Research article
Issue: № 7 (35), 2022


A set of similar grammatical events is called a grammatical category. Grammatical categories occupy an important place in grammar, especially in morphology. Each grammatical category has its own morphological and syntactic features. Since each of the world's languages has its own grammatical structure and internal development laws, its grammatical categories are also different. That is, grammatical categories do not appear in the same form in different languages of the world. Case category, which is very important in linguistics, has its own place and importance in Azerbaijani and Arabic. This article examines grammatical and semantic categories in Azerbaijani and Arabic, the number of grammatical categories, the position of the case category in the system of grammatical categories in Azerbaijani and Arabic, their rules of processing, etc. In addition, here the principles of determining whether the case category is a special or a general grammatical category in Azerbaijani and Arabic languages are specified.

1. Introduction

The grammatical structure of a language is one of the main dimensions that distinguish it from other languages. This difference also manifests itself in grammatical categories. Grammatical categories in different languages ​​differ from each other in certain aspects, as well as in terms of number. For example, the case category has six forms in Modern Azerbaijani, four in German, seven in Georgian, and fourteen in Estonian or there are two (masculine, feminine) forms of the gender category in French, and three (masculine, feminine and neutral) forms in Russian [1, P. 270].

Nowadays, many linguistic theories attempt to describe case, using of cases, and case systems in world languages, and they try to determine the position of case category in the system of grammatical categories. In this regard, there are a number of studies by Azerbaijani linguists, and there are different views about it.

In linguistics, grammatical categories are divided into two parts: general and special grammatical categories. While general grammatical categories refer to several parts of speech rather than just one part of speech, specific grammatical categories refer to only one part of speech. Declension in Arabic is not only characteristic of nouns [2, P. 94, P. 56].

In Arabic, there are three cases: nominative, accusative, genitive. The marks of cases are –u/un (nominative), –a/an (accusative) and –i/in (genitive).

2. Methods and principles

The research of position of case category in the system of the grammatical categories in Azerbaijani and Arabic is based on a complex analysis principles, including comparative, descriptive methods.

3. Discussion

In The Arabic language, nouns, adjectives, verbs and relative pronouns have the character of declension. Declansion of verb in Arabic reminds mood category of verb in Azerbaijani. Examples:

Noun: كتابٌ [kita:bun] – a book (nominative); كتاباً [kita:ban] – a book (accusative); كتابٍ [kita:bin] – of a book (genitive); الكتابُ [al-kita:bu] – the book (nominative); الكتابَ [al-kita:ba] – the book (accusative); الكتابِ [al-kita:bi] – of the book (genitive).

Adjective: فتاةٌ جميلةٌ [fata:tun dᴣami:latun] – a beautiful girl (nominative); فتاةً جميلةً [fata:tan dᴣami:latan]  – a beautiful girl (accusative); فتاةٍ جميلةٍ – [fata:tan dᴣami:latan].

Relative pronouns: الذي [al-lazi:] which, who, that (nominative); الذينَ [al-lazi:na] which, who (nominative in plural); الذَيْنِ [al-lazeini] which, who (accusative, genitive in dual);

Verbs: يزهبُ  [yazhabu] – he is going (predicate);أن يزهبَ  [an yazhaba] – to go (optative); لم يزهبْ he did not go (predicate in the past tense).

We can also come across about that in K. Rydingʼs and M. Chortchiʼs  researches. They also try to show that in addition to the noun in the Arabic language, other parts of speech also participate in the formation of the case category [3, P. 92], [4, P. 210]. Therefore, in Arabic, the case category can be considered a general grammatical category

It should be noted that in Arabic, irab includes eleven categories. Within each category, there are subcategories that have "morphological features" according to the nature of the category. Verb categories include tense, person, species, manner, gender, quantity, and noun categories include definiteness, case, quantity, and gender [3, P. 91]. As we can see, some of these categories are common for verbs and nouns.

