Epistemic necessity (Surgut Khanty)

EpsDeonElse: Epistemic necessity is expressed through a strategy other than verbal affixes and verb constructions.

(1) īttən vēra ńīči jaqə-n waʌ-ʌ.

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

‘Vera must be at home. (She is usually at home in the evenings.)’ (L. N. K.)

In Surgut Khanty, the epistemic necessity is expressed by the indicative of the verb and the ńīči ‘probably’, ʌüw anta ‘perhaps’, ʌüw toɣә ‘presumably’, or ‘certainly’ adverbials. In real world language use, the context determines whether the sentence expresses epistemic or situational necessity.


Márta Csepregi