Ugric Languages - Structural Features

Structural Features

  • An original ablative case marked by -l
  • A series of original locative cases, formed from postpositions derived from a pronoun root *nä
  • Possessive suffixes are placed before case suffixes, not after them as in the other Uralic languages
  • A class of "instable" verb stems, in which alternation between CV and CVC stem variants occurs. E.g. "to take": Hungarian vë- ~ vëv- ~ vësz-, Mansi *wi- ~ *wæj-, Khanty *wĕ- ~ *wĕj-.
  • Distinct attributive and nominal forms of the numeral "2": Hungarian két vs. kettő, Mansi кит vs. китиг, Khanty кат vs. катән
  • Found in Hungarian and Mansi, an extended form of the caritive suffix containing -l.
  • Distinct verb conjugations according to the transitivity of the verb. It is sometimes termed as “definite” versus “indefinite” conjugation, because also the definiteness of the object can play a role when selecting between the two. This feature is within the Uralic family also found in the Mordvinic languages, and it is likely to not represent a common Ugric innovation; the particular details of the construction are different in all three Ugric languages.
  • Verbal Prefixes – modify the meaning of the verb in both concrete and abstract ways
Examples from Mansi

ēl(a) – 'forwards, onwards, away'

jōm- 'to go, to stride' ēl-jōm- 'to go away/on'
tinal- 'to sell' ēl-tinal- 'to sell off'

xot – 'direction away from something and other nuances of action intensity'

min- 'to go' xot-min- 'to go away, to stop'
roxt- 'to be frightened' xot-roxt- 'to take fright suddenly'
Examples from Hungarian

el – 'away, off'

ugrik 'to jump' elugrik 'to jump away'
mosolyog 'to smile' elmosolyodik 'to start to smile' (implying a lack of control)

ki – 'out (of)'

ugrik 'to jump' kiugrik 'to jump out'
néz 'to look' kinéz 'to choose/pick out'

In Hungarian, the citation form of verbs is the present tense of the 3rd person singular form, which is given here, which doesn't have any suffixes.

Read more about this topic:  Ugric Languages

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