Syntactic distribution of person marking within possessed nouns alongside nominal possessors (Synja Khanty)

GenPossAff ~ Nonaff: Possessed nouns are optionally marked with possessive affixes; or, the use of such affixes is determined by considerations other than the form of the possessor noun.

(1) āmp-em

I dog-1sg

‘my dog’ (S. O.)

(2a) pox āp

boy dog

‘the boy’s dog’ (S. O.)

(2b) pox āmp-ǝl

boy dog-3sg

‘the boy’s dog’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, if the possessor is denoted by a pronoun, the personal suffix is compulsory on the noun denoting the possessed entity (1). However, if the possessor is referred to by a noun, the personal suffix is optional (2a, 2b) (cf. Abondolo 1998: 378–379, Honti 1984: 90–91, Nikolaeva 1999a: 79–84).


Nikolett F. Gulyás