Formation Pecularities and Structural-Semantic Analysis of Adverbial Participle and Converb in the Rutul Language



The verb in the Caucasian languages is a complex formation which determines a sentence’s actants form, i.e. its central part. The Rutul verb is also distinguished by the complexity of education, the development of forms, grammatical categories and features of functioning, however, verboids have not received proper here, the functional properties and syntactic features of adverbial participles and adverbial turns, which relate to a simple complicated sentence, then qualify as a subordinate clause, have not been studied either. Our work is devoted to the problems of forming the adverbial participle and the converb in the Rutul language. Rutul verb forms, lexico-semantic and functional properties of adverbs and converbs served as research material. Descriptive, component and distributive analysis were the main research methods.

General Information

Keywords: Caucasian languages, Rutul language, adverbial participle, verbal formations, converb, formation of adverbs

Journal rubric: General and Comparative Historical Linguistics

Article type: scientific article


Received: 01.09.2023


For citation: Makhmudova S.M. Formation Pecularities and Structural-Semantic Analysis of Adverbial Participle and Converb in the Rutul Language [Elektronnyi resurs]. Âzyk i tekst = Language and Text, 2023. Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 26–33. DOI: 10.17759/langt.2023100303.

Full text


The Rutul language is one of the newly written languages of the Caucasus, belonging to the Nakho-Dagestan group. According to the official census, there are about 35 thousand speakers of the Rutul language, according to unofficial data — about 100 thousand, since the large area of Rutuls in modern Azerbaijan to the north of the city of Sheki (including it) is also inhabited by Rutuls, indicated as Azerbaijanis. The village of Khnov is currently designated as a Lezgian village, as it is attributed for political reasons to the Lezgian Akhtyn district. Thus, the Rutuls can be attributed to the divided peoples, however, preserving their language, culture, literature and their national identity.

In the Rutul language, the verb forms include participle, adverbial, masdar, converb.

Converbs in the Rutul language are verb formations that express the semantics of the time of the relative (secondary) action accompanying the main action of the verb-predicate. In the specialized literature, such formations are also called temporary adverbs [7, pp. 308-310], in Dagestan linguistics, such formations are called «circumstantial words», «adverbs of time», «allied adverbs» [2, pp. 233-243], since the analyzed forms have the meaning of the time of the additional clarifying action. Converbs are non-finite forms of verbs, since they cannot be the syntactic vertex of a sentence in a sentence, however, each of the above designations of the studied non-finite verb form is valid in this case, since they perform the role of a circumstantial subordinate part of a compound sentence («circumstantial words»); denote the relative time of the concomitant action («adverbs of time»); in addition, the formants that make up the converbs perform the role of conjunctions linking the main and subordinate clauses («allied adverbs»). Nevertheless, there are serious reasons to distinguish the analyzed forms into a group separate from the adverbs, since the semantic-grammatical and syntagmatic characteristics of adverbs and adverbs differ.

I.A. Melchuk distinguishes semantic inflectional categories of absolute and relative time: absolute time characterizes the temporal localization of a given fact in relation to a speech act, relative time characterizes the temporal localization of a described fact in relation to another described fact mentioned independently [5, pp. 61-68]. Converses express relative time, against which the main time develops, during which the action, denoted by the verb of the main part of the sentence, takes place.

If the adverbial part usually combines the signs of a verb and an adverb, then in the Rutul language the adverbial part has the differential properties of a verb (expressing an action), an adverb (playing the role of a circumstance) and a union (serving as a formal means of combining two simple sentences into one complex sentence).

If we agree with the definition of a part of speech as lexico-grammatical classes that differ from each other by a set of lexical, morphological and syntactic features, as suggested by L.V. Shcherba, A.A. Shakhmatov, V.V. Vinogradov, etc. [1], this adverbial part of the Rutul language does not coincide with the adverb

  • by lexical characteristics: the meanings inherent in an adverb are not always realized by adverbs;
  • according to morphological characteristics: a) the adverbial part has suffixes — ра/ре in the adverbs of the imperfect form, -p — in the perfect form, — adverbs do not have such regular forms; b) the exponents of the class and numbers can act as part of the adverbial part:
    • сукьур «sitting down» — 1st class (class of men), 4th class, plural of 4th class — class of inanimate objects;
    • суркьур «sitting down» — 2nd class (class of women);
    • сувкьур «sitting down» — 3rd class (class of some animals and inanimate objects),
    • сыкьы «sitting down» (plural of classes 1 and 2, denoting people).

Adverbs do not change by class.

The inflectional category of the case is not peculiar to the adverbial part, adverbs in the Rutul language can change only by cases (эли «above» (in-essive) — элаа «above» (in-ablative));

  • according to syntactic characteristics: the role of the adverbial participle and adverb coincides here — they both act as a circumstance in the sentence, but the adverbial turn can form part of a complicated simple sentence as a secondary predicate, which is not typical of an adverb. In addition, the adverbs of the Rutul language can act as circumstances:
    • reasons (Лукур, изды гъил еде гьыъыри «Falling, I hurt my leg»);
    • method and mode of action (Араза, йаIхъ гьаъара, ихтилат гьыъыри гьадиклаа «Araz, laughing, told about it»);
    • time (За килхьере мадана, джываб хъидкьыри «While I was writing, the answer came»).

