Serialization as cognitive universal (slavonic and iranian data)

Serialization is regarded as a phenomenon in which two or more verbs, or some other part of speech, follow each other in a sentence in the same aspect and tense form. The phenomenon is typicalfor the so called "exotic" languages in parts of the world.

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Serialization as cognitive universal (slavonic and iranian data)

Kshanovsky O.Ch.

Serialization is regarded as a phenomenon in which two or more verbs, or some other part of speech, follow each other in a sentence in the same aspect and tense form; the subject and the object in such constructions is only expressed in the first verb. The phenomenon is typicalfor the so called “exotic” languages in different parts of the world. Our results demonstrate the existence of two-verb and three-verb chains in modern colloquial Persian, as well as past participle chains in modern written Persian Key words: serialization, verb-chains, Persian language, syntax, semantics.

Кшановский О. Ч. Серіалізаціяяк когнітивнауніверсалія (на матеріалі слов'янських та іранських мов). - Стаття.

Серіалізацією називають явище, коли два чи більше дієслова (або інших частин мови) йдуть поряд у реченні в однакових видо-часових формах. Підмет і прямий додаток у таких конструкціях виражаються лише в першому дієслові. Це явище є типовим для так званих екзотичних мов у різних ареалах світу. Результати дослідження свідчать про існування дводієслівних і тридієслівних ланцюжків у сучасній розмовній перській мові, а також про дієприкметникові серії в сучасній писемній перській.

Ключові слова: серіалізація, дієслівні ланцюжки, перська мова, синтаксис, семантика.

Кшановский О. Ч. Сериализация как когнитивная универсалия (на материале славянских и иранских языков). - Статья.

Сериализацией называют явление, при котором два или больше глагола (или других частей речи) идут в предложении в одинаковых видо-временных формах. Подлежащее и прямое дополнение в таких конструкциях выражаются только в первом глаголе. Результаты исследования свидетельствуют о существовании в современном персидском разговорном языке двухглагольных и трёхглагольных цепочек, а также о причастных сериях в современном персидском книжном языке. Ключевые слова: сериализация, глагольные цепочки, персидский язык, синтаксис, семантика.

Introduction. Serialization (or serial verbs) is typical for languages in different parts of the world, notably West Africa, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Oceania, Central America, as well as for a number of pidgins and creoles. In general, serialization means a phenomenon in which two or more verbs in a sentence follow each other in the same aspect and tense form, with the subject and the object only being expressed in the first verb. In other words, it is used with a few verbs, but they act as a single semantic predicate. In different languages, this phenomenon has a fairly large number of specific lexical-semantic and grammatical features. Broadly speaking, the syntactic structures with several (usually two) identical word forms appear to be typical, perhaps, for more languages than traditionally considered, and they claim to a universal status.

The constructions with the doubling of the forms are widespread in the Russian spoken language. They are primarily the so-called double verbs and double case forms of nouns.

(1) a. Poyd-u skaz-u

go:FUT-1SG tell:FUT-1SG `I will go and talk.' b. Na stol-e na skatert-y

on table-LOC on tablecloth-LOC `On the table and tablecloth'.

In the Russian grammar such constructions are called paratactic, understanding parataxis as a syntactic relationship between two similar grammatical word forms associated with each other in meaning. They either occupy an independent position in the sentence, or depend on another word form. Parat- actic constructions are different from subordinating because they lack a formal expression of the dependence of one form from the other. Besides, they cannot be called a subordinate either because: there is no intonation of enumerating between the members of the group; the group is limited to two terms only, but from the semantic point of view, the members of the pair are heterogeneous; they come in a number of logical relations of subordination [3; 9]. The components of such structures can be verbs in different aspectual and temporal forms (see [3, p. 80-81]):

- Present tense, indefinite

(2) Ya yemu uze khoz-u zakazvvav-u bilet-y I he:DAT already go:PRES-1SG order:PRES-1SG ticket-PL

`I keep going to book tickets for him.'

- Past tense, imperfect

(3) Ya v gorod vezd-il-a poluch-al-a eti posylk-y I into downtown go-PAST-FEM receive- PAST-FEM these parcel-PL

`I have been going downtown to receive these parcels.'

- Future tense, perfect

(4) My dogovor-il-is ' chto ya zavtra prid-u podpish-u bumag-i

we agree-PAST-PL that I tomorrow come: FUT-1SG sign:FUT-1SG paper-PL `We've agreed that I would come and sign these papers tomorrow.'

- Past tense, perfect

(5) On dogad-al-s'a kup-il tsvet-y he guess-PAST-MASC:1SG buy-PAST(MASC:1SG) flower-PL `It occurred to him to buy flowers.'

- Imperatives

(6) Ladno idi uzynay

okey go:IMPER(2SG) have.supper: IMPER(2SG)

`Ok, just go and have dinner.'

- Infinitives

(7) Moze-te poyekha-t ' posmotre-t'

may:PRES-PL go-INF see-INF `You may go and see for yourself.'

- Conditionals

(8) Yesli by ty poshel zaraneye

if SUBJUNCT you:SG go:PAST(MASC:2SG) in.advance uznal, to teper 'nie nado bylo by... check:PAST(MASC:2SG) CONJ now NEG need be:PAST(3SG) SUBJUNCT `If you had gone and checked in advance, now we would not have to...'

Among the most frequent lexical-semantic relations within these forms in Russian one can point out:

- action and its qualitative characteristics in the form of action

(9) Khokhoch-et zalivay-et-s'a

laugh:PRES-3SG trill:PRES-3SG-REFLEX `He is rolling with laughter.'

