Semantics Of Indirect Moods In Russian And Kalmyk Languages: Comparative Analysis


The article studies the semantics of indirect moods in the Kalmyk and Russian languages. The subject of research is comparative analysis of categorical meanings of indirect moods and their contextually determined semantic features in the Kalmyk and Russian languages. The purpose of the work is to identify semantic patterns which create a complex structure of the system of indirect moods in Kalmyk and Russian, to describe the grammatical meaning of their forms using literary works by Russian and Kalmyk writers extracted from the National Corpus of Russian and Kalmyk languages. The category of mood in both languages is a system of opposing mood forms and their categorical meanings which are a complex unity of interrelated parts. The main semantic feature of moods is modal differentiation. In both languages, there are two similar moods: indicative and imperative ones. Each mood has its own categorical meaning: reality (indicative), inclination (imperative), assumption and possibility (subjunctive), desire and intention (optative), warning and fear (apprehensive). Indirect moods differ from each other in morphological features, reference to specific individuals. All of them can have various aspects of meanings and a dominant modal meaning. Data from the National Corpus of the Russian and Kalmyk languages were used as research materials.

Keywords: KalmykRussianverbimperativehortativejussive


In the morphological system, the Russian and Kalmyk verb has a grammatical category of mood - a system of opposing forms expressing the “attitude of action to reality” (Russian grammar 1980, p. 80) and their categorical meanings. It expresses modality. There are various modal meanings: reality / unreality, possibility / impossibility, desirability / undesirability of the action, confidence / uncertainty, doubtfulness, assumption (Kharchevnikova, 1995).

There are a lot of researches on the Mongolian verbal moods (Sanzheev, 1963; Tsydendambaev, 1979; Doraeva, 1983; Kharchevnikova, 1995, 2002; Kuzmenkov, 1984; Omakaeva, 2005; Prokhorov, 2009). Semantics of moods of the Russian verbs is of special interest (Plungyan, 2000; Gusev, 2013, Dobrushina, 2016)

The system of forms of indirect moods in the Russian and Kalmyk languages is organized by contrasting the following forms:

The forms of the imperative: the main forms are second person singular and plural forms: бич, су, шиид (пиши, сиди, реши); бичтн, суутн, шиидтн (пишите, сидите, решите).

Two person singular forms in the Russian language are derived from the stem of the present / simple future tense verbal forms in two ways:

1) affixing -и to the stem of the present tense: a) to the –j-stem, with an emphasis on flexion in the first person singular: спешу – спеши, говорю – говори , иду – иди , плыву – плыви ; b) to the j-stem from the infinitive ending in -ить : доить – дою – дои ; c) with an emphasis on the stem ending in consonants: исполню – исполни, возникну – возникни, запомню – запомни ; d) with an emphasis on the prefix: вынесу – вынеси, выскажу – выскажи , etc. In some verbs, the following variants are possible высуни and высунь, морщи and морщь , уведоми and уведомь .

2) without suffixes: a) from the stem of the present tense ending in a pair-hard consonant, an imperative form ending in a pair-soft consonant is derived. Hard and soft consonants alternate: сядут – сядь, встанут – встань, будут – будь ; b) from the stem ending in a pair-soft hissing consonant -j or -g in the imperative mood, there is no alternation in the stem ending: бросят – брось, мажут – мажь, жуют – жуй, лягут – ляг.

In some cases, there are the following features of imperative mood formation: a) the infinitive suffix -ва-, disappearing in the present tense form, is restored in the imperative form: узнавать – узнаю – узнавай, вставать – встаю – вставай ; b) verbs with –и-roots and all their prefixal derivatives ( бить, лить, выбить, отлить , etc.) in the form of an imperative have a stem with -ей : бей, лей, выбей, отлей ; c) the imperative from isolated verbs is derived in a special way: есть – ешь, ехать – поезжай, лечь – ляг ; d) forms of the imperative are different for unidirectional and multidirectional motion verbs: везти – везут – вези, возить – возят – вози; лететь – летают – лети, летать – летают – летай .

There are verbs which cannot form the second person singular: a) verbs expressing untargeted actions and states: поизноситься, значить, наличествовать, стоить, подзабыть, мочь ; b) verbs expressing processes independent on the will of the subject or other persons: болеть, седеть, чернеть, видеть, слышать ; c) impersonal verbs: знобит, светает, морозит .

