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Working paper

Three -En In Northern Khanty: 2sg Possessive, Salient, And Anaphoric Articles

Stepan K. Mikhailov.
This paper shows that Northern Khanty -en [POSS.2SG] is used in several contexts beyond the proper possessive ones. It behaves quite differently in anaphoric uses and in uses in commands. There are at least three distinct markers with the exponent -en. First, the usual 2SG possessive -en which competes with other possessives and depends in number features on the addressee—if the addressee is plural, the marker is accordingly -ən [POSS.2NSG]. Semantically, it corresponds to Karvovskaya’s (2018) MinSpec operator. Secondly, the salient article -en. It is used with unique objects in commands. It states of a referent of an NP that the referent stands in a SALIENT_TO relation to the addressee. Should the addressee be plural, the exponent is accordingly -ən [POSS.2NSG]. Thirdly, the anaphoric article -en, used with anaphorically accessible unique referents. Semantically it is equivalent to Schwarz’s (2009) strong definite article.