Grammatical Means Of Linkage In Compound Sentences


The question of grammatical nature, varieties, meaning of compound syntax constructions remains the most relevant due to insufficient study. Hence, the study analyzes various opinions on the problem of compound sentences in foreign, domestic and Ossetian linguistics, which currently have no unambiguous solution in the works of linguists despite quite a few attempts to syntax in Russian and foreign linguistics in the 17th–18th centuries, in Ossetian – since the 19th century. The analysis of all considered classifications made it possible to determine that the structural-semantic classification of compound sentences is the most correct. This classification takes into account all structural features of considered structures: the relations of a subordinate clause with a single word in the main part or with the whole main part, the nature of conjunctional means, the nature and functions of correlates (correlation words), the position of a subordinate clause, the paradigm of a compound sentence. Based on the above, we analyzed the grammatical linkage of compound sentences in Ossetian and Russian languages from the point of view of structural-semantic approach. This currently leading approach takes into account the whole set of structural characteristics typical for compound sentences as particularly syntactic units, and grammatical meanings, which are directly related to the specified characteristics, which allows defining and consistently considering a variety of types of compound sentences with regard to their structural and semantic peculiarities, describing the specifics of a compound sentence, its linkage to a phrase and a simple sentence.

Keywords: Ossetian languagecompound sentencesclassification


The question of the essence of a compound sentence, its grammatical nature and functional capabilities currently fails to find an unambiguous solution in the works of linguists. Despite the fact that the first attempts to study compound sentences in Russian and foreign linguistics date back to as early as the 17th–18th centuries, in Ossetian – since the 19th century, the problem of grammatical essence of compound sentences (CS), their functional capabilities, varieties, meanings is still the most relevant in both foreign and domestic linguistics, which served the purpose of this study.

Problem Statement

The classification of compound sentences is now explained by the coexistence of three different classification approaches of CS: traditional, formal-grammatical and structural-semantic. The analysis of the presented classifications made it possible to establish that the study of CS should be based on structural-semantic classification, since it helps to understand the meaning, structure and function of this syntactic unit, to understand the role of a subordinate clause, to see the CS features in a number of related structures.

Research Questions

The subject of study are compound sentences in Ossetian and Russian languages. Although they perform the same functions, have similar definitions, show structural-semantic similarity, yet compound sentences in both languages under consideration have significant differences.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to determine differential features of grammatical means of linking compound sentences in Ossetian and Russian languages according to the structural-semantic approach.

Research Methods

The work is based on observation, analysis and synthesis methods, as well as comparative, inductive and deductive methods.


The history of studying compound sentences in English linguistics is divided into three periods: dichotomic (formed by the late 17th and early 18th centuries (Butler, 1633; Greaves, 1969; Lane, 1979), which is based on the division of all sentences into simple and compound; trichotomic (traditional grammar) that appeared in the mid-19th century (Quirk et al., 1972; Watts, 1745) and identified two types of compound sentences: complex or compound and two ways of communication (parataxis/subordination), and the second ever in English linguistics dichotomic classification (system grammar), founded by Halliday (1961), which considered the system of grammatical units (a morpheme, a word, a group, i.e. a phrase, a clause, a sentence) within a grading scale where the lower limit is formed by a morpheme and a word, while the upper – by a sentence, and hence a simple sentence was a sentence consisting of one grammatical unit located a rank below (i.e. clause), and compound (or complex) – consisting of two or more constituent units ranked below.

There are currently three different classification approaches in Russian: traditional (Buslaev, 1959; Vostokov, 1867), which is based on the principle of likening a subordinate clause to a member of semantics, i.e., a predicate unit is functionally identified with a member of a simple sentence; formally-grammatical (Peshkovskij, 2001; Shapiro, 1957) reducing the analysis of a compound sentence to the analysis of conjunctions or connective words and not considering its other structural features; and structurally semantic (Beloshapkova, 1977; Dibrova, 2001; Pospelov, 1990), according to which all structural features of considered structures are taken into account (the relations of a subordinate clause with a single word in the main part or with the whole main part, the nature of conjunctional means, the nature and functions of correlates (correlation words), the position of a subordinate clause, the paradigm of a compound sentence).