In Kalmyk, the second person singular coincides with the stem of the verb, and it is formed by a zero affix: йов (иди), кел (скажи), хәлә (смотри). The form of a simple imperative is considered the most universal verbal category: almost all the languages express this meaning in one way or another. Moreover, in many languages the imperative has a zero indicator, i.e. it coincides with the stem of the verb (see Gusev 2005).

The second person plural forms in Russian are formed by adding affixes to singular forms -те : спеши-те, мажь-те, пей-те, бросай-те . In the reflexive verbs, the affix is followed by -ся : молиться – молись – молитесь, стараться – старайся – старайтесь, мужаться – мужайся – мужайтесь .

In Kalmyk, the second-person plural form is formed with the help of the affix -тн attached to the verbal stem: адh-тн (hurry), уу-тн (drink), хай-тн (throw), уулh-тн (make drink), хаюл-тн (make throw), хайлц-тн (help to throw), таш бәрлдтн (grab).

To express inclination for the first and third persons, forms of the present and future tenses are used.

Forms of the first person plural of the present and future tenses in inducing speeches express an appeal or invitation of a speaker addressed to other people to act together. The imperative meaning in Russian is expressed with the help of affix -те , which is added to perfect verbs: раскроем(те), уедем(те), напишем(те) and imperfect forms of unidirectional movement verbs: летим(те), едем(те), бежим(те) , etc. Imperfective verbs of other semantic groups express a joint action by the forms of the complex future tense: будем(те) копать, будем(те) вставать , etc.

The joint action form is also expressed using a combination of -те with the first person singular or plural forms or with an infinitive: давай(те) простим, давай(те) раскроем, давай(те) бороться .

In the Kalmyk language, the same meaning of invocation, invitation to joint action is expressed the 1st person plural with affix -ий (-ия),-й : келий , өргий , хәй which is included in the hortative system.

Inclination can be attributed to the third person and expressed by a combination of particles пусть ( пускай ) and да with the third person singular of the present and future simple tenses: пусть позвонит, пусть поёт, пусть придёт, да пребудет в веках , etc. In this situation, the speaker's will is transferred to the subject through the interlocutor.

The imperative can be combined with affix -ка , expressing request, determination, etc. depending on the intonation.

In the Kalmyk language, inclination addressed to the 3rd person is expressed by affixes( -тха, -тхә ): ирг – иртхә , тоолг – тоолтха ), etc. This form of inclination is included in the system of the optative mood (jussive).

The subjunctive moods (in Russian) are formed by adding бы to the past tense form of the verb. They vary in gender and number. The place of бы is inconstant: it can stand after the verb, before the verb or separately from it: я пошёл бы, я бы пошёл, я бы охотно пошёл . The variant -б: is used in the position after the word ending in a vowel: Гвозди б делать из этих людей, крепче не было в мире гвоздей (N. Tikhonov). Строжайше б запретил я этим господам на выстрел подъезжать к столицам (A. Griboedov). In the Kalmyk language, there is no subjunctive.

The composition of the optative mood (in Kalmyk) includes: a) the form of the optative of the first person singular with affixes -са, -сә attached to the stem of the verb (: йовса , келсә , etc. It is used without personal predicative particles; b) the form of the optative of the first person singular and plural with affixes, -су/-сү and personal predicative particles: үзлго одсв , сурсвидн ; c) jussive forms of the third person with parallel existing affixes: -г -тха/- -тхә : сууг – суутха , келг – келтхә , etc .; d) the first person plural hortative with affixes -й, -ий/-ия without personal predicative particles: хәләй , сурий , йовий .

The apprehensives (in Kalmyk language) are formed by joining affixes -вза, -взә ( -уза, -үзә ) to the verb stem: унвзав, унвзач, унвза , унвзавидн, унвзат, унвза . “Unlike other indirect moods, the apprehensives do not have specific personal numeric semantics and are capable of adding concordant personal numerical indicators which are also characteristic of finite indicatives” (Prokhorov, 2009).

Thus, to express various meanings of indirect moods in both languages, synthetic (in Russian) and analytical forms are used. In the Kalmyk language, the forms of moods are formed with the help of special affixes, and in Russian for this purpose, the present and future tense forms are used in various combinations. The role of intonation, context, particles, introductory words, etc. is significant.

