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: -ž, -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'.
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 -ž 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.
1sg sing.SIMUL, / dance.PST
I sang / and danced.
ᠪᠢ ᠳᠠᠭᠤᠯᠠᠵᠤ᠂ ᠪᠦᠵᠢᠭᠯᠡᠭᠰᠡᠨ᠃
Би дуулж, бүжиглэсэн.
1sg sing.SIMUL, / Gerelmaa dance.PST
I sang / and Gerelmaa danced.
Би дуулж, Гэрэлмаа бүжиглэсэн.
Analytically-expressed aspect (Progressive)
The -ž 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'.
1sg go.SIMUL be.PRS
I'm going (="I'm on my way").
ᠪᠢ ᠶᠠᠪᠤᠵᠤ ᠪᠠᠢᠨᠠ᠃
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 -ž. There is a strong tendency to 'same subject', but 'different subject' is also found.
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
Би нэг жилийн хугацаатайгаар яваад ирсэн.
sky sound.ANT / rain fall.PST
It thundered / and rained.
ᠲᠡᠩᠷᠢ ᠳᠤᠤᠭᠠᠷᠠᠭᠠᠳ ᠪᠣᠷᠤᠭᠠ 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.
who one person door knock.ANT be.PRS
Someone keeps knocking at the door.
ᠬᠡᠨ ᠨᠢᠭᠡ ᠬᠦᠮᠦᠨ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠯᠭᠠ ᠴᠣᠬᠢᠭᠠᠳ ᠪᠠᠢᠨᠠ
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'.
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.
country.DAT fuel.GEN price be-increased.PROG be.PRS
The price of fuel keeps rising in local areas.
ᠣᠷᠤᠨ ᠨᠤᠲᠤᠭ ᠲᠤ ᠰᠢᠲᠠᠬᠤᠨ ᠦ
ᠦᠨᠡ ᠨᠡᠮᠡᠭᠳᠡᠭᠰᠡᠭᠡᠷ ᠪᠠᠢᠨᠠ᠃
Орон нутагт шатахууны үнэ нэмэгдсээр байна.
- 4.1. Verb Forms that take Case Endings
4.2. Daughter clauses
4.3. Other Predicate Forms
4.4. Gedeg (Complementiser)
- 6.1. The reflexive attaches directly to the postposition
6.2 The reflexive suffix attaches to the verb form preceding the postposition
- 10.1.1. Same subject
10.1.2. Different subject (differential subject marking)
10.2. Interpreting the Subject
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