- Specific action, carried out while remaining in a particular state, that is two actions or states related to each other:

(10) a. Siz-u pish-u sit:PRES-1SG write:PRES-1SG `I sit writing.'

b. Lez-yt sp-it

lie:PRES-2SG sleep:PRES-2SG `He lies sleeping.'

- the intention to take a certain action (or the awareness of the need to implement it) and the action itself

(11) a. Soobraz-il-a priviez-l-a Realize-PAST-FEM:3SG bring-PAST-FEM:3SG `It occurred to her to bring it.'

b. Dogada-l-a-s ' vymy-l-a pol realize-PAST-FEM:3SG-REFLEX wash-PAST-FEM:3SG floor

`She went and scrubbed the floor.'

c. Soglasi-l-a-s ' pieriediela-l-a agree-PAST-FEM:3SG-REFLEX remake-PAST-FEM:3SG

`She agreed to modify it.' More on serial constructions

in the Russian language see [11; 12; 13].

The formal definition of the grammatical status of these units remains one of the main and still unsolved problems in the study of serial verb constructions with the data of the languages of different structures. If they present a monolith phrase of the sentence, should they be considered as one (complex) word or sentence? The predicate argument structure depends on this definition. It can be said in favor of the definition of such constructions as a single word-form pattern in many languages, firstly, that a serial construction represents a single indivisible action. This implies that the translation of these forms from exotic languages into languages of other structures (e.g. English) only needs one word in many cases. Secondly, all the verbs in the chain have, as a rule, both a common grammatical meaning of tense, aspect, modality, etc., and a common formant, which expresses these meanings. Thirdly, these verbs also have a common argument. In general, as some researchers have noted (see [2, p. 31]), the languages in which the phenomenon of serialization is grammatically regulated, enable these forms to have a strong tendency either for lexicali- zation (verbal forms become one word-form, that is a complex word) or to grammaticalization (separate from the chain verb forms becomes auxiliary elements of the main verb form). In order to define a structure as a serial verbal (and other) structure, this phenomenon must be approached from the point of view of the rules of the human ability to conceptualize the semantic space and to structure concepts (to build the sequence of events).

Functional-typological definition of serialization. According to Leonard Talmy's (see [10, p. Chapters 1 and 3]) typological conception of the Event integration, the process of speech is the interaction of two independent but closely interrelated domains - semantic (inside) and lexical-grammatical (external). The semantic domain of events consists of categories such as Motion, Path, Figure, Ground, Manner and Cause. Lexical-grammatical domain of events consists of the word forms, prepositional and postpositional elements of phrases, and so on. The relationship between these two domains is not symmetrical: one semantic category can be expressed by a combination of lexical and grammatical elements; on the other hand, the combination of semantic categories can be transmitted by only one surface element. However, there is also a wide range of universal principles and typological patterns (i.e. regularities) that define the relationship of semantic categories and lexical-grammatical elements [Ibid. 21].

The idea of “event” is central to the cognitive-semantic theory of Leonard Talmy, and, according to the researcher, is the basic category of human cognition. He regards mind as a cognitive process, constantly aiming at the conceptual distribution (classification) of events and phenomena of reality and subsequently, at their description. The essence of this process lies in the demarcation of the continuum in the sphere of space, time, and quantity etc. This fact accounts for the existence of nouns in all languages of the world, that is, names for the objects in human environment.

“Event” is a subspecies of the conceptual partitioning which makes discrete space-temporal continuum in certain portions. This fact accounts for the existence of verbs, that is, names for portions of time, space and movement, in all languages of the world. Conceptually, the event can be unitary and complex [Ibid. 215]. In turn, a complex event can be expressed either by a subordinate clause in the complex sentence, or in one simple sentence:

(12) The candle went out.

(13) The candle went out because something blew on it.

(14) The candle blew out.

In the first sentence (12) the main idea (the candles stopped burning) is expressed as a single event (by a simple sentence). In the second sentence (13) the idea of the end of the candle's burning supplemented by cause of it which is expressed as a complex event (by a complex sentence). In the third sentence (14) the complex event is expressed as a single event (by a simple sentence again). To denote the latter phenomenon (sentence 14), that is expressing of a complex event by a single predicate, L. Talmy coins the term macro-event. The macro-event contains two components: the main, or the framing event, for example, sentence (12), as well as a subordinate event or coevent, for example, sentence (13). The framing event is the main idea of complex (and single) events - Motion (of Agent or Patient) or four ideas metaphorically derived from it - Temporal contouring, State change, Action correlation and Realization. The five conceptual domains express the semantics of a predicate argument structure, which express the macro-event in the sentence [Ibid. 17-18]. The structure of the framing event which is the bearer of the idea of Motion consists of: Figure, that is, a moving entity (this can be either Agent or Patient, depending on the sentence type); Ground with respect to which Figure is moving; Path in which the figure moves, and that points to the place of its Location relative to the Ground [Ibid. 26].

On the other hand, the co-event in the structure of the macro-event makes the framing event more substantive or perceptually palpable. For instance, in the structure of the verb to blow out (a candle) there is the built-in frame-event “State change” (the state of burning has stopped) and also the subordinate event “Cause” (the movement of the air). The structure of such Russian verbs like: vo-yti `to come into; to enter', v-biezat' `to run into', v-yekhat' `to drive into', v-skochit' `to jump into' and others, incorporates the frame-event “movement of the subject (Figure) with respect to the internal space (Ground) on the inward (Path), which determines the location of the subject” and the subordinate event “Manner” (walking on foot, by vehicle, etc.). Thus, these verbs express a complex event consisting of two (or more) of actions.

