ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Ilina, Natalia (Izhevsk)

nyomtatható változat

Ulilljam-vylilljam: On Tenses of Udmurt Folk Tales

Analysis of the language of folklore in general and the language of folklore genres in particular belongs to the topical problems of humanitarian knowledge. Combined approach of linguistics and folklore studies towards folklore texts allows revealing the functions of linguistic structures within folklore texts and opens the potential of these structures (for more information see Khrolenko, Bobunova, and Zavalishina 2004; Yazyk folklora 2005, etc.).
In the light of the above-mentioned approach the current paper deals with the verb tenses used in Udmurt folk tales. Despite the fact that the tense system of Udmurt is represented by 8 tenses, only few of them are actively used in the texts of folk tales. This phenomenon may be caused by the functional characteristics of the texts. Due to the fact that a folklore fairy tale tells about the events which are depicted as belonging to the past or even imaginary, the vast majority of verbs used in the narration are given in the form of Preterite II (Second Past Tense) which aims at expressing the idea that the action or event could not have been witnessed by the narrator: Одиг салдат кема служить карем эксейлы ‘One soldier served the tsar for a long time’. The use of particle пе ‘they say, it is said’ in the combination with Preterite II adds certain degree of evidence and objectivity to the narrative: Одиг мурт, пе (particle), мынэм (Pret. II) вал утчаны но йыромем ‘They say, that one man went to look for his horse and got lost’. On the contrary, in the speech of personages the actions completed in the past are usually expressed by Preterite I (First Past Tense) and express the evident character of the action which can be proved by the evidence provided by the speaker’s own experience: «Нэнэ-у, пе, шуэ, ачмелэн коркан оло-мар адями зын вань, кин ке ветлиз(Pret.I) ма?» «Лыктиз (Pret.I), пие, лыктиз (Pret.I), - шуэм (Pret.II) шунды-мумы, - эмеспимы лыктиз (Pret.I).» ‛Mother, he says, there is a smell of a human in our house, has anyone been here? - Has been, sonny, has been, - said the mother of the sun, - our son-in-law has come.’ In order to visualize the narration, verbs given in the form of Preterite II are often followed by verbs in the form of the Present Tense: Луткечез адзем (Pret.II) но, пычалзэ мертаны кучкем (Pret.II) но - луткеч вазе (Pres.): «Адями уром, монэ эн ыбы!» ‘(He) saw a hare and began to aim a gun at it - and the hare says: “Man, Don’t kill me!”’

References:

Хроленко А. Т. , Бобунова М. А., Завалишина К. Г. Сопоставительная и кросскультурная лингвофольклористика // Вестник Воронежского Государственного Университета. Серия Гуманитарные науки. 2004. № 2. С. 47 - 52.
Язык фольклора: Хрестоматия / Сост. А. Т. Хроленко. - М.: Флинта: Наука, 2005. - 224 с.

In English.