Morphosyntactic alignment of nouns (Surgut Khanty)

Nom: Two categories are distinguished from a morphosyntactic perspective: 1. [Sa, Snona, Aa and Anona]; 2. [P]. This type is known as nominative or nominative–accusative.

(1) āj äwi pəʌ-ʌ.

little girl fear-prs.3sg

‘The girl is afraid.’

(2) āj äwi ɔ̄məs-ʌ.

little girl sit-prs.3sg

‘The girl is sitting.’

(3) āmp ʌāŋki ojaɣtə-ɣ.

dog squirrel notice-pst.3sg

‘The dog noticed a squirrel.’

(4) īki qɔ̄t wär-ʌ.

man house make-prs.3sg

‘The man is building a house.’

In Surgut Khanty, the nominal subject/agent of both intransitive (1)–(2) and transitive (3)–(4) verbs is marked with the nominative case. The nominal patients of transitive clauses are also in the nominative case, only because nouns do not have accusative forms. The word order and the context can help to clarify the role of nominals in transitive clauses. The agents of verbs that express intentional or unintentional actions, existential events, or states are marked the same way.


Márta Csepregi