Case marking alignment of ditransitive nominal constructions (Synja Khanty)

PT–R: The objects of monotransitive and ditransitive verbs are marked the same way; the recipient is marked differently.

PR–T: The patient of a monotransitive verb and the recipient of a ditransitive verb are marked the same way; the theme of a ditransitive verb is marked differently.

NoVAgr: The verb does not display agreement with P, T, or R.

VAgrSpec: The verb codes agreement based on other syntactic considerations.

(1) pox ńāń (P) lē-l.

boy bread eat-prs.3sg

‘The boy is eating bread.’ (S. O.)

(2) ānťe-l ńāwrem-al-a (R) ńāń (T) ma-l.

mother-3sg child-3sg-lat bread give-prs.3sg

‘The mother gives bread to her child.’ (S. O.)

(3) ānťe-l ńāwrem-al (R) ńāń-ǝn (T) ma-l-li.

mother-3sg child-3sg bread-loc give-prs-obj.3sg

‘The mother gives bread to her child.’ (S. O.)

(4) ānťe-l-n (A) ńāwrem-ǝl (R) ńāń-ǝn (T) ma-l-a.

mother-3sg-loc child-3sg bread-loc give-prs-pass.3sg

‘The mother gives bread to her child.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, nominal objects are unmarked (cf. Honti 1984: 96) both next to monotransitive (1) and ditransitive (2) verbs. Ditransitive constructions have two types. The first one follows the schema of “somebody gives something to somebody”, where the nominal recipient takes a lative suffix (2) and the nominal direct object is in the nominative case. In the other type, “somebody gives somebody with something”, the nominal recipient takes the unmarked accusative case (2) while the direct object gets a locative suffix, which is in the instrumental function (cf. Onina 2009, Nikolaeva 1999a: 40, Honti 1984: 96). The first construction requires the verb to be in the indeterminate conjugation, while the second construction is used with determinate verb forms. In the latter case, the verb form is agreed with the recipient because the recipient is in the object position.

Ditransitive constructions often appear in the passive voice, where the agent function is marked by the locative suffix, the recipient is unmarked, while the theme takes a locative suffix functioning as an instrumental. In the passive voice, the verb agrees with the recipient of the clause (which is the subject of the construction) (S. O., F. L.).


Nikolett F. Gulyás