The Ormuri Language in Past and Present

Forum for Language Initiatives
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FLI Language and Culture Series 6
xvi, 318 p.
Dr. V.A. (Valentin Aleksandrovič) Efimov was born on 22 March, 1933, in the interior countryside of Russia. As a young man he moved to Moscow to study at the State University there. He successfully pursued an academic career at the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, where he worked for the larger part of his life as an expert of the languages of Afghanistan, and of Iranian linguistics in general. He died on 27 March, 2007, after a painful illness, at the age of 74. At the time of his death, he was professor and chair of the Iranian languages department of the Institute of Linguistics, as well as a member of the academic council of the Institute. Dr. Efimov conducted his fieldwork on the Ormuri language in the summer of 1971 in the Logar valley in Afghanistan. One of his Ormuri language consultants from Logar, Mr. Khalilullah Ormur, came to Moscow for university studies during the 1970s, thus providing Dr. Efimov with the opportunity for further work with a native speaker. Dr. Efimov‘s main work on Ormuri was published as a monograph in 1986, written in Russian. A literal translation of its title is, The Ormuri Language in a Historical and Synchronic Light. True to its title, the book pairs an in-depth synchronic analysis and description of Ormuri phonology and morphology to an equally in-depth historical-comparative analysis of the same. The purpose of publishing an English translation of The Ormuri Language is, on the one hand, to enhance the accessibility of Dr. Efimov‘s important work to the professional linguistic community outside of Russia. On the other hand, the purpose is also to call attention once again to the fate of this interesting language. It has, amazingly, persisted over many centuries in the face of pressure from the surrounding predominant Persian and Pashto languages. Nowadays, however, it is on the verge of extinction in Afghanistan (where only a few members of the older generations are still able to speak it), and it is still alive but seriously endangered in Pakistan.
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Contents List of tables viii Editor’s foreword ix Abbreviations xii Transcription conventions xv 1. Introduction 1 2. Phonology 17 2.1 The vowel system 17 2.2 Vowel correspondences 22 The vowel /a/ 23 The vowel Log. /å/ and Kan. /ā/ 25 The vowel /e/ 26 The vowel /i/ 29 The vowel /o/ 31 The vowel /u/ 34 2.3 The consonant system 39 2.4 Basic lines of historical development in the consonant system 44 2.5 Consonant correspondences 54 Consonants /p/ and /b/ 54 Consonants /t/ and /d/ 56 Consonants /k/ and /ɡ/ 57 Consonants /č/, /ts/, /ǰ/, /dz/ 58 Consonants /f/ and /w/ 63 Consonants /s/, /z/, /š/, /ž/ and Kan. /ř/ 65 Consonants /x/, /ɣ/, Kan. /xo/ (xʷ), /ɣo/ (ɣʷ) 72 The consonant /y/ 74 Consonants Log. /x̌/ and Kan. /š/ 76 Consonants /r/ and /l/ 78 Consonants /m/ and /n/ 81 The consonant /h/ 83 Proto-Iranian/Ormuri consonant correspondences 84 Reflexes of consonantal clusters 87 2.6 Stress 88 2.7 The syllable 92 3. Morphology 93 3.1 Nominal parts of speech 96 Noun and adjective stems 96 Thematic stems 107 Athematic stems 113 Nouns 116 Gender 116 Number 119 Grammatical relations of the noun 126 Definiteness/Indefiniteness 132 Adjectives 133 Degrees of comparison 138 Numerals 139 Cardinal numbers 139 Ordinal numbers 142 Pronouns 143 Personal pronouns 143 Enclitic personal pronouns 149 Demonstrative pronouns 152 Pronominal directional particles 160 Interrogative pronouns 161 Reflexive and quantifying pronouns 162 3.2 The verb 166 Present-tense stems 166 Past-tense stems 172 Preverbs 179 Personal endings 181 Auxiliary verbs 188 The conjugation system 189 The indicative mood 190 The present-future tense 191 The simple past tense 195 The continuous (iterative) past tense 202 The perfect 203 The pluperfect 206 The subjunctive mood 207 Present-future tense (aorist) 207 Past tense 209 The continuous past tense 211 The pluperfect 212 The imperative mood 212 The irrealis mood 213 The passive 214 3.3 The adverb 214 Postpositions 216 Prepositions 222 Particles 224 3.4 Conjunctions 229 4. Texts 231 4.1 Texts from Logar 231 4.2 Texts from Kaniguram 266 Appendix: Ormuri etymological vocabulary 277 References 311 Publications in Russian 311 Publications in other languages 315
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Iranian languages
endangered languages
descriptive linguistics
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Jazyk ormuri v sinxronnom i istoričeskom osveščenii, by Efimov, Valentin Aleksandrovič. original language: Russian Published: Izdatel'stvo “Nauka”, Glavnaja Redakcija Vostočnoj Literatury, 1986
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