Use of copula with nominal predicate (Surgut Khanty)

NCopDep: Depending on certain grammatical circumstances, the copula does occur with nominal predicates.

(1) pӯrəs īmi wos-əm.

I old woman cop-1sg

‘I’m an old woman.’

(2) ʌüw aj äwi woʌ.

she little girl be.pst.3sg

‘She was a little girl.’

(3) ʌüw pӯrəs īmi.

she old woman

‘She is an old woman.’

(4) ʌīn jəm jɔ̄q-qən.

they_two good people-du

‘The two of them, they are good people.’

(5) ʌəɣ qūʌ kənč-čə qūj-ət.

they fish look_for-prs.ptc man-pl

‘They are fishermen.’

In Surgut Khanty nominal predicate constructions, the copula is used with first and second person subjects in all numbers (singular, dual, plural) in the present tense (1), and with all persons and all numbers in the past tense (2). In the present tense, the copula does not appear with third person subjects (3), (4), (5).


Márta Csepregi