Abstract of a Yaghnobi Grammar Sketch May 4, 2007Posted by Bahrom in Syntax, Yaghnobi.
The clock is ticking and I need to finish writing my MA thesis, Aspects of Yaghnobi grammar, this month, if not sooner! I’m posting the abstract here with the hope that you will be so eager to read about these fascinating aspects of the Yaghnobi language that you will leave frequent comments urging me to get busy writing and deliver what I’ve promised!
Abstract of Aspects of Yaghnobi grammar
This thesis is a basic description of the grammar of the Yaghnobi language, a member of the eastern branch of the Iranian language family that is spoken by approximately 12,500 people in Tajikistan. The core elements of the grammar will be described from a functional-typological perspective. This description covers morphosyntax up to the level of the basic clause. At each point, analysis will be presented suggesting that encoding of direction and location, rather than subject and object, seem to be core functions of Yaghnobi grammar.
There has been very little previous study of the Yaghnobi language. This thesis presents new descriptions and analysis of many core grammatical forms and functions. The analysis will differentiate two different copular forms and their functional ranges. It will also present the verb-auxiliary complex, especially the previously undocumented historical-present and historical-future verb forms. The functions of prepositions and postpositions will be described with special attention to the differentiation of directional and locational functions of postpositions. In the area of grammatical relations, the suffix /i/, analyzed elsewhere as an oblique case marker, will be shown to have more functions than previously realized. Furthermore, although locative affixes are traditionally analyzed as a type of oblique marker, it will be argued that the majority of the functions of the /i/ suffix are basically locative even when it is not marking what would traditionally be called the oblique case. Supporting this analysis is the discovery that pronouns and demonstratives each have two different forms and the functions of one form correspond to the locational functions of the /i/ suffix. A related discovery is that the /i/ suffix also marks animate definite noun phrases which by traditional analysis would be considered direct objects but which alternatively can be analyzed as locations of action.
The grammar description presented in this thesis is based primarily on field work and personal study under a Yaghnobi linguist conducted during the fall of 2006 and, secondarily, on the published work of Tajik and Russian linguists. The appendix contains parsed and glossed Yaghnobi texts and a Yaghnobi – Tajik – English dictionary.
November 5, 2007 Update: I submitted a draft of Aspects of Yaghnobi Language to my thesis committee yesterday. I’ve also posted the draft here: https://yaghnobi.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/draft-of-aspects-of-yaghnobi-grammar/
July 23, 2008 Update: I posted the final, accepted version of my thesis in this post: https://yaghnobi.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/aspects-of-yaghnobi-grammar-thesis-finished/
Related link: Table of Contents for Aspects of Yaghnobi grammar