Object-headed relative clauses (Synja Khanty)

RCnonO: While the nominal head of a relative clause can be understood to be the object of the clause, this role is not marked grammatically; instead, the noun is only marked for its syntactic role in the main clause.

(1) wɔ̄š-n lūt-ǝm ūlas-em-ǝn ɔ̄mǝs-l-ǝm.

I town-loc buy-pst.ptc chair-1sg-loc sit-prs-1sg

‘I am sitting on the chair, which I bought in the town.’ (S. O.)

(2) tum ūlas-em-ǝn ɔ̄mǝs-l-ǝm, āmati wɔ̄š-n lūt-s-ǝm.

I that chair-1sg-loc sit-prs-1sg which town-loc buy-pst-1sg

‘I am sitting on that chair, which I bought in the town.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, the most common relative construction entails a participle (1), however subordination with relative pronouns is also possible (2) (Honti 1984: 102‒106, Nikolaeva 1999a: 77‒88, S. O.). In the participle construction, though the noun head is in the object function (1), it takes the case ending required by the main verb (here it is the locative). The same is true for subordinate clauses (2) where a pronoun refers to the head noun appearing in the main clause.


Nikolett F. Gulyás