As the examples demonstrate, the adverbial part of the Rutul language has lexico-semantic categories of cause, method and mode of action and time. We were unable to identify adverbial participles and adverbial phrases in the studied language that have the semantics of goals, measures, degrees, places and directions, which also distinguishes the adverbial from the adverb.

Adverbs can also be consistent with the object/subject in a sentence, which is not typical of an adverb:

Сабинара, лаъ лурзур, лювшур хьыв, пай выъыри хынимешис

«Sabina, getting up, taking bread, divided it between the children»,

where the agent «Sabina» is consistent in the second female class with the adverbial лу-зур «getting up», and the object — хьыв «bread» — is reflected by its formant «-в-» in the word лю-шур «taking», consistent in the third class.

Thus, the form, functions and meaning of adverbs and adverbs are different, which does not allow us to consider adverbs as «circumstantial words», to which an adverb can also be attributed.

The definition of converbs as «allied adverbial parts» also seems unacceptable to us: there is no such part of speech in linguistics as the «allied adverbial part». Conjunctions are an official part of speech, while experts classify the adverbial part as a separate part of speech (Gvozdev, Zaliznyak, Miloslavsky, Babaytseva), then as a special verb form (Shansky, Tikhonov, etc.).

Let us consider the forms attributed in the scientific literature on the Rutul language to converbs and adverbs to establish their grammatical status.

The adverbial participle of the perfect form (single aspect) in the Rutul language has a formant -р, attached to the past participle form by dropping the participle suffix -д:

Table 1


Past Participle

Perfect Adverbial Participle

кихьи-с «write»

кихьи-д «written»

кихьи-р «writing»

сукьу-с «sit down»

сукьу-д «sat down»

сукьу-р «sitting down»

гьацIа-с «to understand, to learn»

гьацIы-д «learned, being learned, understood, being understood»

гьацIы-р «having understood, having learned»

лешу-с «take»

лешу-д «taken, being taken»

лешу-р «taking»

сата-с «leave»

саты-д «being left»

саты-р «leaving»

Complex and causative verbs also use the participle to form the adverbial part:

Table 2


Past Participle

Perfect Participle

мукI ваъа-с «dance»

мукI выъы-д «dancing»

мукI выъы-р «having danced»

йаIхъ гьаъа-с «laugh»

йаIхъ гьыъы-д «laughing»

йаIхъ гьыъы-р «having laughed»

кихьи-с вы-с «make to write»

кихьис вы-д «who made to write»

кихьис вы-р «having made to write»

сукьу-с вы-с «make, allow to sit down»

сукьу-д «who made, allowed to sit down»

сукьус вы-р «having made, allowed to sit down»

хаIаIр гьаъа-с вы-с «make, allow to learn»

хаIаIр гьаъа-с вы-д

«who allowed, made to learn»

 хаIаIр гьаъа-с вы-р

«having made, allowed to learn»

лешу-с вы-с «make, allow to take»

лешус вы-д «who allowed, made to take»

лешус вы-р «having made,

allowed to take»

сата-с вы-с «make to leave»

сата-с вы-д «who made to stay»

сатас вы-р «having made,

allowed to leave»

As the above material demonstrates, the perfect participle is formed from the form of the participle, which proves the primacy of the participle in relation to the adverbial participle — the adverbial part in the Rutul language develops on the basis of the participle, as it happened in the Russian language in the XVII century [8]. Furthermore, as the Rutul language material shows, the temporal forms of the verb are formed based on the adverbial participle:

Table 3

The Adverbial Participle of the Perfect form

Aorist of the Rutul verb

кихьир «having written»

кихьир-и «has written»

сукьур «having sat, having stayed»

сукьур-и «has sat, has stayed»

гьацIыр «having understood»

гьацIыр-и «has understood»

лешур «having taken»

лешур-и «has taken»

сатыр «having left»

сатыр-и «has left»

мукI выъыр «having danced»

мукI выъыр-и «has danced»

йаIхъ гьыъыр «having laughed»

йаIхъ гьыъыр-и «has laughed»

кихьис выр «having made to write»

кихьис выр-и «has made to write»

сукьус выр «having made, allowed to stay, sit down»

сукьус выр-и «has made, allowed to stay, sit down»

хаIаIр гьыъыр «having learned»

хаIаIр гьыъыр-и «has learned»

хаIаIр гьаъа-с вы-р «having made to learn»

хаIаIр гьаъа-с вы-р-и «has made to learn»

лешус выр «having made to take»

лешус выр-и «has made to take»

сатас выр «having made to leave»

сатас выр-и «has made to leave»


The question may arise: did the form of the adverbial participle come from the past participle or from the aorist verb form?

