Tense marking (Surgut Khanty)

SuffT: Tense is expressed through the use of a special suffix.

(1a) ńēwrem jīs-əʌ.

child cry-prs.3sg

‘The child is crying.’

(1b) ńēwrem jīs.

child cry.pst.3sg

‘The child was crying.’

(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 are two tenses in Surgut Khanty: the present and the past. The present tense is marked (­ʌ), the past tense is unmarked (1a, 1b). In some verb stems, the quality of the vowel changes in the past tense: lower and middle vowels become high vowels (2a, 2b).


Márta Csepregi