Chechen and English/Contrastive Grammar

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Gender of Pronouns

In Chechen, there is no distinction of male/female gender in pronouns; instead of distinction between subject/object/possessive, all pronouns are assigned case tags.

  • (che) Ас → (eng) I
(che) ас<prn><pers><p1><sg><erg> → (eng) I<prn><pers><p1><mf><sg><subj>
  • (che) иза → (eng) he
(che) иза<prn><pers><p3><sg><abs> → (eng) he<prn><pers><p3><m><sg><subj>

Copular Verb

In Chechen, copular verb has noun-class distinctions, and no number nor person distinction. But in English it's the opposite: number and person distinction exists but not non-class distinction.

  • (che) сан цӀе Иван ю → (eng) My name is Ivan
(che) сан<prn><pers><p1><sg><gen> цӀе<n><cl_j><abs><sg> Иван<np><ant><abs><sg> ю<v><cpl><pres><cl_j> → (eng) my<prn><pers><p1><mf><sg><pos> name<n><sg> is<vbser><pres><p3><sg> Ivan<np><ant><m><sg>
  • (che) машина керла ю. → (eng) The car is new.
(che) машина<n><cl_j><abs><sg> керла<adj> ю<v><cpl><pres><cl_j> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> car<n><sg> is<vbser><pres><p3><sg> new<adj><sint>

Word Order

English is a SVO language and Chechen is a SOV language, which means both lexical verbs and copular verbs occur sentence-finally.

  • (che) сан цӀе Иван ю. → (eng) My name is Ivan.
(che) сан<prn><pers><p1><sg><gen> цӀе<n><cl_j><abs><sg> Иван<np><ant><abs><sg> ю<v><cpl><cl_j> → (eng) my<prn><pers><p1><mf><sg><pos> name<n><sg> is<vbser><pres><p3><sg> Ivan<np><ant><m><sg>
  • (che) Ас бепиг дина. → (eng) I made bread.
(che) Ас<prn><pers><p1><sg><erg> бепиг<n><cl_j><abs><sg> дина<v><tv><pres><pf> → (eng) I<prn><pers><p1><mf><sg><subj> made<vblex><past> bread<n><sg>

Progressive Construction

In English, the progressive construction has copular verbs preceding the progressive participle; in Chechen, it is the opposite.

  • (che) со бепиг деш ву → (eng) I am making bread
(che) со<prn><pers><p1><abs><sg> бепиг<n><cl_j><abs><sg> деш<v><tv><prog><ptcp> ву<v><cpl><pres><cl_v> → (eng) I<prn><pers><p1><mf><sg><subj> am<vbser><pres><p1><sg> making<vblex><pprs> bread<n><sg>
  • (che) цициг шура молуш ду → (eng) the cat is drinking milk
(che) цициг<n><cl_d><abs><sg> шура<n><cl_u><abs><sg> молуш<v><tv><prog><ptcp> ду<v><cpl><pres><cl_d> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> cat<n><sg> is<vbser><pres><p3><sg> drinking<vblex><pprs> milk<n><sg>

Recent/remote Distinction in Past Tense

There is a remote/recent distinction within past tense in Chechen but it does not exist in English.

  • (che) Заремас суна чай доьтти → (eng) Zarema poured me some tea.
(che) Заремас суна чай доьтти<v><tv><past><rec> → (eng) Zarema poured<vblex><past> me some tea.
  • (che) Заремас суна чай доьттира → (eng) Zarema poured me some tea.
(che) Заремас суна чай доьттира<v><tv><past><rem> → (eng) Zarema poured<vblex><past> me some tea.