Marking of function S on nouns (Synja Khanty)

Neutr: Case alignment is neutral: the functions S, A, and P are not marked morphologically.

(1) pox   ńax-l.

boy laugh-prs.3sg

    ‘The boy is laughing.’ (S. O.)

(2) ńāwrem pisma xanš-l.

    child letter write-prs.3sg

‘The child is writing a letter.’ (S. O.)

(3) ńāwrem-ǝn pisma xanš-l-a.

child-loc letter write-prs-pass.3sg

‘The letter is written by the child.’ (S. O.)

(4) pox šaŋkǝp-l-a.

boy sweat-prs-pass.3sg

‘The boy is sweating.’ (S. O.)


In Synja Khanty, the S in the active voice takes the nominative case (1) just like the A (2). The verb is agreed with the S in number and person (Honti 1984: 88, 93‒96, Nikolaeva 1999a: 30‒34, 38‒39, Solovar 2009, 2010, Kulonen 1989). In the passive voice, the A is marked by the locative case (3). Perception and change-of-state verbs often appear in passive constructions where the S is in the nominative. This structural preference is probably due to the fact that these events are not initiated by conscious actors (M. L., S. O., F. L.).


Nikolett F. Gulyás