Sentence structure of possessor predication (Surgut Khanty)

PsrPrd=Adn: Possessor predication displays the same structure as that of adnominal possessive constructions.

PsrPrdV: The predicate is a lexical verb; the possessor appears in the form required by the verb.

(1a) tēm köčəɣ āťe-m köčəɣ.

det knife I father-1sg knife

‘This knife is my father’s knife.’ (L. N. K.)

(1b) tēmi āťe-m köčəɣ.

det father-1sg knife

‘This is my father’s knife.’ (L. N. K.)

(2a) tēmi qojaɣi köčəɣ? köčɣ-am.

det who knife I knife-1sg

‘Whose knife is this? Mine.’ (L. N. K.)

(2b) tēmi qojaɣi köčəɣ? mā-nə taj-ʌ-i.

det who knife I-loc possess-prs-3sg

‘Whose knife is this? Mine.’ (L. N. K.)

(3a) āťe-m-a tēm köčəɣ ārjaʌ-əm.

father-1sg-lat det knife belong-pst.ptc

‘This knife belongs to my father.’ (L. N. K.)

(3b) tēm köčəɣ mā-ntem ārjəʌ-i.

det knife I-dat belong-pst.pass.3sg

‘This knife belongs to me.’ (L. N. K.)

In Surgut Khanty, the possessive construction (1b) and the possessor predication (3a) do not substantially differ from each other. Since the possessor is unmarked in both constructions, the possessive relationship is only evident from the word order. If the possessed entity does not follow the possessor, the relationship is not obvious. As a consequence, the predicate must entail both nominals (i.e. the possessor and the possessed entity) (1a), (1b), (2a). The repetition of the possessed entity can be avoided by substituting the subject with a determiner (1b). Sometimes the possessive relationship can be coded by a possessive verb, a habitive construction (2b), or circumscription (3a, b).


Márta Csepregi