Categorical status of auxiliaries (Northern Mansi)

AuxVInfl:  Auxiliary verbs are verbs, and the inflection of lexical and auxiliary verbs is the same.

AuxNotVInfl:  Auxiliaries are verbs, but the inflection of auxiliaries is not identical to that of lexical verbs.

(1) wōrajan χum-ǝt sāw lēŋen kāt-n patt-uŋkw wērmi-s-ǝt.
hunter man-pl lot squirrel hand-lat lead-inf able-pst.3pl
‘I think that the hunters killed a lot of squirrels.’ (S. D.)

(2) taw matum ēkwa ōl-uŋkwe pati.
she old woman be-inf begin.prs.3sg
’She will be an old woman.’ (S. D.)

(3) ānum-n min-uŋkwe ēri.
I-dat go-inf have_to.prs.3sg
’I have to go’ (S. D.)

In Northern Mansi, auxiliaries are conjugated the same way as verbs. For instance, the conjugated auxiliary wērmi ‘able’ with the infinitive of the main verb expresses epistemic possibility (1), while the future tense is coded by the infinitive of the main verb + the conjugated form of the pati ‘begin’ auxiliary (2). Some of the auxiliaries, however, cannot take suffixes like ēri ‘have to’ which expresses situational necessity and does not agree with logical subject neither in person, nor in number (3).


Szilvia Németh