Problem Statement

There are direct and indirect moods: imperative, subjective (in Russian), hortative, optative, jussive, apprehensive (in Kalmyk). “Using indirect moods, the speaker expresses different attitudes the reality. The diversity of these relations determines the diversity of paradigms of indirect moods in different languages”.

Research Questions

The subject of research is comparative analysis of categorical meanings of indirect moods and their contextually determined semantic features in the Kalmyk and Russian languages.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the work is to identify semantic patterns which create a complex structure of the system of indirect moods in Kalmyk and Russian, to describe the grammatical meaning of their forms using literary works by Russian and Kalmyk writers extracted from the National Corpus of Russian and Kalmyk languages (NCRL, NCKL).

Research Methods

The main research methods were:

1. Opposition used for studying the grammatical meaning of the indirect moods based on their intrinsic opposition properties within the system.

2. Semantic functional analysis used to identify the semantic potential of categorical forms of moods.

3. Descriptive method and direct observation used to study contact forms and means.


The Imperative

An imperative expresses will, order, request or advice (Bondarko, 1976; Khrakovsky, 1990; Forteyn, 2008). The imperative expresses various shades of inclination addressed to the interlocutor. The shades of meaning expressed by this mood are very diverse. Depending on the context and intonation, they can represent a whole range of meanings (categorical order, advice, persuasive request). V.Yu. Gusev describes “four types of imperative forms: their ability to express the meanings of order, desire, intent, obligation” (Gusev, 2005).

The analysis of the stimulating situation is based on the speaker’s dependence on the interlocutor, when the speaker realizes possibility or impossibility of the interlocutor performing the action to which the speaker induces him. This makes it possible to distinguish categorical, softened and neutral inclination. Each type is represented by variants, modal shades, which, in combination with the main categorical meaning, constitute the semantic features of the imperative.

The initial form of the imperative, the second person singular form, expresses inclination to action addressed to the interlocutor.

The dependence of the interlocutor on the speaker is typical of the categorical mood. Inclination is expressed as requirement, order, prohibition.

The modal meaning of order is basic among the variants of categorical mood. It is expressed within a context:

a) in both languages, categorical order to fulfill the will of the speaker in the second person singular and plural is expressed with an imperative. In Russian, the expressive nature of inclination is most clearly manifested in the imperfect imperative: Дымовой дых-тяг, Воздуха береги ! . Пыши , машина, шибче-ка, Вовек чтоб не смолкла… . Хәй, тер hанз авад, нанд тәмк нерҗ өг , тер ирсн улст тәмк өг . - Эй, возьми вон трубку и набей её табаком для меня, заодно дай табак пришедшим ;

b) on the other hand, in the Russian language, the perfect imperative is more categorical than imperfect verbs: Подойди сюда, Тебе не мелко?

In both languages, the modal meaning of order is related to the temporal reference of inclination to the near future and is expressed by circumstances сейчас же (минь ода), немедленно (түдл уга), etc.: Лариосик! Живо несите подушку и одеяло. Кладите на диван . Ду hарл уга, минь ода көшуртм арвн арслд ас ! - Без разговоров, сейчас же отдай десять рублей за мою ось .

c) in Russian, there is a group of verbs with the lexical meaning of inclination to immediate action: давай дуй, валяй, жapь, шпарь , etc. . .. Шпарь как давеча . Дуй прямиком, чтоб аж пятки влипали !

A modal attribute of categorical demand accompanied by formidable, angry command is realized in the following context:

a) a group of verbs крикнуть (хәәкрх), приказать (закх), рассердиться (уурлх), etc .: Ступай ! – княгиня приказала. Эн сөөни бийднь күргәд, хәрү ир , – гиҗ хурлын ахлач закв. “В эту же ночь отвези и вернись, – приказал настоятель.

b) with introductory words (гинәв), слышишь (соңсҗанч) making the utterance persistent: Говорю тебе – не пой молебствия / Проволочным твоим лучам. Дәкәд дүлә, келкә, сохр күн кевтә бә – сонсҗанч , эсклә. - Потом живи как глухой, немой, слепой человек, слышишь, а не то...

c) verbs with similar meanings of sending away: выйди вон (hарч әрл), исчезни с глаз (үзгдл уга од), etc .: Изменники кричали: не стреляйте, выходите вон... государь здесь . Нә, hар ! Хотндм бичә бә ! Үзгдл уга од ! - Ну, выйди! Не живи в моём хотоне! Сгинь с глаз!

d) an introductory word я тебя (чама-аг) in combination with restrictive concessive particle только (зуг) expressing threat: Ты у меня пикни только. Чамаг, зогсҗатн зуг, кишго нохас! “Я вас, ну погодите, нечестивые собаки!”

