Kabardian grammar

Kabardian grammar refers to the whole system and structure of East Circassian (Kabardian) language.

Ergative–absolutiveEdit

Kabardian is an ergative–absolutive language. Unlike nominative–accusative languages, such as English, where the single argument of an intransitive verb ("She" in the sentence "She walks.") behaves grammatically like the agent of a transitive verb ("She" in the sentence "She finds it."), in ergative–absolutive language the subject of an intransitive verb behaves like the object of a transitive verb, and differently from the agent of a transitive verb. For example, the word щӏалэ "boy" in the intransitive sentence щӏалэр малӏэ "the boy dies" behaves grammatically different from the word щӏалэ "boy" in the transitive sentence щӏалэм ар еукӏы "the boy kills it".

Nouns in Kabardian can have the following roles in a sentence:

  • Ergative case: Marked as -м /-m/, it serves to mark the one that causes change by doing the verb.
  • Absolutive case: Marked as -р /-r/, it serves to mark the one that is changed by the verb's, i.e. it is being created, altered, moved or ended by the verb.
  • Oblique case: Also marked as -м /-m/, it serves to mark the dative and applicative case roles. It acts as the indirect object in the sentence and its state is not changed by the verb, i.e. we have no indication of what happens to it or how it behaves after the verb.

In intransitive verbs the subject is in the absolutive case thus it indicates that the subject is changing (created, altered, moved or ended).

  • In this example the boy is changing by moving:

Щӏалэр

Щӏалэ-р

[ɕʼaːɮar

boy.ABS

макӏуэ

макӏуэ

maːkʷʼa]

(s)he is going

Щӏалэр макӏуэ

Щӏалэ-р макӏуэ

[ɕʼaːɮar maːkʷʼa]

boy.ABS {(s)he is going}

"The boy is going."

  • In this example the man is changing by moving. The verb еуэн /jawan/ "to hit" describes the movement of hitting and not the impact itself, so we have no indication of what happens to the object (the wall in this case).

Лӏыр

Лӏы-р

[ɬʼər

man.ABS

дэпкъым

дэпкъы-м

dapqəm

wall.OBL

йоуэ

йоуэ

jowa]

(s)he is hitting

Лӏыр дэпкъым йоуэ

Лӏы-р дэпкъы-м йоуэ

[ɬʼər dapqəm jowa]

man.ABS wall.OBL {(s)he is hitting}

"The man is hitting the wall."
lit. "the man is hitting at the wall."

In transitive verbs the subject is in the ergative case thus it indicates that the subject causes change to the object which gets the absolutive case.

  • In this example the wall changes by being destroyed (it was altered). The verb къутэн /qʷətan/ "to destroy" does not indicate how the subject (boy) destroyed the wall thus we have no indication of the boy changing, making him the one that causes the change (and not the one that changes).

Щӏалэм

Щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

boy.ERG

дэпкъыр

дэпкъы-р

dapqər

wall.ABS

икъутащ

икъутащ

jəqʷətaːɕ]

(s)he destroyed

Щӏалэм дэпкъыр икъутащ

Щӏалэ-м дэпкъы-р икъутащ

[ɕʼaːɮam dapqər jəqʷətaːɕ]

boy.ERG wall.ABS {(s)he destroyed}

"The boy destroyed the wall."

  • In this example the rock changes by moving (motion in air), the man causes the change and the wall acts as the indirect object of the preposition.

Лӏым

[ɬʼəm

man.ERG

мывэр

məvar

rock.ABS

дэпкъым

dapqəm

wall.OBL

тедзэ

tajd͡za]

(s)he is throwing at

Лӏым мывэр дэпкъым тедзэ

[ɬʼəm məvar dapqəm tajd͡za]

man.ERG rock.ABS wall.OBL {(s)he is throwing at}

"The man is throwing the rock at the wall."

It is important to distinguish between the intransitive and transitive verb, because the subject and object noun cases as well as the sentences' verb conjunctions (the prefixes that indicate person) depend on it. A fault in this can change the meaning of the sentence drastically, switching the roles of the subject and object. For instance, look at the following two sentences:

Щӏалэм

Щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

boy.ERG

пщащэр

пщащэ-р

pɕaːɕar

girl.ABS

йолъэгъу

йолъэгъу

jawɬaʁʷ]

(s)he is seeing

Щӏалэм пщащэр йолъэгъу

Щӏалэ-м пщащэ-р йолъэгъу

[ɕʼaːɮam pɕaːɕar jawɬaʁʷ]

boy.ERG girl.ABS {(s)he is seeing}

"The boy is seeing the girl."

Щӏалэм

Щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

boy.OBL

пщащэр

пщащэ-р

pɕaːɕar

girl.ABS

йоплъ

йоплъ

jawpɬ]

(s)he is looking at

Щӏалэм пщащэр йоплъ

Щӏалэ-м пщащэ-р йоплъ

[ɕʼaːɮam pɕaːɕar jawpɬ]

boy.OBL girl.ABS {(s)he is looking at}

"The girl is looking at the boy."

Even though the noun cases of the word boy кӏалэ are the same (In the Ergative-Oblique case marked as -м), they behave grammatically different because the verb еплъын "to look" is considered an intransitive verb in contrast to the verb елъэгъун "to see" which is transitive.

NounEdit

Singular and pluralEdit

A Circassian noun can be in one of the following two states: singular or plural

Singular number is marked by a null morpheme, while plural nouns use the -хэ (-xa) suffix, which is attached to the main form of the word. A noun in its plural form must be in its definite form, meaning it must include case markers such as -р or -м.

For example: singular:

  • унэ (wəna): home → унэхэр (wənaxar) homes
  • тхылъ (txəɬ): book → тхылъхэр (txəɬxar) books

Names and vocative uses of a noun are exempt of this rule.

  • къардэнхэ лъэпкъышхуэщ (qaːrdanxa ɬapqəʃxʷaɕ): The Kardan(ov)s are a large family/tribe
  • фымыпIащIэ, цIыкIухэ! (fəməpʼaːɕʼa tsəkʷʼxa): Don't hurry, children!
  • ныбжьэгъухэ, зэIущIэм зыкъыкIэрывмыгъэху! (nəbʑaʁʷxa zaʔʷəɕʼam zəqətʃʼarəvməʁaxʷ): Comrades, don't be late for the meeting!

However, the plural marking on the noun is optional in most cases. It is however frequently encoded in other parts of the sentence which are mandatory, for example the verb or possessive marking.

  • сабийм жеIэ (saːbəjm ʒajʔa): the child speaks vs сабийм жаIэ (saːbəjm ʒʔa): the children speak
  • сабийм и хьэл (saːbəjm jə ħaɮ): the child's character vs сабийм я хьэл (saːbəjm jaː ħaɮ): the children's character

As a side note, the suffix -хэ (-xa) is also present in verbs to denote that the absolutive participant is plural. However similarly, it is only optional. For example:

  • ар макӏуэ he is going → ахэр макӏуэхэ: they are going

Collective nounsEdit

Collective nouns, such as жылэ (ʒəɮa) village, къуажэ (qʷaːʒa) village, хьэблэ (ħabɮa) district, унагуэ (wənaːʁʷa) family, are noteworthy, in regards to the usage of the plural. All of them, can also refer to the members of that group and if they do the noun acts as a plurale tantum which can't have.

  • жылэм я Iэр яIэтмэ, сэри си Iэр сIэтынщ (ʒəɮam jaː ʔar jaːʔatma, sarəj səj ʔar sʔatənɕ): if the villagers vote, I will also vote (lit. if the villagers raise their hands, I will raise my hand too)
  • ар мы жылэм щопсэу (аːr mə ʒəɮam ɕawpsawə): he lives in this village

Definite and indefinite formsEdit

Circassian nouns usually have either definite or indefinite form. The idea behind this concept is close to the idea of definite/indefinite articles in English. The definite form of Circassian nouns have -р or -м (noun cases) formats at the end of the word. For example: щӏалэ "boy" – indefinite noun (has none of the definite formats) – it can be used in generalizations or when the boy is unknown to either the "speaker" or "listener" (a/an or zero article in English); щӏалэр, щӏалэм "the boy" – it is used when the mentioned boy is well known to both the "speaker" and "listener".

Noun casesEdit

Kabardian also declines nouns into four different cases, each with corresponding suffixes: absolutive, ergative, instrumental, and adverbial.

Case Suffix example
Cyrillic IPA
Absolutive р /r/ щӏалэр [ɕʼaːlar] ('the boy')
Ergative-Oblique м /m/ щӏалэм [ɕʼaːlam] ('the boy's')
Instrumental (м)кӏэ /(m)t͡ʃʼa/ щӏалэмкӏэ [ɕʼaːɮamt͡ʃʼa] ('using the boy')
Adverbial ыу /əw/ щӏалу [ɕʼaɮəw] ('boy')

Absolutive caseEdit

Has the suffix -р /r/ (e.g. щӏалэр [ɕʼaːɮar] 'the boy', щӏалэхэр [ɕʼaːɮaxar] ('the boys'), шыр [ʃər] 'the horse'). The absolutive case usually expresses subject in conjunction with intransitive verbs or direct object in conjunction with transitive verbs: For example:

In the following example, Щӏалэр is in the absolutive case, it points to the subject (the boy), and the sentence is in the absolutive form with an intransitive verb (кӏуащ);

щӏалэр

щӏалэ-р

[ɕʼaːɮar

the boy.ABS

еджапӏэм

еджапӏэ-м

jad͡ʒaːpʼam

the school.ERG

кӏуащ

кӏу-ащ

kʷʼaːɕ]

(s)he went

щӏалэр еджапӏэм кӏуащ

щӏалэ-р еджапӏэ-м кӏу-ащ

[ɕʼaːɮar jad͡ʒaːpʼam kʷʼaːɕ]

{the boy.ABS} {the school.ERG} {(s)he went}

"the boy went to the school"

In the following example, джанэр is in the absolutive case, it points to the direct object (the shirt which is being laundered), and the sentence is in the ergative form (after the form of its subject – Бзылъфыгъэм) with a transitive verb (егыкӏы).

бзылъхугъэм

бзылъхугъ-эм

[bzəɬxʷəʁam

the woman.ERG

джанэр

джанэ-р

d͡ʒaːnar

the shirt.ABS

егыкӏы

егыкӏы

jaɣət͡ʃʼə]

(s)he laundries it

бзылъхугъэм джанэр егыкӏы

бзылъхугъ-эм джанэ-р егыкӏы

[bzəɬxʷəʁam d͡ʒaːnar jaɣət͡ʃʼə]

{the woman.ERG} {the shirt.ABS} {(s)he laundries it}

"the woman laundries the shirt"

Ergative caseEdit

Has the suffix -м /-m/ (e.g. щӏалэм [ɕʼaːɮam] 'the boy's', щӏалэхэмэ [ɕʼaːɮaxama] 'the boys'', шым [ʃəm] 'the horse's). This case has two roles: Ergative role and Oblique role.

