Kabardian Verbal Affixes

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Kabardian Verbal Affixes:

Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes

Collected, arranged and edited


Amjad Jaimoukha

The Circassian language is characterised by a rich and varied ‘tool-set’ of verbal prefixes and suffixes (and, more generally, affixes). There are more than 60 verbal prefixes used in the official and literary Kabardian-Cherkess language. Although this large number of prefixes confers extra dimensions in the expressive domain and provides the writer with a wide range of construction and refining tools, it is also an indication of the complexity and subtlety of the literary language.

Clusters of ‘verbal prefixes’ (two, three – or even more – such prefixes could be attached to the verb, and with other kinds of prefixes, the situation could become intractable – except for a small number of language ‘masters’ – with a limitless array of combinations and permutations, keeping in mind that complex set rules apply to these monstrous formations) could also be formed to convey even more complex and multi-layered designations. The picture becomes even more interesting in the presence of the more than 30 verbal suffixes, and a few verbal affixes.
Examples shall be given of verbal formations with prefixes, affixes and suffixes.

Main sources of information and data:

Jaimoukha (Zhemix’we), A. M., Kabardian-English Dictionary: Being a Literary Lexicon of East Circassian, Amman: Sanjalay Press, 1997.
Kardanov (Qarden), B. M. (ed.), КЪЭБЭРДЕЙ-УРЫС СЛОВАРЬ. Kabardinsko-russki slovar’ [Kabardian-Russian Dictionary], Kabardino-Balkarian Science and Research Institute, Moscow: State Press of Foreign and National Dictionaries, 1957. Online. Available HTTP: <http://www.circassianlibrary.org/library.php?lang=en&mn=1&sbmn=1> (accessed 19 May 2009).
Kardanov (Qarden), B. M. and Bichoev (Biysch’o), A. T. (compilers), Shogantsukov (Schojents’ik’w), A. O. (editor-in-chief), Russko-kabardinsko-cherkesski slovar’ [Russian-Kabardian-Cherkess Dictionary], Kabardian Science and Research Institute, Moscow: State Press of Foreign and National Dictionaries, 1955, pp 1033-6.

Verbal Prefixes

бгъэ~ (бгъэдэ~; бгъэды~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates stay/sojourn near smb., smth.; ex.: сымаджэм бгъэдэсын: to sit by the side of the patient; 2. designates action directed towards smb., smth.; ex.: унэм бгъэдыхьэн: to go up to the house; бгъэдэгъэлъэдэн: to roll, drive (smth. to smth.); 3. designates departure, or movement away, from smb., smth.; ex.: бгъэдэжын: to run away (from smb., smth.); бгъэдэкІын: to move away (from smb., smth.); къулыкъум бгъэдэкІын: to leave service/work.

бгъуры~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates movement by/past smb./smth. by lateral surface of smth.; ex.: бгъурыкІын: to go by/past, to pass by the side; 2. designates movement directed towards (lateral) side of an object; ex.: машинэм бгъурыхьэн: to approach the car from the side; 3. designates stay/sojourn near/by, in the vinicity of, smth.; ex.: бгъурылъхьэн: to lay/put (smth.) near/by (smb., smth.).

блэ~ (verbal prefix) designates movement by/past smb., smth.; ex.: унэм блэжын: to run by/past the house.

гу(э)~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates process of joining, or merging with, object; ex.: сэ абы сыгухьащ: I have joined him; 2. designates movement of subject at the side; ex.: шыщІэр шым гуэлъэдащ: the foal ran up to the horse from the side; 3. designates being next to, beside smb., ex.: гъунэгъум гуэсын: to sit next to the neighbour; 4. designates separation of an object from another, movement away from smb., smth.; ex.: гуэлъэтын: to fly off/away, to break away, from the side; гуэжын: to flow/run aside, to branch off.

гъэ~ (гъа~) (verbal prefix) designates causation; rendered by the verbs: to force, compel, make; to order, tell; to allow, permit; to give the opportunity to do smth.; also forms transitive verbs; ex.: гъэпсэлъэн: to make (smb.) talk; гъэмэжэлІэн: to make (smb.) go hungry; гъэшхэн: to feed (smb.); гъэбзэхын: to hide/conceal (smb., smth.) quickly.

