Predicative comparative constructions (Synja Khanty)

Abl: The standard is grammatically or morphologically marked to express an ablative (‘from’) meaning.

+NoCompMk: The comparative function is not marked.

+CompMkAff: The comparative function is marked using a special affix (prefix, suffix, or circumfix).

(1) mɔ̄jpar muŋ ēʟt-ew jūrəŋ.

bear we -from-1pl strong

’The bear is stronger than us.’ (S. O.)

(2) mɔ̄jpar šɔ̄war ēʟti jūrəŋ-šək.

bear rabbit -from strong-comp

’The bear is stronger than the rabbit.’ (S. O.)

There are two predicative comparative constructions in Synja Khanty. In the first construction, the standard of comparison takes the postpostion ēʟti expressing ablative, which also gets a personal suffix if the standard is a personal pronoun. The comparee is in the nominative case and the adjective is also unmarked in this construction (1). If the difference between the compared entities is not substantial, the other construction is used where the standard is in the ablative case, the comparee is unmarked, and the predicative adjective takes the -šək suffix (S. O., Honti 1984: 65‒66, Nikolaeva 1999a: 20‒21).


Nikolett F. Gulyás