Some of these categories are special, and some are contextual (determined by syntax through rules of agreement and government). It is clear and important to distinguish categories such as quantity, gender, person, time from the category of case and image. For example, "quantity" and "gender" are taken as information from the real world (i.e., semantic), whereas "manner" and "case" are defined by the syntactic functions of the words in the sentence structure. Because they are completely intralinguistic features [5, P. 175].

L. Bauer called inflectional categories "inherent" and "contextual", and divided them into two types: “Contextual inflection is the kind of inflection that is determined by the syntactic structure: agreement for person, gender/noun class and number, case-marking. Inherent inflection is the kind of inflection that is not entirely determined by the syntax, although it may have some syntactic relevance” [6, P. 106-107].  For example, the category of gender is considered inherent, because it is a noun-specific category (which exists in nouns themselves), whereas for adjectives it is considered contextual. K. Ryding classifies linguistic categories as follows:

1. Inherent – Tense/aspect; Person; Voice; Gender; Number; Definiteness; Comparison; Humanness;  

2. Contextual – Mood; Gender; Case; Number; Definiteness; Deixis [3, P. 91-92].

As it can be seen, the case category in Arabic is considered a contextual category rather than a special one. In my opinion, it is possible to consider the case category as a special grammatical category in the Azerbaijan language. There are different opinions about whether this category is a special or a general category in our language. However, let's note that the principle of considering this category as a special category differs from that of the Arabic language. Some of our linguists consider the case category to be a special grammatical category because it is considered to be a characteristic of the noun only. It is true that the case category of the noun in the Azerbaijani language is manifested not only in nouns, but also in other parts of speech.

Due to this feature, some of Azerbaijanian linguists include it in the general grammatical category. For example, in Part III of M. Huseynzade's "Modern Azerbaijani language" textbook, published in 1983 [6, P. 42] and in his book reprinted in 2007, devoted to morphology, the categories of quantity, possession, indicative and case are given as general grammatical categories. [7, P. 37]. It can also be seen in the publications of 1963 and 1973 [8], [9]. Y. Seidov very rightly shows that it is absolutely incorrect to consider the categories of case and affiliation in the Azerbaijani language as a general grammatical category. He writes: "To be clear, in our opinion, the categories of case and affiliation cannot be considered general grammatical categories at all. Both of these categories belong to the noun only. In other words, no part of speech is declined except the noun [12, P. ­159-160].­­

The linguist justifies his opinion that although other parts of speech are involved in declension along with the noun, these changes cannot be considered as declension of those parts of speech. Because none of them have specific case forms and case suffixes. That is, no part of speech can be found in its original syntactic position. Each of them acquires the characteristic of becoming a noun [13, P. 160-161], [10, P. 63-64]­.­­ A. Akhundov, referring to O.P. Sunik, divides grammatical categories into two types, general and special, and includes the case category among special grammatical categories [14, P. 152].

Professor G.Sh. Kazimov's remarks are as follows: "Declension of cases is a characteristic morphological feature of nouns. Case is a noun category. Nevertheless, along with nouns, adjectives, numbers, pronouns, infinitives, verbs and a number of adverbs also occur. However, the declension of the mentioned parts of speech is related to a certain condition, and their case does not indicate that the case category is a general grammatical category. Adjectives, numbers, and verbs can not be declined as nouns, in the usual case, but they can be declined when they substantivize. The remaining types of pronouns can acquire its morphological feature by replacing nouns [15, P. 62].

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, when evaluating the case category within the frame of the grammar of The Azerbaijani language, it is more correct to characterize this category as a special grammatical category, as noted by our prominent linguists. Because the syntactic position of adjectives, verbs, numbers and a number of pronouns is that they act as an attribute at the beginning of a noun, and none of them have a specific case suffix. Taking into account all these facts, we consider it more correct to characterize the case category in our language as a grammatical category belonging only to the noun. We must note that, based on this principle, the case category in Arabic can be characterized as a general grammatical category. Because unlike the Azerbaijani language, in the Arabic language all words can be declined in their syntactic position.

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