дэ~ (ды~) I (verbal prefix.) 1. designates being of an object on a definite territory; ex.: машинэр уэрамым дэтщ: the car is on the street; 2. designates being of an object inside another object; ex.: пщІантІэм дэтын: to be in the yard; тхылъыр шкафым дэлъщ: the book is in the bookcase; 3. designates direction inside some premises, deep into a place etc.; ex.: пхъэр пщІантІэм дэшэн: to drop off the firewood in the yard; 4. designates direction from within, through smth.; ex.: щхьэгъубжэм дэплъын: to look out of the window.

дэ~ II (verbal prefix) designates action performed jointly with smb., or stay/sojourn with smb.; дэшхэн: to eat with smb.; дэщІыгъун: to be with smb.; to accompany smb.

е~ (verbal prefix) refers to object of sentence, designates some open place or object; ex.: бадзэр фом епщІащ: the flies swarmed all over the honey; ар тхылъым еджащ: he read the book.

жьэ~ (жьэхэ~) (verbal prefix) designates action directed at smth.; ex.: жьэхэплъэн: to look steadily (at), to stare (at); жьэхэуэн: (vi) to push, shove (smb., smth.); to hit, strike (against smb., smth.); to collide (with).

жьэдэ~ (verbal prefix) designates action performed in or towards the mouth; ex.: жьэдэдзэн: (vt) to throw (smth.) in the mouth (usually smb. else’s); жьэдэплъэн: (vi) to look into (smb.’s) mouth.

зэ~ (verbal prefix) 1. used in formation of reciprocal verbs; ex.: зэзэуэн: to fight each other; 2. used in formation of reflexive verbs; ex.: зэгъэжьэн: (vt) to force oneself to wait; зэлъэфэлІэн: (vt) to drag to oneself.

зэдэ~ (verbal prefix) used in formation of reciprocal verbs; ex.: зэдэгушыIэн: to joke with one another.

зэт~ (verbal prefix) designates totality of action; ex.: зэтеутхыхьын: to splash all over.

зэхэ~ (verbal prefix) designates totality of action; ex.: зэхэутхыхьын: to splash all over; зэхэтхыхьын: to cover (ex.: piece of paper) with writing.

здэ~ (verbal prefix) designates destination of action; ex.: сыздэкIуэнур сощIэ: I know where I am going to.
зы~ (verbal prefix) designates reflexive action; ex.: зылъэщІын: to wipe oneself; зыплъыхьын: to look about oneself.

и~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates movement directed downwards and inside object; ex.: игуэн: to push, shove (smb., smth., into smth.); 2. designates being/staying inside/in smth; ex.: вагоным исын: to sit in the coach; 3. designates removal of an object from some place; ex.: игъэхун: to drop, let fall (from pocket, etc.); пэгуным псыр ижащ: the water ran out of the bucket; игъэщІеикІын: to bend (smth.) backwards.

ире~ (ира~) (verbal prefix) causative prefix; ex.: ирекIуэ: send, let go; ирефэ: to let (smb.) drink (smth.).; ирехъу: ~ апхуэдэу: so be it.

ирегъа~ (ирагъа~) (verbal prefix) causative prefix; ex.: ирегъакIуэ: send; ирегъафэ: to make (smb.) drink (smth.); Думэсарэ хьэщIэхэм шейр ирегъафэ: Dumasara offered the guests tea.

ири~ (ир~) (verbal prefix) designates motion on, or along, surface; ex.: лъагъуэм ирикІуэн: to follow the path.

кІэ~ (кІэщІэ~) I (verbal prefix) designates action performed under smth.; ex.: уэсыр жыг лъабжьэм кІэщІэтхъуэн: to rake up the snow under the tree.

кІэ~ (кІэлъ~; кІэлъы~) II (verbal prefix) immediately after; after, following; ex.: мыщэм кІэлъыкІуэн: to go after the bear; кІэлъежьэн: (vi) to set off/ out after, to start after, to leave after (smb., smth.); кІэлъесын (vi) to swim after (smb., smth.).

кІэры~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates action on surface of object which is in vertical position; ex.: блыным лозунг кІэрытхэн: to write a slogan on the wall; 2. designates stay/sojourn on slope, on surface, of object; ex.: мэлхэр бгым кІэрытщ: the sheep are on the slope of the mountain; Іэм ятІэ кІэрылъщ: there is mud on the hand, 3. designates separation from smb., smth.; ex. ар сэ скІэрыкІащ: he left/let me alone; кІэрыдзэн: to throw (smth.) away from (smth.); 4. designates compact adherence to smth.; ex.: кІэрыкІэн: to adhere, grow fast (to smth.); кІэрыгъуэн: to adhere (in drying) (to), to dry (on, to), to stick (to).