Despite the fact that structural and semantic features of compound sentences in Ossetian language have been studied by many linguists since the beginning of the 19th century (Abaev, 1959; Akhvlediani, 1969; Gagkaev, 1956; Shëgren, 1844; Stackelberg, 1886), three concepts of compound sentences are currently used in Ossetian linguistics: N.K. Bagaeva’s approach based on the combination of traditional and structural-semantic classification, CS classification stated in the textbook for students of higher educational institutions Nyrykkon iron ævzag (Modern Ossetian Language), based on the definition of formal-grammatical and semantic features of CS (as cited in Dzhusoity et al., 2010), and the approach of Tsarikaeva (2017) considering all structural features of CS. Besides, the classification of compound sentences in Ossetian language is considered in the article Ossetian Compound Sentences: Problem of Classification (Kudzoeva et al., 2019).

At present, the most rational approach is the structural-semantic approach of studying compound sentences, since it considers the whole set of structural characteristics.

Having made a brief overview of various classification approaches to CS, this paper attempts to consider the peculiarities of grammatical means of linking compound sentences in Ossetian and Russian languages according to the structural-semantic approach.


The most important elements of a CS structure in both languages include subordinate conjunctions, relates (connective words), correlates (correlation words in the main part), prop words, order of predicative clauses, paradigm, specialized lexical units, parallelism of the structure and incompleteness of one of the clauses, intonation.

Subordinate conjunctions , which are one of the grammatical means of linking the parts of a compound sentence, are divided in both languages into simple ( chto – «cy», chtoby – «cæmæj», hotya – «kæd», kak – «kuyd», etc.) and composite ( tak kak, potomu chto – «uymæn æmæ», etc;): Mæn fændy, cæmæj mah acy h"uyddag abon kæronmæ bakænæm. – YA hochu, chtoby my segodnya zavershili eto delo do konca (простые союзы); Mæjruhs æhsæv st"alytæ horz næ zynync, uyj tyhkhæj æmæ syl mæjy ruhs tyhdzhyndær fækæny. – V lunnuyu noch' zvezdy ne vidny horosho, tak kak lunnyj svet sil'nee (complex conjunctions).

Special type of grammatical means of linkage in CS of Ossetian language are parenthetic words «zæg"gæ» (literally speaking) and «dam» (literally they say), equivalent to Russian subordinate conjunctions что, чтобы, если (that, so that, if): Næ kuysty særg"læuuæg badomdta, zæg"gæ, ulæfæn bon kuystmæ racæuyn. – Nash nachal'nik potreboval, chtoby v vyhodnoj den' vyshli na rabotu; K"amisy særdar bafædzæhsta, k"uyrisærmæ, dam, gæhkhættytæ skænut. – Predsedatel' komissii poruchil, chtoby bumagi byli gotovy k ponedel'niku.

According to a number of positions in Russian and in Ossetian languages, there are one-position conjunctions ( chtoby – «cæmæj», esli – «kæd», «kæd æmæ», budto, slovno, tochno, kak budto – «cyma» ) and double , consisting of two parts, one of which is a part of a subordinate clause (obligatory in a preposition), while the other (word clamp), emphasizing its productive character, – is included into the structure of the main part: esli – to – «kæd – uæd», kogda – to – «kuy – uæd», poka – do tekh por – «calynmæ – ualynmæ, etc .: Kæd me ´vzag rajsom fesæfa byntondær – mælynmæ dæn tækkæ abon cættæ (Cæruk"aty A. SHekspiræn). Esli moj yazyk zavtra ischeznet, ya gotov umeret' segodnya (one-position conjunctions); Ræsug"ddzinadæj æhsævygon kæd isty væjjy, uæd uydon sty mæj æmæ st"alytæ (Besaty T. Hæs). – Esli noch'yu i byvaet kakaya-nibud' krasota , to eto luna i zvezdy (double conjunctions).

Along with double conjunctions, both languages use homonymous correlative conjunctions, such as: chem…tem, esli…to , etc. (in Russian), kuyd – aftæ – «chem – tem» (in Ossetian), and those different from them by the fact that both parts of them are structurally-necessary, while word-staples in double conjunctions may be easily omitted. However, the correlative conjunctions in Ossetian language are often translated into Russian as double: Hur kuyd bærzonddær cæuy zymægon arvy tyg"dadyl, aftæ h"ældzægdær kæny dune (Tasojty B. Horykuystgænæn). – Chem vyshe podnimaetsya solnce zimoyu v nebesnom prostranstve, tem veselee stanovitsya priroda.

