Staff – University of Copenhagen

Marking of past time in Kalaallisut, the Greenlandic language

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This article builds on my Ph.D thesis (Trondhjem 2007) and shows that unlike traditional Europian descriptions of tense, where tense is conveyed by the inflection, tense is marked by optional derivational affixes in West Greenlandic (WG). In this language time is marked in three different ways, first by conjunction, indicating simultaneous and sequential situations, secondly by aspectual affixes, and thirdly by tense affixes. The meanings of the past time markers -sima, -nikuu and -reer have developed from aspectual meanings to also include tense meanings among others. This article shows a number of rules for the meaning of past time.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesTypological Studies in Language
Volume86
Pages (from-to)171-182
ISSN0167-7373
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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