Towards a typology of semantic development of the verbs meaning ‘see’: Evidence from Tatyshly Udmurt

2023. №5, 85-100

Egor V. Kashkin
Vinogradov Russian Language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia;


The article deals with a previously undescribed construction in Tatyshly Udmurt (< Uralic),
which consists of a grammaticalized verb aˀǯ’ə̑nə̑ ‘see’ (адӟыны in Standard Udmurt) and a lexical verb in the infinitive. I discuss the semantics of this construction and the related distributional restrictions, as well as some of its morphosyntactic properties. The data were collected in fieldwork by elicitation. The construction in question indicates that the situation described by the infi nitive has negative consequences. From the morphosyntactic point of view, the components of the construction cannot be separated or switch places; the construction only allows the habitual reading in the present tense (being used without this restriction in the other tenses), it cannot fall under the scope of question or of negation. The semantic pattern of the construction under discussion is analyzed against the typological data on the possible development of the verbs meaning ‘see’. As far as I could find out, no examples which could be considered parallel to my data were previously attested. An explanation involving Turkic contact influence (plausible for some other phenomena in Tatyshly Udmurt) is problematic in this case, since there is no evidence of a similar construction in Turkic. A possible parallel is provided by the constructions with the items okazyvaetsja ‘it turns out’ and ja vižu ‘lit.: I see’ in Russian. Both these constructions also point at the situation of discovery and express contrast, which refers, however, to the speaker’s expectations rather than the evaluation of a situation as undesirable.

For citation:

Kashkin E. V. Towards a typology of semantic development of the verbs meaning ‘see’: Evidence from Tatyshly Udmurt. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2023, 5: 85–100.


The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project 22-18-00285 at the Lomonosov Moscow State University).