IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Contact-Induced Usages of Volitional Moods in East Caucasian Languages


  • Nina Dobrushina

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


• 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nina Dobrushina, 2016. "Contact-Induced Usages of Volitional Moods in East Caucasian Languages," HSE Working papers WP BRP 42/LNG/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:42/lng/2016

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    language contact; bilingualism; syntactic borrowing; volitionals; imperative; optative; purpose clause; complement clause; East Caucasian languages; Turkic languages;

    JEL classification:

    • Z - Other Special Topics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.