Actionality, Aspect, Tense, and Counterfactuality in Kuban Kabardian


  • Peter M. Arkadiev Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences


This paper presents the fieldwork data on the interaction of actionality, aspect, and tense in counterfactual conditional clauses of the Kuban dialect of Kabardian, a polysynthetic Northwest Caucasian language. Kabardian shows non-trivial similarities to Romance languages in its use of the Imperfective Past suffix as a marker of counterfactuality — alone or as a part of the complex marker of the Pluperfect marker where the Imperfect attaches to the Preterite (perfective past). I show that the choice between several types of marking in counterfactual protases (the plain Imperfect, the Pluperfect, and the simple Preterite) primarily depends on actional class and viewpoint aspect: perfective counterfactuals employ either the Pluperfect or the Preterite, while imperfective counterfactuals require the Imperfect, which is in line with the more general distribution of these tense-aspect forms. Theoretical implications of the tense-aspect marking in Kuban Kabardian counterfactual conditionals are also briefly discussed.

How to Cite

Arkadiev, P. M. (2020). Actionality, Aspect, Tense, and Counterfactuality in Kuban Kabardian. Studia Orientalia Electronica, 8(3), 5–21.