Subject-headed relative clauses (Synja Khanty)

RCnonS: While the nominal head of a subject-headed relative clause can be understood to be the subject of the clause, this role is not marked grammatically; instead, the noun is only marked for its syntactic role in the main clause.

(1) ūtǝltǝ-ti pisma xanš-ǝm ńāwrem piln ūjtantǝ-s.

teach-prs.ptc man letter write-pst.ptc child -with meet-pst.3sg

‘The teacher met the child, who had written a letter to him.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, the head noun of a relative construction does not reflect its function within the immediate clause because it takes the case ending corresponding to its sentence function (S. O.). In the present example, ńāwrem ‘child’ is the subject of the relative construction but it takes a commutative case ending as the argument of the verb (ūjtantǝti ‘meet’).


Nikolett F. Gulyás