Marking of genitive, adjectival, and relative-clause functions (Surgut Khanty)

AttrReldiff: Genitive constructions and attributive phrases are formed using similar strategies, while relative clauses rely on a distinct strategy.

Attrdiff: The three functions are expressed using three distinct morphosyntactic strategies. This is known as complete differentiation.

(1) qow awəʌ

long sledge

‘long sledge’

(2) jūɣ awəʌ

wood sledge

‘wooden sledge’

(3a) āťe-m awəʌ

father-1sg sledge

‘my father’s sledge’

(3b) āťe-m awʌ­-əʌ

father-1sg sledge-3sg

‘my father’s sledge’

(3c) ʌüw awʌ­-əʌ

he sledge-3sg

‘his sledge’

(4a) āťe-m pūʌt-əm awəʌ

father-1sg harness-pst.ptc sledge

‘the sledge prepared for the ride by my father’

(4b) awəʌ, āťe-m-nə pūʌt-əm

sledge father-1sg-loc harness-pst.ptc

‘the sledge prepared for the ride by my father’

In Surgut Khanty, the noun phrase modifiers precede their heads. If the construction specifies a quality of the noun, the modifier is an adjective (1), (2), but the modifier can be a noun (3a), (3b) or a personal pronoun (3c) in possessive constructions. In both constructions, the modifier is in the nominative case, which means that both constructions can be expressed by the bare juxtaposition of nominative case-marked words. However, if the linguistic element denoting the possessor is a noun, the possessed entity may get a personal suffix, but it is compulsory if the possessor is specified by a pronoun. In this case, all three constructions are morphologically distinct. In subordinate constructions, the modifier may take a special suffix (which indicates the participle function of the element) (4a) or it can be expressed by a separate subordinate clause (4b). Thus the three construction types are marked differently in Surgut Khanty.


Márta Csepregi