Regarding the relation to certain syntax meanings, there are semantic conjunctions in Russian ( potomu chto , hotya, slovno, esli , etc.) and asemantic, or syntax ( chto, kak, chtoby, budto ), the characteristic difference of which is that each semantic conjunction, i.e. non-differentiating type, which has one syntactic meaning, which makes it possible to use it in a certain form of the subordinate clause, and asemantic conjunctions, i.e. undifferentiating type, unrelated to the expression of a certain meaning, can occur in different types of constructions: V gorode Pavel ne videl zvezd, potomu chto meshali fonari (A.Serafimovich) (semantic conjunction potomu chto having causative meaning); Ya slyshal, kak oni brosilis' lovit' moego konya (M.YU.Lermontov) (asemantic conjunction kak having expressible meaning).

In Ossetian language such differentiation is not observed, as most conjunctions are critical, and this allows using them in different types of subordinate CS. Thus, conjunction kæd is both conditional and concessive: «esli»; «nesmotrya na to chto», «hotya»; conjunction cæmæj («chtoby») may have an obvious, defining meaning, mode of action and purpose: Kæd zylyn dæn, uæd dzuapp ratdzynæn mæhædæg (Mamsyraty D. H"æbatyry kadæg). – Esli ya vinovat, to (ya) sam otvechu (conditional conjunction); Kæd bon ruhs æmæ syg"dæg uydis, uæddær h"æubæstæ uydysty tarsthuyz (Sanaty U. Partizantæ). – Hotya den' byl svetlyj i chistyj, vse zhe selo kazalos' napugannym (concessive conjunction), etc.

The distinctive feature of conjunction æmæ is that it can act both as a subordinate conjunction and as a coordinating conjunction with connective and anti-connective meanings depending on the context: Tadzhi duar fegom koda, æmæ uajtag"d hædzary astæu fondz ædgærztæ lædzhy balæuuyd (Gædiaty S. Azau) (coordinating conjunction). – Tadzhi bystro otkryl dver', i totchas posredi doma okazalis' pyatero vooruzhennyh muzhchin; Jæ zærdæjy fændtæ nichi h"uamæ bazydtaid, æmæ ænæh"æn dune nyvond uydi jæ susægdzinady (adversative conjunction). – Namerenij ego dushi nikto ne dolzhen byl uznat', i ves' mir byl posvyashchen v ego tajnu. The subordinating conjunction « æmæ» may be used both independently ( æmæ – «chto», «chtoby» ) and in combination with demonstrative and relative pronouns and adverbs ( ahæm – æmæ – «takoj – chto, chtoby», aftæ – æmæ – «tak – chto», uymæn – æmæ – «potomu – chto» , etc.): Æz dæ ahæm bæhyl abadyn kændzynæn, æmæ fatau kuyd hauaj (Bryt"iaty E. Hudinadzhy bæsty – mælæt).– Ya tebya na takogo konya posazhu, chtoby ty kak strela letel; Uymæn cardysty tyng mæguyr, æmæ sæm næ uydi næ huymgændy, næ hosgærsty zæhkh. – Potomu (oni) zhili ochen' bedno, chto u nih ne bylo ni pahotnoj, ni senokosnoj zemli.

The grammatical means of linkage in both Russian and Ossetian languages may include connective words (relates), which, unlike conjunctions, perform the function of one of the members of a sentence and can correlate with certain reference words (correlates) in the main part, where in both Russian and Ossetian languages defining, demonstrative pronouns and pronominal adverbs are important: uyj – chi – «tot – kto», uyj – kæj – «tot – kogo», uymæn – kæmæn – «tomu – komu», uym – kæm – «tam – gde», uuyl – kæuyl – «o tom – o kom» , etc.: Ævæccægæn, dæuæn æncon bambaræn næ uydzæn, kuyd zyn myn u fyssyn, uyj (Gafez. Azæjy fystæg). – Navernoe, tebe nelegko budet ponyat' to, kak trudno mne pisat'; Bas kæj basudzy, uyj donyl dær fu kæny (proverb). – Kto obzhegsya (odin raz) bul'onom, tot i na vodu duet; Kæddær kæsægty cad kæm uyd, uym nyrtækkæ h"æz zajyn rajdydta (Dzasohty M. Ursdony bylyl Bæræg"uyn). – Gde kogda-to bylo ozero dlya ryb, tam sejchas stal rasti kamysh; Lægdzinad ravdisyn kæm fæh"æuy, uym jæ usy fæddzhijy byn abyry (Cægæraty M. Næ fekh"uyston, ma zæg"). – Gde nuzhno byvaet proyavit' muzhestvo, tam (on) pryachetsya pod podolom yubki svoej zheny.

