Desiderative constructions (Synja Khanty)

ImplInf: The desired event is expressed by an infinitive appearing as the object of the verb ‘want’.

ExplN: The desiderative construction appears as a simple subject–predicate clause in which ‘want’ is expressed through the nominal subject. The desired action is subordinate to this subject, and the structure explicitly refers to the subject of the desired action. The latter may appear, for example, as a participial phrase.

(1) luw kāsəl-ti laŋxa-l.

(s)he move_out-inf want-prs.3sg

‘(S)he wants to move out.’ (Onina 2009: 53)

(2) lāpka-ja man-ti wēr-em ū-l.

I shop-lat go-prs.ptc thing-1sg be-prs.3sg)

‘I want to go to the shop.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, the desire of the agent to do something can be expressed with the help of the laŋxati ‘want’ (1) or uććәti ‘want, start’ verb + infinite constructions (cf. Onina  2009). It is also possible to express the same meaning with the construction (2) in which the target of desire is coded by the present participle and the noun meaning ‘thing’ takes a personal suffix (e.g. “my going-to-the-shop thing” in (2); cf. Csepregi 2012a). In the latter construction, the predicate is the substantive verb.


Nikolett F. Gulyás