SOAS, University of London
This study is intended to provide a grammatical description of Ostyak, one of the Uralic languages spoken in Western Siberia. The description is based on the Northern Ostyak dialect of Obdorsk, although divergent features of other dialects are also discussed. The present paper emphasizes the syntactic aspect of the language, typically ignored in previous descriptive ork on Ostyak, which mostly concentrates on its phonology and morphology.
Part 1 is a concise sketch of the Ostyak grammar, made up of the following sections: "Introductory remarks" (geo- and sociolinguistic data, previous studies, dialect division), "Phonology" (including phonotactics and prosody), "Morphology" (grammatical categories, word formation, illustrative paradigms), and "Basic syntax" (types of simple and complex sentences, discourse phenomena). A sample text in the Obdorsk dialect of Ostyak is provided.
Part 2 elaborates on certain syntactic topics that are of a particular interest from the typological viewpoint. In particular, the following topics are discussed: information structure and word order, object agreement, passivization, the relative clause, clause-chaining and reference tracking, and the category of the evidential. .
Part 3 serves to provide the necessary reference. It contains the bibliography relevant to the present study, as well as the basic bibliography on Ostyak. The latter includes editions of the folklore texts, lexicographic publications, comprehensive descriptions, and the most important studies on certain aspects of the Ostyak grammar. .
Irina Nikolaeva completed her dissertation at the Finno-Ugric department of the Institute for Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Science. She has been publishing on synchronic and diachronic aspects on various Siberian languages.
ISBN 9783895865626. Languages of the World/ Materials 305.100 pp. 1999.