Object-headed relative clauses (Surgut Khanty)

RCnonO: While the nominal head of a relative clause can be understood to be the object of the clause, this role is not marked grammatically; instead, the noun is only marked for its syntactic role in the main clause.

(1) ӯʌə säwər-m-am jūɣ-i āťe-m rӯt wär-ʌ.

down cut-pst.ptc-1sg tree-abl father-1sg boat make-prs.3sg

‘From the tree, which I cut out, my father is building a boat.’ (Csepregi 2012b)

(2) qoʌti tūw-m-a köčɣ-əm-ʌəɣ māntem rūpak-kə jəɣ.

somewhere take-pst.ptc-2sg knife-1sg-abe I-dat difficult-tra become.pst.3sg

‘Without my knife, which you lost, it is difficult for me.’ (Csepregi 2012b)

In Surgut Khanty, the head noun of a relative construction does not reflect its function within the immediate clause because it takes the case ending corresponding to its sentence function. Hence, in the examples above, the objects of the participle constructions take the ablative (1) and the abessive (2) case endings in order to fulfill their sentence roles.


Márta Csepregi