In the Russian language, in a number of phraseological utterances with generalized personal uses of the imperative in combination with хоть, the meaning of categorical inclination (threat, order, demand) is weakened and the meaning of obligation to perform the action is expressed both for the interlocutor and for the speaker: Хоть ложись, да помирай; хоть беги; хоть вешайся .

Prohibition is expressed in both languages by

a) negative imperative forms: Не заходите, она спит... Не беспокойте её. Зуг күүкм эднә hарт бичә үлдә. Только не оставляй здесь мою дочь. Возьми её с собой.

b) in Russian colloquial speech, prohibition is expressed by the perfect imperative: Брось! – резко сказал Егор. И ещё раз сказал: «Брось. Садись” = (do not take). П оговор и мне ещё! Дубина = (do not tell). Жди от него помощи, как же; by the generic-personal use: Ему и слова никто не скажи . И возразить не смей. - the meaning of prohibition, inability to perform an action is targeted at the speaker.

The form -чк (a complex suffix resulted from the merging of the suffix of the connecting participle and the remainder of the auxiliary verb оркх (-к) meaning to immediately take an action by command, order of the speaker belongs to the categorical inclination in the Kalmyk language: Йов, одад Чуучаг дуудчк .

Repetition of the the imperative verb enhances the meaning of the categorical action which the interlocutor must perform: Ну, довольно! Ступайте, ступайте домой . Тадн йовтн, шулуhар йовтн. Усан обозд күргҗ өгтв, – гиҗ келв . - Выезжайте быстро, езжайте, отвезите воду к обозу, – сказал.

As for softened inclination, the speaker depends on the will of the interlocutor or interlocutors who might perform or not perform the action. The dependence of the speaker on the interlocutor is emphasized by the presence of: a) verbs introducing softened command просить (сурх), умолять, упрашивать (эрх-сурх), уговаривать (эвлх): Ээҗ, мана гем, – гиҗ Болд эвлнә , зуг бичә ууль - Наша вина, бабушка, – уговаривает её Болд, – только не плачь.

b) speech verbs mitigating behavior: говорить (гих), сказать (келх), etc .: Что тебе в смерти барского дитяти? Отпусти его, за него тебе выкуп дадут, – сказал Савельич. Дарук күүкнь бас торh, булһ асрҗ ас гив (Kalmyk fairy tales). “Следующая дочь его сказала, – Мне тоже шелка и соболя привези .”.

c) verbs of request: помоги (нөкд бол), поддержи (дөң бол), защити (харсҗ ав), etc.: Харсҗ ава-аа! .. гисн дун улм өөд авч чашкурдад, деер авч җиңнв. - Спаси-ите! .. нёсся истошный вопль, который всё более становился пронзительным.

A request is expressed with other grammatical means:

a) perfect verbs (in the Russian language) expressing a stable request: не забудь(те) (бичә марттн), не покинь(те) (бичә хайтн), не оставь(те) (бичә үлдәтн), etc.: И поила я вас, и кормила я вас, не покиньте меня, в мой последний час - И поила я вас, и кормила я вас, не покиньте меня, в мой последний час.

b) ну-constructions (Kalmyk не, нә, альков): Ну , ребята, – умолял комендант, – теперь отворяй ворота, бей в барабан. Альков , кишгтә улс, күүкән нанд үзүлцхәтн - А ну-ка, счастливчики, покажите мне свою дочь.

c) a neutral form: Идём, ребята, разбудим его - Come on, guys, wake him up. Валите-ка вы, лебеди белогрудые, по-холодочку. Үрвәд күрәд ир, би одад, хот белднәв. - Ты не спеша подойди, я пойду и приготовлю обед.

d) a polite form пожалуйста (буйн болтха): Вон там, пожалуйста, сними пушини - Over there, please take off the fluffs; Сектн, буйн болтха, даарад үкҗ йовнав, – гиҗ Бамб Цецг хәрү огчәнә; “Откройте, пожалуйста, я замерзаю, – ответил Бамба Цецег. Вон там, пожалуйста, сними пушинки. Сектн, буйн болтха, даарад үкҗ йовнав, – гиҗ Бамб Цецг хәрү огчәнә. – Откройте, пожалуйста, я замерзаю, – ответил Бамба Цецег.

