Taxis Of Simultaneity In Chechen And German Languages: A Comparison


Typological studies of languages with different structures have a rather long history. Such studies are also conducted with the aim of a deeper research into a foreign language against the background of the researcher’s native language. They help find certain details in the native language that could otherwise evade the researcher. Contrastive studies are aimed at establishing equivalence from both functional and content-related points of view. Here we are talking about the unity of form and content of studied categories. As for comparative works involving Chechen and some other languages, it should be noted that such works are few and far between. We assume that it is related to the fact that the Chechen language itself is in need of a deeper scientific study. This paper is dedicated to comparative description of a simultaneity taxis in Chechen and German languages. The basis of the study is formed by analysis of the Chechen participle-adverbial form ending in -sh. The material of the research is comprised by texts of the classical Russian literature, which have been translated into both Chechen and German languages. Such studies contribute to mastering a foreign language and a deeper understanding of researcher’s native language alike, which in this case is Chechen. The researchers hold that it is very much in demand in the context of modern development of the Chechen Republic. In addition, comparative and typological description of languages with different structures is capable of supplementing new data to theory and practice of translation.

Keywords: Adverbial participle, comparison, Chechen language, German language, imperfect, infinitive


It is common knowledge that comparative studies of languages pertaining to different structural groups make a significant contribution of deeper understanding of both (or all) of the languages being compared. Researcher establishes systemic functional equivalents of the systems being described from the point of view of a unity of form and content. It is evident that such studies shall be pointed not towards finding structural differences, but in the direction of searching for structural and functional equivalents in grammatical categories being studied. As for comparative studies involving Chechen language, it should be noted that such studies are a relatively recent phenomenon. In recent years, several successfully defended dissertations were dedicated to comparison of Chechen and German, by such researchers and Arsakhanova (2011) and Molochieva (2010). Significant success in typological description of the Chechen language was achieved in the works of Khalidov (2003). Among foreign authors, studies conducted in the University of California (USA) under guidance of Johanna Nichols are worth mentioning; Nichols (2001) visited the Chechen Republic several times to conduct research concerning both Chechen and Ingush languages.

Problem Statement

The main problem considered in this paper is usage description of Chechen adverbial participle form with the -sh affix in literary texts and establishing its functional and semantic equivalents in the German language.

Research Questions

In previous papers, the authors described the ways to express taxis relations (precedence – simultaneity – sequence) in Chechen and German languages (Dagirov, 2005). As for simultaneity taxis in Chechen, this function is vividly expressed with a so-called imperfective adverbial participle. The word imperfective shall be put in quotes here, as according to available data, unlike in Slavic languages, the category of aspect has not yet fully formed in the Chechen language. As for Chechen adverbial participle, it is formed from a verb with the help of a -ш (-sh) affix and designates a process that happens concurrently with the action of the verbal predicate. Let us note that in this role the Chechen form has the same meaning as Russian imperfective adverbial participle (Bondarko, 1983, p. 154). Let us cite an example from a literary text, having noted that hereinafter we quote officially published translations. In Chechen translations below, spelling is preserved as it was current at the time of publishing (1930–40s).

Ялхой хьаьвдда хьийзаш бара, шишанаш, графинаш дIахIиттош, шаршош нисъеш.

Servants fussed, arranging bottles and carafes and readjusting tablecloths.

Die Diener eilten hin und her, stellten Flaschen, Karaffen auf und strichen die Tischtücher glatt.

In this example, highlighted adverbial participles express actions that accompany the action of the predicate and have a meaning of simultaneity with it. In the Chechen language, the meaning of processuality of the main action is emphasized by using an analytic past form. Highlighted actions of German coordinate predicates in this sentence are under the influence of an aspectological context figure “Synchrony or Action Parallelism” and have a meaning of “action boundary not attained” (ABNA). Words form a component of repetition in this sentence. Uniformity of verb forms is significant for German verbs of simultaneous actions. The process complex usually includes forms of the same tense. In this case they are forms of preterit. Zherebkov (1970) points out that “in case of repetition, preterit, like other forms, shows temporal co-meanings of inclusive or synchronous simultaneity (if at least one component has an imperfective aspect meaning)» (p. 147). For Chechen verbs, a defining characteristic for expressing the simultaneity taxis is a combination of imperfective forms in various taxis-related situations. So, a combination of several accompanying actions with the main action is very often found in a taxis context of “long sequence”:

2 Хаддаза цаI-м дед, йовхарш йогIий саца а соцуш, куьйгаш а, корта а, шен юьхьан хебаршка хIуттучу дакхийчу хьцаран тIадамашна хIума а.