  • The Ergative role functions as subject in conjunction with transitive verbs.

лӏым

лӏы-м

[ɬʼəm

the man.ERG

мафӏэр

мафӏэ-р

maːfʼar

the fire.ABS

йогъэкӏуасэ

йогъэкӏуасэ

jawʁakʷʼaːsa]

(s)he extinguishes it

лӏым мафӏэр йогъэкӏуасэ

лӏы-м мафӏэ-р йогъэкӏуасэ

[ɬʼəm maːfʼar jawʁakʷʼaːsa]

{the man.ERG} {the fire.ABS} {(s)he extinguishes it}

"the man extinguishes the fire"

  • The Oblique role functions as indirect object with both transitive and intransitive verbs.

An example with an intransitive verb йоджэ "reads" and indirect object тхылъым "book".

щӏалэр

щӏалэ-р

[ɕʼaːɮar

the boy.ABS

тхылъым

тхылъ-ым

txəɬəm

the book.OBL

йоджэ

йоджэ

jawd͡ʒa]

(s)he reads

щӏалэр тхылъым йоджэ

щӏалэ-р тхылъ-ым йоджэ

[ɕʼaːɮar txəɬəm jawd͡ʒa]

{the boy.ABS} {the book.OBL} {(s)he reads}

"the boy reads the book"
lit. "the boy is involved in reading the book"

An example with an transitive verb реты "gives" and indirect object пшъашъэм "girl".

щӏалэм

щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

the boy.ERG

мыӏэрысэр

мыӏэрыс-р

məʔarəsər

the apple.ABS

пщащэм

пщащэм

pɕaːɕam

the girl.OBL

реты

реты

rajtə]

(s)he gives it to

щӏалэм мыӏэрысэр пщащэм реты

щӏалэ-м мыӏэрыс-р пщащэм реты

[ɕʼaːɮam məʔarəsər pɕaːɕam rajtə]

{the boy.ERG} {the apple.ABS} {the girl.OBL} {(s)he gives it to}

"the boy gives the apple to the girl"

The Ergative-Oblique case can also be used as an adverbial modifier. For example:

  • Студентхэм махуэм ӏуэху ящӏащ (stəwdajntxam maːxʷam ʔʷaxʷ jaːɕʼaɕ): "The students have worked during the day" (махуэм – adverbial modifier of time).
  • Щӏалэхэр мэзым кӏуахэщ (ɕʼaːɮaxar mazəm kʷʼaːxaɕ): "The boys went to the forest" (мэзым – adverbial modifier of place).

Instrumental-Directional CaseEdit

Indefinite nouns are marked by the affix -кӏэ : тхылъ-кӏэ, "by/with book", ӏэ-кӏэ "by/with hand". definite nouns express this case using the ergative affix -м in conjunction with the affix -кӏэ: уадэ-м-кӏэ "by/with the hammer", тхылъ-м-кӏэ "by/with the book".

сэ

сэ

[sa

I

къэрэндащкӏэ

къэрэндащ-кӏэ

qarandaːɕt͡ʃʼa

pencil.INS

сотхэ

сотхэ

sawtxa]

I write

сэ къэрэндащкӏэ сотхэ

сэ къэрэндащ-кӏэ сотхэ

[sa qarandaːɕt͡ʃʼa sawtxa]

I pencil.INS {I write}

"I write using a pencil"

щӏалэр

щӏалэ-р

[ɕʼaːɮar

boy.ABS

адыгэбзэкӏэ

адыгэбзэ-кӏэ

aːdəɣabzat͡ʃʼa

using Circassian language.INS

мэпсалъэ

мэпсалъэ

mapsaːɬa]

(s)he is speaking

щӏалэр адыгэбзэкӏэ мэпсалъэ

щӏалэ-р адыгэбзэ-кӏэ мэпсалъэ

[ɕʼaːɮar aːdəɣabzat͡ʃʼa mapsaːɬa]

boy.ABS {using Circassian language.INS} {(s)he is speaking}

"The boy is speaking (using) Circassian language."

The Instrumental case can also mark the direction of action:

    • гъуэгу /ʁʷaɡʷ/ road → гъуэгумкӏэ /ʁʷaɡʷəmt͡ʃʼa/ from the road (direction).
    • унэ /wəna/ house → унэмкӏэ /wənamt͡ʃʼa/ from the house.
    • хы /xə/ sea → хымкӏэ /xəmt͡ʃʼa/ from the sea (direction).

дэ

дэ

[da

we

къуажэмкӏэ

къуажэ-мкӏэ

qʷaːʒamt͡ʃʼa

village.INS

докӏуэ

докӏуэ

dawkʷʼa]

we go

дэ къуажэмкӏэ докӏуэ

дэ къуажэ-мкӏэ докӏуэ

[da qʷaːʒamt͡ʃʼa dawkʷʼa]

we village.INS {we go}

"we are going in the direction of the village"

Том,

Том,

[tom

Tom (name)

нобэди

нобэди

nawbadi

today

еджапӏэмкӏэ

еджапӏэ-мкӏэ

jad͡ʒaːpʼamt͡ʃʼa

school.INS

ныщӏыхьэ

ныщӏыхьэ

nəɕʼəħa]

stop by

Том, нобэди еджапӏэмкӏэ ныщӏыхьэ

Том, нобэди еджапӏэ-мкӏэ ныщӏыхьэ

[tom nawbadi jad͡ʒaːpʼamt͡ʃʼa nəɕʼəħa]

{Tom (name)} today school.INS {stop by}

"Tom, come to our school today"

Adverbial caseEdit

Has the suffix -уэ /wa/, or -у /əw/ (e.g. щӏалу [ɕʼaːɮəw] 'boy'). The adverbial case usually expresses a transition into something, or definition (clarification, which often works like the English words -which, -who, -that... ) of a name. It points to the real (literal, not grammatical) subject in the sentence. For example:

лӏыр

лӏыр

[ɬʼər

man.ABS

профессорэу

профессор-эу

profesoraw

professor.ADV

хъуащ

хъу-ащ

χʷaːɕ]

(s)he became

лӏыр профессорэу хъуащ

лӏыр профессор-эу хъу-ащ

[ɬʼər profesoraw χʷaːɕ]

man.ABS professor.ADV {(s)he became}

"The man became a professor."

лӏыжьу

лӏыжъ-у

[ɬʼəʑəw

old man.ADV

щысар

щыс-а-р

ɕəsaːr

the one that sit

кӏуэжащ

кӏуэ-ж-ащ

kʷʼaʒaːɕ]

(s)he returned

лӏыжьу щысар кӏуэжащ

лӏыжъ-у щыс-а-р кӏуэ-ж-ащ

[ɬʼəʑəw ɕəsaːr kʷʼaʒaːɕ]

{old man.ADV} {the one that sit} {(s)he returned}

"The old man who had sat there, left."

лӏыр

лӏы-р

[ɬʼər

man.ABS

тхьэмаду

тхьэмад-у

tħamaːdəw

leader.ADV

дзэм

дзэ-м

d͡zam

army.OBL

къыхэкӏыжащ

къыхэкӏыжащ

qəxat͡ʃʼəʒaːɕ]

(s)he returned

лӏыр тхьэмаду дзэм къыхэкӏыжащ

лӏы-р тхьэмад-у дзэ-м къыхэкӏыжащ

[ɬʼər tħamaːdəw d͡zam qəxat͡ʃʼəʒaːɕ]

man.ABS leader.ADV army.OBL {(s)he returned}

"The man has returned from the army as an officer."

Pro-dropEdit

Kabardian is a pro-drop language. The subject and the object pronouns are sometimes omitted when verb conjugations reflect number and person.

  • Both subject and object are mentioned :

щӏалэм

щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

the boy.ERG

пщащэр

пщащэ-р

pɕaːɕar

the girl.ABS

елъэгъу

елъэгъу

jaɬaʁʷə]

(s)he is seeing

щӏалэм пщащэр елъэгъу

щӏалэ-м пщащэ-р елъэгъу

[ɕʼaːɮam pɕaːɕar jaɬaʁʷə]

{the boy.ERG} {the girl.ABS} {(s)he is seeing}

"the boy is seeing the girl"

  • If the direct object is not mentioned :

щӏалэм

щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

the boy.ERG

елъэгъу

елъэгъу

jaɬaʁʷə]

(s)he is seeing

щӏалэм елъэгъу

щӏалэ-м елъэгъу

[ɕʼaːɮam jaɬaʁʷə]

{the boy.ERG} {(s)he is seeing}

"the boy is seeing him/her/it"

  • If the subject is not mentioned :

пщащэр

пщащэ-р

[pɕaːɕar

the girl.ABS

елъэгъу

елъэгъу

jaɬaʁʷə]

(s)he is seeing

пщащэр елъэгъу

пщащэ-р елъэгъу

[pɕaːɕar jaɬaʁʷə]

{the girl.ABS} {(s)he is seeing}

"(s)he is seeing the girl"

  • If both subject and object are not mentioned :

елъэгъу

елъэгъу

[jaɬaʁʷə]

(s)he is seeing

елъэгъу

елъэгъу

[jaɬaʁʷə]

{(s)he is seeing}

"(s)he is seeing him/her/it"

Noun and adjectiveEdit

In Kabardian, if a noun is accompanied by an adjective, the adjective is always placed right after the noun and also gets the grammatical role suffixes instead of the noun.

  • Absolutive case

пщэщэ

[pɕaɕa

girl

дахэр

daːxar

the pretty.ABS

макӏуэ

maːkʷʼa]

(s)he is going

пщэщэ дахэр макӏуэ

[pɕaɕa daːxar maːkʷʼa]

girl {the pretty.ABS} {(s)he is going}

"the pretty girl is going"

  • Ergative case

щӏалэ

[ɕʼaːɮa

boy

кӏыхьэм

t͡ʃʼəħam

the long.ERG

ешхы

jaʃxə

he is eating a/the

мыӏэрысэ

məʔarəsa]

the apple.ABS

щӏалэ кӏыхьэм ешхы мыӏэрысэ

[ɕʼaːɮa t͡ʃʼəħam jaʃxə məʔarəsa]

boy {the long.ERG} {he is eating a/the} {the apple.ABS}

"the long boy is eating the apple"

  • Instrumental case

къэрэндащ

[qarandaːɕ

pencil

папцӏэмкӏэ

papt͡sʼamt͡ʃʼa

sharp.INS

сотхэ

sawtxa]

I am writing

къэрэндащ папцӏэмкӏэ сотхэ

[qarandaːɕ papt͡sʼamt͡ʃʼa sawtxa]

pencil sharp.INS {I am writing}

"I am writing with (using) the sharp pencil"

ParticipleEdit

In Kabardian someone (person) or something (animal, plant, object) that does a specific verb (or something happened to him/it) can be represented with the verb word with the additional suffix -э (a) (for present tense -рэ (-ra)). For example:

  • макӏуэ /maːkʷ'a/ – he is going → кӏуэр /kʷʼar/ – (one), who is going
  • машхэхэ /maːʃxaxa/ – they are eating → шхэхэр /ʃxaxar/ – (ones), who are eating.
  • лэжьащ /ɮaʑaːɕ/ – he worked → лэжьар /ɮaʑaːr/ – (one), who worked.
  • лӏэнущ /ɬʼanəwɕ/ – he will die → лӏэнур /ɬʼanəwr/ – (one), who will die.

