Marking of the recipient in ditransitive pronominal constructions (R)

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.

VAgrPTnoR: The verb codes agreement with P and T the same way; agreement with R is not coded.

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) ńāwrem manem (P) kaš-l-ǝli.

child I.acc look_for-prs-obj.3sg

‘The chid is looking for me.’ (S. O.)

(3) ńāwrem manem (R) ńāń (T) ma-l.

child I.dat bread give-prs-3sg

‘The child is giving bread to me.’ (S. O.)

(4) ńāwrem manem (R) ńāń-ǝn (T) ma-l-li.

child I.acc bread-loc give-prs-obj.3sg

‘The child is giving me bread.’ (S. O.)

(5) ńāwrem-ǝn mā (R) ńāń-ǝn (T) ma-l-ajǝm.

child-loc I bread-loc give-prs-pass.1sg

‘The child is giving me bread.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, personal pronominal recipients take the dative case (3). The nominal (1) and the non-personal pronominal objects are unmarked (cf. Honti 1984: 96), while the personal pronominal object takes the accusative case (2) (cf. Onina  2009:  30) (which is homonymous with the dative). There are two ditransitive constructions in Synja Khanty. The first construction follows the schema of “somebody gives something to somebody”. In this case, personal pronominal recipient takes the dative case (3), and the nominal theme (direct object) is in the nominative case. In the other construction, “somebody gives somebody with something”, the personal pronominal recipient takes the accusative case (4) (which is structurally identical to the dative suffix), and the direct object takes a locative suffix functioning as an instrumental in the construction (cf. Onina 2009, Nikolaeva 1999a: 40, Honti 1984: 96). It means that, in the second shema, the pronominal recipient is homonymous with the direct object (theme) of the other construction. The verb form in the first construction follows the indeterminate conjugation. In the latter construction, however, the verb is conjugated according to the determinate paradigm because the recipient is in the object position. With accusative-dative endings, first and second person pronouns  require the use of the determinate verb form in Synja Khanty.

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.). Thus, the function of personal pronouns in ditransitive constructions can be determined by the markedness or unmarkedness of the theme (Nikolaeva 1999a: 40), the conjugation pattern of the verb and the context. The topic requires further research.


Nikolett F. Gulyás