Großvater Archip in einemfort vor sich, nur ab und zu von einem Hustenanfall unterbrochen; er mit den Armen, den Kopf und den Schweiß, der in großen Tropfen aus den Falten seines Gesichts hervortrat.

Chechen accompanying actions in this sentence and – are explicitly expressing events that are taking place simultaneously with the main action expressed by –. A defining feature of explicating the simultaneity taxis is represented here by a combination of imperfective aspect of the accompanying actions with imperfective aspect the main action, in this case the latter also having emphatic processuality of action. In the German variant of this sentence, there is no delineation between the main action and the accompanying ones.

Chechen form of adverbial participle with the suffix has a meaning of simultaneity with the action of a verbal predicate in some types of aspectual context, e.g.,

3 Кирилла Петрович зал цIа чохь дIасхьаволавелла, гуттара а локхачул чIогIа шакарца.

Kirila Petrowitsch im Salon und lauter als sonst sein Lied.

Chechen accompanying action shows in Example 3 a taxis meaning of simultaneity with the action of, designating an ABNA meaning. Corresponding German actions fall under the action of the aspectual context figure, which is usually called “synchrony or parallelism of actions”, with being a marker of duration. In German, this figure pertains to the ABNA sphere. Both variants of the Example 3 may be held as functionally equivalent.

The authors recorded cases where Chechen adverbial participle is used in the aspect taxis context of “duration – onset of a fact”. In this function, the Chechen form is the same as Russian adverbial participle. In German, the meaning of simultaneity of events is expressed with the help of complex sentences with conjunctions and.

4 Килсана чуьра ша, Кирилла Петровича ша волчу делкъана хIума яа массаьрга а – гIудалкха а хиIна цIа вахара иза.

Als Kirila Petrowitsch die Kirche, er alle zu sich zum Mittagessen, setzte sich in die Kutsche und fuhr nach Hause.

5 «ДIалачкъае чехка!... ЭхI, дедушка, дIалачкъаехьа и» … – цо, халла бен ца хезаш, меллаша дехарца, сихха гондIа а.

«Versteck ihn rasch! Ach, Großvater, versteck ihn!», er flehentlich, während er scheu nach allen Seiten.

The Chechen form of adverbial participle does not have to express a temporal relation to the action of the verbal predicate. It happens in cases where cause-and-effect relations are pushed into the foreground. Such usage of adverbial participles is also typical of the Russian language:

6Шена ца луъушехь ша, гIеххьа эхь хеташ, къамел дайна Лиза.

Unwillkürlich fühlte sie und betreten.

Unwittingly, she embarrassedly.

As it is evident from this example, adverbial participle clauses of Chechen are expressed in German with finite verbal forms, resulting in the status of accompanying action being lost.

Chechen adverbial participle forms are capable of communicating an idea of emphasized simultaneity with the action of the verbal predicate. It happens by means of gemination of the final consonant in the stem of an imperfective adverbial participle. In German, the meaning of emphasized simultaneity is expressed by various lexical means:

7 «Хьалххе яздина хIумма а цахилар чIагIдо-кх аса», – аса, сайгара тIаьххьара ткъех туьма стоьл тIе.

«Ich behaupte, es gibt keine Vorherbestimmung», ich und dabei an die zwanzig Tscherwonzen, alles, was ich in der Tasche hatte, auf den Tisch.

In this example, gemination of the final consonant in the stem of the Chechen imperfective adverbial participle – serves to underline the fact of simultaneity of the expressed action with the action of the verbal predicate. In German, there is a lexical qualifier, lacking in the Chechen language.