кӏуэр

кӏуэ-р

[kʷʼar

the person that is going.ABS

си

си

səj

my

къуэш

къуэш

qʷaʃ]

brother

кӏуэр си къуэш

кӏуэ-р си къуэш

[kʷʼar səj qʷaʃ]

{the person that is going.ABS} {my} {brother}

"the person that is going is my brother"

Creating nouns from adjectiveEdit

In Kabardian someone (person) or something (animal, plant, object) that have a specific adjective can be presented with the adjective word with the additional noun case suffix (absolutive, ergative, etc.) For example:

  • дахэ /daːxa/ – pretty → дахэр /daːxar/ – the pretty person (absolutive case).
  • ӏэфӏ /ʔafʼə/ – tasty → ӏэфӏэр /ʔafʼar / – the tasty ones (absolutive case).
  • щӏыӏэ /ɕʼəʔa/ – cold → щӏыӏэм /ɕʼəʔam/ – in the cold (ergative case).

щӏалэр

щӏалэ-р

[ɕʼaːɮar

the boy.ABS

хуабэм

хуабэ-м

xʷaːbam

the heat.ERG

хэт

хэт

xat]

(s)he is standing in

щӏалэр хуабэм хэт

щӏалэ-р хуабэ-м хэт

[ɕʼaːɮar xʷaːbam xat]

{the boy.ABS} {the heat.ERG} {(s)he is standing in}

"The boy is standing in the heat"

PossessiveEdit

Possessive cases are one of the most important grammatical characteristics of nouns in the Circassian language. Singular Circassian nouns of the proprietary form are expressed by the following prefixes:

Pronoun Prefix Example
First person си- си-тхы́лъ "my book";
Second person уи- уи-тхы́лъ "your book";
Third person и- и-тхы́лъ "his book".

Plural nouns have these prefixes:

Pronoun Prefix Example
First person ди- д-у́н "our home".
Second person фи- фи-у́н "your home".
Third person я- я-у́н "their home".

DemonstrativesEdit

Kabardian has three demonstratives: а /ʔaː/, мо /mo/ and мы /mə/.

а /ʔaː/

  1. that
    а ӏанэthat table
    а пщащэthat girl
    а щӏалэм жыӏэthat boy is saying
  • The determiner 'а' /ʔaː/ refer to a referent that is far away and invisible to both the speaker and the listener(s). It is similar to the English language determiner that, but with the condition that the referent has to be invisible or far away.

мо /maw/

  1. that
    мо ӏанэthat table
    мо пщащэthat girl
    мо щӏалэм жыӏэthat boy is saying
  • The determiner 'мо' refer to a referent that is visible and in a known distance from both the speaker and the listener(s) (both the speaker and the listener(s) can see the referent). It is similar to the English language determiner that, but with the condition that the referent has to be visible.

мы /mə/

  1. this
    мы ӏанэthis table
    мы пщащэthis girl
    мы щӏалэм жыӏэthis boy is saying
  • The determiner 'мы' refer to a referent that is close to both the speaker and the listener(s). It is exactly like the English language determiner this.

ConjugationEdit

The demonstratives can be used to express different things like:

Location: адэ "there", модэ "there", мыдэ "here".
Similarity: апхуэд "like that", мопхуэд "like", мыпхуэд "like this".

PronounsEdit

Personal pronounsEdit

In Kabardian, personal pronouns are only expressed in first person, second person in singular and plural forms.

Case 1st-person 2nd-person
singular plural singular plural
Absolutive

сэ

sa

сэ

sa

дэ

da

дэ

da

уэ

wa

уэ

wa

фэ

fa

фэ

fa

Ergative

сэ

sa

сэ

sa

дэ

da

дэ

da

уэ

wa

уэ

wa

фэ

fa

фэ

fa

Instrumental

сэркӏэ

sart͡ʃʼa

сэркӏэ

sart͡ʃʼa

дэркӏэ

dart͡ʃʼa

дэркӏэ

dart͡ʃʼa

уэркӏэ

wart͡ʃʼa

уэркӏэ

wart͡ʃʼa

фэркӏэ

fart͡ʃʼa

фэркӏэ

fart͡ʃʼa

Adverbial

сэру

sarəw

сэру

sarəw

дэру

darəw

дэру

darəw

уэру

warəw

уэру

warəw

фэру

farəw

фэру

farəw

сэ

сэ

[sa

I

тхылъым

тхылъы-м

txəɬəm

the book.ERG

седжащ

се-дж-ащ

sajd͡ʒaːɕ]

(s)he read

сэ тхылъым седжащ

сэ тхылъы-м се-дж-ащ

[sa txəɬəm sajd͡ʒaːɕ]

I {the book.ERG} {(s)he read}

"I read the book"

дэркӏэ

дэр-кӏэ

[dart͡ʃʼa

For us.INS

мы

мы

this

шхыныр

шхыны-р

ʃxənər

the food.ABS

лъапӏэ

лъапӏэ

ɬaːpʼa]

expensive

дэркӏэ мы шхыныр лъапӏэ

дэр-кӏэ мы шхыны-р лъапӏэ

[dart͡ʃʼa ʃxənər ɬaːpʼa]

{For us.INS} this {the food.ABS} expensive

"This food is expensive for us"

Demonstrative PronounsEdit

Demonstrative pronouns are мы "this", мо "that", а "that". There is a contradistinction between 'мы' and 'мо' on how far the referred object is. The pronoun 'а' is neutral on this matter. Third person pronouns are expressed as demonstrative pronouns.

Case Demonstratives
а мо мы
Singular Absolutive

ар

aːr

ар

aːr

мор

mor

мор

mor

мыр

mər

мыр

mər

Ergative

абы

aːbə

абы

aːbə

мобы

mobə

мобы

mobə

мыбы

məbə

мыбы

məbə

Instrumental

абыкӏэ

aːbət͡ʃʼa

абыкӏэ

aːbət͡ʃʼa

мобыкӏэ

mobət͡ʃʼa

мобыкӏэ

mobət͡ʃʼa

мыбыкӏэ

məbət͡ʃʼa

мыбыкӏэ

məbət͡ʃʼa

Adverbial

арэу

aːraw

арэу

aːraw

морэу

moraw

морэу

moraw

мырэу

məraw

мырэу

məraw

Plural Absolutive

ахэр

aːxar

ахэр

aːxar

мохэр

moxar

мохэр

moxar

мыхэр

məxar

мыхэр

məxar

Ergative

абыхэм

aːbəxam

абыхэм

aːbəxam

мобыхэм

mobəxam

мобыхэм

mobəxam

мыбыхэм

məbəxam

мыбыхэм

məbəxam

Instrumental

абыхэмкӏэ

aːbəxamt͡ʃʼa

абыхэмкӏэ

aːbəxamt͡ʃʼa

мобыхэмкӏэ

mobəxamt͡ʃʼa

мобыхэмкӏэ

mobəxamt͡ʃʼa

мыбыхэмкӏэ

məbəxamt͡ʃʼa

мыбыхэмкӏэ

məbəxamt͡ʃʼa

Adverbial

ахэрэу

aːxaraw

ахэрэу

aːxaraw

мохэрэу

moxaraw

мохэрэу

moxaraw

мыхэрэу

məxaraw

мыхэрэу

məxaraw

мыбы

мыбы

[məbə

This.ERG

щӏакхъуэ

щӏакхъуэ

ɕʼaːqχʷa

a bread

йошхы

йо-шхы

jawʃx]

(s)he eats

мыбы щӏакхъуэ йошхы

мыбы щӏакхъуэ йо-шхы

[məbə ɕʼaːqχʷa jawʃx]

This.ERG {a bread} {(s)he eats}

"This person/animal eats bread"

мыбыкӏэ

мыбы0кӏэ

[məbət͡ʼa

This way.INS

щӏалэр

щӏалэ0р

ɕʼaːɮar

the boy.ABS

къакӏуэ

къа-кӏуэ

qaːkʷʼa]

(s)he is coming

мыбыкӏэ щӏалэр къакӏуэ

мыбы0кӏэ щӏалэ0р къа-кӏуэ

[məbət͡ʼa ɕʼaːɮar qaːkʷʼa]

{This way.INS} {the boy.ABS} {(s)he is coming}

"The boy is coming from this way"

Possessive PronounsEdit

Plurality Person Prefix meaning example
Cyrillic IPA
Singular 1st person си- /səj-/ "my" сиунэ /səjwəna/ – my house; ситхылъ /səjtxəɬ/ – my book
2nd person уи- /wəj-/ "your" уиунэ /wəjwəna/ – your house; уитхылъ /wəjtxəɬ/ – your book
3rd person и- /jə-/ "his" иунэ /jəwəna/ – his house; итхылъ /jətxəɬ/ – his book
Plural 1st person ди- /dəj-/ "our" диунэ /dəjwəna/ – our house; дитхылъ /dəjtxəɬ/ – our book
2nd person фи- /fəj-/ "your" фиунэ /fəjwəna/ – your house; фитхылъ /fəjtxəɬ/ – your book
3rd person я- /jaː-/ "their" яунэ /jaːwəna/ – their house; ятхылъ /jaːtxəɬ/ – their book

си

си

[səj

my

унэ

унэ

wəna

house

фыкъакӏуэ

фы-къа-кӏуэ

fəqaːkʷʼa]

come.PL

си унэ фыкъакӏуэ

си унэ фы-къа-кӏуэ

[səj wəna fəqaːkʷʼa]

my house come.PL

"Come to my house"

ди

ди

[dəj

Our

машинэкӏэ

машинэ-кӏэ

maːʃinat͡ʃʼa

using the car.INS

къалэм

къалэм

qaːɮam

the city.ERG

докӏуэ

до-кӏуэ

dawkʷʼa]

we are going

ди машинэкӏэ къалэм докӏуэ

ди машинэ-кӏэ къалэм до-кӏуэ

[dəj maːʃinat͡ʃʼa qaːɮam dawkʷʼa]

