Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Word Order in Azerbaijani

Another lovely post from our guest author Alef:

In general, the usual word order in Azerbaijani is Subject-Object-Verb. For example:

Mən azərbaycanca danışıram.

However, Azerbaijani word order is very flexible and you can manipulate it depending on what you want to emphasize and how formal or poetic you want your sentence to be. As sentences get longer and more complex, this flexibility of word order decreases but even then it is possible to change it. Let’s see how many ways of saying I study the Azerbaijani language there would be:

Mən Azərbaycan dilini öyrənirəm.
Öyrənirəm Azərbaycan dilini mən.
Mən öyrənirəm Azərbaycan dilini.
Öyrənirəm mən Azərbaycan dilini.
Azərbaycan dilini öyrənirəm mən.
Azərbaycan dilini mən öyrənirəm.

Notice that in spite of changes, the words for Azerbaijani and language (Azərbaycan dilini) always occur together because one modifies the other. If you separate them, the sentence will lose its coherence.

Here is a complex sentence with several clauses that has less room for manipulating word order:

Bu il Novruz bayramını dostlarımla elə yaxşı qeyd etdik ki, ondan sonra nəinki üç gün bayram havası başımdan çıxmadı, hələ bir dostlarla bir həftə boyunca görüşüb sanki bayram edirmişik kimi əyləndik də.

Keeping it as literal as possible, an approximate translation would be: We celebrated Novruz holiday with   my friends so good that not only I was in holiday mood following three days but actually we met and had fun with friends as if we were still celebrating it throughout the week. 

Here is the changed word order:

Elə yaxşı qeyd etdik ki, dostlarımla bu il Novruz bayramını, nəinki ondan sonra üç gün bayram havası başımdan çıxmadı, hələ bir həftə boyunca sanki bayram edirmişik kimi görüşüb əyləndik də dostlarla. 

The first order is the usual one. The second one is more bookish. Also, notice that changes in word order happen within blocks but the place or sequence of the blocks does not change ( (1)Novruz...qeyd etdik, (2)nəinki...başımdan çıxmadı, (3) hələ bir...əyləndik də ).

For practical purposes remember that, in general: 1) Subject is the first word in sentence, 2) verb tends to be the last word, 3) all other words are in between (adjectives, adverbs, numbers, exclamations, etc), 4) qualifying words (adjectives, adverbs) most often immediately precede the qualified (nouns, verbs) words.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi,it was really fruitful,Thanks a million times.