IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Contact-Induced Usages of Volitional Moods in East Caucasian Languages

Listed author(s):
  • Nina Dobrushina


    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

Registered author(s):

    • Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions; The aim of this article is to test the hypothesis that the uses of volitional forms (e.g. optative, imperative, hortative and jussive) in subordinate clauses, in particular in complement clauses of the verbs of ‘wish’ and in purpose clauses, in East Caucasian languages evolves under the influence of Azerbaijanian (Turkic). • Design/Methodology/Approach and Data and Analysis The data of thirteen languages spoken in Daghestan and Azerbaijan are considered in the paper. To prove that shared features are contact-induced rather than co-inherited, two control languages are included in the sample: Archi, which belongs to the same genetic group as the languages which use volitionals in subordinate clauses (Lezgic), but is exposed to Azerbaijanian to a much lesser extent, and Axaxd?r? Akhvakh, which belongs to another group, but whose contacts with Azerbaijani are strong due to recent migration. • Findings/Conclusions A survey shows that volitionals are used in subordinate clauses most extensively in those languages whose speakers show a high level of bilingualism in Azerbaijanian, and where the contact has been longer. I also show that there is a hierarchy of borrowability of subordinate constructions involving volitionals. • Originality Although the consequences of the influence of Turkic languages on the languages of the Caucasus in the domain of syntax have been previously discussed, the usage of volitionals in subordinate clauses was not. • Significance/Implications It is usually acknowledged that social factors play an important role in shaping the linguistic consequences of language contact. However, evidence of the correspondence between social factors and structural outcomes of language contact is still very scarce. The relevance of two social factors is shown in this paper: the ratio of bilingual speakers and the duration of contact. • Limitations The hierarchy of borrowability of the considered constructions remains essentially unexplained. I advance the hypothesis that connects the borrowability of particular constructions to their typological frequency, but the typology of subordinate uses of volitionals is well enough investigated to make final conclusions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Research University Higher School of Economics in its series HSE Working papers with number WP BRP 42/LNG/2016.

    in new window

    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 2016
    Publication status: Published in WP BRP Series: Linguistics / LNG, February 2016, pages 1-31
    Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:42/lng/2016
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Myasnitskaya 20, Moscow 101000

    Phone: +7(495)7713232
    Fax: +7(495)6287931
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:42/lng/2016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamil Abdulaev)

    or (Victoria Elkina)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.