Delineating Turkic non-finite verb forms by syntactic function

Jonathan North Washington, Francis Morton Tyers


In this paper, we argue against the primary categories of non-finite verb used in the Turkology literature: “participle” (причастие ‹pričastije›) and “converb” (деепричастие ‹dejepričastije›). We argue that both of these terms conflate several discrete phenomena, and that they furthermore are not coherent as umbrella terms for these phenomena. Based on detailed study of the non-finite verb morphology and syntax of a wide range of Turkic languages (presented here are Turkish, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Tuvan, and Sakha), we instead propose delineation of these categories according to their morphological and syntactic properties. Specifically, we propose that more accurate categories are verbal noun, verbal adjective, verbal adverb, and infinitive. This approach has far-reaching implications to the study of syntactic phenomena in Turkic languages, including phenomena ranging from relative clauses to clause chaining.


non-finite verb forms; Turkic languages; verb morphology

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Copyright (c) 2019 Jonathan North Washington, Francis Morton Tyers

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