Some grammar and structures - part 9

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nighean-neonach
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Some grammar and structures - part 9

Postby nighean-neonach » 2007-02-12, 21:04

DISCLAIMER: As I have said before, I am not going to "teach" anything here. I strongly suggest that if you are interested in learning Greenlandic you get some of the materials listed in the other topic.


This topic deals with PLACE and DIRECTION.

This is a good time to introduce some Greenlandic place names - we want to look out for the best places to travel, right? :) (I hope soooo much that I will be able to go to Greenland this summer, if only for a few days...)

If you go to http://www.greenland.com the site of the Greenlandic tourist board, and click on "Towns and regions" you will get a good overview of the most important settlements.

Now, Greenlandic has 3 noun cases which have something to do with place and direction:
Ablative = from or of somewhere
Locative = in, at, near somewhere
Allative = to, into, towards somewhere

Let's take the name of Greenland's capital, Nuuk, and see how this works:
Nuummit = from Nuuk
Nuummi = in Nuuk
Nuummut = to Nuuk

As you can see, the endings are -mit, -mi and -mut.
With class 1 nouns these endings assimilate final -k (final -t likewise, and final -q is just skipped).
I won't deal with plural or other noun classes right now.

This pattern works with place names as well as other nouns:
illumit = from the house
lllumi = in the house
illumut = to the house

It works with foreign names as well (these are taken from Danish), an -i- is added if the noun ends in a consonant:
Danmarkimit = from Denmark
Danmarkimi = in Denmark
Danmarkimut = to Denmark

Tysklandimit = from Germany
Tysklandimi = in Germany
Tysklandimut = to Germany

Now, what can you do with these? Certainly you want to say things like "x is in y", "I come from x" etc now, but a few more things have to be taken into account for that.

You can say things like:
Angut Nuummut aallarpoq = The man has gone off to Nuuk.
Try this with a few persons and place names, it's good practice ;)

Another important pattern is:
illumiippoq = he/she/it is in the house.
The affix -ippoq (which is not really an affix, originally a real verb, but often contracted to the noun) is added to a locative form to make it into a verbal statement.

There are some more ways to express movement to a place as a verbal action:
Nuummukarpoq = he/she/it goes/went to Nuuk
Nuuliarpoq = he/she/it travels to Nuuk (this includes flying or going by boat)

To say where you live, you can use the following:
Nuummi najugaqarpunga = literally: I have an address in Nuuk.
The question to that would be:
Sumi najugaqarpit? = Where do you live?

Uanga Tysklandimi najugaqarpunga :)
Ikinngutiga Nuummi najugaqarpoq.
Writing poetry in: Scottish Gaelic, German, English.
Reading poetry in: Latin, Old Irish, French, Ancient Greek, Old Norse.
Talking to people in the shop in: Lithuanian, Norwegian, Irish Gaelic, Saami.
Listening to people talking in the shop in: Icelandic, Greenlandic, Finnish.

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