Our {using the car.INS} {the city.ERG} {we are going}

"we are going to the city with our car"

Case 1st-person 2nd-person 3rd-person
singular plural singular plural singular plural
Absolutive

сэсий

sasəj

сэсий

sasəj

дэдий

dadəj

дэдий

dadəj

уэуий

wawəj

уэуий

wawəj

фэфий

fafəj

фэфий

fafəj

ий

jəj

ий

jəj

яй

jaːj

яй

jaːj

Ergative

сэсый

sasəj

сэсый

sasəj

дэдий

dadəj

дэдий

dadəj

уэуий

wawəj

уэуий

wawəj

фэфий

fafəj

фэфий

fafəj

ий

jəj

ий

jəj

яй

jaːj

яй

jaːj

Instrumental

сэсиемкӏэ

sasəjamt͡ʃʼa

сэсиемкӏэ

sasəjamt͡ʃʼa

дэдиемкӏэ

tatəjamt͡ʃʼa

дэдиемкӏэ

tatəjamt͡ʃʼa

уэуиемкӏэ

wawəjamt͡ʃʼa

уэуиемкӏэ

wawəjamt͡ʃʼa

фэфиемкӏэ

ʃʷaʃʷəjamt͡ʃʼa

фэфиемкӏэ

ʃʷaʃʷəjamt͡ʃʼa

иемкӏэ

jəjamt͡ʃʼa

иемкӏэ

jəjamt͡ʃʼa

яемкӏэ

jaːjamt͡ʃʼa

яемкӏэ

jaːjamt͡ʃʼa

Adverbial

сэсийу

sasəjaw

сэсийу

sasəjaw

дэдийу

dadəjaw

дэдийу

dadəjaw

уэуийу

wawəjaw

уэуийу

wawəjaw

фэфийу

fafəjaw

фэфийу

fafəjaw

иеу

jəjaw

иеу

jəjaw

яеу

jaːjaw

яеу

jaːjaw

Indefinite pronounEdit

In Kabardian whole one – зыгоруэ, Serves for indication of all notions corresponding to English words "someone", "something", "someone", "something", "sometime", "somewhere", etc. Зыгуэрэ changes either as noun – in number and in cases:

Case Singular form Plural form
Absolutive

зыгуэрэ

zəɡʷara

зыгуэрэ

zəɡʷara

зыгуэрэхэр

zəɡʷaraxar

зыгуэрэхэр

zəɡʷaraxar

Ergative

зыгуэрэм

zəɡʷaram

зыгуэрэм

zəɡʷaram

зыгорэхэмэ

zəɡʷaraxama

зыгорэхэмэ

zəɡʷaraxama

Instrumental

зыгуэрэ(м)кӏэ

zəɡʷara(m)t͡ʃʼa

зыгуэрэ(м)кӏэ

zəɡʷara(m)t͡ʃʼa

зыгуэрэхэ(м)кӏэ

zəɡʷaraxa(m)t͡ʃʼa

зыгуэрэхэ(м)кӏэ

zəɡʷaraxa(m)t͡ʃʼa

Adverbial

зыгуэрэу

zəɡʷaraw

зыгуэрэу

zəɡʷaraw

зыгуэрэхэу

zəɡʷaraxaw

зыгуэрэхэу

zəɡʷaraxaw

VerbsEdit

In Kabardian, like all Northwest Caucasian languages, the verb is the most inflected part of speech. Verbs are typically head final and are conjugated for tense, person, number, etc. Some of Circassian verbs can be morphologically simple, some of them consist only of one morpheme, like: кӏуэ "go", щтэ "take". However, generally, Circassian verbs are characterized as structurally and semantically difficult entities. Morphological structure of a Circassian verb includes affixes (prefixes, suffixes) which are specific to the language. Verbs' affixes express meaning of subject, direct or indirect object, adverbial, singular or plural form, negative form, mood, direction, mutuality, compatibility and reflexivity, which, as a result, creates a complex verb, that consists of many morphemes and semantically expresses a sentence. For example: уакъыдэсэгъэпсэлъэжы "I am forcing you to talk to them again" consists of the following morphemes: у-а-къы-дэ-со-гъэ-псэлъэ-жы, with the following meanings: "you (у) with them (а) from there (къы) together (дэ) I (со) am forcing (гъэ) to speak (псэлъэн) again (жы)".

TransitivityEdit

Verbs in Kabardian can be transitive or intransitive.

In a sentence with a transitive verb, nouns in the absolutive case (marked as -р) play the role of direct object. In the sentences of this type the noun in the subject's position is in the ergative case (marked as -м):

Щӏалэм письмор етх "The boy is writing the letter";
Пхъащӏэм уадэр къэщтащ "The carpenter took out the hammer";
Хьэм тхьакIумкӏыхьыр къиубыдащ "The dog has caught the hares".

In these sentences the verbs етх "is writing", къэщтащ "took out", къиубыдащ "has caught" are transitive verbs, and the nouns письмор "letter", уадэр "hammer", тхьакIумкӏыхьыр "hare" are in the absolutive case (suffix -р) and express direct object in the sentences, while the nouns щӏалэм "boy", пхъащӏэм "carpenter", хьэм "dog" are subjects expressed in the ergative case.

In a sentence with an intransitive verb, there is no direct object, and the real subject is usually expressed by a noun in the absolutive case.

Жэмахъуэр щыт "The shepherd is standing (there)";
Пэсакӏуэр макӏуэ "The security guard is going";
Лӏыр мэжей "The man is sleeping".

In these sentences with intransitive verbs, nouns that play role of subject are expressed in the absolutive case: жэмахъуэ-р "shepherd", пэсакӏуэ-р "guard", лӏы-р "man".

There are verbs in the Kabardian language that in different contexts and situations can be used both as transitive and intransitive. For example:

Абджыр мэкъутэ "The glass is being broken",
Щӏалэм абджыр екъутэ "The boy is breaking the glass".

In the first sentence the verb мэкъутэ "is being broken" is used as an intransitive verb that creates an absolutive construction. In the second sentence the verb е-къутэ "is breaking" creates an ergative construction. Both of the verbs are formed from the verb къутэ-н "to break".

In the Kabardian language, intransitive verbs can have indirect objects in a sentence. The indirect objects are expressed by a noun in the oblique case (which is also marked as -м). For example:

Щӏалэр пщащэм йоплъ "The boy looking at the girl",
Лӏыр жыгым щӏэлъ "The man lays under the tree".
Щӏалэр тхылъым йоджэ "The boy reads the book".

In these sentences with intransitive verbs, nouns that play role of indirect object are expressed in the oblique case: пщащэ-м "girl", жыгы-м "tree", тхылъы-м "book".

Intransitive verbs can be turned into transitive with the causative affix -гъэ- (meaning "to force, to make"). For example:

Ар мажэ "He is running", but Абы ар е-гъа-жэ "He forces him to run",
Ар матхэ "He is writing", but Абы ар е-гъа-тхэ "He makes him to write".

The verbs in the first sentences мажэ "is running", матхэ "is writing" are intransitive, and the verbs in the second sentences егъажэ "forces ... to run", егъатхэ "makes ... to write" are already transitive.

TensesEdit

Tense Suffix Example Meaning
Present ~(р) /~(r)/ макӏуэ /maːkʷʼa/ (s)he is going; (s)he goes
Preterite ~ащ /~aːɕ/ кӏуащ /kʷʼaːɕ/ (s)he went
Pluperfect ~гъащ /~ʁaːɕ/ кӏуэгъащ /kʷʼaʁaːɕ/ (s)he went a long time ago"
Categorical Future ~нщ /~nɕ/ кӏуэнщ /kʷʼanɕ/ (s)he will go
Factual Future ~нущ /~nəwɕ/ кӏуэнущ /kʷʼanəwɕ/ (s)he will go, (s)he is about to go
Imperfect ~(р)т /~(r)t/ макӏуэ(р)т /maːkʷʼa(r)t/ (s)he was going
Anterior Perfect (Perfect II) ~ат /~aːt/ кӏуат /kʷʼaːt/ (then) (s)he went
Anterior Pluperfect ~гъат /~ʁaːt/ кӏуэгъат /kʷʼaʁaːt/ (then) (s)he went a long time ago"
Future II Categorical ~нт /~nt/ кӏуэнт /kʷʼant/ (s)he was about to go / (s)he would go
Future II Factual ~нут /~nəwt/ кӏуэнут /kʷʼanəwt/ (s)he was about to go / (s)he would go

Dynamic and static verbsEdit

Kabardian verbs can be either dynamic or static.

Dynamic verbs express (process of) actions that are taking place (natural role of verbs in English):

Сэ сожэ: "I am running";
Сэ сокӏуэ: "I am going",
Сэ солъэгъу: "I am seeing it",
Сэ жызоӏэ: "I am saying it".

Static verbs express states or results of actions:

Сэ сыщытщ: "I am standing",
Сэ сыщылъщ: "I am lying.",
Сэ сыпхъащӏщ: "I am a carpenter",
Сэ сытрактористщ: "I am a tractor-driver".

PersonEdit

Kabardian verbs have different forms to express different person. These forms are, mostly, created with specific prefixes. Here is how it looks like in singular:

сы-тхэ "I write",
у-тхэ "You write",
ма-тхэ "writes";

and in plural:

ды-тхэ "We write",
фы-тхэ "You write",
ма-тхэ(-хэ) "They write".

Valency increasingEdit

Case Prefix Meaning Example
Causative гъэ~ [ʁa~] "to force, to make" гъэ-плъэн [ʁapɬan]
"to make him look at"
Comitative дэ~ [da~] "with" д-еплъын [dajpɬən]
"to look with"
Benefactive хуэ~ [xʷa~] "for" ху-еплъын [xʷajpɬən]
"to look for"
Malefactive фӏ~ [fʼa~] "against one's interest" фӏ-еплъын [fʼajpɬən]
"to look against his interest"
Reflexive зэ~ [za~] "self" зэ-плъын [zapɬən]
"to look at oneself"

MoodsEdit

ImperativeEdit

The imperative mood denotes a command.

As its subject, the imperative mood can only have the second person as its subject. It is formed by stripping away all tense suffixes from the verb, with the specialty that the positive second-person singular form doesn't mark the subject. The negative is marked by мы-.


infinitive meaning positive singular negative singular positive plural negative plural
кIуэн to go кIуэ умыкIуэ фыкIуэ фымыкIуэ
тхын to write Y тхы умытх фтхы фымытх
къэщтэн to take Y къэщтэ къыумыщтэ къэфщтэ къэвмыщтэ

ConditionalEdit

Conditional mood is expressed with suffix -мэ: сы-к1уэ-мэ "if I go", сы-жэ-мэ "if I run", с-щ1э-мэ "if I do".

