Talk:Greenlandic language

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Good article Greenlandic language has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Vowels and vowel allophones[edit]

I think we need to add the vowel allophone of /a/ to this list. Yes, there are only five vowel graphemes, i e u o a, but there are greater allophonic variation. And it should probably be written more systematically, something like this: Phoneme - phone - allophonic environments - orthography

/i/ - [i ~ ɛ] - [e ~ ɛ] before uvulars, [i] elsewhere - <eq>/<er>, < i > elsewhere

/u/ - [u ~ ɔ] - [o ~ ɔ] before uvulars, [u] elsewhere - <oq>/<or>, < u > elsewhere

Then we have the same variation with /a/, but without an orthographic variation:

/a/ - [a ~ ɑ] - [ɑ] before uvulars, [a] elsewhere - <aq>/<ar> and <a> elsewhere (no distinction).

(This is noted by Sadock (2003): "before non-uvulars /a/ is fronted and slightly raised, but it is a low back vowel before the uvulars") --Nessimon (talk) 09:56, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Tones (Kleinschmidt)[edit]

Samuel Kleinschmidt created a fascinating system for calculating tones. It seems to be correct in theory and in practice. First, divide the word up into syllables: between two consonants (/ng/ is a single consonant), before single consonants, and between different vowels (/ai/ is a single vowel). For each syllable: leading consonants have a value of 0, each vowel is 2, and trailing consonants are 1. Add the values up for each syllables tone (relative pitch).

  Ka | laal | li | sut
  02   0221   02   021
   2      5    2     3

Alexgenaud (talk) 13:20, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Kalaallisut is not a tonal language, this phenomenon is prosody. Kleinschmidt showed that prosody was based on a system of syllable weight and moraic structure. We talk about newer analyses of prosody briefly in the articles. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:24, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Cases in Kalaallisut - no Nominative?!?[edit]

In the article, it says that there's no nominative (and accusative) case for Greenlandic nouns, which I think is rather unusual. Is there any rule how one can ditinguish between nouns that DO have a nominative case and the ones that DON'T? And, if there's no nominative for most of the words, which case is used for clearly noinative-requireing phrases, such as "Here is a bottle"?! And what case is given in Greenlandic dictionaries, i.e. how does one look up a specific word?

Any explanations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! 16:53, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the ergative case generally is used instead of the nom-acc system, read the page. I.e. a natural language is either ergative or nom-acc. Read the article.惑乱 分からん 16:36, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I heard say that Kalaallisut, along with its close relatives like Inuktitut, does not distinguish words and sentences: every (simple) sentence would consist from one complicated composed word. Is this true, or is it just a widespread urban legend?--Caesarion 22:58, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well, it's polysynthetic. So that would depend on your definition of "word". I believe it basically sounds correct.
That's right, yes. Examples:

"kangerluk" = fjord "suffix" -suaq = big ---> "Kangerlussuaq" = the big fjord (=the name of a town in Greenland)

atuar = to read -poq = he or she --> atuarpoq = he/she reads

-tar- = use to do something ---> atuartarpoq = he/she uses to read

-fik = a place, where something happens ---> atuarfik = school (=a place where one read)

-mi = suffix for "in" atuarfimmi = in the school (-fik becomes to fimmi)

atuartoq atuarfimmi atuartartoq = the pupil uses to read in the school

This language can be analyzed as having a distinction between words & sentences. The words can, however, be practically infinitely long. Perhaps this means that the syntax is within the word. peace – ishwar  (speak) 15:26, 2005 July 31 (UTC)


If we're being consistent, this should really be 'Greenlandic', in analogy with Persian language. BovineBeast 09:59, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

da:Grønlandsk, bg:Гренландски език, de:Kalaallisut, fi:Grönlannin kieli, fr:Kalaallisut, is:Grænlenska, nl:Groenlands, nn:Grønlandsk språk, sv:Grönländska, tr:Kalaallisut

I agree, this is indeed very odd and not consistent with language naming policy of Wikipedia. It is also simply wrong to call the majority language of Greenland in English Kalaallisut (although it is of course so in Greenlandic). The official name of the language in English is Greenlandic. See the official language authority in Greenland [1]. This is also against the simle rules of content writing in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Avoid neologisms.Masae 19:34, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Just want to say that I agree with you. It should be "Greenlandic language" in English (as well as in German, French and Turkish, in my oppinion)! — N-true 00:45, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

North American Language?[edit]

Um, I hate to break some peoples' hearts, but Greenland is a Danish island, i.e. part of Denmark. And then, isn't the language Arctic if anything? Or Scandinavian? Why does everything have to be North American?

