Coding of the causee in ditransitive constructions (Surgut Khanty)

DitrCeeP: The causee appears in the same form as the patient of a non-causative transitive construction.

DitrCeeObl: The causee appears in a non-instrumental oblique case.

(1a) ťēťāŋki mōqmuq-əʌ-a posylka kit-ʌ.

grandmother grandchild-3sg-lat package send-prs-3sg

’The grandmother sends a package to her grandchild.’ (M. M. S.)

(1b) ťēťāŋki počtaljon posylka kit-taɣə pārt-əʌ mōqmuq-əʌ-a.

grandmother postman package send-inf order-prs-3sg grandchild-3sg-lat

‘The grandmother sends a package to her grandchild by the postman.’ (M. M. S.)

(1c) ťēťāŋki mōqmuq-əʌ-a posylka kit-ʌ počtaljon sɔ̄ɣit.

grandmother grandchild-3sg-lat package send-prs-3sg postman by

‘The grandmother sends a package to her grandchild via post.’ (M. M. S.)

(1d) ťēťāŋki-ʌ-nə kit-ʌ-i posylka mōqmuq-əʌ-a počtaljon sɔ̄ɣit.

grandmother-3sg-loc send-prs-pass.3sg package grandchild-3sg-lat postman by

‘A package was sent to the grandchild with the postman by her grandmother.’ (M. M. S.)

In Surgut Khanty, the most frequent causative construction (both with transitive and ditransitive verbs) is periphrastic. The main verb of the construction is pārt- ‘order’, which is accompanied by the infinitive of the verb denoting the causal event (1b). Both the causer and causee take the nominative case, and the object which is made during the caused event is in the object position (1b). The same meaning can be conveyed with the sɔ̄ɣit ‘by/with, in the fashion of’ postposition, which, however, cannot be categorized grammatically as a causal construction (1c). If the postpositional construction is in the passive voice, the subject takes an additional locative suffix (1d).


Márta Csepregi