ConcessiveEdit

Concessive mood is expressed with suffix -ми: сы-к1уэ-ми "even if I go", сы-жэ-ми "even if I run", с-щ1э-ми "even if I do".

AffirmativeEdit

Affirmative form is expressed with the affix -къэ: ма-кӏуэ-къэ "isn't he is going?", мэ-гыщӏэ-къэ "isn't he washing?".

ParticipleEdit

Kabardian has a rich participle morphology.

Usually, all arguments of a verb can the pivot of participles. In addition, there are participles which may denote place, time, reason, manner, etc, which are independent from the arguments.

Other than not being able to change the grammatical category of mood, participle can mark for everything else what normal verbs can.

Absolutive ParticipleEdit

The absolutive participle denotes the absolutive argument of a verb. If that verb is intransitive, it refers to the subject, if it is transitive it refers to the direct object. Absolutive participles are marked by a null morpheme.

Intransitive verbs:

  • кIуэр (kʷʼar): one, who goes (cf. кIуэн (kʷʼan): to go)
  • жэр (ʒar): one, who runs (cf. жэн (ʒan): to run)

Intransitive verbs with preverbs:

  • ежьэр (jaʑar): one, who waits for Y (cf. ежьэн jaʑan): to wait for Y)
  • еплъыр (japɬər): one, who looks at Y (cf. еплъын (japɬən): to look at Y)

Transitive verbs:

  • илъэгъур (jəɬaːʁʷər): one, whom X sees (cf. лъагъун (ɬaːʁʷən): to see Y)
  • ишэр (jəʃar): one, whom X leads (cf. шэн (ʃan): to lead Y)

Transitive verbs with preverb:

  • зэхихыр (zaxəjxər): one, whom X hears (cf. зэхэхын (zaxaxən): to hear Y)
  • жыпIар (ʒəpʔaːr): that, what you said (cf. жыIэн (ʒəʔan): to say Y)
  • иритыр (jərəjtər): that, what X gives to Z (cf. етын (jatən): to give Y to Z)

Ergative ParticipleEdit

The ergative participle denotes the ergative argument of a verb. This participle is only present in transitive verbs and refers to the subject. It is marked by зы-.

Transitive verbs:

  • зылъагъу (ɬaːʁʷər): one, who sees Y (cf. лъагъун (ɬaːʁʷən): to see Y)
  • зышэр (ʃar): one, who leads Y (cf. шэн (ʃan): to lead Y)

Transitive verbs with preverb:

  • жызыIар (ʒəʔaːr): one, who said Y (cf. жыIэн (ʒəʔan): to say Y)
  • зэхэзыхыр (zaxaxər): one, who hears Y (cf. зэхэхын (zaxaxən): to hear Y)
  • езытыр (jatər): one, who gives Y to Z (cf. етын (jatən): to give Y to Z)

Oblique ParticipleEdit

The oblique participle denotes the oblique argument of a verb. This participle is present in every verb which has an oblique argument, usually only possible by having a preverb. It is marked by зы-. One can argue that it is simply the ergative participle, but simply applied on a preverb, however it may be useful to differentiate them, because oblique participles don't denote the subject of a verb (the ergative participle can only denote the subject) in addition they exist for transitive and intransitive verbs (the ergative participle only exists for transitive verbs).

Intransitive verbs with preverbs:

  • зэжьэр (zaʑar): one, whom X waits for (cf. ежьэн jaʑan): to wait for Y)
  • зэплъыр (zapɬər): one, who X looks at (cf. еплъын (japɬən): to look at Y)
  • сызытесыр (tajsər): that, what I sit on (cf. тесын (tajsən): to sit on Y)

Transitive verbs with preverb:

  • зыритыр (rəjtər): one, to whom X gives Y (cf. етын (jatən): to give Y to Z)

Sentence Examples:

  • дыгъуасэ хъыджэбз сызыхуэзар дахэщ (dəʁʷaːsa χədʒabz səxʷazaːr daːxaɕ): the girl, whom I met yesterday is pretty

Temporal Participle щы-Edit

This participle denotes time as well as location, depending on the context. It is marked by щы-.

  • щылажьэр (ɕəɮaːʑar): when, X works

Sentence examples:

  • Ар щылажьэр унэрщ (aːr ɕəɮaːʑar wənarɕ): he works at home (lit. where he works is home)
  • Ар щылажьэр сощIэ (aːr ɕəɮaːʑar sawɕʼa): I know where/when he works
  • Уэ укъыщыкIуэжам щыгъуэ сэ унэм сыщыIакъым (wa wəqəɕəkʷʼaːm ɕəʁʷa sa wənam səɕəʔaːqəm): I wasn't home when you arrived
  • Си шыпхъур къыщалъхуам щыгъуэ сэ илъэсибл сыхъуат (səj ʃəpχʷər qəɕaːɬхʷaːm ɕəʁʷa sa jəɬasəjbɮ səχʷaːt): When my sister was born, I was already seven years old.

Locative Participle зыдэ-Edit

The locative participle denotes the place. It is marked by здэ-.

  • здэлажьэр (zdaɮaːʑar): where, X works

Manner Participle зэры-Edit

The manner participle denotes the manner. It is marked by зэры-.

  • зэрылажьэр (zarəɮaːʑar): how, X works

Reason Participle щIэ-Edit

The reason participle denotes the reason. It is marked by щIэ-.

  • щIэлажьэр (ɕʼaɮaːʑar): reason, why X works

MasdarEdit

Masdar (a form of verb close to gerund) in the Kabardian language is expressed with the suffix -н:

тхы-н "a write (writing)",
жэ-н "a run (running)",
щтэ-н "a take (taking)",
псэлъэ-н "a talk (talking)",
дзы-н "a throw (throwing)".

Masdar has grammatical cases:

Absolutive жэны-р,
Ergative жэны-м,
Instrumental жэны-м-кӏэ,
Adverbial жэн-у

and different forms for different person:

сы-жэн "I will run",
у-жэн "you will run",
жэн "he will run".

Negative formEdit

In the Adyghe language negative form of a word is expressed with different morphemes (prefixes, suffixes). In participles, adverbial participles, masdars, imperative, interrogative and other forms of verbs their negative from is expressed with the prefix -мы, which, usually, goes before the root morpheme, that describes the main meaning:

у-мы-тх "you don't write",
у-мы-кӏу "you don't go",
сы-къы-пхуэ-мы-щэмэ "if you can't bring me",
у-къа-мы-гъа-к1уэмэ "if you aren't forced to come".

In verbs the negative meaning can also be expressed with the suffix -къым, which usually goes after the suffixes of time-tenses. For example:

сы-тэджыр-къым "I am not getting up",
сы-тэ-джа-къым "I have not got up",
сы-тэджыну-къым "I will not get up".

Positional conjugationEdit

In Kabardian, the positional prefixes are expressing being in different positions and places and can also express the direction of the verb. Here is the positional conjugation of some dynamic verbs, showing how the prefix changes the indicated direction of the verb:

Position Prefix Example
Looking Throwing
Body position/Pose щы~ [ɕə~] щеплъэ [ɕajpɬa]
"(s)he is looking at that place"
щедзы [ɕajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing at that place"
On те~ [taj~] теплъэ [tajpɬa]
"(s)he is looking on"
тедзэ [tajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing at"
Under щӏэ~ [ɕʼa~] щӏаплъэ [ɕʼaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking under"
щӏедзэ [ɕʼajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing under"
Through хэ~ [xa~] хаплъэ [xaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking through"
хедзэ [xajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing through"
Within some area дэ~ [da~] даплъэ [daːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking at some area"
дедзэ [dajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing at some area"
Inside an object даплъэ [daːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking inside an object"
дедзэ [dajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing inside an object"
Around ӏу~ [ʔʷə~] ӏуаплъэ [ʔʷaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking around"
ӏуедзэ [ʔʷajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing around"
Inside и~ [jə~] еплъэ [japɬa]
"(s)he is looking inside"
редзэ [rajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing inside"
Hanged/Attached пы~ [pə~] пэплъэ [papɬa]
"(s)he is searching by looking"
педзэ [pajd͡za]
"(s)he is hanging by throwing"
Behind къуэ~ [qʷa~] къуаплъэ [qʷaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking behind"
къуедзэ [qʷajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing behind"
Aside го~ [ɡʷa~] гуаплъэ [ɡʷaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking aside"
гуедзэ [ɡʷajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing aside"
Against пэӏу~ [paʔʷə~] пэӏуаплъэ [paʔʷaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking against"
пэӏуедзэ [paʔʷajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing against"
Backwards зэщӏ~ [zaɕʼ~] зэщӏаплъэ [zaɕʼaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking backwards"
зэщӏедзэ [zaɕʼajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing backwards"
Inside within кӏуэцӏы~ [kʷʼat͡sʼə~] кӏуэцӏаплъэ [kʷʼat͡sʼaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking within inside"
кӏуэцӏедзэ [kʷʼat͡sʼajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing within inside"
Toward кӏэлъы~ [kʲʼaɬə~] кӏэлъэплъэ [ɬapɬa]
"(s)he is looking toward"
кӏэлъедзы [ɬajd͡zə]
"(s)he is throwing toward"
Past блэ~ [bɮa~] блэплъы [bɮapɬə]
"(s)he is looking past"
бледзэ [bɮajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing past"
Over щхьэпыры~ [ɕħapərə~] щхьэпырыплъы [ɕħapərəpɬə]
"(s)he is looking over"
щхьэпыредзэ [ɕħapərajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing over"
Directly жьэхэ~ [ʑaxa~] жьэхаплъэ [ʑaxaːpɬa]
"(s)he is glaring at one's face"
жьэхедзэ [ʑaxajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing at one's face"
Mouth жьэдэ~ [ʑada~] жьэдаплъэ [ʑadaːpɬa]
"(s)he is looking at a mouth"
жьэдедзэ [ʑadajd͡za]
"(s)he is throwing at a mouth"

Here is the positional conjugation of some verbs, showing how the root changes indicate position:

stands sits lies
Body position/Pose щыт (ɕət) щыс (ɕəs) щылъ (ɕəɬ)
On тет (tajt) тес (tajs) телъ (tajɬ)
Under щIэт (ɕ’at) щIэс (ɕ’as) щIэлъ (ɕ’aɬ)
Among хэт (xat) хэс (xas) хэлъ (xaɬ)
Within some area дэт (dat) дэс (das) дэлъ (daɬ)
Behind ӏут (ʔʷət) ӏyc (ʔʷəs) ӏулъ (ʔʷəɬ)
Inside ит (jət) иc (jəs) илъ (jəɬ)
Hanged or attached пыт (pət) пыc (pəs) пылъ (pəɬ)
Corner or behind къуэт (qʷat) къуэc (qʷas) къуэлъ (qʷaɬ)
Side гуэт (gʷat) гуэc (gʷas) гуэлъ (gʷaɬ)
In front of пэӏут (paʔʷət) пэӏуc (paʔʷəs) пэӏулъ (paʔʷəɬ)
Inside within кӏуэцӏыт (kʷʼat͡sʼət) кӏуэцӏыс (kʷʼat͡sʼəs) кӏуэцӏылъ (kʷʼat͡sʼəɬ)
Slope кӏэрыт (kʲʼarət) кӏэрыс (kʲʼarəs) кӏэрылъ (kʲʼarəɬ)
Over щхьэпырыт (ɕħapərət) щхьэпырыс (ɕħapərəs) щхьэпырылъ (ɕħapərəɬ)
Directly жьэхэт (ʑaxat) жьэхэс (ʑaxas) жьэхэлъ (ʑaxaɬ)
Toward the mouth жьэдэт (ʑadat) жьэдэс (ʑadas) жьэдэлъ (ʑadaɬ)

Examples:

щыт – [someone or something] stands (as a pose);

Iут – [someone or something] stands (behind);

щIэт – [someone or something] stands (under)

тет – [someone or something] stands (above)

дэт – [someone or something] stands (between), etc.