Slight departure, I'm expecting I'm wrong, but meh. Had to point it out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dojo99 (talkcontribs) 00:19, 4 March 2007 (UTC).

That's simply because Greenland geographically belongs to North America, not to Europe. And the language is related to the Eskimo-Alëut languages from America. The political affiliation of Greenland are not decisive. Similarly, you wouldn't call an indigenous language of French Guiana "European", just because the country actually belongs to France, politically. — N-true 00:36, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, it's part of a language continuum that spreads across North America.Harburg (talk) 22:53, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Double /tt/ only /ts/ preceeding /i/[edit]

The text claims "Geminate /tt/ is pronounced [ts] and written ⟨ts⟩." I believe this is not strictly correct. /tt/ can often be written «ts», but only preceding an «i». Counter example:

«tuttu» (reindeer) pronounced /dood-doo/ (not a hint of /ts/ to be heard).

However, Tikilluaritsi does in fact end with a /ts/ (just as it's spelled).

Alexgenaud (talk) 01:54, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

There is something funny going on there that is true, but there are also instances of ts (written ts) before u and a. I'll have to check my sources again and see what I have missed, it is probably just one of these cases where you know what your writing when you write it and don't realize that it doesn't say what it is supposed to untill you reread it later.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:36, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
/tt/ and /ts/ can both be found in Greenlandic words. However, as I understand, it is impossible to pronounce [tti] (double-t followed by an /i/) without a little ^s, so it is (always?) written /tsi/ in Greenlandic. This is not true for other trailing vowels where /ttu/, /tta/, /tsu/, and /tsa/ should be possible. I can't prove the absence of /tti/, but here are other examples: aallariarfittooq Maniitsoq oqaluttualaarpunga akuttussuseq eqqumiitsuliortoq eqiattarpoq tutsiuteqqittarpunga Kangaatsiaq. There are of course loan words with /tti/ such as /cigaretti/ (cigarette).
I should think this /tsi/ a minor point. I think it more significant to discuss things like double consonants tending to repeat the second consonat, changing /ann/ to /arn/, /pp/ to /vv/, low vowels /e/ and /o/ before /q/ and /r/, and innumerable other tricks that make Greenlandic fascinating.
Alexgenaud (talk) 12:44, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Grønlands Spejderkorps[edit]

Can someone render "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Kalaallisut? Thanks! Chris 14:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

If five years later is not too early, here's an attempt from a non-native student:

  piliorneq (prepared) - U (to be) → piliorniu
  piliorneq (prepared) - NNGUR (to become) → piliorninngur

Check out - The language secretariat. Alexgenaud (talk) 02:14, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

No, that is not how Greenlandic grammar works. You can't just put the morpehems together like that. No Greenlanduic word ends in r, and the u- morpheme meaning "to be" is not an ending but has to be followed by the intransitive ending -voq (if it is third person). And there is no infinitive tense either. plus "Be prepared" is imperative so you'd have to use the imperative plural ending.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:27, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
To complete the erudition, perhaps you can offer an intransitive imperative plural? Alexgenaud (talk) 02:54, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Nope, I am only sufficiently skilled in Greenlandic to see when basic grammatical rules aren't followed - I am not qualified to translate. The only way to find out the motto in Greenlandic is to actually find the Greenlandic scouting organization and find out how they have chosen to translate it as there are many possible ways of doing so.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
I have not found anything on , however, here's another stab at it:
piareer - QQA + GIT → piareeqqagit !
Alexgenaud (talk) 12:54, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Much closer, that's looks grammatically correct, but looking at this: it seems what they actually use is this: Piareersimagit.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:17, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi. I would love to learn Greenlandic and be able to use an online translater, but there is no such free service that I'm aware of. Does anyone know of anyways to learn Greenlandic (book, casette tape system or online) or know Greenlandic themselves? Luna'sPatronus 18:04, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

The only thing I've found is this site. You shouldn't really be talking about that here though. This page is for discussing improvements to the article. Jprulestheworld01 (talk) 11:59, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

This article has been renamed from Kalaallisut language to Greenlandic language as the result of a move request.

