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11. Coordinating Converbs

The coordinating converbs serve to chain clauses together, usually two but potentially more. The last verb in the chain is the 'finite verb' carrying tense and other information. All but -n can be used together with auxiliary verbs in constructions reminiscent of the English progressive tense. The coordinating converbs do not take the reflexive suffix.

Mongolian traditionally has three coordinating converbs: , -aad4, and -n. Tserenpil-Kullman characterise these as cVDS (coordinating Verb Determining Suffixes). Apart from these three, the converb -саар might usefully be included here since its uses parallel those of the three traditional members.

1. The -n form is semantically closely bound with the main verb, often in fixed combinations, indicating an action that happens right before or at the same time as that of the main verb and has been characterised as Converbum Modale (Poppe) with a 'Modal' or 'Associative' function. It is frequently used to indicate the manner in which an action is performed. This converb always correlates with 'same subject'.

Same subject

neg ödör žižigxen xöörxön xaraacaj ene xoto-d nis-en / ir-žee.
one day little sweeet swallow this city.DAT fly.en / come-PST

One day a sweet little swallow came / flying to this city.

ᠨᠢᠭᠡ ᠡᠳᠦᠷ ᠵᠢᠵᠢᠭᠬᠡᠨ ᠬᠥᠭᠡᠷᠦᠬᠦᠨ
ᠬᠠᠷᠢᠶᠠᠴᠠᠢ ᠡᠨᠡ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ ᠳᠦ ᠨᠢᠰᠦᠨ

Нэг өдөр жижигхэн хөөрхөн хараацай энэ хотод нисэн иржээ.

2. The form indicates actions that happen in parallel or in succession (Poppe's Converbum Imperfecti, described as 'Imperfective' or 'SIMULultaneous'). There is a strong tendency to 'same subject', but 'different subject' uses are also found.

Same subject

bi duul-ž, büžigel-sen.
1sg sing.SIMUL, / dance.PST

I sang / and danced.

ᠪᠢ ᠳᠠᠭᠤᠯᠠᠵᠤ᠂ ᠪᠦᠵᠢᠭᠯᠡᠭᠰᠡᠨ᠃

Би дуулж, бүжиглэсэн.

Different subject

bi duul-ž, Gerelmaa büžigel-sen.
1sg sing.SIMUL, / Gerelmaa dance.PST

I sang / and Gerelmaa danced.

ᠪᠢ ᠳᠠᠭᠤᠯᠠᠵᠤ᠂
ᠭᠡᠷᠡᠯᠮ᠎ᠠ ᠪᠦᠵᠢᠭᠯᠡᠭᠰᠡᠨ᠃

Би дуулж, Гэрэлмаа бүжиглэсэн.

Analytically-expressed aspect (Progressive)

The form occurs in an extremely common analytically-expressed aspect, overwhelmingly with the verb baj-x but occasionally with other verbs like suu-x 'to sit, to be'.

bi yav-ž baj-na.
1sg go.SIMUL be.PRS

I'm going (="I'm on my way").

ᠪᠢ ᠶᠠᠪᠤᠵᠤ ᠪᠠᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ᠃

Би явж байна.

3. The -aad4 form has been described as indicating actions occurring in succession (Poppe's Converbum Perfecti, 'Perfective' or 'Anterior'), but can also indicate actions that occur over a longer period of time than . There is a strong tendency to 'same subject', but 'different subject' is also found.

Same subject

bi neg žil-ijn xugacaa-taj-gaar yav-aad / ir-sen.
1sg one year.GEN period.COM.INST go.ANT / come.PST

I went away / and came [back] during a period of one year.

ᠪᠢ ᠨᠢᠭᠡ ᠵᠢᠯ ᠦᠨ ᠬᠤᠭᠤᠴᠠᠭᠠᠲᠠᠢ ᠵᠢᠠᠷ
ᠶᠠᠪᠤᠭᠠᠳ ᠢᠷᠡᠭᠰᠡᠨ᠃

Би нэг жилийн хугацаатайгаар яваад ирсэн.

Different subject

tenger duugaar-aad / boroo oro-v.
sky sound.ANT / rain fall.PST

It thundered / and rained.

ᠲᠡᠩᠷᠢ ᠳᠤᠤᠭᠠᠷᠠᠭᠠᠳ ᠪᠣᠷᠤᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠣᠷᠤᠪᠠ᠃

Тэнгэр дуугаараад бороо оров.

Analytically-expressed aspect (Progressive)

The -aad4 form occurs in a relatively common analytically-expressed aspect, overwhelmingly with the verb baj-x. Like -ž baj-x it refers to an action that is continuing, but suggests that the action has been continuing for some time, with possible negative connotations.

xen neg xün xaalga cox'od baj-na.
who one person door knock.ANT be.PRS

Someone keeps knocking at the door.

ᠬᠡᠨ ᠨᠢᠭᠡ ᠬᠦᠮᠦᠨ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠯᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠴᠣᠬᠢᠭᠠᠳ ᠪᠠᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ

Хэн нэг хүн хаалга цохиод байна.

4. The converb -saar expresses an action of long duration (Poppe's Converbum Abtemporale, 'Perfective', 'Anterior', 'Progressive Perfect'). It theoretically expresses an action that has started before the main action but is often used to refer to an ongoing action that is still in progress. Use of this converb always correlates with 'same subject'.

bid mašin-aar jav-saar / neg ajl-d xürev.
we car.INST go.PROG / one household reach.PST

Travelling by car / we came to a household.

ᠪᠢᠳᠡ ᠮᠠᠱᠢᠨ ᠵᠢᠠᠷ ᠶᠠᠪᠤᠭᠰᠠᠭᠠᠷ
ᠨᠢᠭᠡ ᠠᠢᠯ ᠳᠦ ᠬᠦᠷᠡᠪᠡ᠃

Бид машинаар явсаар нэг айлд хүрэв.

Analytically-expressed aspect (Progressive Perfect)

With an auxiliary verb, Tserenpil & Kullmann treat this as an 'analytical aspect', the 'Progressive Perfect'. It expresses an action that is still continuing or will continue in future.

oron nutag-t šataxuun-y une nemegd-seer baj-na.
country.DAT fuel.GEN price be-increased.PROG be.PRS

The price of fuel keeps rising in local areas.

ᠣᠷᠤᠨ ᠨᠤᠲᠤᠭ ᠲᠤ ᠰᠢᠲᠠᠬᠤᠨ ᠦ
ᠦᠨ᠎ᠡ ᠨᠡᠮᠡᠭᠳᠡᠭᠰᠡᠭᠡᠷ ᠪᠠᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ᠃

Орон нутагт шатахууны үнэ нэмэгдсээр байна.

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