кІэщІ(э)~ (verbal prefix) designates action under smth.; кІэщІэкІэцІэн: (vi) to lay an egg (under smth.); кІэщІэлъхьэн: (vt) to put/lay (down) (smth.) under smth.; пхъащІэм бгыкъу кІапэм пхъэ тыкъыр кІэщІилъхьащ: the carpenter placed a log-piece under the end of the girder.

кІуэцІы~ (кІуэцІыры~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates motion (directed) inside, or from within (smth.), through (smth.); ex.: кІуэцІыхун: to fall out (from inside smth.); кІуэцІырыхун: to collapse, come down through (smth.); 2. de­signates location of smb., smth., smwh.; or inside smth., or extraction of smb., smth. from smwh., or from inside smth.; ex.: сабий шхыІэным кІуэцІылъхьэн: to wrap up the child in the blanket.

къэ~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates arrival, approach, movement directed to the speaker; ex.: мафІэгур къэсащ: the train has got in; 2. designates approach of some season, time; ex.: щІымахуэр къэсащ: winter has arrived; 3. adds a tinge of definiteness to the verb; ex.: къэпсэлъэн: to deliver a speech; to begin to speak.

къуэ~ (къыкъуэ~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates stay outside the limits (of), or behind (smth.); ex.: бгым къуэсын: to sit behind the mountain; 2. designates motion directed to back of some object; ex.: къуэлъэдэн: to run behind; 3. designates movement from behind some object; дыгъэр бгым къыкъуэкІащ: the sun rose from behind the mountain; къуэплъын: to look out from behind.

мы~ (verbal prefix) in combination with verbs, forms negative form; ex.: мыгъэгъэн: not to flower, not to bloom/blossom; мыкІын: not to grow.

нэ~ы~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates direction of motion from speaker to second person; ар уи деж нэкІуащ: he went to you; ар уи деж ныщIыхьащ: he went to visit you; 2. forms verbs that convey a sense of completion of an action; ex.: нэдысын: to finish (sewing); нэвысын: to finish ploughing/tilling; нэджысын: to finish (reading), to read to the end.

пэ~ (пы~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates reciprocal action; ex.: пэдзыжын: to throw back; пэджэжын: to call in response, to respond; 2. designates motion directed away from, or towards, fore-part of smth.; пэрыхуэн: to drive on from the front; 3. designates being (of smb., smth.) in front of some object, person; пэгъэувын: to put/place/set in front of, before (smb., smth.); пэувын: to stand in front of, before (smb., smth.); 4. designates action timed to beginning of smth.; ex.: пэрыхьэн: to draw near the beginning (of smth.).

пе~ (verbal prefix) designates movement towards smb., smth.; conveys meeting (half-way), coming together; фызым пежьэн: to go to meet/receive the woman.

пхы~ (пхыры~) (verbal prefix) designates action, motion directed through some obstacle, object; ex.: пхырыжын: to run through smth.; шэр nхъэбгъум пхыкІащ: the bullet went through the board; пхивыкІын: to get wet/soaked through.

пы~ (verbal prefix) designates addition or joining, adherence; ex.: пытхэн: (vt) to add (smth.) (in writing) to smth.; to finish (writing) (smth.); пыкІэн: (vi) to adhere, grow fast (to smth.).

пыры~ (пы~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates action of transference over object that is of comparatively small height; ex.: бжыхьым пырыплъын: to look over the fence; 2. designates action, motion directed across some obstacle; ex.: псым пырышын (е зэпырышын): to take/lead across the river; лъэмыжым пырышын: to take/lead across the bridge

те~ (verbal prefix) designates location/being on smth.; тхылъыр Iэнэм телъщ: the book is on the table.

тр~ (тре~) (verbal prefix) designating motion directed on surface of object; ex.: жыгым сытхъу трещІэ: the tree is covered with hoar-frost.

фІэ~ (фІы~) (verbal prefix) 1. means to be situated on smth.; smwh. more often on the point (edge) of smth.; expressed by preposition ‘on’; ex.: фІэсын vi to sit on smth. sharp; 2. designates action done against smb.’s will; ex.: кIуэн: to go; фІэкIуэн: (vi) to go against smb.’s wish.