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was - unopposed move to line up with naming conventions. Keith D (talk) 10:30, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Kalaallisut language→Greenlandic language, as discussed above. ALTON .ıl 05:09, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

comment It should probably more correctly be called Western Greenlandic language, since Kalaallisut only refers to the Western Greenlandic dialect which is also the official language of Greenland.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 16:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • In that case, it should still be moved to Greenlandic language, and the article should mention in the intro that the official language of Greenland is the Western dialect known as Kalaallisut in Greenlandic. Wilhelm meis (talk) 17:02, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I would support that.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 02:12, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - "Greenlandic" is the more common, recognisable form in English. Biruitorul Talk 16:42, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support — reasons already given by others and myself above. — N-true (talk) 19:55, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:UE as enumerated above. And yes "the article should mention in the intro that the official language of Greenland is the Western dialect known as Kalaallisut in Greenlandic" and more coverage of the dialects should also be added. — AjaxSmack 04:16, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Maunus mentioned that Kalaallisut refers only to Western Greenlandic. In that case then, "Kalaallisut" and "Greenlandic" aren't synonyms, and simply changing the article to reflect the page move wouldn't be accurate. First of all, is there a word for "Greenlandic" as a whole, not just specifically refering to Western Gr.? Also, someone has to make sure that the page describes characteristics of the umbrella term language instead of exclusively Western Gr. ALTON .ıl 21:13, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Looking for text[edit]

Does anyone have access to the two references listed in the .PDF link in the orthography section? To wit:

  • Grønlands sprognævn, in Icelandic Council for Standardization. 1992. Nordic cultural requirements on information technology. Reykjavík: Staðlaráð Íslands. ISBN 9979-9004-3-1
  • Petersen, Robert. 1990. "The Greenlandic language: its nature and situation", in Dirmid R. F. Collis, ed. Arctic languages: an awakening. Paris: UNESCO. ISBN 92-3-102661-5

Tomertalk 08:36, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

@Tomer: INSTA 1992 is available (for free after registration) as a DRM protected PDF and Collis 1990 is available as PDF
--Moyogo/ (talk) 12:34, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Misplaced Grammar edit[edit]

A large block of unanalyzed text was inserted into the Grammar section, said block doesn't provide any clues as to the phonological, morphological, or syntactic features of Greenlandic and is at best an example of the orthography. In the case it can be used for an example of writing, or can be segmented for use in the Grammar section, here is the text:


Ukiorpaalunnguit qaangiussimalersut timersortartut marluk nunatsinneersut Europamut aallaannaqaat unammiartorlutik.
Maannalu aqqutaata ilaani misigisaat tusatsiassavavut. Sisurariartuupput.
In the past years, two sportsmen coming from our country went to Europe for a competition.
We shall now hear about their doings during part of their trip. They are Skiers.
(K'umaSrssugssuak'. p.111)

Ergative rlt (talk) 16:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

To get an automatic analysis, glue text into the Greenlandic analyser. The result will in this case be (tags are explained on site, but capital letter tags mark derivational affixes, vv, vn, nv, nn mark whether they give rise to derivation to/from noun and verb, @ mark syntactic tags, and #daughternode->mothernode marks dependency):

            "Ukiorpaalunnguit" ? 1->1
            "qaangiup" SIMA=LIR vv TUQ vn N Rel Pl @SUBJ> 2->0
            "timersortartoq" N Rel Pl @SUBJ> 3->0
            "marluk" Num Rel Pl @SUBJ> 4->7
            "nuna" N* Abl Sg 1PlPoss IR TUQ vn N Abs Pl @SUBJ> 5->7
            "Europa" N Prop Trm Sg @i-ADVL> 6->6
            "aallar" INNAR=QE vv <mv> V Ind 2Sg 3SgO @FS-N< 7->3
            "aallar" INNAR=QE vv <mv> V Ind 3Pl @FS-N< 7->3
            "aallaannar" QE vv <mv> V Ind 3Pl @FS-N< 7->3
            "aallar" INNAR=QE vv <mv> V Ind 3Pl 3SgO @FS-N< 7->3
            "aallar" INNAR=QE vv <mv> V Ind 3Pl 3PlO @FS-N< 7->3
            "unammi" GIARTUR vv V Inf 4Pl @<ADVL 8->7
            "." CLB 9->2
            "maanna" part LU @CL-ADVL> 1->1
            "aqqut" N Rel Sg 3PlPoss @POSS> 2->3
            "ila" N Lok Sg 3SgPoss @i-ADVL> 3->4
            "misigaaq" TAR vv UTE vn N Abs Sg @HNOUN 4->0
            "misigisaq" UTE nn N Abs Sg @HNOUN 4->0
            "misigaa" TAR vv UTE vn N Abs Sg @HNOUN 4->0
            "misigaa" TAQ vn UTE nn N Abs Sg @HNOUN 4->0
            "tusatsiassavavut" ? 5->5
            "." CLB 6->4
            "Sisurariartuupput" ? 1->1
            "." CLB 2->2

As you can see, the analyser (or the input text?) is not perfect (note the "?", meaning "not recognised"), but the analyser is still very useful. Trondtr (talk) 09:57, 15 January 2012 (UTC).


