Infinitive Interrogative Sentences in Russian and Persian: Modal Meanings of Potentiality and Efficiency


The article is a study of infinitive interrogative sentences bearing meanings of potentiality and efficiency in Russian and the means to render those in Persian. Both for Russian and Persian, such interrogative syntactic constructions and the relevant range of meanings are typical. As is known, in Russian infinitive is a verbal form though in a sentence it can combine the noun-and-verb functions, while in Persian, infinitive functions as a noun. As a rule, so-called Russian ‘indefinite verbal form’ reflects various subjective and objective modal meanings, in particular, those of potentiality and efficiency which differs in Persian rather to reflect modal meanings of desirability, possibility, necessity, the must, inevitability, doubt, motive, etc. In relevant contexts the combination of modal meanings of desirability and possibility forms the potentiality meaning which is expressed by various linguistic means to form sentences: intonation, lexical and grammatical units, semantical components; other contexts of using such linguistic means to combine modal meanings of desirability and motive reveal the meaning of efficiency. The meanings themselves are not characteristic of Persian infinitive primarily due to their grammatical properties and belong to nouns therefore in Persian the mentioned above meanings and senses could be reflected by other linguistic means as well. The task of the study is to tackle the question of what are the means and manner they might make linguistic analogy to transmit semantics of potentiality and efficiency in Persian, while they are expressed in Russian infinitive interrogative sentences and rhetorical questions.The article treats infinitive interrogative sentences and rhetorical questions with infinitive as a predicate to render the semantics of potentiality and efficiency on the drama texts by M.Yu. Lermontov and A.P. Chekhov and the epic novel by A.N. Tolstoy. In course of comparative study, the translations into Persian of those texts were involved to find out similarities and differences of linguistic means used to reflect and reveal the semantics of infinitive interrogative sentences.

About the authors

Amir Aliasghar Hoseini

Tehran University

Author for correspondence.

Associate professor in Department of Russian language and literature

15/16, North Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran, 1417466191

Tabassom Khakrah Kahnamouei

Tehran University


Phd student of the Department of Russian language and literature

15/16, North Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran, 1417466191


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