The idea of framing (main) event in the structure of a macro-event can be expressed either by the verb (stem, root), or by the auxiliary element, formant (l. Talmy coins the term satellite) (cf. [Ibid. 222]). Hence, L. Talmy introduces, proceeding from the behavior of verbs and satellites two main groups of languages - satellite-framed and verb-framed [Ibid. 221-224]. The languages within each group may be quite different both genetically and typologically. Thus, the verb-oriented languages are Romance, Semitic, Japanese, Tamil, Polynesian, Bantu and some others. Satellite-oriented are the Uralic, the Chinese, and most of Indo-European languages except for Romance. The frame schema of the event (Figure + [Background] + Path) in the structure of satellite-oriented languages is expressed without using a verb in the sentence structure and the structure of verb-oriented languages con- tans the verb and its arguments. Subordinate event in satellite-oriented languages is expressed by the main (semantically) verb (which is typical for the English verb phrase), and in verbal-oriented languages it is expressed by satellite elements, either individual (prefix, postposition, gerund) or in combination (formant + prefix / postfix ), for example: Rus. v-katit's'a `to roll in' (Path in framing event Motion is expressed by the prefix v- `-in'), do-govorit' `to finish talking' (Aspect in the framing event Temporal contouring is expressed by the prefix do- `to finish'), za-dut' `blow out' (Change in the framing event State change is expressed by the prefix za- `out'), pere-pisat' `to rewrite; to copy out' (Correspondence in the framing event Action correlation is expressed by the prefixpere- `re-'), pri-khvatit' `to grab' (Completeness in the framing event Realization is expressed by prefix pri- `over'). For example, the English sentence:

(15) The bottle floated out (from the cave)

indicates the framing event “Figure (bottle) + Path (out)” expressed without a verb (float), which, in turn, expresses the co-event, “Manner” (in water). The same is observed in the Russian translation:

(16) Butylka vy-ply-l-a (iz pescher-y). bottle out-float-PAST:3SG-FEM (from cave-GEN) serialization language sentence

`The bottle floated out (from the cave)'.

Thus, Slavic and Latin verb prefixes, English verb (adverbial) particles, German separable and inseparable verb prefixes, and Persian incorporated nouns in compound verbs exemplify, in principle, a functionally common linguistic phenomenon. However, in Spanish (a verb-oriented language) the same sentence has a fundamentally different cognitive-semantic structure.

(17) La botella salio flotando (de la cueva)

`The bottle exited floating (from the cave)'.

In (17) the framing event of Motion is manifested in the semantic verb salir `to exit', and the co-event of Manner in the gerund flotando `floating'. Thus, if serialization is the process of verbal expression of the conceptually unitary complex of events, different parts of which are lexicalized in different verbs, it is obvious that the best conditions for a chain of semantic verbs expressing a macro-event, can be found in verb-oriented languages [2, p. 52] (in which these constructions are widely used and belong to the grammatical norm).

Verb serialization in Persian. The Persian language belongs to a mixed (satellite-verb-framed) type of languages with a strong satellite orientation, cf.: birun raft `He went out; He left', bala raft `He went up', foru raft `He sink' (where the verb raftan only has the idea of Motion, and the elements birun, bala, foru have the idea of Manner). However, the agglutinative structure of Persian word forms and phrases makes it easy to integrate not only stems, but also the whole word forms (within the equal forms). Verb serialization occurs in the Persian spoken language fairly frequent, and even certain forms are an integral part thereof. Our data suggest that a sentence in the modern Persian language may contain up to three verbs in a row.

Two-verb chains. Two-verb chains contain the idea of Motion, as well as the metaphorical extension of Motion to the idea of State change.

(18) [Ba khod=ash] Yani koja gozasht-e raft-e? [With he=3SG:POSS] So where leave:PAST(3SG)-PASTPART go: PAST(3SG)-PASTPART?

`[To himself] So where did he go to?'

Connecting the two verbs gozashtan `to put; to lay; to place' and raftan `to go' is very common in modern Persian speech. Their approximate English equivalents are the verbs to disappear, to dart off, which convey the idea of an unexpected, unplanned or sudden leaving.

(19) Jor 'at ne-mi-kard-am beh=et chiz-i be-guy-am,

courage NEG-CONT-do:PAST-1SG to=2SG thing-INDEF SUBJ-say:PRES-1SG

mi-tars-id-am ba=ham qahr-i kon-i va CONT-fear-PAST-1SG with=1SG:PERS an ger-REL do:SUBJ-2SG and be-gozar-i be-rav-i SUBJ-leave-2SG SUBJ-go-2SG `I did not dare to say anything to you, I was afraid you were not going to talk to me and would leave me.'

In this way one goes off after a quarrel, a dispute, as a result of injury or for some other important and unplanned reason.

(20) Chera bi khodahafezi gozasht-i raft-i?

Why without goodbye leave:PAST-2SG go:PAST-2SG?

`Why did you suddenly go away without saying goodbye?'

In (20) we have the classical macro-event - semantically unitary and complex at the same time. The framing event Motion is expressed by the verb raftan. The subordinate event is expressed by the verb gozashtan. To cover the latter, L. Talmy coins the term Enablement. This event precedes the main one and makes it possible (but does not cause it), helping the main event to occur.

