Marking of causal relationships (Synja Khanty)

CauseV: Causal relationships are marked by a special verb form in the reason clause.

CauseWV1: Causal relationships are exclusively and obligatorily marked by an independent word (referent) in the main clause.

(1) āmp ēʟti paltami-man miša jūx-a xūŋxəmt-əs.

dog from get_frightened-conv Misha tree-lat climb-pst.3sg

‘Misha climbed up a tree because he got frightened by a dog.’ (F. L.)

(2) miša muw-a man-ti utśija-l, śit ūrǝŋ-ǝn āŋľiskij jāsǝŋ ūtaltij-l.

Misha other land-lat go-inf want-prs.3sg that way-loc English language learn-prs.3sg

‘Misha is learning English because he wants to go abroad.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, causal relations can be expressed with participle (and gerund) constructions (1), and with subordination (2) (cf. Honti 1984: 102‒106, Nikolaeva 1999a: 45‒49). Instead of subordination, two simple sentences can be put next to each other and it is often enough to infer a causal relationship between the events.

(3) lekkar-a jaŋx-s-om. ox-em kašit-ǝs.

doctor-lat go-pst-1sg head-1sg hurt-pst.3sg

‘I went to see the doctor because I had a headache.’ (F. L.)

In subordinate sentences, the connective element (śit ūrǝŋǝn ‘that way’) is compulsory in the main clause, and there is no conjunction in the subordinate clause. The typical clause order is the following: subordinate clause – main clause.


Nikolett F. Gulyás