AdjectivesEdit

From the morphological point of view adjectives in the Circassian language are not very different from nouns. In combinations with nouns they lose their grammatical independence. Adjectives form their plural form the same way nouns do, they also use the same affixes to form different grammatical cases (from Absolutive to Adverbial).

Adjectives can be either qualitative or relative.

Adjectives can be in singular or plural form: хужы "white" (singular) – хужы-хэ-р "whites" (plural).

They switch grammatical cases similarly to nouns:

Case Singular Plural
Absolutive хужыр хужыхэр
Ergative-Oblique хужым хужыхэм
Instrumental хужы(м)кӏэ хужыхэ(м)кӏэ
Adverbial хужу хужыху

A qualitative adjective as a compliment in a sentence goes after the word it describes: к1алэ дэгъу "good boy", унэ лъагэ "high house"; a relative adjective goes before it: пхъэ уадэ "wooden hammer", гъущӏ пӏэкӏор "iron bed". In the second case adjectives do not change their form, only the appropriate nous do. For example: in plural – пхъэ унэ "wooden house".

In different grammatical cases:

Case Singular Plural
Absolutive пхъэ унэр пхъэ унэхэр
Ergative-Oblique пхъэ унэм пхъэ унэхэм
Instrumental пхъэ унэ(м)кӏэ пхъэ унэхэ(м)кӏэ
Adverbial пхъэ уну пхъэ унэху

Combining adjectives with nouns it is possible to produce a great lot of phrases: пщэщэ дахэ "beautiful girl", щӏалэ дэгъу "good boy", цӏыху кӏыхьэ "long man", гъуэгу занщӏэ "straight road", удз шхъуантӏэ "green grass" and so on. These phrases can be easily included into sentences. If a noun has a certain grammatical case, the adjective gets the suffix of the case instead of the noun, for example щӏэлэ лъэщы-р "the strong boy (abs.) and уадэ псынщӏэ-мкӏэ "using the light hammer (ins.).

Сэ

[sa

I

нобэ

nawba

today

пщэщэ

pɕaɕa

a girl

дахэ

daːxa

beautiful

слъэгъуащ

sɬaʁʷaːɕ]

I saw

Сэ нобэ пщэщэ дахэ слъэгъуащ

[sa nawba pɕaɕa daːxa sɬaʁʷaːɕ]

I today {a girl} beautiful {I saw}

"I have seen a beautiful girl today."

Дэ

[da

we

гъуэгу

ʁʷagʷ

road

занщӏэм

zaːnɕʼam

straight.ERG

дырыкӏуащ

dərəkʷʼaːɕ]

we were walking

Дэ гъуэгу занщӏэм дырыкӏуащ

[da ʁʷagʷ zaːnɕʼam dərəkʷʼaːɕ]

we road straight.ERG {we were walking}

"We were walking on the straight road."

Circassian qualitative adjectives also have comparative and superlative forms. For example: нэхъ хужы "whiter, more white" (comparative form) and янэхъ хужы "whitest, most white",

The Comparative degree is formed by auxiliary word нэхъ:

Ар абы нэхъ лъагэ – he is higher than you,
Нэхъ ины хъущ – He became bigger [More big became],
Нэхъ лӏыгъэ къызхэбгъэлъын хуей – You must be braver.

The superlative degrees is formed by auxiliary word анахь (more than all...):

Ар пщащэмэ янэхъ дахэ – She is the most beautiful among the girls,
Ар псоми янэхъ лъагэ – It is the highest,
Псэри шхын янэхъ дэгъумкӏэ игъэшхащ – (S)he feeds him with the tastiest meal,
Ар псоми янэхъ лъэщ – He is the strongest.

AffixesEdit

The following suffixes are added to nouns:

Suffix Meaning Example
~щӏэ (~ɕʼa) new унащӏэ (new house)
~жьы (~ʑə) old унэжьы (old house)
~шхуэ (~ʃxʷa) large унэшхуэ (large house)
~цӏыкӏу (~t͡sʼəkʷʼ) small унэцӏыкӏу (small house)

The following suffixes are added to adjectives:

Suffix Meaning Example
~ӏуэ (~ʔʷa) slightly стырыӏуэ (slightly spicy)
~щэ (~ɕa) too much дыджыщэ (too much bitter)
~дэд (~dad) very дэгъудэд (very good)
~кӏей (~t͡ʃʼej) pretty дэгъукӏей (pretty good)
~ншэ (~nʃa) lacking акъылыншэ (mindless)

Мы

[mə

this

джанэр

d͡ʒaːnar

shirt

уэркӏэ

wart͡ʃʼa

for you

иныӏуэ

jənəʔʷa]

slightly big

Мы джанэр уэркӏэ иныӏуэ

[mə d͡ʒaːnar wart͡ʃʼa jənəʔʷa]

this shirt {for you} {slightly big}

"This shirt is slightly big for you"

Мы

[mə

this

сурэтыр

səwratər

painting

дэхэдэд

daxadad]

very beautiful

Мы сурэтыр дэхэдэд

[mə səwratər daxadad]

this painting {very beautiful}

"This painting is very beautiful"

OpinionEdit

To indicate a thought or an opinion of someone, the prefix фӏэ~ (fʼa~) is added to the adjective. This can also be used on nouns but it is very uncommon. For example:

  • дахэ "pretty" → фӏэдах "it's pretty for him.
  • дэхагъ "as pretty" → фӏэдэхащ "it was pretty for him.
  • ӏэфӏ "tasty" → фӏэӏэфӏ "it is tasty for him.
  • плъыжьы "red" → фӏэплъыжь "it is red for him.

щӏалэхэмэ

щӏалэ-хэ-мэ

[t͡ʃaːlaxama

the boys.ERG

яфӏэдахкъым

я-фӏэ-дахэ-къым

jaːʃʷadaːxap

it was not pretty for them

си

си

si

my

джанэ

джанэ

d͡ʒaːna]

shirt

щӏалэхэмэ яфӏэдахкъым си джанэ

щӏалэ-хэ-мэ я-фӏэ-дахэ-къым си джанэ

[t͡ʃaːlaxama jaːʃʷadaːxap si d͡ʒaːna]

{the boys.ERG} {it was not pretty for them} my shirt

"my shirt was not beautiful for the boys."

Scaliness of an adjectiveEdit

The suffix ~гъэ (~ʁa) is appended to indicate a measure of a certain adjective. Usually it is used for measurable adjectives like length, height, weight, size, strength and speed but it can be used on any adjective such as good, tasty, beauty, etc. This suffix can be used to scale adjectives, for instance, the word ӏэфӏы-гъэ (from the adjective ӏэфӏы "tasty") can be used to express different levels/qualities of tastiness. This suffix turns the adjective to a noun.

  • кӏыхьэ /t͡ʃʼaħə/ – long → кӏыхьэгъэ /t͡ʃʼaħəʁa/ – length.
  • ӏэтыгъэ /ʔatəʁa/ – high → ӏэтыгъагъэ /ʔatəʁaːʁa/ – height.
  • псынщӏэ /psənɕʼa/ – fast → псынщӏагъэ /psənɕʼaːʁa/ – speed.
  • хуабэ /xʷaːba/ – hot → хуабагъэ /xʷabaːʁa/ – heat.
  • ӏувы /ʔʷəvə/ – wide → ӏувыгъэ /ʔʷəvəʁa/ – width.
  • дахэ /daːxa/ – beautiful → дэхагъэ /daxaːʁa/ – beauty.
  • ӏэфӏы /ʔafʼə/ – tasty → ӏэфӏыгъэ /ʔafʼəʁa/ – level of tastiness.
  • дэгъу /daʁʷə/ – good → дэгъугъэ /daʁʷəʁa/ – level of goodness.

пхъэм

[pχam

the wood.ERG

и

its

ӏувыгъэ

jəʔʷəvəʁa

width

65

65

65

сантиметр

saːntimetr]

centimeters

пхъэм и ӏувыгъэ 65 сантиметр

[pχam jəʔʷəvəʁa 65 saːntimetr]

{the wood.ERG} its width 65 centimeters

"The wood's width is 65 centimeters"

щӏалэм

[ɕʼaːɮam

boy.ERG

лъэщыгъэ

ɬaɕəʁa

strength

хэлъ

xaɬ]

it is laying in

щӏалэм лъэщыгъэ хэлъ

[ɕʼaːɮam ɬaɕəʁa xaɬ]

boy.ERG strength {it is laying in}

"The boy has strength in him."

State of the adjectiveEdit

The suffix ~гъакӏэ (~ʁaːt͡ʃʼa) is appended to adjectives to form nouns meaning "the state of being the adjective", in contract to the suffix ~гъэ which is used to measure and scale the adjective. Some examples:

  • кӏыхьэ /t͡ʃʼaħə/ – long → кӏыхьэгъакӏэ /t͡ʃʼaħəʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ – lengthiness; longness.
  • псынщӏэ /psənɕʼa/ – fast → псынщӏэгъакӏэ /psənɕʼaʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ – speediness.
  • кӏуащӏэ /kʷʼaːɕʼa/ – strong → кӏуэщӏэгъакӏэ /kʷʼaɕʼaʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ – strongness.
  • лъэщ /ɬaɕ/ – strong → лъэщыгъакӏэ /ɬaɕəʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ – strongness.
  • дахэ /daːxa/ – pretty → дэхэгъакӏэ /daxaʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ – prettiness.