(21) Madarbozorg=am mowqe=e aqd gozasht va grandmother=1SG:POSS time=GEN engagement leave:PAST(3SG) and

raft Mashhad go:PAST(3SG) Mashhad `My grandmother moved to Mashhad suddenly during the engagement.'

The subordinate event, expressed by gozashtan `to put; to lay; to place', as if completes the previous step (cf. Rus.: stavit'tochku;polozvt'konets `to finish', lit. `to place a full stop; to put an end') and enables the beginning of another event, in this case, Motion. The uncompleted, transitional nature of the integration of these two events in one macro-event in the Persian language is illustrated by the ability of the optional use of the conjunction va `and'. Sometimes both variants - with and without conjunction - are used within one utterance.

(22) Man che mi-dan-am zan=esh koja gozasht-e I what CONT-know-1SG woman=3S G:POSS where leave:PAST(3SG)-PASTPART raft-e. magar man be-pa=ye u bud-am? go:PAST(3SG)-PASTPART. Whether

I to-leg=GEN she be:PAST-1SG? akher to=ra khoda in ham shodshowhar?.. khob kar-i

at.last you=OBJ god this also become:PAST(3SG) husband?.. good job-INDEF kard agar gozasht va raft! do:PAST(3SG) if leave:PAST(3SG) and go:PAST(3SG)! serialization language sentence

`How can I know, where his wife has gone. I haven't been put to watch her? After all, Oh God, with the husband like hers? ...It's a good riddance for her!'

In general, the Motion event accompanied by the event which precedes and creates the conditions for it is most clearly expressed by the chains of verbs in the imperative form.

(23) Chayi var-dar bi-yar tea up-take:IMPER(2SG) IMPER-bring:PRES(2SG)

`Bring some tea.'

In (23) the framing event Motion the Figure (a tea), is expressed by the verb avardan `to bring'. The subordinate event Enablement is expressed by the prefixed verb b(v)ar-dashtan `to take, to pick up'. In order to bring the tea, one must first take it. Thus, the subordinate event occurs before the framing one, making it possible, but no way is a Cause of it.

In addition, the framing event Motion may be accompanied by a co-event which indicates the Manner it is being performed.

(24) Qambari dav-id va raft

Gambary run-PAST(3SG) and go:PAST(3SG) `Gambary went running.'

In (24) the framing event Motion has been expressed by the verb raftan `to go'. The subordinate event has been expressed by the verb davidan `to run'. L. Talmy uses the term Manner for the latter. The semantics of this verb doesn't have a component which clearly points to the direction of motion (as well as its English equivalent).

The metaphor derived from the idea of Motion is the framing event State change. In modern spoken Persian two-verb chains can express a macro-event, the main (framing) event of which is precisely the State change.

(25) Ba'd=esh zadpedar=e man mord

after=3SG:DEMONSTR hit:PAST(3SG) father=GEN I die:PAST(3SG)

`After that my father suddenly died.'

In (25) the framing event State change is expressed by the verb mordan `to die' (the transition from one state to another). The subordinate event is expressed by the verb zadan `to beat, to hit'. This verb gives the main event the effect of surprise (cf. bang!), that is, the main event is accompanied by the indication on the way of its course.

(26) Taze yek sal az ezdevaj=eshan mi-gozasht ke an-vaqt

just one year from wedding=3PL:POSS CONT-pass:PAST(3SG) when that-time zad [va] showhar-e oftad tu=ye hachal hit:PAST(3SG) [and] husband-DEF fell:PAST(3SG) in=GEN awkward.situation `Just one year after their wedding passed as, then bang [and] the husband got in trouble.'

In (26) the framing event State change (acceptable state to unpleasant state) is expressed by the verb oftadan `to fall'. The subordinate event Manner is expressed by the verb zadan, which gives the main event the effect of surprise. As can be seen from the above example, the verb forms of such phrases can be located distantly. This fact points, as is noted above, to the phenomenon of serialization in the modern Persian language which has not yet been formed completely.

The framing event State change, which is expressed by two-verb chains, as in the following example, may have other subordinate events:

(27) Hala bi-ya [va] dorost=esh kon now IMPER-go:PRES(2SG) [and] correct=3SG:DEMONSTR do:PRES(2SG) `Now go/come and do it correctly.'

(28) Hala bi-ya khub-i kon

now IMPER-go:PRES(2SG) good-REL (IMPER)do:PRES(2SG)

`Now go/come and do it well.'

In (27) and (28) the framing event State change (from improperly done to properly done) is expressed by complex verbs dorost kardan and khobi kardan `to do properly, to amend'. The subordinate event is expressed by the verb amadan `to come', which (especially in the form of the imperative mood) can also refer to an event that precedes the main event and is the initial stage of it (without being its cause!), the so-called Precursion.

(29) Amad-am [va] go ft-am come:PAST-1SG [and] speak:PAST-1SG `I went and spoke.'

The framing event State change (silent to speaking) is expressed by the verb goftan `to say, to speak'. The subordinate event Precursion, which is its initial stage, is expressed by the verb amadan `to come' (cf. the same function in Russian of the verb vz'af `to take'). Such Precursion (previous) subordinate event can be expressed by the verbs like to take, to get and so on.

