Finiteness in morphology and syntax: Evidence from Abaza

2023. №1, 103-131

Peter M. Arkadiev
Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia;


The article surveys morphological and syntactic ramifi cations of finiteness and nonfiniteness of verbal forms in the polysynthetic Abaza language (Northwest Caucasian, Karachay-Cherkessia). In Abaza, a whole range of morphological phenomena exhibit more or less robust correlations with dependent resp. subordinate status of the clause. However, I show that none of these phenomena can be treated as an unequivocal indicator of (non)finiteness, paying particular attention to several types of verbal forms that combine morphological features of both finiteness and nonfiniteness. Hypotheses motivating these “paradoxical” constellations of properties are put forward.

For citation:

Arkadiev P. M. Finiteness in morphology and syntax: Evidence from Abaza. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2023, 1: 103–131.


The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant No. 22-18-00120.