Mari converb constructions
Converb constructions are an ever-present phenomenon in the Mari language. Such paired verbs are an areal phenomenon of the Volga region – they can be found in the local Turkic languages (Tatar, Chuvash) and Finno-Ugric languages (Mari, Udmurt, marginally also in Mordvin) alike. In Mari converb constructions, two verbs form a union in which the first verb is in a gerundial form, while the second verb can be conjugated freely. Examples could literally mean "to eating place", "to loving live" or
... to crying send". It is important to note here that the gerund holds the actual semantic content of such a pairing. The second verb – even if it is, grammatically, the main verb – only gives pairing a certain aspectual colouring. The second verb's original lexical meaning is either partially or completely lost in the process. In the pairing "to eating place", for example, the verb "eating" is carried out in a perfective manner, which can be derived from the perfective nature of the action described by this word. Better translations of the examples given here would be "to eat up", "to love for a long time" and "to start crying". This thesis represents an attempt to create a comprehensive overview of this complex mechanism of the Mari language. The handling of converbs in various materials (dictionaries, grammar books, textbooks, scientific analyses) will be compared, an own analysis of the possibilities and limitations of the system will be provided. Special attention will be given to the usage of converb constructions in translations into Mari. By comparing source texts with translations, attempts were made to determine what impulses lead native speakers of Mari to use certain verbs as aspect givers in certain situations.