Komi grammar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This article deals with the grammar of the Komi language of the northeastern European part of Russia (the article "Komi language" discusses the language in general and contains a quick overview of the language.)

Pronouns[edit]

Komi pronouns are inflected much in the same way that nouns are. However, personal pronouns are usually only inflected in the grammatical cases and cannot be inflected in the locative cases.

Personal pronouns[edit]

Somewhat like in English, Komi personal pronouns are used to refer to human beings only. However, the third person singular can be referred to as it. Komi personal pronouns only inflect in the grammatical cases and the approximative case. The nominative case of personal pronouns are listed in the following table:

Personal pronouns
Komi English
Singular
ме I
тэ you
сійӧ he/she/it
Plural
ми we
ті you
найӧ they

Noun forms[edit]

Komi does not distinguish gender in nouns or even in personal pronouns: 'сійӧ ' = 'he' or 'she' depending on the referent.

Cases[edit]

Komi has seventeen noun cases: nine grammatical cases and eight locative cases. The locative cases are usually only used with inanimate references with the exception of the terminative, approximative and egressive cases.

Komi cases
Case Suffix English prep. Example Translation
Grammatical
nominative - - керка house
genitive -лӧн of / 's керкалӧн of a house / house's
accusative -ӧс/-сӧ/-тӧ - керкасӧ, керкатӧ house (as an object)
ablative -лысь from керкалысь from a house
dative -лы to/for керкалы to a house
instrumental -ӧн with/by means of керкаӧн by means of a house
comitative -кӧд with/by means of керкакӧд with a house
caritive -тӧг without керкатӧг without a house
consecutive -ла gone/come for[1] керкала for a house
Locative cases
inessive -ын in керкаын in a house
illative into керкаӧ into a house
elative -ысь from керкаысь from a house
transitive -ті along керкаті along a house
prolative -ӧд along керкаӧд along a house
terminative -ӧдз end up керкаӧдз end up at a house
approximative -лань towards керкалань towards a house
egressive -сян starting from керкасян starting from a house

The declension of personal pronouns is quite systematic as well:

Komi personal pronoun declensions
Case 1st pers. sing. 2nd pers. sing. 3rd pers. sing. 1st pers. pl 2nd pers. pl. 3rd pers pl.
nominative ме тэ сійӧ ми ті найӧ
genitive менам тенад сылӧн миян тіян налӧн
accusative менӧ тэнӧ сійӧс миянӧс тіянӧс найӧс
ablative менсьым тэнсьыд сылысь миянлысь тіянлысь налысь
dative меным тэныд сылы миянлы тіянлы налы
instrumental меӧн тэӧн сыӧн миянӧн тіянӧн наӧн
comitative мекӧд тэкӧд сыкӧд миянкӧд тіянкӧд накӧд
caritive метӧг тэтӧг сытӧг миянтӧг тіянтӧг натӧг
consecutive мела тэла сыла миянла тіянла нала
terminative меӧдз тэӧдз сыӧдз миянӧдз тіянӧдз наӧдз
approximative мелань тэӧлань сылань миянлань тіянлань налань
egressive месянь тэсянь сысянь миянсянь тіянсянь насянь

Plural[edit]

There are two types of nominal plurals in Komi. One is the plural for nouns -яс (with the exception of -ян in пиян, "the boys") and the other is the plural for adjectives -ӧсь.

Nominal plural[edit]

The noun is always in plural. In attributive plural phrases, the adjective is not required to be in the plural:

Attributive plural
Komi English
мича(ӧсь) нывъяс (the) beautiful girls

The plural marker always comes before other endings (i.e. cases and possessive suffixes) in the morphological structure of plural nominal.

Morphological order
Komi English
нывъяслы to the girls

Predicative plural[edit]

As in Hungarian, if the subject is plural, the adjective is always plural when it functions as the sentence's predicative:

Attributive plural
Komi English
нывъяс мичаӧсь the girls are beautiful
керкаяс ыжыдӧсь the houses are big

Possessive suffixes[edit]

Nominal possessive suffixes[edit]

Komi possessive suffixes are added to the end of nouns either before or after a case ending. The possessive suffixes vary in the nominative and accusative cases and with case endings.

Nominative possessive suffix
Suffix ending Komi English
-ӧй ёртӧй my friend
-ыд ёртыд your friend
-ыс ёртыс his/her friend
-ным ёртным our friend
-ныд ёртныд your (pl) friend
-ныс ёртныс their friend

Accusative possessive suffixes[edit]

Accusative possessive suffixes are shown in the following table.