(30) Aqab=e doqqan yek tekke=ye zilu andakht-e bud. ba'zi vaqt-ha

behind=GEN shop one piece=GEN carpet throw:PAST(3SG)-PASTPART. some time-PL mi-gereft mi-khabid CONT-take:PAST(3SG) CONT-sleep:PAST(3SG)

`Behind the shop he left a piece of doormat. Sometimes he slept there.'

In (30) the framing event State change (from staying awake to sleep) is expressed by the verb khabidan `to sleep'. The subordinate event Precursion is expressed by the verb gereftan `to take' (cf. the use of this verb in Russian: vz'al zasnul `He dropped to sleep' (lit. `took slept'); kazdyy den'beret spit lit. `Every day he will sleep'), cf.:

(31) Dar dars=e musiqi hasan eyn=e chub=e khoshk mi-gereft

in lesson=GEN music Hasan substance= GEN stick=GEN dry CONT-take:PAST(3SG) mi-neshast


`At the lessons of music Hasan would sit exactly like a dry stick.'

(32) Be-gir-im be-khab-im, be-bin-im IMPER-take:PRES-1PL IMPER-sleep:PRES-1PL IMPER-see:PRES-1PL farda che pish mi-yay-ad

tomorrow what forward CONT-come:PRES-3SG `Let us take some sleep and see tomorrow what will occur.'

In (32) the third verb didan `to see, to look' tends to be a component of a verb chain, but its own argument structure separates it from the chain (incidentally, the author of the analyzed text separated the two- verb series from the next clause by a comma).

The subordinate verb gereftan can be used with a complement, that is, have its own arguments, which may apply to the main verb (the common argument structure, as noted above, is one of the main features of serial verbs).

(33) Rah=eshan=ra gereft-and [va] raft-and way=3PL:POSS=OBJ take:PAST-3PL [and] go:PAST-3PL

`They took [and] went their own way.'

(34) Gereft sar=esh=ra borid take:PAST(3SG) head=3SG:POSS=


`He cut its [the lamb's] head.'

The same sense of Precursion can be expressed by the prefixed verb b(v)ar-dashtan `to take, to pick up'.

(35) Dast=esh ne-mi-shekast agar bar-mi-dasht hand=3SG:POSS NEG-CONT- break:PAST(3SG) up-CONT-have:PAST(3SG) do kalame mi-nevesht

two words CONT-write:PAST(3SG)

`His hand would not brake if he took and wrote two words.' The present and past progressive forms in Persian are built precisely on the principle of serialization. The macro-event combines the framing event, expressed by the main verb, and the subordinate event, expressed by the auxiliary verb:

(i) a. Dar-am mi-rav-am

have:PRES-1SG CONT-go:PRES-1SG `I am going;'

b. Dasht-am mi-raft-am

have:PAST-1SG CONT-go:PAST-1SG `I was going.'

The framing event (in this case, Motion) is expressed by the main verb raftan `to go', and the subordinate event is expressed by the auxiliary verb dashtan `to have, to possess' (cf. to have in English), both at the same aspectual and temporal forms.

The framing event State change may be accompanied by an action, which is its cause.

(36) Negah kard-am did-am

look do:PAST-1SG see:PAST-1SG `I took a look and saw.'

In (36) the framing event State change (from not seeing to seeing) has been expressed by the verb didan `to see, to look' and the subordinate event has been expressed by the verb negah kardan `to look, to take a look' (lit. `to do a look'). This action causes the main event that occurs (there cannot be “to look” without “to see”).

In addition, State change may be accompanied by an action, which is not its cause, but only makes it possible, assists it.

(37) Raft [va] zan=e digar-i gereft go:PAST(3SG) [and] woman=GEN another-INDEF take:PAST(3SG)

`He went [and] took (married) another woman (once more).'

In (37) the framing event State change (from absence to presence) is expressed by the verb gereftan `to take, to get' and the subordinate event is expressed again by the verb raftan `to go' The existence of the stable set of the same verbs in different languages is noted by all researchers of the phenomenon “serialization” (cf., e.g. the frequency lists of verbs in Benue-Congo language Nizaa in [2, p. 22-33]). In Persian with these verbs only quite a large number of idioms is formed:

(ii) a. Nagozasht [va] na bar-dasht va goft...

not leave:PAST(3SG) [and] not up-take:PAST(3SG) and say:PAST(3SG) ...

`For no reason, without shame, tactless.' b. U ham na gozasht-e na bar-dasht-e bud...

he also not leave:PAST-PASTPART not take:PAST-PASTPART be:PAST(3SG)...

`He/she behaved ugly, as like as two peas'.. This verb means the action which precedes the main event and helps it to occur, making it possible (without being its cause!).

Three-verb chains. Three-verb series, as well as two-verb ones, contain the idea of Motion, as well as the idea of State change derived from it metaphorically.

(38) Bi-yay-id ru=ye khosh be mardom neshan be-dah-id,

IMPER-come:PRES-2PL face=GEN good to people sign IMPER-give:PRES-2PL, pizi=shan=ra ja be-gozar-id, do qort

ass=3PL:POSS=OBJ place IMPER- put:PRES-2PL, .. .DEMONSTR:SG-time two gulp

va nim=eshan ham baqi ast and half=3PL:POSS too enough be:PRES(3SG)

`You just show our good attitude to the people, do their work for them . then they will still want more.'