хэ~ (хы~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates being, sojourn in smth., smwh., and also in some organization; псым хэтын: to be in water; партием хэтын: to be in a party; 2. designates direction in/inside smth., in(to) some mass, joining some organization; псым хыхьэн: to go into water; партием хыхьэн: to join the party.

ху(э)~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates motion, movement towards an object, situated in opposition to the speaker; ex.: унэм хуэкІуэн: to go to(wards) the house; 2. designates action performed to please smb., for smb.’s sake, in smb.'s interests; ex.: анэм Іуэху хуэщІэн: to carry out, do, implement (smth.) for (one's) mother; 3. designates action conveying/expressing unfriendliness; ex.: хуэпсэлъэн: to slander, calumniate (smb.); хуэшхыдэн: to scold, abuse (smb.); 4. designates action directed to(wards) an object; ex.: сабийр анэм хуожэ: the child is running to his mother; ныбжьэгъум хуэтхын: to write to (one's) friend; ap и ныбжьэгъум фІыуэ хущытщ: he treats his friend nicely, he is nice to his friend; 5. designates sign/indication of action; ex.: абы вакъэр хуэхъуащ: the boots fitted him just right; 6. designates ability/skill to do/make smth.; ex.: абы ap хуэхьынкъым: he is not able to carry this, he will not manage to carry this.

щхьэ~ (щхьэщы~; щхьэпыры~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates being or movement of object over surface of smth.; ex.: пшэр бгым щхьэщытщ: the cloud hangs over the mountain; бгым щхьэщылъэтын: to fly over the mountain; 2. designates movement of object over smth., transference of object over/across smth.; ex.: бгым хьэлъэр щхьэпырыхын: to carry the load over/across the mountain.

щ(ы)~ (verbal prefix) designates abode/residence smwh.; сэ мыбы сыщеджащ: I studied here; ар къалэм щыпсэуащ: he lived in the city.

щІэ~ (щІы~) (verbal prefix) 1. designates being, staying inside premises, or some limited space; ex. пхъэр гуэщым щІэлъщ: the firewood is in the shed; 2. designates direction inside premises or some limited space; ex.: пэшым щІыхьэн: to go into the room; 3. designates direction from within premises, or some limited space; ex.: пэшым Іэнэр щІэхын: to take/carry the table out of the room; 4. designates being under smth.; ex.: щІэщІым щІэтын: to stand under the lean-to.

Іу~ (verbal prefix) 1. designates drawing near, approaching smb., smth.; ex.: кІэлындорым Іухьэн: to approach the corridor; 2. designates stay/sojourn near smb., smth.; ex.: мывэр бжэм Іулъщ: the stone lies near the door; 3. designates quick visual movement towards an object; блэкІым Іуплъэн: to cast a glance at the passer-by.

Verbal Infixes

~мы~ negatory infix; ex.: жыIэ: say; жумыIэ: do not say; къакIуэ: come; укъэмыкIуэ: do not come.

Verbal Suffixes

~гъэ (~гъа) (verbal suffix) designates the past perfect, or pluperfect tense; ex.: тхагъащ: he wrote once (upon a time); жиIагъащ: he once said.

~гъэхэ (~хэ) (verbal suffix) designates absolute accomplishment/realization of the action; ex.: кIуагъэхэщ: he’s already gone.

~ж I (verbal suffix) designates recurrence/repetition of action; ex.: къэсыжын: to arrive again; къэшэжын: vi to bring again.

~ж II (verbal suffix) designates performance of the action directly, without the intervention of another agent; ex.: шхыжын: to eat by oneself.

~еи (verbal suffix) designates action in an upward direction; ex.: дэкІуеин: vi 1. to go upwards, or against flow of the river; 2. to rise (upwards); дэлъеин: vi to jump/leap up.

(connective suffix) and, also; ex.: къакIуи еплъ: come and have a look.

~кIэ (verbal suffix) designates absolute completeness of action; ex.: сщIакIэщ: I have already done it.

~къым (verbal suffix) negatory suffix; ex.: хьэщIэр иджыри къэс къэсакъым: the guest hasn’t arrived yet; сэ еджапIэм сыкIуакъым: I didn’t go to school.

