Comparative Analysis of the Problem of Tense in Georgian and Turkish Languages


  • Harun Chimke


Tense, Turkish, Georgian, Verbs, Category


Georgian verb is rich in grammatical categories, however, some of these categories are the subject of debate, and category of
time is one of these. According to some linguists, tense is one of the primary categories of the Georgian verb. It is known that a
grammatical category must be expressed by an appropriate affix; however, Georgian verbs do not possess such. It is one of the
elements of tense rows, i.e. it is expressed by one of the rows to which an appropriate question sign (?) is added. The subject of
our interest is whether the tense is a grammatical or a semantic category in Georgian, and what answer we will obtain by comparing
linguistic data with one another.
The issue of grammatical tense is not clear in Turkish linguistic scholarly literature, either. According to the commonly accepted
view in Turkish scientific literature, there are four grammatical tenses in literary Turkish language, however, some linguists divide
past tense into two parts:
Simple tenses in Turkish are divided into five forms and,unlike Georgian, all Turkish grammatical tenses have their own markers:
1. Present-indefinite (-yor): “Kızım sana söylüyorum,gelinim sen işit“ –“I am appealing to my daughter, so may my bride hear
my words“; 2. Future-affirmative (- acak, -ecek): “Ben bu işi yapacağım“ –“I will definitely do this“; 3. present-future (-r, -ar, -er,
-ır, -ir, -ur, -ür) “Son gülen – iyi güler“–“He, who laughs the last, laughs the best“; 4. Future-outcome (-mış
), Turkish: “Sevgisiz
doğmuşsun, sevgisiz büyümüşsün“ –“You were born without compassion and you have grown without it as well“; 5. Past-affirmative
), Turkish: “Diyeceklerini unuttu, hiçbir şey söyleyemedi“–“He forgot what he was going to say, so he could not say
anything“. With these tense markers we can easily understand in which form a particular verb was used.
Accordingly, tense is a clearly expressed grammatical category in Turkish: each tense has its own marker. This very point makes
it clear for Turkish language learners to distinguish the tense form in which the particular verb is. The same cannot be said about
foreigners, namely,about the Turks learning Georgian. Regarding the above-mentioned point,the following can be suggested:
when studying the Georgian language, foreigners should pay attention to the prefixes with which they can express the future
tense by present indefinite, in all other cases attention should be paid to the semantics, i.e. the context.
The comparison of Georgian-Turkish linguistic data reveals difference which causes difficulty in comprehending the tense category
in Georgian verbs. Indeed, in Georgian the tense category has the corresponding semantics and the function of tense in

but is not expressed formally.
we should consider the viewpoint of the scientists claiming that tense is a

category rather than grammatical one.