Category Archives: Khanty

Ob-Ugrian cases

Continuing the dubious practise of using my notes as blog material, I figure that since I spent so much time translating the following handout by Prof Ulla-Maija Kulonen, I might as well make it available for others.

One of the areas where Khanty and Mansi have grown apart is in nominal declension. Note the different case systems of each, represented in their southern varities. First southern Khanty:

Nom. xoot ‘house’
(Acc.)
Lat. -a xoota
Loc. -nø xootnø
Abl -ewø xootewø
Instr. -at xootat
Trans. -a (identical with Lat.)
Car. -ta xootta

And then southern Mansi:

Nom. koäl ‘house’
Acc. -mø koälmø
Lat. -nø koälø
Loc. -t koält
Abl -nøl koälnøl
Instr. -øl koääløl
Trans. -äg, -ii koääläg
Car. -töäl koäältöäl

Diachronically interesting differences involve the following cases:

  • The Accusative, which was marked with the old ending *-mø in Proto-Uralic. This is found only in Mansi and has disappeared completely in Khanty and Hungarian, the latter of which shows a new accusative -t.
  • The Lative, of which the endings *-k and *-nøk are reconstructed for Proto-Ugrian. The Khanti lative in -a corresponds etymologically to the Mansi translative (the Khanty lative fulfills both functions), which are both from the first Proto-Ugrian lative. The Mansi lative -nø is from the Proto-Ugrian secondary lative.
  • The Locative, in Proto-Ugric -*na, *-ttV, and *-nøttV. Mansi -t, from the second Proto-Ugric locative form listed above, is a Proto-Ugrian innovation (a transformation of the old ablative) attested in Hungarian as well, e.g. itt ‘here’, Pécsett ‘in Pécs’. Khanty -nø is from the oldest Proto-Uralic and Proto-Ugrian locative, the first listed above.
  • The Ablative, in Proto-Ugric *-l and *-nøl. Mansi -l continues the first Proto-Ugric ablative. Khanty has a secondary ending which developed early with the loss of a postposition.
  • The Instrumental, ?*-l or, more probably various local cases. Mansi -l continues either a Proto-Ugric instrumental or the first ablative (found also in Hungarian). Khanty -at is from the second locative.
  • The Abessive, in Proto-Ugric *-tVl. This has survived equally in Mansi (-töäl) and Khanty (-ta).