Some more sentences - if you take the new vocabulary out of the picture, they're actually pretty simply written. (From what I can tell, anyway... it's still pretty likely I'm misinterpreting everything
)3. Guuti oqarpoq: "Qaammarli!" Qaammarporlu.
'Guuti' is used in the absolutive, acting as the subject of an intransitive verb. That verb is oqarpoq
, whose ending is -poq
, "agreeing" with 'Guuti' as the subject.Qaammarpoq
is then used twice. The first time, it takes the ending -li
, which is the third person singular form of the optative mood. The optative mood is quite similar to the imperative, and indicates the verb is some sort of request or suggestion. The second time, it uses the standard intransitive ending followed by the clitic '-lu'.
In Greenlandic, the verse is: Guuti oqarpoq: "Qaammarli!" Qaammarporlu.
And can be (literally) translated as: God said: "Let it become light!" And it became light.4. Guutip takuaa qaamasoq ajunngitsuusoq, qaamasorlu taartumit avissaartippaa.
'Guuti' is used in the ergative as the subject of a transitive verb, takuaa
, which takes the ending -aa
, a form of the third person singular/third person singular transitive suffix. This means it will take an absolutive object, which in this case is qaamasoq
The next word is possibly made up from the noun ajunngitsoq
, followed by the copula '-uvoq' and the third person singular participial mood suffix -soq
. The participial mood is used to form (quote) "a subordinate clause describing its subject in the state of carrying out its activity"
. It's used when the verb has a different subject to the main clause. Now, I'm not 100% (or even close) when it comes to fancy grammatical features - so Greenlandic is totally
the right language for me - but the phrase can be explained something like this:
"Guutip takuaa qaamasoq" (or "Guutip qaamasoq takuaa") means "God saw the light" or "God sees the light". It's a standard transitive clause. "Ajunngitsuuvoq" means "it is good" or "it was good", referring to the light; in other words, "qaamasoq" is the subject of the second verb. The participial mood is then used to "link" together the two phrases, "Guutip qaamasoq takuaa" and "qaamasoq ajunngitsuuvoq", and the entire phrase can be translated as "God saw that
the light was good". The participial mood can often (?) be translated using "that" as a link.
And now back to the simple stuff. 'Qaamasoq' is used again. Although it's the first word of the phrase, it's in the absolutive and is linked to a transitive verb. This may seem unusual at first, but remember that direct objects of transitive verbs are used in the absolutive, so the subject must be an ergative word. The only word in the ergative in the entire sentence is 'Guuti', so although it's way back in the first half of the sentence it still acts as the subject.Taartoq
is used in the ablative case, which is used to show movement away from it - in this case, 'qaamasoq' moves away from 'taartoq'. Because it is not in the absolutive, it doesn't "count" as an object. This means that the verb, avissaartippaa
, still uses the third person singular/third person singular transitive ending - its only arguments are 'Guuti' (as the subject) and 'qaamasoq' (as the object).
The verse reads: Guutip takuaa qaamasoq ajunngitsuusoq, qaamasorlu taartumit avissaartippaa.
And a literal translation could be: God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light away from the darkness.5. Guutip qaamasoq ullormik taavaa taartorlu unnuamik taallugu. Taava unnunngorpoq ullaanngorlunilu, ullut siulliat.
'Guuti' returns as an ergative subject, so we know a transitive verb isn't far behind. The direct object is 'qaamasoq'. Ulloq
is then used in the instrumental, a case which can be used to express an indirect object or to say 'with'. The transitive verb, taavaa
, takes a third person singular/third person singular transitive suffix - as expected, as 'ulloq' doesn't count as one of its objects. The translation of this phrase is a lot simpler than it may seem. The main elements are 'God', 'light', 'day', and 'he names it'. As 'day' isn't an object, we can start the translation without it: "God named the light". 'Day', in the instrumental, can be added to the translation literally to give: "God named the light with day". This doesn't make much sense but the meaning is clear: "God named the light 'day'."
'Taartoq' follows in the absolutive (as an object), with 'unnuaq' in the instrumental (with the meaning 'with'). The meaning of the first phrase is repeated - "God named X 'Y'" - in the same manner as before, but 'taavaa' is used in the contemporative this time. You might remember that the contemporative is used to imply that two actions are happening simultaneously, with the same subject for both verbs - this could be translated with "and" between the two verbal phrases. Here, the contemporative ending -lugu
is used, which is a third person singular/third person singular transitive suffix.Taava
means "then", but implies the past tense. The noun unnuk
is used, but takes the suffix -nngorpoq
, which means "to become" and transforms 'unnuk' into a verb. Ullaaq
is also used with the suffix '-nngorpoq', and so it too acts as a verb. It also takes the intransitive contemporative suffix '-luni', which is a third person singular intransitive ending. The clitic '-lu' is also used.
Finally, 'ulloq' is used in the plural with siulliat
following. 'Siulliat' is an ordinal, so perhaps it's customary to use ordered nouns in the plural?
In Greenlandic, the verse reads: Guutip qaamasoq ullormik taavaa taartorlu unnuamik taallugu. Taava unnunngorpoq ullaanngorlunilu, ullut siulliat.
And a literal translation could be: God named the light ("with"/as) 'day' and he names the darkness ("with"/as) 'night'. Then it became evening and it became morning, the first day.Ajunngitsoq
- goodness (noun)Ajunngitsuuvoq
- it is good (intransitive verb)Avissaartippaa
- he/she separates it (transitive verb)Oqarpoq
- he/she speaks/says (intransitive verb)Qaamasoq
- light (noun)Qaammarpoq
- it is becomming light, it has become light (intransitive verb)Siulliat
- the first (ordinal)Taartoq
- darkness (noun)Taava
- then (adverb of time?)Taavaa
- he/she calls/names it (transitive verb)Takuaa
- he/she sees it (transitive verb)Ullaaq
- morning (noun)Ulloq
- day (noun)Unnuk
- evening (noun)-li
- third person singular optative mood-lugu
- third person singular/third person singular transitive contemporative mood-luni
- third person singular intransitive contemporative mood-nngorpoq
- to become -soq
- third person singular participial mood suffix
I'm starting to understand the various moods when I see them used, but trying to explain them or use them myself... still makes my head hurt. I hope these notes can be of some use, anyway, and as always if something is hideously wrong please say so.
I understand the Bible isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's the largest free text I can find online... after I've posted some notes on a few more paragraphs I think I'll try and find some simple Wikipedia articles to have a look at.
(Also, within the next month I should be in possession of a children's book in Greenlandic as well as a new grammar book, so I'll be able to practice more and should hopefully be able to post some more accurate things! Having to mostly rely on Wikipedia and slightly-too-complicated linguistics books is
a little bit of a pain, hehe.)