A request is persistent if there is no denial in the context: Не-ет ! Руки-ноги есть? – Иди , голубь, работай - Nah! Do you have arms and legs? - Go dove, work. Дәәнә цагт цергт мордсн, тылд көдлсн әдл чиңгтә – Уга , намаг йовултн !. - Во время войны одинаково важно быть на фронте или работать в тылу. – Нет, отправьте меня!

The neutral type of inclination assumes a situation of mutual independence of the speaker and the interlocutor, the latter’s greatest freedom. These are simple inclination, advice, invitation, permission, ironic inclination, etc. Unlike the semantics of categorical and softened inclination, variants of neutral inclination imply direction of action to the interlocutor:

1) Simple inclination, i.e. suggestion to perform an action is expressed by ну (Kalmyk не, нә ) and a group of verbs: бери(те) – ав(тн), покушай(те) – ид(тн), and others meaning the ability to take, receive something given by somebody: Нә, ода чи хамг hазр деер бәәсн юмна келиг меддг болвч, ода нан деер сууҗ ав , хоюрн ик уулын өөр бәәдг маңhсиг оч дархмн (Kalmyk tale). - Ну, ты научился понимать язык всех живых существ на земле, садись на меня, вместе полетим уничтожить чудовище, которое живёт у большой горы.

2) Advice and edification that indicate the advisability of committing an action which is useful for the interlocutor: Старайтесь спать не меньше 8 часов. Не плюй в колодец, пригодится вода напиться. Ахан ал д күндл , дүүhән делм күндл (Proverb). “ Старшего брата почитай на сажень, а младшего – на полсажени”.

3) Permission as neutral inclination is presented in the context where this form of imperative mood is preceded by a request or a question of the interlocutor: Санҗ, арhлад, нег зөв кеhәд, нанд тер көшүрән өгтн ; – Чи тер һаза бәәсн шитмд һас кесн өрәсн подуск уга хар модн көшүр авч одад, авад ир гиҗ келәд, Санҗ Манҗд көшүрән авх зөв өгнә . Санджи, решите сами, дайте мне ту ось. – Ты возьми дубовую ось без одного костыля которая служит подпоркой того плетня, а потом принеси, – Санджи позволил Манджи взять ось.

4) Invitation has no external lexical indicators. It is characterized only by belonging to certain situations that can be expressed by verbs expressing invitation войти, сесть, посмотреть , etc.: входи(те) – ор(тн), сади(те)сь – суу(тн), смотри(те) – хәлә(тн), etc.: Приходи к нему лечиться и корова, и волчица, и жучок, и червячок, и медведица . Теперь отдыхай! Уж не ступит нога в твоё позлащённое стремя . Энүнәс хооран, Василий, нааран мана тал ирҗә . Ортн, наартн, суутн .

5) Wishes, calls: Одно желанье: останься ты со мной! Небес я не томил молитвою другою. Разворачивайтесь в марше. Әмд насндан өвчнә хог, өрнә хог хойрас холд йов , – гив. Үүнәс хооран кооперативн көдлмшт орлцтн . Впредь участвуйте в работе кооперативов!

In Russian, the imperative combined with a particle -бы () expresses desirability of an action: Громом бы их сожги! . Разорви бы тому живот, кто неправдой живёт .

6. Ironic inclination belongs to one of the variants of neutral inclination: Russian polite forms sounding ironic - не изволь(те) беспокоиться, не откажи(те) в любезности. Кричи шибче, чтобы соседи услыхали, коли стыда в тебе нет . Нәәмн, чамаг шавхртан күртәхәр бәәнә, аман аңһаҗа . Түүндчн болхла, нохаснь чамас үнтә. - Так и собирается Нямин, отдавать тебе остатки пищи, открой рот пошире. Ему его собаки дороже тебя.

The form of the second person plural imperative in both languages is the polite norm used when addressing to the second person singular. It is a common polite and official appeal: Вы неверьте ему, – говорила она, обращаясь к гостю... - You do not believe him, she said, addressing the guest .. . Бальҗрма Сумьяновна, сууҗ автн , би таниг дурта һазрттн күргнәв . - Бальжирма Сумьяновна, садитесь , я вас доставлю куда хотите .

