy.
Гададиз руш акунач. The boy didn’t saw the girl.

What’s so strange about them? The fact that they seem to be constructed “backwards”. The noun representing the person who sees has an ending while the noun representing the person who is seen stands in its dictionary form.

That’s because a certain set of verbs, mainly related to perception,  but also to feelings, behave in Lezgi in a peculiar way. You may think of Lezgi way of saying “the boy saw the girl” as something along the lines of “to the boy the girl was seen”. More adequately, you can compare this with syntax of the verb “to like” in many languages (cf. Italian mi piace and Russian мне нравится).

Incidentally, the Lezgi verb ‘to like’ – кIан (you’ve met it before, it means also ‘to love’ and ‘to want’) uses the same arrangement, so Рушаз гада кIанзава means “the girl loves the boy” and not the other way around.

Another useful verb behaving this way is ‘to know (a fact)’ – чида. ‘I don’t know’ is in Lezgi Заз чидач

An incomplete list of other verbs using this construction:

жугъун ‘to find’; ава (only in the meaning ‘to have’); бегенмиш хьун ‘to like’; бизар хьун ‘to be fed up with’; такIан хьун ‘to hate’; шад хьун ‘to be happy’; гьайиф хьун ‘to be hurt’

In some cases the construction is more complicated as none of the nouns/pronouns in the sentence stand in the dictionary form:

киче хьун ‘to be afraid’ Ваз захъай киче жемир! ‘don’t be afraid of me’
регъуь хьун ‘to be ashamed’ Ваз захъай регъуь жемир! ‘don’t be ashamed of me’
бейкеф хьун ‘to be angry’ Ваз закай бейкеф жемир! ‘don’t be angry at me’

There’s a group of verbs formed with the aid of verb атун ‘to come’ using this construction.
хъел атун ‘to be angry’ – адаз хъел атанва ‘he is angry’ lit. ‘anger has come to him’
шел атун ‘to feel like crying’
гьайиф атун ‘to be sorry; to regret’
хъвер атун ‘to be happy; to feel like laughing’
хуш атун ‘to be glad about something; to like something’

Lastly, this construction is used in verbs made from adjectives like гишин ‘hungry’ or мекьи ‘cold’

адаз гишинзава ‘he is hungry’
мекьизавани ваз? ‘are you cold?’