In both Russian and Ossetian languages, connective words expressed by relative pronouns and related words associated with them expressed by index pronouns, can be used in different grammatical forms: chi – uyj, chi – uymæn, chi – uymæ , etc.: Nælgojmag æmbalæj jemæ chi racæudzæn, uydon Sæban ragacau zydta (Bic"oty G. Arvy ajdæn).– Kto s nim poedet iz muzhchin, tekh Saban znal zaranee. An important element of the structure of a number of CSs in Russian and Ossetian languages are the reference words used in the main part and involving a certain distribution of their subordinate clause or relation to it: My pojmem, chto v derzhavnoj korone dragocennej zvezda nishchety (A.Tvardovskij); Lædzhy zærdæmæ cy dzyrd bah"ardzæn, ahæm dzyrd ssarynmæ tyng aræhstdzhyn uydis Hæmæt (Gædiaty C. Fydælty namys). – Hamat byl ochen' iskusnym nahodit' takoe slovo, kotoroe dojdet do serdca cheloveka.

Intonation , which has a number of similarities and differences in both languages, plays a special role in linking the subordinate clause with the main clause. In both Russian and Ossetian languages, the subordinate clause is pronounced at a faster pace and separated from the main clause with a pause while occupying a prepositive or postpositive position, or with pauses on both sides if in interposition. However, if in Russian the intonation of the end is typical only for the last part of a sentence (regardless of the number of subordinate clauses), in Ossetian in the usual order of arrangement of the parts (i.e. the subordinate clause ahead of the main clause) the subordinate clause has rising intonation, the main – falling, and in inversion order the intonation of the whole CS changes accordingly.

The sequence of predictive parts as one of the means of CS linkage in Russian can be fixed and non-fixed, which depends on the structural-semantic nature of the sentence in general. Thus, the subordinate clause follows the main one in pronoun-conjunction correlation sentences, in CS with some semantic unions, like: tak chto, potomu chto , and can also stand in postposition or in interposition in subordinate expressive and determinative clauses: Egoisty vsekh bol'she zhaluyutsya na egoizm drugih, potomu chto vsekh bol'she ot nego stradayut (V. Klyuchevskij); Apteka nahoditsya pochti u kraya goroda, tak chto aptekarshe daleko vidno pole (A.P. CHekhov). Subordinate clauses with other conjunctions (conditional, temporal) generally occupying free position with respect to the main clause, when complicated with word-staples lose this freedom and only remain in a prepositional position with respect to the main clause: Esli otnyat' u cheloveka sposobnost' mechtat', to otpadet odna iz samyh moshchnyh pobuditel'nyh prichin, rozhdayushchih kul'turu, iskusstvo, nauku i zhelanie bor'by vo imya prekrasnogo budushchego (K. Paustovskij) , etc.

Compared to the Russian language, the order of the main and subordinate clauses of the CS in the Ossetian language is relatively free: In most cases there is a preposition of the subordinate clause, but the reverse order is not contrary to the norms, “which is relatively rare in Ossetian language” (Bagaev, 1982): Uarzondzinady fælgonc dæ zærdæjy kuy sudza, uæd dæ uyj fydrakondy nyllæuuyn nikuy bauadzdzæn (Cocity R. Laskæ). – Esli obraz lyubimoj budet goret' v tvoem serdce, to on nikogda ne pozvolit tebe stat' na put' prestupleniya.

Interposition of the subordinate clause is less often met in Ossetian language: Æhsærdzæntæ, cyma hury ruhs uydonæj æhsyzgondær nikæmæn uyd, uyjau gæppytæ kænync iu ajnædzhy tig"æj innæ ajnædzhy tig"mæ (Cægæraty M. Dyuuæ hohy). – Vodopady, budto solnechnyj svet priyaten tol'ko im, prygayut s odnogo utesa na drugoj.

The paradigm (the ratio of tense-aspect forms of spoken and modal plans of predicative clauses) in both languages can be free not motivating the syntactic meaning of a sentence and non-free affecting syntactic meaning: Kogda my prishli v park, nachalsya dozhd' / Parkmæ kuy ΄ rbacydystæm, uæd rajdydta k"ævda uaryn (use of perfect tense forms defines the following relations) and Kogda my prishli v park, nachalsya dozhd' / Parkmæ kuy ΄ rbacydystæm, uæd rajdydta k"ævda uaryn ( Kogda my gulyali v parke, shel nebol'shoj dozhd' / Parchy tezg"o kuy kodtam, uarydi lystæg k"ævda (aspect forms define the simultaneity relation). Compare: Ya znayu ; kto eto sdelal / Æz zonyn, chi jæ bakodta; Ya znal, kto eto sdelal / Æz zydton, chi jæ bakodta (paradigm change does not affect the meaning of a sentence).