The idea of emphasized simultaneity of actions is expressed in the Chechen language by means of attacking an affix - to the adverbial participle form. Concurrently, the final consonant of the adverbial participle stem is geminated. In German, an equivalent to this Chechen form is usually represented by a preterit in a subordinate clause of a complex sentence with or less often as a conjunction:

9 Зонненбурге цо дIаделира тIе печать а таIийна йолу пакет, немцой иза, иза меллаша соне а вахана, къеначу графана улло.

Er übergab Sonnenburg einen versiegelten Brief, und während die Deutschen, ging er bescheiden in die Ecke und neben den alten Grafen.

In order to communicate the taxis meaning of simultaneity, the Chechen language may also use some analytic structures. The most common of them is the one formed by putting together an oblique case of the dependent form of participle with words like – while, or –. Functional and semantic equivalent of this form is German preterit in the subordinate clause of time with a conjunction that has a meaning of simultaneity with the action of the main verbal predicate:

10 Со корехь хиъна, церан файтонийн тата суна.

Ich am Fenster, als ich das Rasseln ihrer Kutsche.

Here, similar to how it happens in Russian, the meaning of processuality is combined with a category feature of action, accompanying the predicate. The function of processuality and simultaneity coincides with the semantic complex of “accompanying process”. This function of the Chechen form in question is the same as the function of a Russian imperfective adverbial participle (Bondarko, 1983, p. 154).

Samples factual material has shown that Chechen adverbial participle forms in a function of the simultaneity taxis may also correspond to German infinitive forms, namely, Participle I and II, as well as a form of Infinitive I. Frequency of such German forms in the analyzed texts is low. It should be noted that German Participle I и II in the analyzed texts are used only in adverbial meaning. Here is an example:

Людвига, хIара ю аьлла хIумма а яа ца йуура цо.

Ludwigada und aß fast nichts.

Chechen form has a status of a dependent taxis and designates an event taking place simultaneously with the main action In the German variant, a functional equivalent of the Chechen form is represented by a Participle I,. German language scholars hold that Participle I and II are capable of expressing the meaning of simultaneity with the action of a verbal predicate and are in this meaning, “second order predicates” (Balin, 1961, p. 115; Schendels, 1982, p. 110).

Functionally similar are aspectual characteristics of these Chechen and German forms. Chechen adverbial participle designates an action that have not reached its boundary. The form of German Participle I shows that it tends towards expressing the meaning of unattained boundary of an action:

Йолу дас санна шад бина долу, меллаша цуьнан говр.

Das Pferd gemächtig, dem Wald.

The German action is an indicator of duration (repetition) and clearly defines the adpectual characteristic of the main action. The Chechen action has a taxis meaning of simultaneity with the main action and expresses an action that has not reached its boundary.

The form of German Participle II is capable of expressing precedence with respect to the predicate. In its aspectual meaning, it has a seme of “attained boundary of the action”. However, analyzed samples show cases where this form neutralizes its main meaning. Here, we talk about cases when the German Participle II is used with an explanatory meaning instead of the meaning of a reached boundary. In such usage, the German form usually designate an accompanying resultant state. Let us note, that the Russian adverbial participle behaves similarly in such cases. it depends not on tense or aspect of the adverbial participle, but on various extralinguistic factors (Kamynina, 1974, p. 131). For example:

Василек цунна юххера дIаведира. Баьргех юха а ведда легионераш хIун деш бу иза .

Wassiljok machte sich von ihm aufs Neue, was die Legionäre machten.

Here, the Chechen participle form expresses simultaneity with the action of. German Participle II has a meaning of the resultant state and loses its typical meaning of precedence. Thus, in both compared languages, there is a correlation between an accompanying and the main action, and the general temporal relation between actions is kept.

German Participle II is capable of getting a meaning of simultaneity with the action of a verbal predicate. In this function it is used as a component of some analytical constructions. In this case, Chechen and German forms are functionally equivalent.

Раймонда ша ца кхеташ долчу къамеле,.

Reimund auf die ihm unverständlichen Worte,.

