Would anyone be interested in doing a read-through of a Greenlandic text?

hwyadinnguaq

Would anyone be interested in doing a read-through of a Greenlandic text?

Postby hwyadinnguaq » 2016-02-24, 22:14

What I mean by this is doing a sort of educational group-read. We find a text to work through, and every day post a sentence or two and our own analysis/explanation of it. Others can either use this information to help them read through the text, or they can correct any errors made.

I think this would be a fun idea because it's something learners of all levels could participate in, and it might help to make Greenlandic seem a little more accessible - there'll be reading material, grammatical explanations, vocabulary translations, etc.

I was thinking of using the Greenlandic translation of the bible, found on this website - personally I'm not hugely religious but the vocabulary can be repetitive, it's free, and if you really get stuck you can find another translation in pretty much any other language.

If you want, here's a quick example of the sort of thing I mean - and yes, there are going to be a lot of mistakes, but hopefully the point of this project will be for everybody to learn off and help each other. :mrgreen:

1. Pileqqaarneranni Guutip qilak nunalu pinngortippai.

Pileqqaarneranni is a set phrase meaning "in the beginning". However, it may have been derived from the shorter word pileqqaaq, which means "beginner".

Guuti means "God" and is in the ergative here. This indicates that "Guuti" will be the subject of the verb used.

Qilak means "sky" and is in the absolutive case, so we know it's the object. Nuna is also in the absolutive, and therefore is also an object, and means "land" or "country". "Nuna" takes the suffix -lu, which means "and".

Pinngortippaa means "he/she creates it". -paa is a transitive verb ending indicating a third person singular subject and a third person singular object. However, there are two objects, so the ending -pai must be used instead, to indicate a third person singular subject and a third person plural object. As an extra, "pinngortippaa" can be made intransitive by using the suffix -tsivoq; pingortitsivoq means "he/she creates".

In Greenlandic, the "standard" verb forms can indicate either the present tense or the past tense. This may lead to some ambiguity, but because the adverbial phrase "pileqqaarneranni" is used in this phrase, we know that "pinngortippai" is in the past tense.

So in Greenlandic, the verse reads: Pileqqaarneranni Guutip qilak nunalu pinngortippai.

A literal translation is: In the beginning, God sky land-and created-them.

And an English translation could be: In the beginning, God created the sky and the earth.

...And that's what I mean by a read-through. A bunch of sentence-based, user-made explanations that can be freely used and corrected by others. Does anyone else think this would be fun to do? So far I've only got notes for around 10 sentences, but if I post a few a week - and other people join in - I think we'd get reading in no time. Obviously we can use any text, but something freely available online would be preferable. This is only an example :mrgreen:

(Also -- first post! :partyhat: )

Irusia
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Re: Would anyone be interested in doing a read-through of a Greenlandic text?

Postby Irusia » 2016-02-27, 16:14

Good idea! Materials for Greenlandic are not avaliable in the internet, so it will be really useful.
Unfortunately, I know nothing in the language, so I cannot help.
Здайся на Господа у твоїх справах, і задуми твої здійсняться. (Приповідки 16, 3)
Goals (until the end of August):
(en) (et) (es) C1 (tl) (pt-BR) B1
Kalaallisut Qırımtatar tili Karaj tili Leware kääñ (my conlang)

hwyadinnguaq

Re: Would anyone be interested in doing a read-through of a Greenlandic text?

Postby hwyadinnguaq » 2016-02-28, 12:53

Irusia wrote:Good idea! Materials for Greenlandic are not avaliable in the internet, so it will be really useful.
Unfortunately, I know nothing in the language, so I cannot help.


Thanks! I'm hoping that some people will find something like this at least a little bit useful, even if it is going to have the inevitable error or six. :lol:

I think I'll post another sentence today, verse 2.

2. Nuna taamani soqanngilaq ilisarsaananilu, taarnerullu itinersuaq qulangerpaa; Guutillu anersaavata erngit qulangersimavai.

'Nuna' is in the absolutive despite being a subject, so we know it's going to be used with an intransitive verb.

