Your Questions about Georgian Grammar

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Joined: 2015-04-20, 22:26

Re: Your Questions about Georgian Grammar

Postby Earwig » 2016-12-18, 7:44

I've recently started to study Georgian, and I'm completely befuddled by the object agreement affixes. Hewitt tells me that the 1P-subject and 2P object affix is გ-, so why is 'I love you' 'მიყვარხარ'? I presume that this is because 'ყვარ' is a 4th conjugation verb, and the subject and object cases are reversed, but I can't find any tables that make this clear. Also, what are the rules for which pre-radical vowel to use? Hewitt is extremely confusing and Kiziria elegantly side-steps the issue by not including any such sentences in her book.

Would it be possible for someone to post examples of all the possible permutations for direct objects for all four classes of (regular) verb in the present tense? (Including the ones that are the same for different subjects and objects; e.g. I see you, I see him, I see them, you see me, you see him, you see us, you see them, he sees me, he sees you......I like you, I like him, I like them, you like me, etc.)

I apologise for such an elementary question, but I'm really struggling to get my head around what the rules actually are.

Many thanks!

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Joined: 2009-04-18, 11:08

Re: Your Questions about Georgian Grammar

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2016-12-23, 16:22

Well, there's a reason for the confusion. A good third of Aronson's book is devoted to getting all this sorted out, there's no simple way to set it up. You also have to distinguish between direct objects and indirect objects / inverse subjects. The four verbal classes are also mostly a scholarly convention, you can analyze the system as having more classes.

The underlying object markers are:

sg. pl.
1. გვ
2. გ- -თ
3. Ø/ს/ჰ Ø/ს/ჰ -თ

As direct object markers the third person is always Ø- for both numbers.

As indirect object markers the third person plural is only -თ when the referent outranks a third person subject in class II (usually with an inanimate subject and animate indirect object; often these verbs only ever occur with an inanimate third person subject).

The third person singular markers also sometimes occur even though the verb doesn't have an indirect object.

Ø/ს/ჰ varies on the following sound; გ, ქ, კ, ყ and ფ have ჰ-, affricates and dental stops have ს-, vowels and the rest of the consonants have Ø.

The preradical vowels don't change in accordance with objects, but they can change in accordance with indirect objects and inverse subjects. In the first series it's always უ in the third person and ი elsewhere for class I, III and IV verbs, ე- for class II. Non-neutral preradical vowels like the locative version retain the original vowel, ვაწერ I write it on it.

Plural -თ overwrites singular -ს (including at the end of other suffixes, e.g., class I conjunctive -დეს + თ > -დეთ), and all plural suffixes overwrite plural -თ (like present screeve -ენ and aorist -ეს). The plural -თ in class IV subjects may not be marked with singular first and second person direct objects.

Singular ვ- can elide before preradical vowel უ- but usually doesn't.


Class I w. direct object
ხედავს sb. sees sb./sth.
E.g., მხედავთ you all see me

subj./d. obj. 1 sg. 1 pl. 2 sg. 2 pl. 3.
1 sg. - - გხედავ გხედავთ ვხედავ
1 pl. - - გხედავთ გხედავთ ვხედავთ
2 sg. მხედავ გვხედავ - - ხედავ
2 pl. მხედავთ გვხედავთ - - ხედავთ
3 sg. მხედავს გვხედავს გხედავს გხედავთ ხედავს
3 pl. მხედავენ გვხედავენ გხედავენ გხედავენ ხედავენ


Class I w. indirect object
უხედავს sb. sees sb.'s sth.
E.g., გიხედავთ წიგნებს we see your (sg.) books/I see your (pl.) books/we see your (pl.) books/he sees your (pl.) books

subj./id. obj. 1 sg. 1 pl. 2 sg. 2 pl. 3.
1 sg. - - გიხედავ გიხედავთ (ვ)უხედავ
1 pl. - - გიხედავთ გიხედავთ (ვ)უხედავთ
2 sg. მიხედავ გვიხედავ - - უხედავ
2 pl. მიხედავთ გვიხედავთ - - უხედავთ
3 sg. მიხედავს გვიხედავს გიხედავს გიხედავთ უხედავს
3 pl. მიხედავენ გვიხედავენ გიხედავენ გიხედავენ უხედავენ


Class II w. indirect object
ენახება sb.'s sth. is preserved
E.g., სახლი ძმებს ენახება(თ) the brothers' house is preserved (usually without the -თ; come to think of it I'm not sure if this particular verb ever occurs with first or second person subjects, but that's also what makes it a good candidate for allowing plural -თ of the indirect object, which would otherwise be blocked by the animacy of the subject)

subj./id. obj. 1 sg. 1 pl. 2 sg. 2 pl. 3. sg. 3. pl.
1 sg. - - გენახები გენახებით ვენახები ვენახები
1 pl. - - გენახებით გენახებით ვენახებით ვენახებით
2 sg. მენახები გვენახები - - ენახები ენახები
2 pl. მენახებით გვენახებით - - ენახებით ენახებით
3 sg. მენახება გვენახება გენახება გენახებათ ენახება ენახება(თ)
3 pl. მენახებიან გვენახებიან გენახებიან გენახებიან ენახებიან ენახებიან


Class III is structurally the same as class I.


Class IV w. direct object
უყვარს sb. loves sb./sth.

subj./obj. 1 sg. 1 pl. 2 sg. 2 pl. 3. sg. 3. pl.
1 sg. - - მიყვარხარ მიყვარხართ მიყვარს მიყვარს
1 pl. - - გვიყვარხარ გვიყვარხართ გვიყვარს გვიყვარს
2 sg. გიყვარვარ გიყვარვართ - - გიყვარს გიყვარს
2 pl. გიყვარვართ გიყვარვართ - - გიყვართ გიყვართ
3 sg. (ვ)უყვარვარ (ვ)უყვარვართ უყვარხარ უყვარხართ უყვარს უყვარს
3 pl. (ვ)უყვარვარ(თ) (ვ)უყვარვართ უყვარხარ(თ) უყვარხართ უყვართ უყვართ


(These are big tables, so let me know if anything looks weird, I may have made a typo.)

And then you also get things like stems suppletive for number of the direct object, verbs with -მო- infix in the first and second person, archaic, dialectal and poetic plural infix -ნ- in class I aorist verbs, etc. This probably isn't any less confusing than Hewitt, but maybe you can use the tables for something.

Posts: 38
Joined: 2015-04-20, 22:26

Re: Your Questions about Georgian Grammar

Postby Earwig » 2017-02-02, 4:52

HoneyBuzzard, thank you very much for your detailed reply. I appreciate it greatly. My apologies for not having responded sooner, but I've been very busy of late.
The tables are certainly less confusing than Hewitt, as he likes to bury most of his information in prose. It is refreshing to see various things I thought were the case (through agonised re-reading) spelt out in plain English.

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