I'm having a hard time finding out what was in yesterday's referendum. According to the BBC, one provision will make Greenlandic the official language (effective June 21, 2009). According to this article, Greenlandic already is an official language.

Is the BBC wrong? Or do they mean that after June 21, 2009 Danish will no longer be co-official? Or are we wrong?

kwami (talk) 07:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Me too, certainly this BBC doesn't match up to the BBC of yore. I've just quoted an official website of Greenland stating that currently "the official languages are Greenlandic and Danish", but I haven't been able to find any verification that "after June 21, 2009 Danish will no longer be co-official". Cheers, --Zack Holly Venturi (talk) 18:21, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
How reliable is the site we just ref'd, for Greenlandic and Danish being (as of 2008) both official? I just emailed the language secretariat, and they told me Danish has never been official in Greenland, and that Greenlandic will be official (and the sole official language) from June 2009. In practice, both Danish and Greenlandic are widely used, but Danish is decreasing. kwami (talk) 22:49, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about the official language status before Self-Rule (2009), but in reference to language (sprog), Chapter seven of the Self-Rule Law signed by the Queen of Denmark unambiguously states the following and ONLY the following:

  Kapitel 7 Sprog
  § 20. Det grønlandske sprog er det
        officielle sprog i Grønland. Alexgenaud (talk) 02:37, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Number of speakers?[edit]

"[Greenlandic Language] is closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada, such as Inuktitut. It is spoken by about 54,000 people, which is more than all the other Eskimo-Aleut languages combined." Please give a footnote. I believe this number is less than half today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:07, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Well there are about 57,564 persons in Greenland in 2007 according to Wikipedia. Of whom 88% are Inuit and Inuit-Danish. Still according to Wikipedia. That means speakers would be over 50,000 : Unless a major language shift occured, which did not, as far as I know. (talk) 22:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
i think the estimate is close. There are about 15k in Nuuk, maybe another 10k in the big towns like Sisimiut and Ilulissat where the dialect is similar. However the language of the north (Thule) is not understood by the majority of Greenlanders. The same can be said of the languages of the East. But then again there are many Greenlanders in Denmark and elsewhere, so... I guestimate 40k+ West greenlandic speakers. Alex — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
But many people in Thule and Tunu speak Kalaallisut in addition to their local language - Inuktun is losing ground to Kalaallisut rapidly.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:08, 21 March 2012 (UTC)


The list of letters used in Greenlandic including loanwords contains the entire alphabet save only the letter f. Is this a typo, or is f really avoided? If the latter, could someone add some explanation of what happens to f's when a word is imported? --Klausok (talk) 07:54, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Hi, Klausok. You may check the presence of "f" in this text written in Greenlandic: (Greenland's Home, official website). Most f-words here are probably native, though "februar" is an obvious loan. --Zack Holly Venturi (talk) 19:00, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I already added the f in the article description. There is no f phoneme in Greenlandic but when two v´s appear in a group they sound like f and are written as f.·Maunus·ƛ· 23:14, 30 January 2009 (UTC){:::
Old Kalaallisut used v (va, vi, vu rv, vv etc) but Modern kalaallisut do using f after 'r' --> rf and ffeq. for xample
Old Kalaallisut 'nikurvusuq' ---> 'nikorfusoq' means 'who is standing' and 'kigvaq/kivvaq' ---> 'kiffiaq' means 'Spokes person' ) (talk) 11:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC))

Rating for WP languages and some comments[edit]

In general, sourcing is just beneath what is needed for B class, but close. B class is not far in other respects as well, while GA class would meet substantial structural problems. I flipped through the article until I reached the part on case. Here some comments:

