Paj-Puj: Expressing Possession in Uyghur: Basic Concepts

Expressing Possession in Uyghur: Basic Concepts

ئۇيغۇر تىلىدىكى تەۋەلىك مۇناسىۋىتىنى بىلدۈرۈشكە ئائىت ئاساسىي بىلىملەر

The means of expressing that one noun possesses another in Uyghur is similar to that which is found in English, but comes with an additional grammatical requirement. As in English, there exists a suffix (the genitive case suffix نىڭ) that is attached to the owner in the same way that the apostrophe-plus-S is attached to the general noun in English:

cat + 's = cat's
مۈشۈك + نىڭ = مۈشۈكنىڭ

Father + 's = Father's
دادا + نىڭ = دادىنىڭ

company + 's = company's
شىركەت + نىڭ = شىركەتنىڭ

As in English, certain pronouns (notably, the personal pronouns) have slightly modified forms that are not simply the addition of the pronoun and the genitive:

I + 's = my
مەن + نىڭ = مېنىڭ

you + 's = your
سەن + نىڭ = سېنىڭ

However, Uyghur is particular in that the possessed noun must be modified via the addition of a possessive suffix that corresponds to the possessor.

my car
ماشىنا + م = ماشىنام

your friend
دوست + ۇڭ = دوستۇڭ

its boss
باشلىق + ى = باشلىقى

The "shorthand" versions with just possessive suffixes alone - in the three examples above, ماشىنام، دوستۇڭ، باشلىقى - are often sufficient to express the desired idea in Uyghur when the possessor is already clear from the context. The more "complete" versions, مېنىڭ ماشىنام، سېنىڭ دوستۇڭ، ئۇنىڭ باشلىقى, are also correct, but may often seem wordy unless (a) one wants to place emphasis on the possessor, or (b) the possessor is not yet clear and must be stated explicitly. However, while stating the possessor explicitly is often optional, it would be incorrect to leave out the possessive suffix and use مېنىڭ ماشىنا، سېنىڭ دوست، ئۇنىڭ باشلىق (although this is permitted, as an exception, for certain plural pronouns).


  1. Personal research/experience
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  8. Hämit Tömür, "Modern Uyghur Grammar" (translation by Anne Lee). Yıldız: Istanbul, 2003. (p. 16, 18, 54, 58, 174-175)
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  12. 易坤琇, "维吾尔语语法"。中央民族大学出版社: 北京, 1998。 (p. 25-27)
  13. G. Raquette, "Eastern Turki Grammar: Practical and Theoretical with Vocabulary". Reichsdruckerei: Berlin, 1912. (p. 125, 155, 156)
  14. 米海力, "维吾尔语喀什话研究"。中央民族大学出版社: 北京, 1997。 (p. 63, 81)