Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Language and Literature University of Farhangian


The aim of this research is to study the effect of Persian language on Azerbaijani compound verb construction. Data were collected from Azerbaijani resources and the interactions of 30 speakers of this language in Ardabil province (Ardabil, Meshkin Shahr and their surrounding regions). Native Azerbaijani compound verbs plus those borrowed from Persian were extracted from the collected data and their frequency was determined. The research method is descriptive-analytic, because at first the data were classified in the framework of the verb accommodation strategies in the borrowed language and they were analyzed according to the common approaches in language contact literature. Results show that no Persian finite verb has entered Azerbaijani language. Azerbaijani language uses two strategies to accommodate Persian finite verbs. The light verb construction and indirect insertion are two important strategies that Azerbaijani speakers use to accommodate Persian verbs. The frequency of light verb construction (Persian non-verbal element + Azerbaijani light verb) in the speakers’ speech is very high in comparison to indirect insertion strategy (Persian noun or adjective + Azerbaijani verb making affixes) and Azerbaijani native compound verbs. In spite of some previous studies considering Azerbaijani compound verbs as patterns borrowed from Persian, this research finding shows that light verb construction is not a new pattern in Azerbaijani and this construction exists in the language itself. Azerbaijani speakers use the extending strategy to increase the frequency of this construction matching that of Persian. Borrowed Persian non-verbal element causes Azerbaijani speakers to choose among alternative verb making constructions (Persian non-verbal element + Azerbaijani light verb and Persian noun or adjective + Azerbaijani verb making affixes) the one corresponding to Persian construction. This change resulting in Azerbaijani progressive convergence to Persian is a natural consequence of language contact.


Ahmadi-Givi, H. 2004. Comparative grammar of Turkish and Persian. Tehran: Gatreh. [In Persian].
Chikovani, G. 2005. Linguistic contact in central Asia. In Linguistic
     Convergence and ArealDiffusion: Case studies from Iranian, Semitic and
     Turkic, E. Csato, A. Bo Isaksson and c.Jahani (eds), 127-132, London:
Dabir-Moghaddam, M. 1995. Compound verb in Persian. Linguistics, 1 (2), 2-46. [In Persian].
Dabir-Moghaddam, M. 2013. Iranian language typology. Volume 1, First publication. Tehran: The organization for researching and composing university textbooks in the humanities (SAMT). [In Persian].
Farzaneh, M. 1978. The base of Azarbayjanian grammar. Tehran: Farzaneh publication. [In Persian].
Heidarizadi, R., Hosseini-Maasoum, M., Najafian, A & Roshan, B. 2017. Phase Derivation of a Class of Persian Compound Predicates. Journal of Linguistics & Khorasan Dialects, 2 (15), 53-74. [In Persian].
Heine, B. 2006. Contact-induced Word Order Change without Word Order Change[Working Papers in Multilingualism, Series B, 76].  University of Hamburg: Sonderforschungs-bereich 538: Mehrsprachigkeit.
Hosseinzadeh-Azad, T. 2003. Compound verb in Turkish language and its derivations. M. A dissertation in linguistics, Tehran: Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies. [In Persian].
Johanson, L. 1999.  The Dynamics of  Code-Copying in Language Encounters. In Language Encounters Across Time and Space (ed).By Bernt Brendemoen, Elizabeth Lanza and Else Ryen, 37-61. Oslo: Novus Press.
Karimi-Doostan, Gh. 2005. light verbs and structural Case. Lingua 115: 1737-1756.
Khanlari, P. 1986. A history of the Persian language. 2th edition. Tehran: Nashr Now publication. [In Persian].
Mahmoodi, S. 2014. Azarbayjanian Language during history. Second international conference of Iranian  Languages and dialects, Iranian Islamic research center. [In Persian].
Mohammad, J., & Karimi, S. 1992. Light verbs are taking over: Complex verbs in Persian. Proceedings of WECOL, 19–212.
Moravcsik, E. 1975. Verb Borrowing. Wiener Linguistische Gazette 8, 3-30.
Myers-Scotton, C. 2002. Contact linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nagzguyekohan, M. & Abdolmaleki, A. 2014. Verb borrowing in Persian, Kurdish and Azarbayjani. Comparative linguistic researches, 7, 97-113. [In Persian].
Rouhani, A., R. 1999. Compound verb in Turkish language. M. A dissertation in linguistics, Tehran: Tarbiat Modares University. [In Persian].
Thomason, S. & Kaufmæn, T. 1988.  Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics. Berkeley: University of  California Press.
Thomason, S. 2001. Language Contact. Edinburgh: EUP.
Underhill, R. 1979. Turkish grammar. Cambridge: MIT.
Wohlgemuth, J. 2009. A Typology of Verbal Borrowing. Printed in Germany.