Pronouns in Khanty: Northern and Eastern. (Ostyak)

1. Preface

This article describes some of the features of pronouns (ProN) in Khanty (formerly known as Ostyak). Basis is primarily the grammatical sketch ‚Ostyak‘ by Irina Nikolaeva with additions from the ‚Ostjakische Grammatik‘ by W. Steinitz (for the dialect of Sherkal) and some Information for Eastern Khanty by D. Abondolo.

To describe Khanty is a difficult task because of it’s bunch of dialects which differ greatly in detail.

2. Number system

Khanty has 3 Numeri:

(1) Northern Khanty: SG -ø Eastern K.: SG -ø

DU -ŋən DU -ɤən

PL -(ə)t PL -t

3. Pronouns

ProNs are only used for emphasis. There are the following normal personal ProNs:

(2) personal pronouns of Northern Khanty

Pers / Num

SG

DU

PL

1

ma

min

muŋ

2

naŋ

nin

niŋ

3

luw

lin

luw(ət)

ProNs can be used as pronouns, proadjectives or proadverbs. Pronouns inflect like normal nouns but with different cases.

(3) Cases for pronouns

Case

form

Descr.

NOM

Normal NOM

ACC

stem-POSS

LOC

stem-POSS-na

There is no TRANS. If you want to say something transitive, you have to use postpositions.

There is only seldom a LOC and without locative meaning. For locative meanings with pronouns you have also to use postpositions.

The Accusative is only there with the pronouns. It functions as: DO, IO, experiencer.

In Eastern Khanty the Accusative is -(aa)t, there is no DISTRIB or EXPL, LAT is -ø, ABL is -niiyt and all other cases become an additional -tii.

4. Demonstrativa (DEM)

The DEMs differ in the following aspects:

(4) concrete vs. abstract

near vs. far

independent vs. attributive

The DEMs can also act as pronouns (which inflect for normal case, NUM and POSS), proadjectives (which are the uninflected form and modify nouns) and proadverbs.

(5) DEMs in Eastern Khanty

independent

attributive

independent

near

teemii

teem

tjii

tjiit

far

tomii

tom

tjun

tjiit

concrete

abstract

(6) DEMs in Sherkal

independent

attributive

this one

tamə

tam

that one

tomə

tom

he, this

sit

si

he

sut

one

ij

The deixies in Khanty are as following:

(7) Northern Khanty deixies:

proximal

distal

anaphoric

proADJ

tam

tum

śi ‚that‘

siməś ’such‘

itta(m) ‚that

proN

tami

tumi

śit

ProADV

LOC

tata, ti

tu:ta, ta

śita

ABL

talta

tu:lta

śalta

LAT

tijəś

to:xəś

śijəś

manner

tata:ji

śiti(ji), śitəś

(8) Eastern Khanty deixies

stasis

Mot. from

Mot. to

towards

near

te-t

te-ɬ

te-ɤə

te-ɤə-naam

far

to-t

to-ɬ

taa-ɤə

taa-ɤə-naam

5. Reciprocals (REC)

Reciprocals in Northern Khanty are only existent in 3, 2p and 2d in the following form:

(9) kut – l – ə – na

’space in between‘ PL POSS LOC

6. Interrogatives (INTERR)

The interrogatives are different in eastern and northern. In eastern they are based on two stems ko- and me- while in northern the stems are xo-/xa- and mo-/ma-.

(10) INTERR in Northern and Eastern Khanty

specific

Non-spec.

emphatic

Eastern K.

Sherkal

gloss

ProN

xoj

-taw

a:-

kojaɤii

xoj

‚who‘

(also ProAdj)

mola

mosa

a:-

meɤwii, kotə

muj

‚what‘ (’sort of‘)

(also ProAdj)

matit

koɬ

mata:

‚which‘ (’ne‘)

ProAdv

xata

a:-

kot

?

‚where‘

xalśa

a:-

?

?

‚from here‘

xoti

a:-

koɬnə

?

‚how‘

mola:ji

mosa:ji

a:-

?

?

‚why‘

xunti

a:-

kuuntə

?

‚when‘

7. Indefinite pronouns (INDEF)

Indefinite pronouns differ in terms of specificity and non-specificity, negativity of if they are free-choice. They are just like the INTERR with an additional postposition.

Abondolo and Steinitz are giving two examples:

(11) INDEF in Sherkal and Eastern Khanty

Eastern

Sherkal

’something‘

metääɬii

mottə

’someone‘

kojikaam

matta:, xoja:t

8. Quantative pronouns

(12) Quantative pronouns in Northern Khanty

form

gloss

proN

asat

‚everybody‘

(also proAdj)

itliji

‚everybody‘, ‚all‘

(also proAdj)

asa

‚everything‘, ‚all‘

ProAdj

ka:səŋ

‚each‘

ProAdv

iju:lti

‚everywhere‘

iwe:ŋna

‚always‘

11. Literature

  • Nikolaeva, Irina A.: Ostyak. München, Newcastle: LINCOM Europa. 1999
  • Steinitz, Wolfgang: Ostjakische Grammatik. Leipzig: Harrassowitz. 1950
  • Abondolo, Daniel: Khanty. In: Abondolo (Ed.): The Uralic languages. London, New York: Routledge. 1997

12. PDF

Please use the PDF, as it looks much better.

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