сэ

сэ

[sa

I

мыӏэрысэм

мыӏэрыс-эм

məʔarəsəm

apple.ERG

и

и

its

ӏэфӏыгъакӏэ

ӏэфӏы-гъакӏэ

ʔaʃʷʼəʁaːt͡ʃʼa

tastiness

сыкъегъатхъэ

сы-къ-е-гъа-тхъэ

səqajʁaːtχa]

I enjoy it

сэ мыӏэрысэм и ӏэфӏыгъакӏэ сыкъегъатхъэ

сэ мыӏэрыс-эм и ӏэфӏы-гъакӏэ сы-къ-е-гъа-тхъэ

[sa məʔarəsəm ʔaʃʷʼəʁaːt͡ʃʼa səqajʁaːtχa]

I apple.ERG its {tastiness} {I enjoy it}

"I enjoy the apple's tastiness."

AdverbsEdit

In the Kabardian language adverbs belong to these groups: adverbs of place, adverbs of time, adverbs of quality and adverbs of amount.

Adverbs of placeEdit

  • адэ – "there" (invisible).
  • модэ – "there" (visible).
  • мыдэ – "here".

модэкӏэ

модэ-кӏэ

[modat͡ʃʼa

over there.INS

тучаныр

тучан-ыр

tut͡ʃaːnər

shop.ABS

ӏут

ӏут

ʔʷərt]

it is standing

модэкӏэ тучаныр ӏут

модэ-кӏэ тучан-ыр ӏут

[modat͡ʃʼa tut͡ʃaːnər ʔʷərt]

{over there.INS} shop.ABS {it is standing}

"The shop is placed over there."

адэ

адэ

[aːda

there

щӏалэр

щӏалэ-р

ɕʼaːɮar

boy.ABS

кӏуащ

кӏу-ащ

kʷʼaːɕ]

(S)he went

адэ щӏалэр кӏуащ

адэ щӏалэ-р кӏу-ащ

[aːda ɕʼaːɮar kʷʼaːɕ]

there boy.ABS {(S)he went}

"The boy went there."

Adverbs of timeEdit

  • нобэ – "today".
  • дыгъуасэ – "yesterday".
  • пщэдей – "tomorrow".
  • мыгъэ – "this year".
  • иджы – "now".
  • иджыри – "still"
  • иджыпсту – "right now".
  • пщэдджыжьым – "at morning".
  • шэджагъуэм – "at noon".
  • жэщым – "in the night".
  • зэманым – "in the past".
  • етӏанэ – "afterwards"

Adverbs of amountEdit

  • мащӏэ – "few".
  • тӏэкӏу – "a bit".
  • тӏэкӏурэ – "few times, for a short period of time".
  • куэд "a lot".
  • куэдрэ "a lot of times, for a long period of time".
  • ӏаджэ "many".

щӏалэм

щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

boy.ERG

ахъщэ

ахъщэ

aːχɕa

money

куэд

куэд

kʷad

a lot

иӏ

иӏ

jəʔ]

(s)he has

щӏалэм ахъщэ куэд иӏ

щӏалэ-м ахъщэ куэд иӏ

[ɕʼaːɮam aːχɕa kʷad jəʔ]

boy.ERG money {a lot} {(s)he has}

"The boy has a lot of money."

жэщым

жэщы-м

ʒaɕəm

night.ERG

лӏыр

лӏы-р

ɬʼər

man.ABS

тӏэкӏурэ

тӏэкӏурэ

tʼakʷʼra

short period of time

макӏуэ

макӏуэ

maːkʷʼa]

(s)he went

жэщым лӏыр тӏэкӏурэ макӏуэ

жэщы-м лӏы-р тӏэкӏурэ макӏуэ

ʒaɕəm ɬʼər tʼakʷʼra maːkʷʼa]

night.ERG man.ABS {short period of time} {(s)he went}

"In the night, the man goes for a small period of time."

Adverbs of qualityEdit

Adverbs of this group are formed from the appropriate qualitative adjectives using the suffix ~у /~w/. Adverbs in this group describe the manner in which the verb was done.

  • къабзэ "clean" → къабзу "cleanly"
  • жыжьэ "far" → жыжьу "far",
  • псынщӏэ "quick" → псынщӏэу "quickly",
  • дахэ "beautiful" → даху "beautifully",
  • благъэ "near" → благъу "nearly".
  • лъэщ "powerful" → лъэщу "powerfully".
  • щабэ "soft" → щабу "softly"
  • быдэ "firm" → быду "firmly"

щӏалэр

щӏалэ-р

[ɕʼaːɮar

boy.ABS

жыжьу

жыжь-у

ʒəʑəw

far.ADV

жащ

ж-ащ

ʒaːɕ]

(s)he ran

щӏалэр жыжьу жащ

щӏалэ-р жыжь-у ж-ащ

[ɕʼaːɮar ʒəʑəw ʒaːɕ]

boy.ABS far.ADV {(s)he ran}

"The boy ran far."

щӏалэм

щӏалэ-м

[ɕʼaːɮam

the boy.ERG

шхыныр

шхын-ыр

ʃxənər

food.ABS

дэгъу

дэгъу-у

daʁʷəw

excellently

ищӏащ

ищӏ-ащ

jəɕʼaːɕ]

(s)he done it

щӏалэм шхыныр дэгъу ищӏащ

щӏалэ-м шхын-ыр дэгъу-у ищӏ-ащ

[ɕʼaːɮam ʃxənər daʁʷəw jəɕʼaːɕ]

{the boy.ERG} food.ABS excellently {(s)he done it}

"The boy done the food excellently."

пщащэр

пщащэ-р

[pɕaːɕar

the girl.ABS

даху

дах-у

daːxəw

beautifully

матхэ

матхэ

maːtxa]

(s)he writes

пщащэр даху матхэ

пщащэ-р дах-у матхэ

[pɕaːɕar daːxəw maːtxa]

{the girl.ABS} beautifully {(s)he writes}

"The girl writes beautifully."

UnionsEdit

In English the word "and" is used to connect parts of speech with others, while in Circassian, there are different ways to connect different parts of speech with others.

Case Suffix Example
Cyrillic IPA
Indefinite nouns рэ /ra/ щӏалэ-рэ пщащэ-рэ къэкӏуахэщ
"a boy and a girl came."
Definite nouns мрэ /mra/ щӏалэ-мрэ пщащэ-мрэ къэкӏуахэщ
"the boy and the girl came."
Pronouns рэ /ra/ сэ-рэ о-рэ дыкӏуащ
"You and I went."
Indefinite adjectives ри /ri/ щӏэлэ кӏыхьэ-ри пщащэ дахэ-ри къэкӏуахэщ
"a tall boy and a pretty girl came."
Definite adjectives мри /mri/ щӏэлэ кӏыхьэ-мри пщащэ дахэ-мри къэкӏуахэщ
"a tall boy and a pretty girl came."
Numbers рэ /ra/ щӏэлэ тӏу-рэ пщащэ щы-рэ къэкӏуахэщ
"two boys and three girls came."
Universal nouns и /i/ щӏал-и пщащ-и къэкӏуахэщ
"boys and girls came."
Adverbs мкӏи /mt͡ʃʼi/ махуэ-мкӏи жэщы-мкӏи къэкӏуахэщ
"they came in the day and in the night."

The conjunctions ыкӏи /ət͡ʃəj/ "and" can also be used to connect different parts of speech.

Verbs: Щӏалэр йоджэ ыкӏи матхэ "The boy reads and writes".
Adjectives: Щӏалэр дахэ ыкӏи кӏыхьэ "The boy is handsome and tall".

ConjunctionsEdit

Conjunctions in the Circassian language play the same role like in English, they are used to connect together, in different ways, words or parts of a difficult sentence. According to structure of Circassian conjunctions they can be separated into two groups: simple and complex.

Simple conjunctionsEdit

Among simple Circassian conjunctions are:

  • ыкӏи – "and".
  • е – "or".
  • ауэ – "but".

Сэ

[sa

I

сыкӏуащ

səkʷʼaːɕ

I went

къалэм,

qaːɮam

city.ERG

ауэ

aːwa

but

къэзгъэзэжакъым

qazʁazaʒaːqəm]

I didn't return

Сэ сыкӏуащ къалэм, ауэ къэзгъэзэжакъым

[sa səkʷʼaːɕ qaːɮam aːwa qazʁazaʒaːqəm]

I {I went} city.ERG but {I didn't return}

"I went to the city, but I haven't returned."

Complex conjunctionsEdit

  • арщхьэк1э – "because".
  • aт1э – "in spite of".
  • хьэмэ – "or".
  • сыту – "as".
  • щхьэк1э – "though".
  • сыт щхьэк1э – "because (of) / why".
  • папщ1э – "for".
  • папщ1эк1э – "as".
  • щыгъуэ – "when".
  • зэ-зэ – "first…then".
  • е-е – "either-or".
  • къудейуэ – "as soon as".
  • ару – "just".
  • пэтми – "although".
  • щытмэ – "if".
  • ипкъ итк1э – "therefore".
  • къыхэк1к1э – "because / that’s why".

ParticlesEdit

In the Circassian language participles are different both by their semantics and structure. Semantically they fall into the following groups: affirmative, negative, interrogative, intensive, indicatory and stimulating.

  • дыдэ – "quite, very".
  • уеблэмэ – "even".
  • пIэрэ – "whether, really".
  • мис – "here".
  • мес – "there (near by)".
  • кхъы1э – "please".
  • нэхъ – "more".
  • нэхърэ – "more than".
  • хьэуэ – "no".
  • нтIэ – "yes".
  • акъудей (аркъудей) – "quite not".
  • къудей – "just now".

PostpositionsEdit

In the Circassian language, as well as in other Ibero-Caucasian languages, role of prepositions belongs to postpositions. It is difficult to define the exact count of postpositions in the Circassian language, because even such major parts of speech as nouns (from the point of view of their functionality) sometimes can be included into the group, together with some verb prefixes. For example, in the sentence Тхылъыр столым телъ "The book is lying on the table" the noun has no preposition, but the meaning remains clear because in the verb те-лъ "is lying" the prefix те- expresses something's being on a surface, so this form of the verb literally means "on the surface is lying".

Nouns and adverbs sometimes play role of postpositions. For example, nous that describe different parts of human body (head, nose, side and so on) sometimes function as postpositions. For example: Фызыр лӏым ипэ иту кӏуащ "The wife went in front of the husband" (the preposition "in front of" in the Circassian sentence is expressed by the phrase ипэ иту "being in front of his nose").

Nouns and pronouns combine with a postposition in the ergative grammatical case only. For example, the postposition деж "near, beside" requires a word in the ergative case:

  • жыгы-м деж "near the tree".

