Word order of interrogative phrases (Synja Khanty)

InitIP: The word order of interrogative phrases is obligatorily sentence-initial.

InS: Interrogative phrases display in situ word order; that is, the IP appears in the same position in a question as would its equivalent phrase in the full-sentence answer to the question.

(1) xūn naŋ joxi man-l-ǝn?

when you home go-prs-2sg

‘When do you go home?’ (Onina 2009: 50)

(2) naŋ mujsar jāsǝŋ-ǝn potǝʀ-ti xɔ̄š-l-ǝn?

you which language-loc speak-inf can-prs-2sg

‘Which languages do you speak?’ (Onina 2009: 51)

(3) pox-en nēm-el muj?

boy-2sg name-3sg what

‘What is your son’s name?’ (Onina 2009: 52)

(4) pox-en kamǝn tal?

boy-2sg how_many year

‘How old is your son?’ (Onina 2009: 52)

(5) muj im-en rūpit-l?

what wife-2sg work-prs.3sg

‘What does your wife do (for living)?’ (Onina 2009: 52)

(6) xoj-a marina pisma xanš-l?

who-lat Marina letter write-prs.3sg

‘Whom is Marina writing a letter to?’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, question words are typically placed in situ, which means that they are put in the position of the element that they substitute (1)–(4). Sometimes, the question word can appear at the beginning of the sentence, but this type is less frequent (5)–(6). The topic requires further research.


Nikolett F. Gulyás