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The king and his water-man: Yaghnobi recording and text July 21, 2007

Posted by Bahrom in folklore, Syntax, Tajik, Tajikistan, translation, World, Yaghnobi.
Tags: , , , ,

The Splashcast below is an audio recording of Saifiddin Mirzoev reading a traditional Yaghnogi folk story.  Saifiddin transcribed this story in 1990 in Zafarabad. The storyteller was Muhmadrasul who was originally from the village of Sokan in the Yaghnob valley.

I was originally going to have the Splashcast display the parsed and glossed text sentence by sentence in sync with the audio recording. But, I didn’t have time, so here is a link to the parsed and glossed text:  The king and his water-man

[splashcast RSIW6945BC]

By the way, if someone would like to add the parsed and glossed text to the Splashcast, I would be happy to give them a fine reward- like being added as an author on this blog!



1. آستان - July 25, 2007


great deal with the story, this one I don’t know (and I have plenty of Yaghnobi folk tales). I have read through and I found there one mistake in your interpretation: on the first page on the last line you have “ki potšohī zoyti op muna vitax” and you interpret ‘potšohī’ as an obligue of ‘potšoh’, but this is an adjective – you have a phrase “potšohī zoyt” – “king’s lands”, also the Tajik translation appears to support my translation (ки заминҳои подшоҳ об медода аст).

I also wanted to add some stuff I have done, but I din’t find a way how to upload the blog, can you help me please.


2. Bahrom - July 25, 2007

Hi Luboss,

I should have explained how I am using the gloss OBL. I decided that it was better to always gloss the /i/ suffix as obliqe. My reason for doing this is to consistently gloss the /i/ suffix the same way whenever it is functioning as a case marker on a noun. This is what Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst suggested in his comments on my post on Yaghnobi copular clauses. One of my professors at the UO also suggested this. He pointed out that the classical meaning of obliqe is anything that isn’t nominative. I’m still not entierly satisfied with the gloss OBL, but it’s hard to come up with a single gloss for -i that makes sense when -i has so many functions!

Regarding my interpretation of -i on potšohī, in the phrase “potšohī zoyt” – “king’s lands”, I interpret -i to be functioning as a genetive case marker. This is somewhat similar to interpreting potšohī as an adjective, but with the difference that I don’t believe that -i is functioning as a derivational suffix (making a noun into an adjective), but rather as an inflectional suffix with a genetive function. In this case the genetive has a possesive meaning: “lands belonging to the king”

I don’t believe that the Tajik translation contradicts this interpretation. In Tajk, the -i (“izofat”) also has a genetive function but Tajik puts the genetive suffix on the posessed noun, while Yaghnobi puts the genetive suffix on the possessor.

3. آستان - July 25, 2007


what you mention is allright, I use the term ‘obliquus’ in the way as it is used by Xromov (russian коственный падеж) and actually I know that it has a lot of functions in the language (unfortunately it looks the same as izofat, so in some cases you have to be avare what is what).
By the means of /ī/ in potšohī I mend it as a grammatical category – by it’s appearance it is an adjective (a genitive-oblique would be potšohi) – it’s translation in means of genitive would be roght – you can transate it as ‘the king’s lands’ but also as ‘the royal lands’… (pitty that English has to use two words to express this feature – f.ex. in Czech you have “král” – the king, you can say “královy země” in means of genitive expression or “královské země” in means of adjective, the final meaning is quite the same in English, Czech or even in Yaghnobi I think). For Yaghnobi “king’s lands” you can also say “potšohi zoyt” (I hope??), or maybe I think about this by my knowledge of the Czech language (or Russian, it would be similar as it is in Czech)…

4. Alla - September 14, 2007

Hi there!
Just visit the http://www.yagnob.org
We invite you to the international conference

5. Adam - May 28, 2008

is there a specific yaghnob musical tradition? Did anyone collected it?

6. آستان - June 1, 2008

Adam, there is no specific musical tradition among the Yaghnobis, it is similar to Tajik music. Up to recent years there was no music in Yaghnobi language, nowadays the situation changes – yet 1 CD with Yaghnobi music was released in Tajikistan.

7. ML - July 10, 2009

“pitty that English has to use two words to express this feature”

A pity you don’t know that English ‘kingdom’ expresses precisely that, semantically and etymologically (king’s dom[us]).

8. Bahrom - July 11, 2009

In this case, “kingdom” is not the correct translation. The phrase “potšohī zoyt” refers only to the king’s farmland, land that can be cultivated.

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