The argument of the origin of the adverbial participle based on the participle, and on the basis of the adverbial already some forms of verb tense according to the scheme

participle                adverbial                  verb tense forms

an imperfect adverbial form (multiple aspect) can also serve, which is still in the process of forming the imperfect verb form (constative), where the verb form is still in the process of formation, differing only in contextual semantics from the adverbial form:

  • силъэре «moving», «moves»;
  • ешере «crying», «cries»;
  • алгара «staying», «stays»;
  • гьалгара «talking», «talks»;
  • рухьура «speaking», «speaks», etc.

Here are examples of using homonymous forms of the adverbial participle and imperfect in sentences:

Вахара, тылыере видж кибтIус вылцIаардиш

Running, the dog does not allow itself to be tied down.


Тыла хыIбыд аа-уу вахара

The dog runs around the flock.


Решере, рыш ниныхда рахыри

Crying, the girl ran to her mother.


Ми рыш мыс-га решере

This girl is crying all the time.

As the examples show, the form of the adverbial part of the imperfect form and the form of the imperfect verb in the modern Rutul language coincide, differing only in context, indicating that the imperfect form is in the formative stage.

Further, from this form of the adverbial imperfect form (multiple aspect), various forms of verb tenses are formed with the help of auxiliary verbs a «locates, is», ай «was», мара (маба мада) «remains»:

Рыш решере а (решере ай; решере мара)

The girl is crying, (was crying; continues crying).


Тыла вахара а (вахара ай; вахара маба)

The dog is running (right at the moment).


Зас едере а (едере ай; едере мада)

I'm sick (right now), etc.

Thus, the adverbial participle of both types (aspects) can form the basis for the formation of the tense forms of the verb.

There are two forms of Rutul adverbial participle types —

  • perfect form (single aspect) with the formant -р:
    • кихьи «having written», гьухьу «having said», гьагу «having seen», etc.;
  • imperfect form (multiple aspect) with the formant -ра/ре:
    • килхье-ре «being in in the process of writing», рухьура «speaking», гьабгура «seeing», etc.

Converbs in the Rutul language are formed in the same way as the adverbial participle, based on the participle:

Table 4


Past Participle

Converbal forms

«written, who has written»

«as soon as I wrote»

«when I wrote»

Present Participle

Converbal forms

«the writer, the one what is being written», «the one who writes»

«as long as, as long as he writes, as long as is being written»

«break away from the writing process»; «almost wrote a letter»


The adverbs of the Rutul language differ from those of the Russian language in typological terms: if in the Russian language the adverbial part can be perfect and imperfect, that is, have two forms — having sat, sitting, playing, having played, denoting completed and ongoing actions, then in the Rutul language the adverbial part has several forms that convey the time intervals of the secondary action:

гьулхъара «playing», гьулхъара ана «still continuing to play», гьулхъара марана «while still continuing to play», гьулхъара ади (contracted form — гьулхъади) «while playing, during the game», гьулхъур мадана «as soon as I played», гьулхъур «having played».

Previously, we assigned these forms with auxiliary words to converbs [4], however, further analysis forces us to identify words with the auxiliary element ана, ади, мадана as adverbs, since the main word in the phrase is the established adverbial form. The same forms that we have identified as converbal (Table 4) are in the process of formation — they are still based on the participle form, but they already indicate the nuances of the course of action, which gives no reason to attribute them to the adverbial forms.

Thus, the structural-semantic and morphological analysis of adverbs, converbs and ways of their formation leads to several conclusions:

  • the system for creating verboid forms has a scheme:

                              Participle           Adverbial Participle



  • the adverbial participle in the Rutul language is an independent part of speech that has its own inflectional categories of class and number, tense, word-formation categories of causative, version, transitivity/intransitivity, aspect (type);
  • converbs in the Rutul language are a special verb form that has inflectional categories of class, number and formed in the same way as the adverbial participle based on the participle (in the Avar language, for example, as P.G. Paizulaeva writes, the adverbial participle is formed on the basis of the infinitive [6]);
  • adverbs and adverbs of the Rutul language are formed on the basis of participles;
  • the process of forming adverbs in the Rutul language has not yet been completed and is in the formative stage.


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  4. Makhmudova S.M. Morfologiya rutul'skogo yazyka. 2001. Moscow: Sovetskii pisatel'. 256 p. (In Russ.).
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  6. Paizulaeva P.G. Deeprichastie v avarskom yazyke: avtoref. diss. … kand. filol. nauk. 2009. Makhachkala. 22 p. (In Russ.).
  7. Teoriya funktsional'noi grammatiki / pod red. A.V. Bondarko. 2001. Moscow: URSS. 352 p. (In Russ.).
  8. Khashkhozheva Z.T. Strukturno-semanticheskaya i funktsional'naya paradigma deeprichastiya v kabardino-cherkesskom yazyke: avtoref. diss. … kand. filol. nauk. 2018. Nal'chik. 28 p. (In Russ.).
  9. Chesnokova L.D. Sovremennyi russkii yazyk. 2001 (In Russ.).

Information About the Authors

Svetlana M. Makhmudova, Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Department of Linguodidactics and Intercultural Communication at the Institute of Foreign Languages, Modern Communications and Management, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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