In (38) two framing events State change (from the not shown to the shown and from the not made to the made) are expressed, respectively, by the two complex verbs neshan dadan `to show, to demonstrate' (lit. `to give a mark, a sign') and ja gozashtan `to leave' (lit. `to put the place'). Both events have a common subordinate event Precursion - one for two (which marks the initial stage of the main events, but does not cause them!). It is expressed by the verb amadan `to come' which, as has been noted above, can have some Precursion sense in certain contexts:

(39) Bi-ya be-gir IMPER-come:PRES(2SG) IMPER-take:PRES(2SG)

`Come and take.'

In three-verb series the framing event State change is usually expressed by a single verb, accompanied by two events expressed by two verbs:

(40) Mahmud bas ast digar. Bo-ru be-gir Mahmood enough be:PRES(3SG) more. IMPER-go:PRES(2SG) IMPER-take:PRES(2SG)



`Mahmud, that is enough! Go and take some sleep.'

In (40) the framing event State change (from staying awake to going to sleep) is expressed by the verb khabidan `to sleep'. The first subordinate event Enablement has been expressed by the verb raftan `to go', which precedes the framing event, creates the conditions for its occurrence, but is not its cause. The second subordinate event Precursion is expressed by the verb gereftan `to take, to get', which is the first step to changing the state.

In another example, the structure of macro-event consists of a chain of coherent events:

(41) Khanom mi-goft: doctor-ha be andaze= ye khar ham

Lady CONT-tell:PAST(3SG) doctor-PL to extent=GEN donkeys also ne-mi-fahm-and va bi-khod hey bar-mi-dar-and

NEG-CONT-understand:PRES-3PL and

without-REFLEX keep up-CONT-


be bache=am ampul mi-zan-and

to child=1SG:POSS injection CONT-


`Aunt said: doctors, like donkeys, don't un derstand and just keep pricking needles into my baby.'

In (41) the framing event Motion (physical manipulation with the needle) is expressed by the complex verb ampul zadan `to prick injection' (lit. `to shoot an ampoule'). The first subordinate event is expressed by the verb fahmidan `to understand'. This event is the cause of the main one. The second subordinate event is expressed by the prefixed verb bar-dashtan `to take, to pick up'. This event is the initial stage, that is, Precursion of the main one, but (!) is not its cause.

The same structure of a macro-event expressed by three-verb series, but with a different set of subordinate events is presented in the following example:

(42) Vaqt-i rasid-am, khabar na-kard-am sarzade Time-INDEF reach:PAST-1SG information NEG-do:PAST-1SG unexpected

vared=e manzel=esh shod-am incoming=GEN house=3SG:POSS become:PAST-1SG

`On coming back, I did not inform anyone and arrived at her house unexpectedly.'

In (42) the framing event Motion (entering the room) is expressed by the complex verb vared shodan `to come in, to enter' (lit. vared `incoming', shodan `to become'). The first subordinate event Enablement, which precedes the main event and facilitates its occurrence, has been expressed by the verb rasidan `to arrive, to reach'. The second subordinate event Manner, which indicates the way of the occurrence of the main one is expressed by the complex verb khabar kardan `to inform, to let know' (lit. khabar `news', kardan `do'). It is this verb that characterizes the main event.

The sequence of subordinate events may be different. It depends on what kind of Precursive verb is used in three-verb series: the verb gereftan, as we see from the examples, is used directly before the verb which expresses the framing event, and the prefixed verb bar-dashtan always takes a distant position to the verb which expresses the framing event:

(43) Moalem goft: bache-ha, sar-e kelas!

Mansuri va Rezayi khomre=ye

teacher say:PAST(3SG) child-PL top=GEN class Mansur and Reza jar=GEN shekaste=ra bar-dar-and be-bar-and bi-yandaz-and

broken=GEN up-have:PRES-3PL IMPER-carry:PRES-3PL IMPER- throw:PRES-3PL tu biyaban-e posht-e madrese into wasteland=GEN behind=GEN school `The teacher said: Children, go to the class! Mansur and Reza take, carry and throw the broken jar on the wasteland behind the school.'

In (43) the framing event Motion (moving a jar from place to place) is expressed by the verb andakhtan `to throw'. This verb contains the main idea of getting rid of something within the macro-event analyzed. The event, which immediately precedes the main one, is expressed by the verb bordan `to carry'. It is this verb that makes the main event possible and facilitates its occurrence, but is not its cause (as will be seen in the following example). The event which represents the initial stage of the main event is expressed by the prefixed verb bar-dashtan `to take, to pick up'. This verb, by the way, is Precursive for the subordinate event of Enablement also. The analogous case can be observed in Russian:

(44) a. voz'm-i vy-bros-i take:IMPER-2SG out-throw:IMPER-2SG `Take it and throw out.'

b. voz'm-i o-tnies-i take:IMPER-2SG out-carry:IMPER-2SG `Take it and carry away.'

c. voz'mi otniesi vybros ' take:IMPER-2SG out-carry:IMPER-2SG out-throw:IMPER-2SG

`Take it, carry away and throw away.'

In the following example, another framing event has a similar set of co-events:

(45) asbab va asas=ash=ra bar-dasht, bord, chattels:PL and things:PL=3SG:POSS=OBJ up-have:PAST(3SG) carry:PAST(3SG) gozasht jelow=e kelas=e dovvom put:PAST(3SG) front=GEN class=GEN second `He picked up bag and baggage, carried them away and put them in front of the second class.'

