Copula types (Synja Khanty)

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

(1a) pirš imi.

I old woman

‘I’m an old lady.’ (S. O.)

(1b) pirš imi ū-s-ǝm.

I old woman cop-pst-1sg

‘I was an old woman.’ (S. O.)

(2) āj ēwi-ja ū-s-əm.

I little girl-lat be-pst-1sg

‘I used to be a young girl.’ (S. O.)

(3) luw jɔ̄l-n.

(s)he home-loc

‘(S)he is at home.’ (S. O.)

(4) jām-a ūl-l-əm.

I good-lat be-prs-1sg

‘I’m fine.’ (Onina 2009: 50)

In Synja Khanty, the verb ūlti ‘be, exit’ is used as the copula. Usually, the copula does not appear in the present tense (1a), (3), except next to a few adverbials (4). Otherwise, if it is used in a present tense clause, it expresses the meaning ‘to live’, or it has an emphatic function (cf. Nikolaeva 1999a: 40‒42, S. O.). In the past tense (1b)-(2), the copula is conjugated in the same way as other verbs.


Nikolett F. Gulyás