Word order in copular constructions (Synja Khanty)

PredCop: The copula follows the nonverbal predicate.

(1) lij xul wēl-ti jɔ̄x-a ū-s-ǝt.

they fish kill-prs.ptc people-lat cop-pst-3pl

‘They were fishermen.’ (F. L.)

(2) lij jūrǝŋ-ǝt ū-s-ǝt.

they strong-pl cop-pst-3pl

’They were strong.’ (S. O.)

(3) jɔ̄l-n ū-s-ǝm.

I home-loc cop-pst-1sg

’I was at home.’ (S. O.)

In Synja Khanty, the copula is only used next to marked predicates (i.e. in the past tense) (Honti 1984: 97‒99, S. O., F. L.). The copula is at the end of the sentence irrespective whether the word it extends is a noun (1), an adjective (2), or an adverbial (3) (cf. Nikolaeva 1999a: 40‒42, Solovar 2009).


Nikolett F. Gulyás