In (45) the framing event Motion (things in a certain place) is expressed by the verb gozashtan `to put'. The action which immediately precedes the main event is expressed by the verb bordan `to carry'. It is this verb that makes it possible to cause and begin the main event. At the same time, this subordinate event of Enablement is not the cause of the main event. As we could see in the above example, this event is accompanied by another framing event. Pre- cursion of the main event is expressed by the prefixed verb bar-dashtan `to take, to pick up'.

Past participle serialization in Persian. Since the basic syntactic structure is a simple sentence in agglutinative languages, particularly in Turk, it tends to absorb the substitutes of subordinate clauses whose structure does not contradict to the rules of the simple sentence structure. A number of subordinating relations are conveyed, expressed by participial syntactic constructions [1, p. 529]. Under the influence of the Persian and Arabic languages, the complex sentence in the Turkic languages has certainly evolved, but nevertheless, it was under the influence of the Turkic languages that past participle has become one of the most common categories in the written standard modern Persian. Having a tangible tense semantics (see [7, p. 45-46]), the Persian past participle, but the marker function of a non-main, co-event (the function that is common for participles in many languages), also has a specific ability to be used in a sentence instead of verbs that contain the main event.

The use of past participle as a verb predicate can be observed even in Old Persian (see [6, p. 182-183]):

(46) Hamigi-ya hagmata paraita rebel-PL gathered stood.out

`The rebels gathered and stood out.'

(47) Ima tya mana kartam Babirauv

that what I:GEN do:PASTPART Babylon `That's what I did in Babylon.'

This use of the forms involved in both intransitive (first example) and in transitive (second example) structures has leads to the use of pronominal enclitics as a subject:

(48) Mana Auramazdapa-tuv uta tya maiy kartam I:GEN Ahuramazda (IMPER)pro tect:PRES-3SG and what I:GEn do: PASTPART

`Let Ahuramazda protect me and that what I did.'

In the Middle Persian period the use of past participles with a copula (for intransitive verbs) and past participles with pronominal enclitic (for transitive verbs) as person and number markers totally placed the ancient Persian forms of the past indefinite and past perfect [Ibid. 183]. Over time, in the Middle Persian period the preterit and perfect stems of Persian verbs were formed from these participles. It is the regular use of past participles as verb predicative that caused the loss of their own participial meaning and accounted for its gradual transformation into a verb stem (see [Ibid. 200-204]).

In modern Persian the use of the past participle instead of the main verb in a sentence is common (see [8, p. 71]):

(49) Majid kif=ash=ra bar-dasht-e az khane birun david

Majid briefcase=3SG:POSS=OBJ up-take:PAST-PASTPART from home out run:PAST(3SG)

`Majid took his briefcase and ran out of home.'

In (49) the past participle bardashte `taken' (comes from the verb bardashtan `to take, to pick up') is used in place of the main verb, cf. example (50):

(50) Majid bar-dasht va david Majid on-have:PAST(3SG) and run:PAST(3SG)

`Majid just ran away.'

The ability of these participles to build chains in the modern Persian language proves that they are used in the grammatical function of verbs. In many languages, one can find a similar phenomenon, when some other parts of speech, not only a verb (a noun for example) are doubled. Thus, in the modern Russian language the highest frequency among case forms can be observed in the so called double nominative and double prepositional forms. The following semantic relationships within these forms are noted.

- Relation of genus and species.

(51) Ya da-l-a yey den'gi shest ' rubl-ey

I give-PAST-FEM:1SG she:DAT money six ruble-PL

`I gave her the money - six rubles.'

- Object and its quantitative characteristics, in particular, the measure of a substance.

(52) Po-moyemu, oni nikto ne mog uze slusha-t' obviously they NEG can:PAST(3SG) now listen-INF

`I think, none of them could listen any longer.'

- Object and its essential feature, in particular, its characteristic feature.

(53) Vot takoy fason tarelochk-i vse here such style plate-PL all `That's the shape of all little dishes.'

- Relation of the part and the whole.

(54) Na taksi bylo tri rubl-'a na schetchik-e

on taxi:LOC be:PAST(3SG) three rubl-GEN taximeter-LOC

`The taximeter showed three rubles.'

In addition, this phenomenon is not new for the Russian language. These forms were inherent in everyday speech of the Old Russian period (see [3, p. 81-82]), that is, one can speak about a very strong tendency which finds its expression in the syntax of spoken language, in the whole system of doubling (subordinate constructions of the literary language correspond in many cases to paratactic constructions in speech). The serialization of past participles in the literary standard modern Persian is also widely spread:

(55) Qasem ke shahed=e begumegu=ye an do bud-e

Kasem which witness=GEN conversation=


va az tars jor 'at na-kard-e dekhalat kon-ad,

and from fear dare NEG-do:PAST-PAST

PART interference (SUBJUNCT)do-3SG

ba dide=ye tahsin be Said negah mi-kon-ad

with glance=GEN applause at Said look


`Kasem, who was the witness of the conver

sation of those two from the fear, did not dare

to exit, looks at Said with approving glance.'

In (55) (the author's stage remark in the play) past participles (bude `being' and jor'at nakarde `no daring') follow one another, acting as the verbs, cf.: Kasem was the witness to a conversation of some two people and of fright did not dare to come out... Such participial chains can alternate with verb chains:

(56) Did-am pesare kerker mi-kon-ad.

Negah kard-am did-am see:PAST-1SG boy tittering CONT-do: PRES-3SG. Look do:PAST-1SG see:PAST-1SG vardasht-e be la=ye dar va charchub yek take kesh=e tirkaman

take:PAST-PASTPART at fold=GEN doors and doorframe one piece rubber=GEN bow kubid-e

pound:PAST-PASTPART `I saw the boy laughing. I cast a glance and saw him take a piece of rubber from the bow and pounded it in the doorframe.'