As part of the sentence, the imperative meaning is specified in each type of inclination and their variants. All shades of inclination are created by intonation, lexical meaning of the verb, speech situation and various particles:

1) In Russian, particles да, же, characteristic of colloquial speech, express perseverance, and affix -ка gives expresses familiarity: Илья Фомич, поезжай-ка ты сам. Да сними хоть кожух! – сказал, наконец Тарас. Василиса Егоровна, уведи же её поскорей;

Particle смотри in combination with imperfect verbs expresses categorical inclination: demand, order, etc., and with perfect verbs, it expresses “intensified warning: Смотри, не проговорись (Vinogradov, 1972). In the imperative mood, the types of inclination and their variants are differentiated on the basis of specific verb meanings.

2) In the Kalmyk language, the imperative form added to affirmative particle enhances modal shades of command, threat, request, invitation: Альков, юн гиҗ келсән давтлчн , – болҗ эгч Ютта отхн көвүнүрн шүрүлкв . Келмрч бслхла, мини хойр сурврт хәрү өглтн (Kalmyk tales).

Imperative particles -и, -хн form softened and neutral inclination (convincing request, persistent exhortation, invitation, etc.): Ик хар дор чиигтә арс делгич, мини көл дор өвдгцә һуйр асхич, – гинә (Kalmyk tale). Ээҗ минь, Данара минь, намаг бий талан авхнтн.

Verbs of joint action express invitation rather than categorical inclination: Подымем бокалы, содвинем их разом! Поговорим о бурных днях Кавказа, о Шиллере, о славе, о любви.

Particle давай(те) in combination with the verb of joint action makes invitation more pronounced: Давайте споём , пусть нам подпоёт седой боевой капитан (Song). The verb form of joint action is not used with the subject-pronoun. This combination is possible only in colloquial speech: давайте-ка мы скажем слово .

In the Kalmyk language, the verb form of joint action is included in the optative mood as a form of the first person plural: йовий , ууй .

In Russian, the address to the third person through the interlocutor is expressed by a combination with пусть (пускай) expressing inclination. Combinations with пусть (пускай) are used with the third person pronouns and express wish, obligation and assumption: Пусть бог милует от разбойников! – говорила Пульхерия Ивановна. Пусть она здесь у печки греется , пироги ест... .

The same particles in combination with the first person verbs in future simple and future complex express desire and assumption addressed to the speaker himself. Пусть я до полуночи ходить по лесу буду .

In the Kalmyk language, the form of addressing to the third person through the interlocutor is part of the optative mood.

In both languages, inclination is most clearly manifested in its basic second person singular or plural imperative forms. Verbs of joint action (first person plural) and appeals to the third person are on the periphery of the imperative with a limited number of modal shades. In the Kalmyk language, these two forms are types of inclination expressing desire and intention: йовий , дуулый ; йовг , йовтха , дуулг, дуултха . This also includes the first person person singular: йовса, дуулса and forms in both numbers: йовсув, йовсувидн; дуулсв, дуулсвидн - expressing desire and intention to perform the action.

The subjunctive in the Russian language

The subjunctive is a nominative grammatical meaning representing an action as desired, possible under certain conditions, or an action that the speaker doubts or suggests. It has a number of meanings:

1) desire, advice actualized in the predicate in both simple and complex sentences: Я волком бы выгрыз бюрократизм. Иногда ночь бывает так мило чудесна, что уж не хочется, чтобы миновала она, и не надо солнца, а сидел бы на горе, любуясь рекою. Ехал бы ты домой.

2) desirability of an action, followed by the speaker’s suggestion to do it: Ты бы позанимался делом.

3) assumption associated with the opposition: Другой бы на его месте в драку с нами полез . Он мог бы сказать ещё многое, но вошла горничная и сказала, что его зовёт папа. The opposing message indicates conditionality of the action.

4) polite statements in the form of assumptions: Я бы предложил другое (cf. Мне хочется предложить. Я предлагаю . The subjunctive is used instead of the indicative.

5) request, inclination, advice. The subjunctive has the meaning similar to that of the imperative: Вы бы подождали немного .

However, there are differences between the imperative and the subjunctive in the nature of appeal to the interlocutor. The subjunctive verb expresses inclination in a mild non-categorical form, and different shades of modal meanings may arise: regret, desire, etc. The imperative expresses more persistent inclination to action: Выйди погулять! (Cf .: Вышел бы ты погулять ).

