Copula types (Surgut Khanty)

Cop=VInfl: The copula, when explicit, is inflected just as lexical verbs.

(1a) pӯrəs īmi wos-əm.

I old lady cop-1sg

‘I’m an old lady.’

(1b) ʌüw pӯrəs īmi.

she old lady

‘She is an old lady.’

(2) nīn jəm jɔ̄q-qən wos-tən.

you_two good people-du cop-2du

‘The two of you, you are good people.

(3) məŋ səməŋ-ət wos-əw.

we brave-pl cop-1pl

‘We are brave.’

(4a) aj äwi woʌ-əm.

I little girl be.pst-1sg

‘I used to be a little girl.’

(4b) ʌüw aj äwi woʌ.

she little girl be.pst.3sg

‘She used to be a little girl.’

(5) səməŋ-kə waʌ-a!

brave be-imp.2sg

‘Be brave!’

In the present tense, the copula and the substantive verb are separate categories in Surgut Khanty. The nominal predicate in the first and second person in all three numbers (Sg., Du., Pl.) is used with the copula wos- (1a), (2), (3). Next to third person subjects, the copula is not compulsory (1b). The substantive verb is used as the copula in the past tense (4a, 4b) and in the imperative (5) for every person.

Conjugation of the copula:

sg du pl

1. wos-əm wos-mən wos-əw

2. wos-ən wos-tən wos-təɣ


Conjugation of the substantive verb in the present tense:

sg du pl

1. waʌ-ʌ-əm waʌ-ʌ-əmən waʌ-ʌ-əw

2. waʌ-ʌ-ən waʌ-ʌ-ətən waʌ-ʌ-ətəɣ

3. waʌ-ʌ waʌ-ʌ-əɣən waʌ-ʌ-ət

Conjugation of the substantive verb in the past tense:

sg du pl

1. woʌ-əm woʌ-mən woʌ-əw

2. woʌ-ən woʌ-tən woʌ-təɣ

3. woʌ woʌ-ɣən woʌ-ət


Márta Csepregi