Accusative possessive suffix
Suffix ending Komi English
-ӧс ёртӧс my friend
-тӧ ёрттӧ your friend
-сӧ ёртсӧ his/her friend
-нымӧс ёртнымӧс our friend
-нытӧ ёртнытӧ your (pl) friend
-нысӧ ёртнысӧ their friend

Verbs[edit]

Komi infinitives are marked with -ны. as in мунны, 'to go'. Some infinitives have a so called connecting vowel ы which is dropped in the verbal stem when affixing, for example, a personal ending such as in the verb велӧдчыны ‘to study’ → велӧдча 'I study'.

There is one phoneme which undergoes consonant gradation when adding an ending to the stem ending in a vowel. This change is вл as in овны ‘to live’ → олан ‘you live’.

The indicative mood has four tenses: present, future and two past tenses. In addition, there are four past tense structures which include auxiliary verbs. Verbs are negated by use of an auxiliary negative verb that conjugates with personal endings. Separate personal pronouns are not required in verb phrases.

Present tense[edit]

The verbal personal markers in the Komi present tense are:

Personal endings of verbs
Person Ending
Singular
1st
2nd -ан
3rd
Plural
1st -ам
2nd -анныд
3rd -ӧны
Present tense
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st уджала I work
2nd уджалан you work
3rd уджалӧ he/she works
Plural
1st уджалам we work
2nd уджаланныд you work
3rd уджалӧны they work

The negative indicative present is formed by the auxiliary о- negative verb and the verbal stem in the first person and with -ӧй in the first and second person plural and -ны in the third person plural.

The negative verb conjugates with the ending in first person, in the second person and in the third person. The first and second person plural is marked with .

Present tense negative
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st ог уджав I do not work
2nd он уджав you do not work
3rd оз уджав he/she does not work singing
Plural
1st огӧ уджалӧй we do not work
2nd онӧ уджалӧй you (pl) do not work
3rd оз уджалны they do not work

Future tense[edit]

The affirmative and negative future tense in Komi is basically the same as in the present with the exception of the third person in the affirmative, ending in -ас (singular) and -асны (plural):

уджалас he/she will work
уджаласны they will work

Past tense[edit]

The conventionally used designations preterite and perfect are used with denotations which are divergent from their usual meanings in the grammar of other languages.

Preterite I[edit]

The first preterite can be compared with the simple past in English. Preterite I is marked with і/и.

Preterite I
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st уджалі I worked
2nd уджалін you worked
3rd уджаліс he/she worked
Plural
1st уджалім we worked
2nd уджалінныд you worked
3rd уджалісны they worked

The negative preterite I is formed by the auxiliary э- negative verb with the same personal endings as in present tense. The main verb is the same as in the present tense

Preterite I negative
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st эг уджав I did not work
2nd эн уджав you did not work
3rd эз уджав he/she did not work
Plural
1st эгӧ уджалӧй we did not work
2nd энӧ уджалӧй you did not work
3rd эз уджалны they did not work

Preterite II[edit]

The second preterite is a past tense with an evidentiality distinction. It can be compared to the English perfect in which the speaker did not personally observe the past event. The preterite II is marked with -ӧм-, which is historically related to the third infinitive in Finnish.

Preterite II
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st уджалӧма I evidently worked
2nd уджалӧмыд you evidently worked
3rd уджалӧма he/she evidently worked
Plural
1st уджалӧмаӧсь we evidently worked
2nd уджалӧманыд you evidently worked
3rd уджалӧмаӧсь/уджалӧмны they evidently worked

The negative preterite II is formed by including the auxiliary copular negative verb абу 'is not', e.g. абу уджалӧма (I have evidently not worked), абу уджалӧмыд (you have evidently not worked) etc.

Auxiliary past tenses[edit]

There are four past tenses in Komi which use a preterite form of the main verb and a preterite form of the auxiliary verb 'to be'.

Preterite III[edit]

The Komi preterite III makes use of the main verb in the present tense and the auxiliary вӧлі, 'was' in third person singular, in simple past. The pluperfect I tense expresses a continuation of action that has happened in the (distant) past.

Preterite III
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st вӧлі уджала I was working
2nd вӧлі уджалан you were working
3rd вӧлі уджалӧ he/she was working
Plural
1st вӧлі уджалам we were working
2nd вӧлі уджаланныд you were working
3rd вӧлі уджалӧны they were working

The negative preterite III is formed by including the auxiliary copular verb вӧлі ‘was' with the main verb in the present negative.

Preterite III negative
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st вӧлі ог уджав I was not working
2nd вӧлі он уджав you were not working
3rd вӧлі оз уджав he/she was not working
Plural
1st вӧлі огӧ уджалӧй we was not working
2nd вӧлі онӧ уджалӧй you were not working
3rd вӧлі оз уджалны they were not working
Preterite IV[edit]

The Komi preterite IV (pluperfect) makes use of the main verb in the preteri II form and the auxiliary вӧлі, 'was' in third person singular, in simple past. The preteri IV tense expresses an evidently completed action that has happened in the (distant) past.

