3. Morphology

3.1 The general make-up of Udi morphology

Basically speaking, the formal architecture of Udi grammar is characterized by agglutinating features that, however, tend towards a morefusional (flectional) type. Agglutination in Udi is suffixing, infixing,and in rare instances prefixing. Most of the grammatical elements of Udi areaffixes, that is elements that are restricted to a specific word class. Someelements (such as personal markers) are clitics which (normally) are free in the choice of their host.

3.1.1 Head and Dependent Marking

Udi is both head and dependent marking, cp. the following sentence:








The man hits the grave very much.
(prox = proximal, erg = ergative, sa = stem augment, dat2 = dative2, 3sg:a = third singular in agentive function, lv:pres = light verb present tense)

In this sentence both the verbal head and its nominal dependents are marked for their relational behavior (S = subjective, A = agentive, = objective):

Dependent:        is^en     (A)
                         gärämzinax    (O)
Head:                t'ap'ne xa  (A)

Head marking is done with the help of personal clitics which however need not necessarily appear in the verb (cf. 3.3.3).
Dependent marking is done with the help of case suffixes.

Within noun phrases, it is the head which is marked for case, whereas itis the dependet which is marked for possession, e.g.

bez  ioldas/un  bes/umdz^i  vic^-e
1sg:gen friend-gen first son-dat
'to the first born spon of my friend'

The overall distribution of head marking and dependent marking morphemes inUdi is (approximately):
40 % dependent marking
60 % head marking

In a categorial perspective, the Udi morphological inventory is distributed roughly as follows:

Nouns             20 %
Adjective        5 % (specific)
Pronouns        10 % (specific)
Verbs             60 %
Others:            5 %

3.1.2 Agglutinating and fusional features

Agglutinating grammatical morphemes tend to follow a fixed order though especially with verbs the order may vary considerably. Most Udi morphemes have a 1:1 function,which means that one morpheme corresponds to one basic function.Note thateach basic function can show a considerable degree of metaphorization.A simple example is:

fin-ax  u?g/-al-t'-g/-o-xo xabar-re aq'-sa te q'eiri-va? buq'-sa  ?
wine-dat2 drink-part:pres-sa:obl-pl-dat-abl question-3sg:a take-pres Q another-2pl:io want-pres
'(S)he asks those who are drinking wine: Do you want another one?'

The major agglutination chain is marked by italics.

Fusional features (1:n-distribution, i.e. one morpheme, n functions) are rare but significant. For instance, the morpheme -o produces nominalized adjectives but additionally marks them for the absolutive case, e..g. kala-o 'the big one'. All personal agreement clitics are fusional insofar as they do not use specific number markers. Certain verbal suffixes encode both a particple and a speicifc tense form, etc.

3.1.3 Prefixing - Proclitization

Prefixing is a rather rare technique in Udi. It is basically found with so-called preverbs:

Locational affixes on the verb are prefixes (preverbs), cp. ci-esun 'to go down', bai-esun 'to go in', c^'e-(e)sun 'to go out', lai-esun 'to go up', qai-esun 'to return' ('go back') etc.

Certain verbal particles tend to appear as prefixes those other positions are allowed to. Among them we can find te- (negation), q'a- (adhortative), gi- (conditional), nä- (negative modal), and others, eg.

'I do not sit'

'(S)he should believe' 

'when (s)he does not take'

'they should not go'

A proclitic element is nut' which is used with negative nominal or adjectivalforms (alpha privativum), e.g.

'those who do not believe', i.e. 'pagans'

[But note that nut' can likewise be added to a lexical stem (copying Azeri-suz4), e.g. as^-nut' 'unemployed', haq'l-nut' 'idiot'etc.]

3.1.4 Infixes - Endoclitization

Udi is famous for having a strategy of endoclitization (cp. Harris 2000, Harris (in press)). Personal agreement markers as well as (in a more restricted manner) modal elements can appear with the verbal root or between the lexical and the grammatical part of of verbal stem, cp. (second part of stem (following the endoclitic) is indicated by '$'):

'(s)he became'

'(s)he was seen'

'(s)he works

'you should serve'

be?-gi-zu-g/-sa  (rare)
'if I see'

The details of the endoclitization strategy will be discussed in section3.3.3.

3.1.5 Suffixes - Enclitization

As has been said above, the major part of Udi grammatical morphemes is represented by suffixes or enclitics. Enclitics are restricted to personal agreement markers, e.g.

mo-no zu-z
prox-nom:abs I-1sg:s
'this is I'

zu s^ähär-ä t'eg/i-zu as^-b-esa

I:abs city-dat1 today-1sg work-lv:pres
'I [will] work in the city TODAY'.'

s^e-t'-in-ne s^o-t'-g/-oxo s^um-ax aq'-i

dist-sa:obl-erg dist-sa:obl-pl-abl bread-dat2 take-aor
'That one took the bread from them.'

The suffixing technique is illustrated by most of the examples given above. In the following two examples, you can observe the varying position of certain tense suffixes (both denote '(s)he became'):