German Infinitive I may also serve as an equivalent to the Chechen form of adverbial participle. In the studied material the authors recorded a case, where German Infinitive I was used in an infinitive clause with. This construction means an action without stating either person, number, or tense. German infinite forms are capable of expressing taxis relations (Zherebkov, 1977) In the following example, the meaning of simultaneity is obtained by both Chechen and German forms:

15 «Райкомо бохучуьнга, колхоз юьллучу а, ялта дуьйчу а заманчохь аьрру агIор некъ хIара».

die Direktion des Bezirkskomitees; er bei der Kollektivierung und beim Einsammeln des Saatgutes eine linkradikale Haltung.

In the example above, Chechen imperfective adverbial participle within the boundaries of subordinate taxis means a prolonged action that took place in the past simultaneously with the main action expressed by. The taxis meaning of simultaneity of the German Infinitive I is especially vivid when intransitive verbs are used, as is the case in Example 15, where the action of takes place simultaneously with the action of. The fact that these actions are simultaneous may be confirmed by replacing the German Infinitive I with the Infinitive II (), where the meaning of precedence is clear.

German infinitive group with may also serve as a functional equivalent to the Chechen adverbial participle form. The meaning of simultaneity typical of both compared forms is weak here, as a cause or a goal are being brought into the foreground:

Давыдов веха, салазан йиста ляцна, когаш.

Eine Zeitlang Dawydow, an die Seitenstange geklammert, neben dem Schlitten, warme Füße.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find all possible typological equivalents of the Chechen form in question in the German language. The study is being conducted on the factual material in the Chechen, German and Russian languages.

Research Methods

In this work, the authors employed comparative-translation method, which includes collection and processing of factual material, observation, analysis and logical description of obtained results.


Results of the research show that there is a necessity in extensive research in the field of contrastive study of Chechen with other languages (in the case of the authors it is the German language). Such works will help find peculiarities of the native Chechen language which would have evaded scholarly attention in case of exclusively monolingual description of grammatical categories.


1The main way to express simultaneity of events in the Chechen language is imperfective adverbial participle, oriented with the reference towards the action period of the verbal predicate and designating an accompanying process. In this function, Chechen adverbial participle is similar to Russian imperfective adverbial participle.

2The meaning of simultaneity is taken by the Chechen form in question in aspectual-taxis contexts “long sequence”, “duration - simultaneous duration” and is characterized with a combination of an accompanying and the main action with both (all) of them having a meaning of having not reached the boundary of the action. In German, such a meaning is formed by a combination with preterit and no delineation into main and accompanying actions take place.

3Designating an accompanying action, Chechen imperfective adverbial participle may be combined with perfective main action. Such a combination is a pairwise structure, where the meaning of simultaneity of the accompanying action largely appears due to influence from the aspectual-taxis situations “duration - occurrence of fact” or “occurrence of fact - duration”. In the German language, in this case taxis meaning of simultaneity of the event is formed by means of subordinate temporal clauses with conjunctions or.

4In the Chechen language, when an adverbial participle with a -ш affix is combined with cause-and-effect meaning, temporal relations between the actions are not actualized. The same phenomenon is also typical of the Russian language: In the German language, in such a case the functional equivalent is represented by preterit, at that, cause-and-effect relations are often kept in the background.

5In the Chechen language, an idea of emphasized simultaneity of an accompanying action with the main one is formed by attaching a suffix -ехь to the stem of imperfective adverbial participle and gemination of the final stem consonant. In German, an equivalent to this Chechen form is usually represented by a preterit in a subordinate clause of a complex sentence with or less often as a conjunction:

6German infinite verbal forms (Participle I and II, Infinitive I) may serve as an equivalent to the Chechen adverbial participle with the -ш affix. The Chechen form and German Participle I demonstrate significant similarity in the context of the simultaneity taxis.


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Dagirov, M. S., Abdukadyrova, T. T., & Malutkhan Abu-Khadshievna, M. A. A. (2022). Taxis Of Simultaneity In Chechen And German Languages: A Comparison. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 286-293). European Publisher.