Georgian: A Learners Grammar (Routledge Essential Grammars)

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The components of a Georgian verb form occur in the following order:. Preverbs can add either directionality or an arbitrary meaning to the verb. To this extent they resemble the derivational prefixes of Slavic verbs. For example, while mi -vdivar means "I am going", mo -vdivar means "I am coming".

Preverbs appear in the future, past and perfective screeves; they are generally absent in the present screeves. One, two or three grammatical persons can be indicated in the Georgian verb. The performer of an action is called the subject or the agent, and affected persons are patients or objects indirect or direct.

Georgian A Learner's Grammar 2nd New edition

The category of number singular or plural is also indicated. To indicate subjects and objects the special markers are used, which are listed in the following tables. S2 and O3 marker h- evolved from earlier x- which is first attested in 5th century. In the case of v-ts'er- t , ts'er t , and ts'er- en , the - t and - en are the subject plurality markers. In the case of g-i-nd-a- t and u-nd-a- t , the - t is the plural marker. The polypersonalism of Georgian verb allows to express the involvement of action participants in very compact way. For example, while it takes four words to say "I wrote them it" in English "I" being the subject, "it" being the direct object, "them" being the indirect object , in Georgian this can be said in one word davuts'ere.

Although it should be noted: compared to " phonemes ", " morphemes ", and " syllables ", "words" are a much more difficult concept to define clearly at least in a cross-linguistically meaningful way.

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Therefore, comparisons of "compactness" in terms of "words" may not have a clear scientific or logical meaning. That is, comparing the Georgian davuts'ere and the English "I wrote them it", the English is only a single phoneme longer 9 to the Georgian 8 phonemes within the language's sound-system, the ts' is a single phoneme , and they both have 4 syllables. If English were simply spelled differently ie, more phonemically, and without spaces, for example: " ayrotdhemit " , no striking difference at all would appear to an ignorant layman.

Right after the nominal marker can come a "version" marker. Version markers are semantically diverse. They can add either an unpredictable lexical meaning to the verb, or a functional meaning including causativity, passive voice, subjective version, objective version and locative version. The length of the verb root typically ranges from one to seven phonemes, with the longest root consisting of Some consist of consonants only. The common root of the verbs meaning 'open', 'receive', 'take', and 'take a picture' is - gh -. Some derivations of -gh- are seen in the sentences mi -v- i -gh- e ts'erili , 'I received the letter' and ga-a- gh-eb k'ars , 'you will open the door' derivational affixes are bolded.

In Georgian, two morphological means of converting a transitive verb to an intransitive verb or to passive voice are to add - d - to the end of the verb root or to add the version marker - i - see the discussion of version markers elsewhere in this article. The language has eight kinds of thematic suffixes also sometimes known as present-future stem formants or PFSF. When the suffixal passive marker is absent, one of these suffixes can be placed right after the root of the verb.


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With these suffixes the verbs gain arbitrary meanings. Thematic suffixes are present in the present and future screeves, but are absent in the past and mostly absent in the perfective screeves. For example, the root of the verb "build" is - shen -. In order to say "I am building", we have to add the thematic suffix - eb - to the end of the root: v-a-shen- eb v - meaning that the doer is the first person v - set nominal marker , a is the versioner, shen is the root, and eb is the thematic suffix.

In English, causativity is predominantly expressed syntactically, by the phrase, 'make someone verb' , whereas in Georgian it is expressed morphologically. The causative marker obligatorily cooccurs with the version marker -a-. There is no single causative marker in Georgian. The transitive verbs which employ the v - set use the suffixal nominal marker - s - as in a-shen-eb- s , ts'er- s for the third person singular in present and future screeves. The auxiliary verb is only used in the present indicative and perfective screeves of indirect verbs and in the perfective screeve of transitive verbs when the direct object is first or second person s these are situations, where the m - set is used for the subject of the verb, and, therefore, v - set is used to indicate the direct object.

The auxiliary verb is the same verb as to be in present screeve. Depending on which set of nominal markers is employed, the appropriate plural suffix is added. It can refer to either subject or object. An examples of referring to objects would be miq'var-xar- t "I love you plural " and miq'var-a- n ' "I love them". In addition to the possible auxiliary verb in the verb complex, there are also separate ones.

Just as in English, Georgian language has the auxiliary verbs, such as want , must have to and can. Word order in Georgian is not very strict. One common sentence structure features the sequence subject - indirect object - direct object - verb. This sentence could also occur with the constituent order subject - verb - direct object - indirect object.

Since the verb encodes information about all these arguments, any of them can always be dropped see pro-drop , null subject. It is not uncommon for pronoun arguments to be dropped. For example:. Those tag questions which expect an affirmative answer may employ the particle xom in second position within the sentence.

These sentences contain an -a suffixed to the word amindi 'weather'.

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It is a reduced form of the verb aris , 'is'. Note that the tag question in Georgian does not include any of the three recognized negative particles see subsection, "Negation" ; the particle xom by itself conveys the meaning. However, if the answer expected is negative, then a negative particle and the full form aris are added right after xom :. There is a particle, tu , which can be used to make a question more polite.

The particle tu has many meanings in Georgian; in this context it cannot be exactly translated to English. Interrogative adjectives and interrogative pronouns are declined differently. An example of an interrogative adjective in English is which , as in " which city do you like the most?

There are three kinds of negation particles in Georgian: ar , 'not', ver , 'cannot', and nu , 'do not!. Investing in a good course book, such as Ellinika A or Epikinoniste Ellinika is probably all you need.

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They include CDs which will help you memorize slow Greek dialogues and eventually use these sentences and their structure to your speaking as well. By mimicking the audio from the CDs while looking at the text, you start forming those important first sentences which help you internalize the structure of Greek. You can record yourself speaking either repeating the sentences you learned or making sentences of your own with the vocabulary you learn. The sense of community is definitely encouraging as well and I know that some Greek learners had memorable moments from taking part to challenges.

Language centres or university language departments are great places to look for language exchanges. Traditionally, Greek is taught with lots of grammar included. This is true for native speakers as well. We do learn grammar starting from the elementary school.

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You might love conjugations. Or you even want to have a grammar book for your reference. Do you want to learn Greek because you love all things Greek? I like you already. As with any culture, keep your mind open to experience how life really is as you progress in your learning. This always benefits your learning, no matter the language. And if you find that learning Greek is really for you, be assured that it is a journey well worth it.

Great post, Danae.

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I finally started today. Enjoying the experience so far. Thank you for doing this, could you please clarify the difference and use of: An Essential Grammar Routledge Essential Grammars as there is a blue comprehensive and the red essential, there is also a green modern one which is best for becoming fluent in modern greek? I find the conversational approach really compelling.

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They had NO trouble understanding it. The only difference appears to be pronunciation and inflection markings. Do you have suggestions for how to study both modern Greek and Koine at the same time without melting my brain? Let's be friends on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.


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By Ian Hinchliffe , Philip Holmes. This fully revised third edition of Swedish: An Essential Grammar incorporates changes proposed to Swedish grammar by Svenska Akademiens grammatik. Examples have been fully updated and the bibliography has been expanded. Swedish: An Essential Grammar provides a fresh and accessible description of…. By Gerald Nelson. English: An Essential Grammar is written specifically for native speakers, beginning with the basics and going on to deal with phrase, clause and sentence structure, word formation and spelling.

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