Distinctions within necessity (Surgut Khanty)

DeonSitNonEp: Situational and epistemic necessity are totally distinguished in terms of verbal modality.

(1) īttən wēra-ɣa jaqə-n waʌ-taɣə mɔ̄s-ʌ.

evening Vera-lat home-loc be-inf must/have_to-prs.3sg

‘Vera has to be at home in the evening.’ (L. N. K.)

(2) īttən wēra ńīči jaqə-n waʌ-ʌ.

evening Vera probably home-loc be-prs.3sg

‘Vera should be home in the evening = She is likely to be home in the evening’ (L. N. K.)

In Surgut Khanty, situational necessity is expressed by the auxiliary mɔ̄s- ‘must/have to’ and the infinitive of the main verb (1). Epistemic modality is expressed by adverbs (2).


Márta Csepregi