Taamani is an adverb meaning "(back) then".

Soqanngilaq means "there is nothing". You can actually guess its rough meaning just from looking at its structure: it contains the suffix -qarpoq, meaning "to have", followed by the third person singular negative ending -nngilaq.

As well as meaning "to have", -qarpoq can be used to state that there is something somewhere - so "Nuna soqanngilaq" can be literally translated to something along the lines of "The land had nothing" or "There was nothing in the land".

Ilisarsaavoq means "it is recognisable", and it is negated. However, rather than using the ending -nngilaq it uses the contemporative ending -nani. The contemporative clause is often used to show that two verbs with the same subject are simultaneous. It can also be used to show that the two verbs are somehow related to each other - "There being nothing in the land, it was unrecognisable." Something similar to that.

Taarneq means "darkness" and it is used here in the ergative case, along with the suffix '-lu'. This means that it is the subject of a transitive verb.

Itinersuaq means "deep" and is in the absolutive; this means it is the object of a transitive verb.

Qulangerpaa means "to hover over", and takes the transitive ending -paa. This shows that it takes a third person singular subject and a third person singular object - 'taarneq' and 'itinersuaq', in this case.

'Guuti' is then used in the ergative case with the suffix '-lu'. However, this time it doesn't function as a subject, but as a possessor.

The following noun is anersaaq, meaning "soul", and it takes the third person singular genitive - this means it is owned by a third person singular noun. We know this is 'Guuti', as possessors take the ergative case. However, 'ansersaaq' is also in the ergative case, because it also functions as the subject of a verb.

Erngit means "water" or "waters" and is a variant of imeq. (???) It is in the absolutive as an object.

'Qulangerpaa' makes a second appearance, this time taking the ending -simavai, which consists of two parts. The first is -simavoq, which is used to represent the perfective aspect. The second is -vai, a variation of the third person singular/third person plural transitive ending you saw with 'pinngortippai' - 'erngit' is either in the plural or it only counts as a plural noun. Either way, '-vai' is used here instead of '-vaa'.

Altogether, verse 2 reads: Nuna taamani soqanngilaq ilisarsaananilu, taarnerullu itinersuaq qulangerpaa; Guutillu anersaavata erngit qulangersimavai.

A pretty literal translation could be something along the lines of: Back then, there was nothing on the land and it was unrecognisable, and darkness hovered over the deep; and God's soul had hovered over the waters.

Whereas a more 'normal' English version might be: The earth was then empty and unrecognisable, and darkness covered the deep; and God's soul hovered over the water.

(Note: I'm not entirely sure about '-simavoq' here... it doesn't really fit into the translation. Maybe it's here used to "emphasise" the past tense or.. something? I'm a beginner, I dunno. Just roll with it. :lol: )

I'll also start keeping vocabulary lists at the end of the posts, for reference. I would edit a master-list into the original post, but idk if you can make those collapsable spoiler-list-things on here. :?

Anersaaq - soul (noun)
Erngit - water (noun - plural?)
Guuti - God (noun)
Ilisarsaavoq - it is recognisable (intransitive verb)
Itinersuaq - deep (noun)
Nuna - land (noun)
Pileqqarneranni - in the beginning (adverbial phrase)
Pinngortippa - he/she creates it (transitive verb)
Qilak - sky (noun)
Qulangerpaa - he/she hovers over it (transitive verb)
Soqanngilaq - there is nothing (intransitive verb)
Taamani - back then (adverbial phrase)
Taarneq - darkness (noun)
-lu - and
-nani - negative fourth person singular intransitive contemporative
-nngilaq - negative verbal suffix
[b]-paa
- third person singular/third person singular transitive ending
-pai - third person singular/third person plural transitive ending
-qarpoq - to have
-simavoq - perfect aspect marker

hwyadinnguaq

Re: Would anyone be interested in doing a read-through of a Greenlandic text?

Postby hwyadinnguaq » 2016-03-09, 3:46

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 :mrgreen: )

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. :mrgreen: 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.)


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