Syncretism in the verbal paradigm (Synja Khanty)

SyncSP: Verbs show person and number agreement with the subject; the paradigm includes syncretic forms.

(1a) ūxǝl-ŋǝn wēr-l-ǝln.

sledge-du make-prs-du.obj.2du

‘The two of you are carving two sledges.’ (Onina 2009: 37)

(1b) ūxǝl-ŋǝn wēr-l-ǝln.

sledge-du make-prs-du.obj.3du

‘The two of them are carving two sledges.’ (Onina 2009: 37)

(2a) ūxəl-ŋən wēr-l-əlam.

I sledge-du make-prs-du.obj.1sg

‘I’m carving two sledges.’ (Onina 2009: 37)

(2b) ūxl-ət wēr-l-əlam.

I sledge-pl make-prs-pl.obj.1sg

‘I’m carving sledges.’ (Onina 2009: 37)

(3a) ūxl-ǝt wēr-s-ǝlǝn.

sledge-pl make-pst-pl.obj.2du

‘The two of you carved many sledges.’ (Onina 2009: 38)

(3b) ūxl-ǝt wēr-s-ǝlǝn.

sledge-pl make-pst-pl.obj.3du

‘They carved a lot of sledges.’ (Onina 2009: 38)

(4) jāst-aln!


‘You two, say it!’ (singular object)


‘You(pl.), say it!’ (singular object)


‘You(sg.), say it!’ (dual object)

‘You(sg.), say it!’ (plural object)


‘You two, say it!’ (dual object)


‘You(pl.), say it!’ (dual object)

‘You two, say it!’ (plural object)

‘You(pl.), say it!’ (plural object) (Onina 2009: 39‒40)

In Synja Khanty, the verbal morphology indicates the person and number of the subject (Sg, Du, Pl), tense, mood, voice, and the number of the object (Sg, Du, Pl). With second and third person dual subjects, and dual and plural objects in the objective (determinate) conjugation, the present and past tense indicative verb forms are syncretistic (­ǝln and ­ǝlǝn). The -aln imperative suffix of the objective (determinate) conjugation may refer to second person dual and plural subjects, and singular, dual and plural objects (Onina 2009: 37‒40).


Nikolett F. Gulyás