Postpositions can attach possessive prefixes to themselves. For example, in singular:

  • сэ с-а-деж "near me",
  • о у-а-деж "near you",
  • абы и деж "near him";

in plural:

  • дэ д-а-деж "near us",
  • фэ ф-а-деж "near you",
  • ахэмэ я деж "near them".

The following words are used as postpositions in the Circassian language:

  • ипIэкIэ "before".
  • пщ1ондэ "before".
  • щыгъуэ "during".
  • икIуэцIкI "inside".
  • лъандэ "since".
  • къэскIэ "until".
  • нэс "until".
  • деж "near".
  • дежкIэ "at".
  • иужь "after".
  • пащхьэ "in front of".
  • щ1ыбагъ "behind".
  • щIагъ "under".
  • нэмыщI "except".
  • фIэкIа "except".
  • къэс "every".

Word FormationEdit

CompoundingEdit

Noun + NounEdit

  • адэ-анэ: parents (cf. адэ: father, анэ: mother)
  • джэдкъаз: domesticated bird (cf. джэд: chicken, къэз: goose)
  • мэкъумэш: harvest (cf. мэкъу: hay, анэ: millet)
  • мастэIуданэ: sewing kit (cf. мастэ: ??, Iуданэ: needle)
  • джанэгъуэншэдж: set of clothes (cf. джанэ: shirt, гъуэншэдж: pants)

Noun + VerbEdit

This strategy is very similar to the English one, which gives words like pickpocket, cutthroat, scarecrow.

  • пхъащIэ (pχaːɕʼa): carpenter (cf. пхъэ: wood, щIэн: to do Y)
  • пщэдэлъ (pɕadaɬ): scarf (cf. пщэ: wood, дэлъын: to lie at Y)
  • псышэ (psəʃa): water carrier (cf. псы: water, шэн: to lead Y)

DerivationEdit

зэ-Edit

  • зэадэзэкъуэ (zaaːdazaqʷa): father and son
  • зэанэзэпхъу (zaaːnazapχʷ): mother and daughter
  • зэдэлъхузэшыпхъу (zadaɬxʷzaʃəpχʷ): brother and sister
  • зэлӀзэфыз (zaɬʼzafəz): husband and wife
  • зэныбжьэгъу (zanəbʑaʁʷ): friends

NumbersEdit

  • Numbers from zero to ten are specific words
1 зы  [zə] 
2 тӀу  [tʷʼə] 
3 щы  [ɕə] 
4 плӀы  [pɬʼə] 
5 тху  [txʷə] 
6 хы  [xə] 
7 блы  [bɮə] 
8 и  [jə] 
9 бгъу  [bʁʷə] 
10 пщӏы  [pɕʼə] 
  • Numbers from eleven to nineteen are built with the word for ten, followed by кӏу ([kʷʼə]) and the unit digit:
11 пщӏыкӀуз [pɕʼəkʷʼəz]
12 пщӏыкӀутIу [pɕʼəkʷʼətʷʼ]
13 пщӏыкӀущ [pɕʼəkʷʼəɕ]
14 пщӏыкӀуплI [pɕʼəkʷʼəpɬʼ]
15 пщӏыкӀутху [pɕʼəkʷʼətxʷ]
16 пщӏыкӀух [pɕʼəkʷʼəx]
17 пщӏыкӀубл [pɕʼəkʷʼəbɮ]
18 пщӏыкӀуй [pɕʼəkʷʼəj]
19 пщӏыкӀубгъу [pɕʼəkʷʼəbʁʷ]}
  • The tens follow a vigesimal system from forty up, with the exception of fifty:
20 тӀощӏ [tʷʼaɕʼə] (20)
21 тӀощӏэ зырэ [tʷʼaɕʼəra zəra] (20 and 1)
22 тӀощӏэ тIурэ [tʷʼaɕʼəra tʷʼəra] (20 and 2)
23 тӀощӏэ щырэ [tʷʼaɕʼəra ɕəra] (20 and 3)
...
30 щэщӏ [ɕaɕʼ] (30)
31 щэщӏрэ зырэ [ɕaɕʼra zəra] (30 and 1)
32 щэщӏрэ тIурэ [ɕaɕʼra tʷʼəra] (30 and 2)
...
40 плIыщI [pɬʼəɕʼ] (20 × 2)
50 тхущI,[txʷəɕʼ] (half-hundred)
60 хыщI,[xəɕʼ] (20 × 3)
70 блыщI [bɮəɕʼ] (20 × 3 and 10)
80 ищI [jəɕʼ] (20 × 4)
90 бгъущI [bʁʷəɕʼ] (20 × 4 and 10)
  • One hundred is щэ (ɕa). The hundreds are formed by the hundred word root (щ (ɕ)) followed by -и-

(-i-) and the multiplier digit root.

100 щэ (ɕa)
101 щэрэ зырэ (ɕara zəra) (100 and 1)
110 щэрэ пщӏырэ (ɕara pʃʼəra) (100 and 10)
200 щитӀу (ɕitʷʼ) (100 × 2)
201 щитӀурэ зырэ (ɕitʷʼəra zəra) (200 × 2 and 1)
300 щищ (ɕiɕ) (100 × 3)
400 щиплӀ (ɕipɬʼ) (100 × 4)
500 щитху (ɕitxʷ) (100 × 5)
600 щих (ɕix) (100 × 6)
700 щибл (ɕibɮ) (100 × 7)
800 щий (ɕij) (100 × 8)
900 щибгъу (ɕibʁʷ) (100 × 9)
  • One thousand is мин (min). The thousands are formed by the thousand word root (мин (məjn))

followed by -и- (-i-) and the multiplier digit root.

1000 мин (min)
1001 минрэ зырэ (minra zəra) (1000 and 1)
1010 минрэ пщӏырэ (minra pʃʼəra) (1000 and 10)
1100 минрэ щэрэ (minra ɕara) (1000 and 100)
2000 минитӀу (minitʷʼ) (1000 × 2)
3000 минищ (miniɕ) (1000 × 3)
4000 миниплӀ (minipɬʼ) (1000 × 4)
5000 минитху (minitxʷ) (1000 × 5)
6000 миних (minix) (1000 × 6)
7000 минибл (minibɮ) (1000 × 7)
8000 миний (minij) (1000 × 8)
9000 минибгъу (minibʁʷ) (1000 × 9)
10000 минипщӏ (minipʃʼ) (1000 × 10)
11000 минипщӀыкӀуз (minipʃʼəkʷʼəz) (1000 × 11)
12000 минипщӀыкӀутIу (minipʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼ) (1000 × 12)
20000 минитӀощӏ (minitʷʼaɕʼə) (1000 × 20)
100000 минищэ (miniɕa) (1000 × 100)
200000 минищитӀу (miniɕitʷʼ) (1000 × 200)

When composed, the hundred word takes the -рэ (-ra) suffix, as well as the ten and the unit if any (e.g.: щэрэ зырэ (ɕara zəra) [101], щэрэ тIурэ (ɕara tʷʼəra) [102], щэрэ пщӀыкӀузырэ (pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼəra) [111], щитӀурэ щэщӀырэ плIырэ (ɕitʷʼəra ɕat͡ʃəra pɬʼəra) [234]).

Ordinal numbersEdit

  • Except апэрэ/япэрэ – first (aːpara/jaːpara) are formed by prefix я- (jaː-) and suffix – нэрэ (- nara). For

example: ятIунэрэ – second (jaːtʷʼənara), ящынэрэ – third (jaːɕənara), яплIынэрэ – fourth (jaːpɬʼənara).

first – Япэ [jaːpa]
second – ЕтIуанэ [jatʼaːna]
third – Ещанэ [jaɕaːna]
firth – Еянэ [jajaːna]
tenth – ЕпщIанэ [japɕʼaːna]
eleventh – ЕпщыкIузанэ [japɕʼəkʷʼəzaːna]
sixteenth. – ЕпщыкIуханэ [japɕʼəkʷʼəxaːna]

Discrete numbersEdit

Зырыз – in ones, one by one
ТIурытI – in twos, two by two
Щырыщ – in threes, three by three
ПлIырыплI – in fours, four by four
Тхурытху – in fives, five by five
Хырых – in sixes, six by six
Блырыбл – in sevens, seven by seven
Ири – in eights, eight by eight
Бгъурыбгъу – in nines, nine by nine
ПщIырыпщI – in tens, ten by ten

Fractional numbersEdit

half (1÷2) – Ныкъуэ [nəqʷa]
one third (1÷3) – щанэ [ɕaːna]
two thirds (2÷3) – щанитӏу [ɕaːnitʷʼ] (1÷3 × 2)
one fourth (1÷4) – плӀанэ [pɬʼaːna]
two fourths (2÷4) – плӀанитӏу [pɬʼaːnitʷʼ] (1÷4 × 2)
three fourths (3÷4) – плӀанищ [pɬʼaːniɕ] (1÷4 × 3)
one fifth (1÷5) – тфанэ [tfaːna]
one sixth (1÷6) – ханэ [xaːna]
one seventh (1÷7) – бланэ [blaːna]
one eighth (1÷8) – янэ [jaːna]
one ninth (1÷9) – бгъуанэ [bʁʷaːna]
one tenth (1÷10) – пщӀанэ [pʃʼaːna]
one eleventh (1÷11) – пщӀыкӏузанэ [pʃʼəkʷʼəzaːna]
one twelfth (1÷12) – пщӀыкӏутӏуанэ [pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼaːna]
one twentieth (1÷20) – тӏощӏанэ [tʷʼaɕʼaːna]
one hundredth (1÷100) – щанэ [ɕaːna]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Аркадьев, П. М.; Ландер, Ю. А.; Летучий, А. Б.; Сумбатова, Н. Р.; Тестелец, Я. Г. Введение. Основные сведения об адыгейском языке в кн.: "Аспекты полисинтетизма: очерки по грамматике адыгейского языка" под ред.: П. М. Аркадьев, А. Б. Летучий, Н. Р. Сумбатова, Я. Г. Тестелец. Москва: РГГУ, 2009 (Arkadiev, P. M.; Lander, Yu. A.; Letuchiy, A. B.; Sumbatova, N. R.; Testelets, Ya. G. Introduction. Basic information about Adyghe language in "Aspects of polysyntheticity: studies on Adyghe grammar" edited by: P. M. Arkadiev, A. B. Letuchiy, N. R. Sumbatova, Ya. G. Testelets. Moscow, RGGU, 2009) (in Russian) ISBN 978-5-7281-1075-0
  • Kabardian Verbal Affixes: Collected, arranged and edited by Amjad Jaimoukha : [1].
  • Ranko Matasović, A short grammar of east Circassian (Kabardian) : [2].