Kildin Saami morphology

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This article presents a brief overview on Kildin Saami morphology.

Contents

Intro

The morphology in Kildin Saami is predominantly concatenative (almost exclusively suffixing). Some inflectional forms are marked by nonlinear morphemes, either consonant gradation (like in {\it kuessʼk : kuesʼk} in the paradigm in Table \ref{noun}) or vowel ablaut (like in {\it jēllʼe : jīllʼe} in the paradigm in Table \ref{verb}). Consonant gradation, vowel ablaut and other kinds of stem allomorphy occur also regularly as the result of paradigmatic morphophonological processes. Since most morphological features are coded by cumulative formatives and chains of more than two suffixes scarcely occur, Kildin Saami is characterized by much weaker agglutination than other Uralic languages.

Inflection

Nominal inflection

Nouns in Kildin Saami belong to different inflectional classes and inflect for two numbers and 9 cases (cf. the paradigm in Table \ref{noun}). Number and case marking is merged into portmanteau suffixes exhibiting a few syncretic forms. Note that number inflection is missing in essive and partitive.

Pronominal inflection resembles that of nouns. Note that a third number value, dual, characterizing the pronominal inflection in several other Saamic languages is missing. Kildin Saami has also lost the possessive inflection of nouns. The historical possessive suffixes, mostly the 1st person singular, occur only in a few lexicalized kinship nouns (e.g. {\it jānna} ‘my mother, mommy’).

Verbal inflection

Verbs in Kildin Saami belong to different inflectional classes and exhibit infinite and finite inflection, the latter with three moods, two tenses, two numbers and three persons. Tense, number and person marking is merged into portmanteau suffixes. Beside three personal inflections there is a fourth impersonal from in the indicative mood ({\it tārrʼm jēlʼetʼ šīgtennʼe} ‘today one lives good’, {\it ēvvtelʼ jīllʼešʼ perʼa} ‘in former times one lived better’; cf. also the paradigm in Table \ref{verb}).


Note that a third number value, dual, characterizing the verbal inflection in most other Saamic languages is missing in Kildin Saami. Kildin Saami has also lost the potential mood inflection. The historical potential forms occur only with the verb ‘to be’ where they are used as future tense auxiliaries, e.g. {\it munn līnnče puedtʼe} ‘I'll come’ ({\it līnnče} {\sc pot:1sg} $\leftarrow$ {\it līhče} {\sc cond:1sg} $\leftarrow$ {\it lea} {\sc prs:1sg} $\leftarrow$ {\it lījje} {\sc inf} ‘to be’).

Derivation

Derivational morphology is very rich, especially for verbs where it codes aktionsart, passive, diminutive and other features.

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