Preterite IV
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st вӧлі уджалӧма I have evidently worked
2nd вӧлі уджалӧмыд you have evidently worked
3rd вӧлі уджалӧма he/she has evidently worked
Plural
1st вӧлі уджалӧмаӧсь we have evidently worked
2nd вӧлі уджалӧманыд you have evidently worked
3rd вӧлі уджалӧмаӧсь/уджалӧмны they have evidently worked

The negative preterite IV is formed by including the auxiliary copular negative verb абу 'is not', e.g. вӧлі абу уджалӧма (I have evidently not worked), вӧлі абу уджалӧмыд (you have evidently not worked) etc.

Preterite V[edit]

The Komi preterite V makes use of the main verb in the presesnt form and the auxiliary вӧлӧм, 'apparently was' in third person singular, preterite II. The preteri IV tense expresses an evidently continuous action that has happened in the (distant) past.

Present tense
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st вӧлӧм уджала I was evidently working
2nd вӧлӧм уджалан you were evidently working
3rd вӧлӧм уджалӧ he/ was evidently working
Plural
1st вӧлӧм уджалам we were evidently working
2nd вӧлӧм уджаланныд you were evidently working
3rd вӧлӧм уджалӧны they were evidently working

The negative preterite V is formed by including the auxiliary copular verb вӧлӧм 'evidently was' with the main verb in the present negative.

Preterite V negative
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st вӧлӧм ог уджав I was not evidently working
2nd вӧлӧм он уджав you were not evidently working
3rd вӧлӧм оз уджав he/she was not evidently working
Plural
1st вӧлӧм огӧ уджалӧй we were not evidently working
2nd вӧлӧм онӧ уджалӧй you were not evidently working
3rd вӧлӧм оз уджалны they were not evidently working
Preterite VI[edit]

The Komi preterite VI makes use of the main verb in the preteri II form and the auxiliary вӧлӧм, 'apparently was' in third person singular, preterite II. The preteri VI tense expresses an evidently completed action that has happened in the (distant) past.

Preterite VI
Person уджавны English
Singular
1st вӧлӧм уджалӧма I had evidently worked
2nd вӧлӧм уджалӧмыд you had evidently worked
3rd вӧлӧм уджалӧма he/she had evidently worked
Plural
1st вӧлӧм уджалӧмаӧсь we had evidently worked
2nd вӧлӧм уджалӧманыд you had evidently worked
3rd вӧлӧм уджалӧмаӧсь/уджалӧмны they had evidently worked

The negative preterite IV is formed by including the auxiliary copular negative verb абу 'is not', e.g. вӧлӧм абу уджалӧма (I had evidently not worked), вӧлӧм абу уджалӧмыд (you had evidently not worked) etc.

Participles[edit]

Komi verbs have past and present participles. These participles can also be passive or active. In addition to affirmative participles, Komi also has a caritive participle.

The present participle is -ысь. It is a participle which expresses continuous action and is always active. It is affixed to the stems of the verb.

Participle English
велӧдысь ныв a girl that studies
сьылысь пи a boy that sings

In addition to functioning as regular attributive participle, the present participle also functions as a nominalising derivational suffix.

as a participle English as a noun English
велӧдысь ныв a girl that studies велӧдысь student
сьылысь пи a boy that sings сьылысь singer

The participle -ан/-ана denotes continuous action and can be active as in сетан ки ‘a giving hand’. It can also be passive, formed from a transitiv verbs with the noun acting as the object as in лыддян небӧг, 'a book being read'. The agent in the phrase is in the instrumental case: Тайӧ мамӧй вуран дӧрӧм, ’This is a shirt sewn by mother’.

The past participle is -ӧм. It is an attributive participle which expresses completed action. It can be active with the head noun as agent велӧдчӧм морт 'a learned person', passive formed from a transitive verbs велӧдчӧм урок 'a lesson that was learned', the noun acting as the object as in гижӧм небӧг 'a book that was written'. The agent in the phrase is in the instrumental case: Иван Куратовӧн гижӧм небӧг, 'A book written by Ivan Kuratov'.

The caritive participle is -тӧм.

Participle English
гижтӧм небӧг a book which has not been written
небӧг гижтӧм the book cannot be written

Sources[edit]

  • Bartens, Raija (2000). Permiläisten kielten rakenne ja kehitys (in Finnish). Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura. ISBN 952-5150-55-0. 
  • Hausenberg, Anu-Reet (1998), "Komi", in Abondolo, Daniel, The Uralic Languages, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 305–326, ISBN 0-415-08198-X 

References[edit]