Past tense (Surgut Khanty)

1Pst: There is one grammatically distinct past tense.

(1a) mɔ̄ʌqatʌ mīša wɔ̄č-nam mən.

yesterday Misha town-appr go.pst.3sg

‘Yesterday, Misa went to the town.’

(1b) mɔ̄ʌqatʌ wɔ̄č-nam jaŋqiʌ-əm.

yesterday I town-appr walk-pst.1sg

‘Yesterday, I was in the town.’

(2a) äwi-t jēk-ʌ-ət.

girl-pl dance-prs-3pl

‘The girls are dancing.’

(2b) äwi-t jīk-ət.

girl-pl dance-pst.3pl

‘The girls were dancing.’

There is only one past tense in Surgut Khanty, which, however, does not have a unique, overt morpheme marker. The personal suffixes are attached directly to the stem (1a, 1b). The marker of the present tense is (2a). In some verb stems, the quality of the vowel changes in the past tense form: lower and middle vowels become high vowels (2b).


Márta Csepregi