Tajik Persian Complex Predicates

Persian complex predicates are of particular interest because their semantics are often idiosyncratic and their structure frequently deviates from general rules of Persian syntax. In spite of these peculiarities, Persian complex predicates are not a marginal part of the language. They form an open, productive class, and are more common than simple verbs. 

One puzzling theoretical question about Persian complex predicates is how they are represented in the mental lexicon. Since the meaning of a complex predicate is not entirely predictable based on the individual semantics of the preverb, or non-verbal element (NV) and the verb (V), it is hypothesized that NV and V must be stored in the mental lexicon as a single construct with a single meaning. But this hypothesis is complicated by the fact that in some clauses, the NV and V can be separated by other morphemes.

In this paper, I will present a hypothesis based on Construction Grammar that will: (a) account for the productivity of the Persian complex predicate constructs; (b) describe the way instances of this construction are stored in the mental lexicon; and (c) explain how they are unified with other constructions in a clause-including clauses in which the NV and V become separated.

Click this link to read more:Tajik Persian Complex Predicates.

7 responses to “Tajik Persian Complex Predicates

  1. Hi,
    (nice to see others sharing an interest… – i found this site only today…).
    Very interesting paper. There’s a forgotten paper by Z. Telegdy, ‘nature et fonction des périphrases verbales dites <> en persan’. published in 1950. (i can give publication details if you wish, it’s also out in his ‘opera omnia’). for some reason no publication seems to take note of this article (only Lazard mentions it somewhere…). I’d highly recommend reading it, if only for the methodology.


  2. Thanks for the recommendation of Telegdy’s paper. Is it written in French? Is there a translation in English? Unfortunately Farsi and Tajik are the only languages I read aside from English.


  3. Hi Brian

    I’m trying to download your papers but keep getting a “bad gateway” message. Please help. I’d like your thesis and the paper on Tadjik complex predicates.
    Tom Payne


  4. Thanks for letting me know about the bad link. I’ve fixed it. You should be able to download this paper now.


  5. Hi Brian,

    The paper looks interesting–I’m not a linguist, but I ran into this question while I was teaching Persian this past year. In my search for answers about the productivity of light verbs, I came across an excellent article by (and obtained the unpublished dissertation of) a recent PhD from a Paris university. If you’re interested in it let me know by email and I’ll send it along.


  6. Thanks for the offer. Yes, I would like to read the article you mentioned.


  7. Here’s a summary of one of her papers–her contact info is on it, and I’m sure she’ll send you a copy of her dissertation if you ask.

    Click to access 31Neiloufar.pdf


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