The subjunctive can express a categorical order, if чтобы is used instead of бы : Чтобы я этого больше нe слышал !

6) dependence of one action on another one which is expressed in complex sentences expressing assumption. Sentences with если express conditionality of one action by another one, possibility of one action if there is another one without indicating its implementation.

We are dealing with actions that are not actually carried out due to the lack of necessary conditions: Если бы Пушкин не погиб , русская литература обогатилась бы новыми гениальными произведениями.

If it is said that the action depends on some facts (but not on actions), the idea can be expressed in a simple sentence: Без твоей помощи я не смог бы добраться домой.

7) assumption, fear, doubt in the negative form: Боюсь, брусничная вода мне не наделала б вреда. Он рыбачил 30 лет и 3 года и не слыхивал, чтобы рыба говорила.

8) possible actions: А что, Пульхерия Ивановна, – говорит он, – если бы вдруг загорелся дом наш, куда бы мы делись?. Но если бы ещё раз налетела буря, он бы спять растопырил ей руки – пошёл бы навстречу.

9) an action which takes place contrary to expectation: it is used in complex sentences with subordinate clauses. The action takes place every time under certain conditions which should not cause this action. In these sentences, conjunctions are used with бы ( где бы ни, когда бы ни, с кем бы ни, у кого бы ни , etc.): Куда бы я ни шел , я обязательно встречу этого человека. Что бы я ни говорил , ты все равно не понимаешь меня.

The subjunctive may have a figurative meaning and is used as an imperative when soft advice, request or desire is expressed: Помирилась бы ты с ним. Вы бы подождали немного.

The lack of connection with the real action prevents the subjunctive from being used as an indicative, but in some cases the subjunctive may express an actual action: Я бы предложил пересмотреть этот документ (cf. я предлагаю ).

Other forms of the verb can be used as a subjunctive: a) the imperative expressing conditional or concessive meanings: Знай я (=знал бы) раньше, что у тебя есть такая прелесть, ни за что бы в те годы не ездил за границу. Приди он (=пришел бы) на день раньше, всё было бы хорошо; b) the meaning of the proposed or possible action can be expressed by the indicative: Не канатом он с Ермилом связан, бросил да пошёл.

Along with the modal meaning, the subjunctive has aspectual meanings. The juxtaposition of aspects is typical of both simple and complex sentences: Лучше помогал бы ты маме каждый день убирать квартиру. – Лучше помог бы ты маме убирать квартиру.

Perfect and imperfect subjunctives can have the same modal color or differ from each other in modal meanings: Хорошо если бы дождь не прекращался (Ср.: не прекратился ) до утра.

To express the meaning of a lacking subjunctive, the Kalmyk language uses an auxiliary verb болх and a semi-connector билә in combination with participles: келсн болхла , ирсн болхла , келх биләв , санх биләв . The apprehensive corresponds to individual modal meanings of the subjunctive.

The optative in the Kalmyk language

The optative expresses the speaker’s intention to carry out the action himself. The basic meaning of the optative is determined by its categorical meaning – modality: desire and intention and a whole range of its shades: obligation, necessity, condition, etc.

1) The form of the first person singular: ирсә , келсә , etc. indicates that the speaker himself is trying to perform the desired action: Би эврәннь шарһ мөрәрн йовса (Kalmyk tale). In the interrogative sentence, this form expresses doubt: Ода эн шүлгтән ямаран нер өгсә? (Kalmyk tale).

2) One more form of the first person singular and plural is accompanied by personal predicative particles and expresses inclination:

a) willingness, intention of the speaker to perform the action: Һәрәлә хамдан эн Үстин улс дунд көдлсв гиҗ, – санҗанав .

b) oath, wish of the speaker: Амн үгән өгчәнәвидн: эн йовх насндан эңкр иньгүд болҗ, кен негнәсн хар уга, олн әмтнә төлә, әмән хармнл уга йовсвидн. Өрүн һарx шар нар үзлго одсв.

c) firm intention, speaker's determination to perform the action directed to the interlocutor: Чамаг, кишго ноха, арсичн авсв .

d) willingness of the speaker to offer his services to the interlocutor: Аака, би одад ирсв. – Нә, тииг, аакч хот кесв .

e) speaker's request to allow him to do something: Теднә негнь болад чигн, чам деер суусв .