In (56) a past participle chain (vardashte `taken' and kubide `pounded') follow the verb chain (negah kardam `took a look' and didam `saw').

Conclusions. The data analyzed in the article indicate that the phenomenon of serialization in the modern Persian language, despite the absence of tradition in its selection, is developing. Based on the material of the modern spoken and written Persian language, the two-verb, three-verb and past participle series have been studied.

Two of five possible frame events in the structures of macro-evens are only found in the Modern Persian. They are the main - Motion and the most important derivative of it - State change. The rest -Temporal contouring, Action correlation and Realization - are absent. The first four of eight possible co-events in the structures of macro-events are only identified (those that either precede the framing event or is its cause). They are - Precursion, Enablement, Cause and Manner. The rest - Concomitance, Subsequence, Concurrent result and Constitutiveness - are absent. It is possible to speak about the following features of this category in the Persian language:

1) A large number of syntactic constructions in the modern Persian language are based on the pattern which is very close to the serialization one:

(57) Qambari, bo-rube kadkhoda be-gu bi-yay-ad Qambary, IMPER-go:PRES to headman IM PER-tell:PRES CONJ-com:PRES-3SG `Qambary, go and tell the headman to come.'

In (57), the framing event State change (from silence to speaking) is expressed by the verb gof- tan `to talk; to tell'. The subordinate event Enablement is expressed by the verb raftan `to go', which precedes the framing event, creates the conditions for its occurrence, but is not its cause. These verbs have a common argument: boru pishe kadkhoda `go to the headman', begu be kadkhoda `tell the headman'. This testifies to the merging of two predicates in a single complex predicate. However, the main verb goftan `to talk; to tell' has its own argument (biyayad). The final merge predicate has not yet come, although the main features are already present. The number of these expressions in the modern spoken Persian is striking in fact. Such expressions are often hard to be distinguished from verb idioms. This indicates the prevalence of this phenomenon:

(58) Khob shod shod na-shod good become:PAST(3SG) become:PAST(3SG) NEG-be come:PAST(3SG)

na-shod, khod=esh akhar=esh khub NEG-become:PAST(3SG) good=3SG:RE FLEX end=3SG:REFLEX good mi-shav-ad

CONT-become:PRES-3SG `And the beginning was so good.'

2) The material of Persian two-verb and three-verb series discussed above demonstrates the existence the main features of verb serialization - the common argument structure and the final position of the main verb, which expresses the framing event;

3) The set of verbs which are the components of serial constructions in Persian correlate with similar sets of verbs in other languages where the verb serialization has the status of the grammatical category.

On the one hand, these features of serialization in Persian correspond to the same attributes of this category in other languages; on the other hand, they demonstrate the prevalence of this phenomenon in modern colloquial Persian, and one can conclude that this category in the Persian language has a strong potential for development. It must also be noted that other parts of speech in the Persian language can be subjected to this tendency too. Thus, the ability to be an integral part of a single unitary event in the written style of the modern Persian language is inherent in past participles.


1. Gajiyeva N.Z. Turkskiye yazyki (Turkic Languages) / N.Z. Gajiyeva // Lingvisticheskiy enciklopedicheskiy slovar. - Moskow : Sovetskaya enciklopedia, 1990. - P. 527-529.

2. Kjelsvik B. Verb chains in Nizaa / B. Kjelsvik / Unpublished doctoral dissertation. - Oslo : University of Oslo, 2002. - 181 p.

3. Krasilnikova E.V Konstrukcii s udvoyeniyem v russkoy razgovornoy rechi (Double Constructions in Colloquial Russian) / E.V Krasilnikova // Russkiy yazyk v shkole. - № 5. - 1971. - P. 80-83.

4. Kshanovsky O. Verb serialization in Modern Persian / O. Kshanovsky // Forth International Conference on Iranian Linguistics. Abstracts ; Uppsala University (Sweden, 17-19 June 2011). - P. 40.

5. Kshanovskyi O. Verb Serialization as Cognitive Universal (Slavonic and Iranian data) / O. Kshanovsky // 19th International Congress of Linguists (July 21-27, Geneva, Switzerland). - Abstract booklet, 2013. - P. 383.

6. Rastorguyeva V.S., Edelman D.I. Opyt istoriko-tipologicheskogo issledovania iranskikh yazykov (Notes on Historical and Typological study of Iranian Languages). V1. Fonologiya. Evolucia morfologicheskogo tipa (Phonology. The evolution of the Morphological Type) / V.S. Rastorguyeva, D.I. Edelman. - Moscow : Nauka. 1975. - 240 p.

7. Rustamova T. Naqsh-e sefat-e fe'li dar qana-ye ganjine-ye loqat-e zaban-e tarsi (The Role of the Participles in the Persian Lexicology) / T. Rustamova // Iranshenakht. - № 6. - 1997. - P. 43-59.

8. Samare Y Amusesh-e zaban-e farsi (Persian Language Teaching). J. 4. / Y Samare. - Tehran : Entesharat-e beinolmelali-ye ALHODA, 1993. - 352 p.

9. Shvedova N.U. 1960. Ocherki po sintaksisu russkoy razgovornoy rechi (Notes on the Syntax of Colloquial Russian) / N.U. Shvedova. - Moskow : Academy of Science of USSR. - 377 p.


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