The categories of mood, tense and aspect play a significant role in CS structure of in both Russian and Ossetian languages since the compound sentence always implies a certain ratio of tense-aspect forms of a verb-predicate, which in both languages serves the syntactic means of their linkage. Thus, there is a full compliance of tense-aspect forms of a verb-predicate of main and subordinate clauses: Bambaryn syn kodta sæ hæstædzhytæn Marine, cy dymgæ jæ rahasta æd sidzærtæ Dzæudzhyh"æumæ (Gædiaty C. Cardy uæz). – Rasskazala Marine svoim rodstvennikam, kakoj veter prines ee s sirotami v Dzaudzhikau (to the verb bambaryn kodta rasskazala of the past tense corresponds the same grammatical meaning of a verb of the subordinate clause).

The predicate can also be expressed by verbs having unequal forms of mood, tense and aspect: Nicy zag"ta Dæhci Babyzæn, kæd mæstæj jæ zærdæ t"æppytæ haud, uæddær (Gædiaty C. Fydælty namys). – Nichego ne skazal Dahci Babyzu, hotya u nego na serdce i razryvalos' ot zlosti (in the main clause a perfective verb, in subordinate – imperfective aspect); ( Adæm kuy bambaroj se ΄fhærd, sæ maræg, zon , uæd kæj systdzysty iubon h"ygdardæj, zon , uæd kæj fekh"uysdzæn iu bon sæ zaræg (Gædiaty C. Adæm). – Kogda narod stanet iznemogat' ot rabskoj zhizni, kogda narod pojmet , kto ih obidchik i ubijca, znaj , chto (on) togda podnimetsya, znaj, chto togda v odin (prekrasnyj) den' razdastsya ego pesnya (in the main clause a verb of imperative mood, in subordinate – future tense).

Specialized lexical units giving additional syntactic significance to a sentence often serve as the linkage between clauses within CS in both Russian and Ossetian languages (Dibrova, 2001). They include:

1) modal vocabulary associated with the expression of different conditionality values (cause, purpose, effect): Ævæccægæn dukani uydi æhgæd, uymæn æmæ uyj ærbazdæht hædzarmæ ænæ dzulæ. – Ochevidno, magazin byl zakryt, potomu chto on vernulsya domoj bez hleba (with the use of modal words with the meaning of probability affecting the semantics of a compound sentence with a subordinate clause, the subordinate clause indicates the effect from a message in the main clause, etc.);

2) antonymic vocabulary – vocabulary usually in close association with the expression of not only comparative and counter relations, but also of the additional meaning of the concession: Horz ahuyrgænæg cin kæny ahuyrgæninadzhy kurdiatyl, kæcy ævzær ahuyrgænægmæ kæsy ærmæstdær ænæmbælon uændondzinad. – Horoshij uchitel' raduetsya sposobnostyam uchenika, kotorye plohomu pedagogu kazhutsya nepozvolitel'noj smelost'yu (attributive meaning is compatible with adversative-concessive);

3) emotional vocabulary that defines the additional causal value: Uyj uarzta uycy hædzar, kæcyjy cardi jæ susæg ænæzongæ. – Ona lyubila etot dom, v kotorm zhil ee tainstvennyj neznakomec (attributive meaning is complicated by causative); Æhsyzgon myn u, nogæj iumæ kæj stæm. – Ya rada, chto my snova vmeste (objective meaning is complicated by causative); Æz uarzyn sabyr bontæ, card (næm) kuy fækæsy rajdzast æmæ æmud. – Ya spokojnye dni lyublyu , kogda zhizn' predstavlyaetsya yasnoj i slazhennoj (conditional-temporal meaning is complicated by causative).

Russian and Ossetian languages are characterized by the use of private means of communication between the predictive clauses of the CS, which include the parallelism of the structure and the incompleteness of one of the parts (Dibrova, 2001): Sæg" cy ua, jæ sænykk dær uyj u (proverb). – Kakova koza , takov i ee kozlenok (parallelism of the structure); H"ælæs myn sabyrgaj dzury alcydær, kæddær cy zag"ta . – A golos mne govorit nespeshno vsluh vse, chto skazal kogda-to (incompleteness of one of the parts).

The results of the comparative analysis, which constitute the necessary linguistic base and reserve for intensification of the modern educational process, which involve the establishment of similarities and differences between the compared languages, made it possible to use them in the learning process as a means of enabling a teacher to overcome difficulties related to the peculiarities of the students’ mother tongue.


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