If this form is in causative mood, the speaker intends to force the interlocutor to perform the action, but there is no order: хаалһсв (-видн) – force someone to close, йовулсв (-видн) – force someone to go.

Forms of the first person with and чигн ( -чн ) express speaker's desire to perform the action: Ээҗдән күрсл чигн гиһәд йовна (Kalmyk tales).

The hortative in the Kalmyk language

The first person plural hortative expresses desire of a group of people to perform the action. It expresses an appeal of the speaker to one person or a group of persons to perform a joint action: Альков, түүгичн хәләй? – гиһәд хан өвгиг дахад һарна (Kalmyk tales). Әртүл бүрдәй, Көкән Эрдньд даалһий .

The speaker can express the meaning of a joint action in relation to himself: Түүнәс хан босҗ ирәд, альков, энүгинь амсҗ үзий , гиһәд идҗ үзнә (Kalmyk tales).

The use of this form with affirmative particle ( -ла ) expresses simple order: Не, йовийла, цаачн хәәлдҗ йовдг болх .

V. I. Podlesskaya says that Russian sentences with an imperative form of the verb давать can have hortative meanings. For example, давай петь ! (Podlesskaya, 2003).

The jussive in the Kalmyk language

The third person jussive expresses wish or permission of the speaker to perform an action given by the interlocutor (second person) to the absent third person:

a) wish: Дәрк минь, өнчәр өсх юмн үрн-садндм бичә үзгдтхә .

b) command: Данара ээҗләһән үлдтхә , Бальҗрмаг чи, Тоста ав – гиҗ, буурл сахлта аав шиидв.

c) permission: Харҗахар Нусха Мууг тәвхм болвзго, юм эс күцәвчн, йовҗл йовг (Kalmyk tale). Келнд ясн бәәхш, келҗл бәәтхә .

d) appeal: Нарн менд болтха , харңһу уга болтха !.

Combined with affirmative particle –л, it expresses assumption: Я, өскҗ бәәтхәл . Уудьҗахла, йовад уудьвран һарһад иртхәлә .

The apprehensive in the Kalmyk language

The apprehensive in the Kalmyk language expresses fear, warning against committing an undesirable action: Чи бийчн эн залустан нәәләд бәәҗ, әмнәсн шордвз гоч . Эн эндү хаалһарн дәкәд одвзгот .

There is softened inclination in a caution against committing an undesirable action:

a) soft command with warning: Та эндүрҗ одвзгот, гиҗ залу келв (Kalmyk tales).

b) request: Лиҗ-Гаря, намаг дахулхан мартчквзат.

c) hope: Мергн аңһуч изюбриг хаһад алҗв ( ал взгов) гиҗ санла (Хальмг үнн).

d) fear of possible undesirable actions: Авад үлдәҗв (үлдәвзә) гиһәд, әмн уга биләв (A. Balakayev).

e) assumption: Тегәд би нег өдр көдләд оркҗв гий, та нег буудя авад, захан дөрвлҗн деер тәвҗәнәт.


Thus, in the Kalmyk and Russian languages there is a developed system of indirect moods characterized by modal differentiation.

An imperative is the only form of the verb that performs a specific appellate function. Inclination to act is graded and expressed by various linguistic means which were analyzed in the article. Comparative material shows that the lexical support for the semantics of inclination is ideo-ethnic. There are phraseological structures expressing imperative meanings.

The subjunctive form is a characteristic of the Russian language and has a number of meanings representing the action as desired, possible under certain conditions: desire, advice, suggestion, polite forms, request, encouragement, categorical order or demand, suggestion, fear, doubt, etc.

In the Kalmyk language, the forms of the optative, hortative and jussive are combined into the system of the optative mood. The basic meaning of these forms is desire and intention. Each form has its own meanings: obligation, necessity, condition, invocation, command, wish, permission, assumption. In Russian, desire and intention can be expressed by imperative and subjunctive moods.

So, each indirect mood has its own categorical meanings: motives, conjectures and possibilities, desires and intentions, warnings and fears.


The research was funded by the grant of KalmSU “Typology and dynamics of language processes in the Turkic-Mongolian range”.


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29 March 2019

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Lidzhieva, L., Mushaev, V., & Lidzhieva, L. (2019). Semantics Of Indirect Moods In Russian And Kalmyk Languages: Comparative Analysis. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1289-1301). Future Academy.