~къуэ (verbal suffix) designates excessiveness; ex.: псэлъэкъуэн: vi 1. to talk (smb.) down, to out-talk (smb.); to talk too much; 2. to have a long talk (with smb.), to get carried away by a conversation (with smb.).

~лI (~лIэ) (verbal suffix) designates action directed towards, or applied to smb., smth.; ex.: ежэлІэн: vi to run up (to smb., smth.), to come running up (to smb., smth.); ехьэлІэн: vt 1. to take, carry (smb., smth. to smb., smth.); хьэпшыпхэр автобусым ~: to carry the articles to the bus; 2. to apply, put (smth.; ex.: one’s strength, skill); къару псори ~: to make efforts, to make/exert every effort; къекIуэлIащ: he appeared; he presented himself.

~м(э) conditional suffix; ex.: ар къакIуэмэ, сэ бэзэрым сыкIуэнущ: If he comes, I will go to the market.

~ми (conjunctional suffix) designates concessive mood; ex.: укIуами: even if you had gone.

~н infinitive forming suffix; ex.: тхэн: to write; кIуэн: to go.

~пэ (verbal suffix) designates completeness and fulfilment of the action; ex.: илэжьыпащ: accomplished, realized, carried into effect; шхыпэн: vt to eat (up) (smth.) entirely.

~рей (verbal suffix) designates recurrence, presence of a characteristic; ex.: мэпсэлъэрей: he is fond of talking; he is garrulous; мэдауэрей: he is given to brawling; he is a brawler.

~рт (verbal suffix) designates repetition/recurrence of action; ex.: тхэрт: he wrote repeatedly.

~т (verbal suffix) designates the imperative mood; ex.: жыIэт: do say; just say; тхэт: just write.

~тэмэ (conjunctional suffix) designates subjunctive mood; ex.: укIуатэмэ: if you had gone.

~тэми (conjunctional suffix) designates concessive mood; ex.: укIуатэми: even if you had gone.

~ф (verbal suffix) designates the ability to perform the action indicated; ex.: жыІэфын: 1. vi to be able to speak/talk; to speak eloquently/articula­tely; 2. vt to know how to say (smth.); to manage to say (smth.); хьыфын: vt to manage, be able, to take/carry (away) (smth. smwh.).

(verbal suffix) designates downward direction of action; ex.: ежэхын: vi 1. to roll down; to go/come down; to run down; джабэм ежэхын: to roll down the mountain slope; 2. to flow/run down (of river, brook, stream); псыр джабэм хуабжьу йожэх: the river is streaming down the mountain slope; ехьэхын: vt 1. to lower, sink (smb., smth.); щхьэр ехьэхын: to hang one’s head; 2. to let/get down, lower (smb., smth.); рабочэхэр шахтэм ехьэхын: to get the workers down to the mine.

~хэ pluralizing suffix; ex.: къэкIуахэщ: they came.

~хэ (~ххэ) (verbal suffix) designates constant/absolute readiness/preparedness; ex.: сыхьэзырыхэщ: I am always/absolutely ready.

~хэ (~х) (verbal suffix) designates preliminary condition; ex.: зытхьэщIыхэн: wash yourself first; зытхьэщIыхи шхэ: first wash yourself, and then eat.

хэ (verbal suffix) designates absolute negation; ex.: сыкIуэххэнкъым: I will definitely not go.

~хь (verbal suffix) 1. designates action performed on a definite location or repetition of the action; къэжыхьын: to run about; къэкIухьын: to go/walk about; 2. designates movement round an object; Іуащхьэм къэкIухьын: to walk/go round the hill; жыгым къэкIухьын: to walk/go round the tree; 3. refers to the object of the action; ex.: тепсэлъыхьын: vi to discuss (smb., smth.); to speak/talk about (smb., smth.); техъущІыхьын: vi to scold, abuse, reprove, rebuke, take to task, criticize (smb.).

~щ I affirmative suffix; ex.: КъэкIуа ар?; НытIэ, къэкIуащ: Did he come?; Yes, he came.

~щ II (verbal suffix) designates excessiveness, or taking the action to excess; ex.: шхэщащ: he ate to excess; he gluttonized.

~щэрэ (~щэрэт) (conjunctional suffix) designates optative mood; ex.: Налшык сыкIуащэрэ: if only I could go to Nalchik; I wish I could go to Nalchik.

~Iуэ (verbal suffix) designates slight excessiveness; ex.: тхэІуэн: vi to write more than is necessary.

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