A Grammar of Chagatay
András J. E. Bodrogligeti
University of California, Los Angeles
An acrolect of the Central Asian Turks from the fifteenth to the late nineteenth century, the Chagatay language was a multilayered literary idiom employed in Transoxiana, Khorasan Fergana and East Turkistan, especially in cultural centers such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Herat, Khiva, Kokand and Kashghar. Chagatay was also used in India in the court of the Great Moghuls, in Kazan, and even in the Ottoman Empire. Presently it is regarded as the Classical phase of Modern Uzbek although the scope of Chagatay, especially of the lexion was much broader than what the term Classical Uzbek would imply.
Orthography: Chagatay works were written in Arabic script with generous use of matres lectionis: a criterion that makes Chagatay different from Ottoman and allows the reader an easier identification of graphemes. Text publications mostly use transcription with alphabets using modified characters of the Latin, or Russian writing systems.
Morphology operates with suffixes, prefixes, postpositions, prepositions Izafet markers, composition and coordination. Suffixes have a definite hierarchy of sequence.
Chagatay nouns and pronouns have no grammatical gender. They have singular and plural forms. By their final phoneme we distinguish light and heavy nouns; by the behavior of their last consonant or their second vowel under certain conditions we distinguish weak and strong nouns. There are ten cases of nouns and pronouns. There are no definite or indefinite articles.
Adjectives have no special class marker. Some of the means of derivation may signal that the derivative is an adjective. There is no strict boundary between adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives often occur as nouns and can take case endings and plural signs. Adjectives have three degrees: positive, comparative, and superlative. The superlative also serves as the absolute degree. Intensive forms are created by morphological and analytic means. Stems: weak and strong, light and heavy, simple and derivative. Primary stems: positive, negative, possibilitive, impossibilitive. Secondary stems: Active, passive, reflexive, reciprocal, adjutative, cooperative, causative, desiderative, similative, transitive, ditransitive, intransitive. Coordinated [serialized] stems. Compound stems.
Finite forms: person (first, second, and third), number (singular and plural). Structure: stems, particles, themes, personal signs. Tenses: Present, future, past. Moods: imperative, voluntative, indicative, optative, conditional, temporal. Aspects: perfect, imperfect, progressive.
Negation: Negative stems, and negative particles are used. Affirmation by affirmative particles and adverbs. Traces of an honorific system: lexical, suffixal means.
Nonfinite forms: Verbal nouns (agent nouns, action nouns infinitives). Gerunds (imperfect, antecedental, inceptive, purposive, resolutive, terminative, compensative, copulative, negative. Participles (past, present, aorist: positive, negative, necessitative, agental, resultative and status-related).
Adverbs have no special category markers. There is no strict class boundary between adverbs and adjectives. There are simple, derivative, and phrasal adverbs.
Six types of noun phrases. Sentence structure: Simple [nominal, verbal], expanded and compound sentences. Clause structure: finite, nonfinite. Clause chaining: coordination by juxtapositon, connective gerunds, and conjunctions. Subordination: The main sentence. Relative clauses, completive clauses.
ISBN 9783895865633. Languages of the World/Materials 155. 448pp. 2001.
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