  • The lead is meant to contain a summary of the article, but as of now it contains unique infos on the sociolinguistic situation of Greenlandic. The current lead should be integrated into the article, and a new lead should be written.
  • “The most extensive study of Greenlandic phonology is Jørgen Rischel's "Topics in West Greenlandic Phonology" (1974).” I personally would prefer to take it out of the text and only into a footnote. Every major section of the phonology should be followed by a footnote with the respective source (probably Rischel 1974) and page numbers. Else, it is very difficult to add other sources.
  • “Double vowels are pronounced as two moras, so they are phonologically a vowel sequence not a long vowel;”; “Heavy syllables are pronounced in a way that sounds like stress.” The first sentence is exceedingly technical, the second sentence is the very opposite of it. Either we may strictly target lay people, or we may be more precise, but then consistently so.
  • If Jacobson 2000 is the sole source for prosody, it should be at the end of the paragraph.
  • Case: We lack one paragraph on how the case system works. Grammatical relations etc. This is probably more important than using so many examples. If the article would still grow, some of the current examples might be outsourced to an article on Greenlandic grammar.
  • The syntax section is startclasslike.

Good look with further improving the article. If you like, contact me later if you feel that a new rating might be due. G Purevdorj (talk) 00:07, 24 December 2009 (UTC)


I've given the refs a onceover to make them all (as much as possible) in the same style. Added links, DOIs and ISBNs where available. I'm having second thoughts about the {{Cite conference}} template, though, and will probably change it back later. I can have a look at the footnotes when the article is more complete, but a problem I see is that "Fortescue (1991)" can refer to two different sources. I've also taken the liberty of adjusting so that there is no need to cite chapters of a book separately from the book itself within the "Cited Literature" section (namely adjusting the Trondhjem note and removing it and the unused Tersis chapter from the literature section). Great work you have going there, Maunus Circéus (talk) 18:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Good work, thanks for helping out. Ill disambiguate Fortescue 1991 with a and b.·Maunus·ƛ· 18:30, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

<f> in spelling[edit]

Am I right that a single "f" probably does not actually occur as implied in content note #3? Logically it would seem that if <f> is only used for a geminated consonant, than there would be two of it, as in the infobox's Oqaasileriffik. Am I misunderstanding something?

It also occurs as single f in loanwords as is mentioned in the phonology section.·Maunus·ƛ· 05:40, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Greenlandic language/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I will begin reviewing this article soon. G Purevdorj (talk) 16:45, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Great, thanks. I know it is not ready as it is, but hope that with your keen eye and my work we can get it there within the time of the review.·Maunus·ƛ· 16:52, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I’ll start with a few easy things so late at night.

  • Citations: It is always nice if you can see at once what and how many sources have been used for an article. As the sources used in some articles are extremely diverse, it makes sense to provide full citations in footnotes. For this article, though, a separate bibliography (and shortened citations like Bjørnum 2003: 33-34) would constitute an improvement.
  • Pictures: The two images need alternative texts per Wikipedia:Alternative text for images. For the sign, I would suggest to describe it and provide its text in full.

G Purevdorj (talk) 00:07, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks G. Its my first time working with another citation system than Harvard short cite - I chose to try it out since it seems to be deprecated by a lot of editors. But I think it makes very much sense to have a full bibliography at the end of the article and have short inline citations - I will do this. I will also supply alt-text. Both of your concerns are outside of the GA criteria, which only demand inline citations and image captions. I'll take care of those things anyway, but I would encourage you to begin by evaluating the article's compliance with the GA criteria specifically.·Maunus·ƛ· 06:05, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I guess you must still be somewhat patient. Haste makes waste. First of all, I'll gonna have to read all of the article in its current form. Still enough spelling mistakes. It will probably be advisable to ask some seasoned native-speaker copyeditor for her assistance, but later - first the article has to assume its final form as far as content is concerned. The content of the history, classification and phonology part appears to be okay as it is. A few comments, though:

  • “It is closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada, such as Inuktitut.” “the languages … such as” doesn’t appear grammatical to me, but maybe I’m wrong.
  • If the first two paragraphs of “history” make use of the same source, they should be unified, thus clearly indicating the source and avoiding two rather short paragraphs.
-Done.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “yet it is still considered to be in a "vulnerable" state by the UNESCO Red Book of Language Endangerment[7]. Carl Christian Olsen, founder of the Oqaasileriffik (The Greenland Language Secretariat), has been credited with an important role in revitalizing and promoting the language as the official tongue” - The first of this first statements might better be explained (possibly within a footnote), and the second statement is a bit disconnected with the rest of the article: stating something about his activities (or maybe rather the activities of the Oqaasileriffik) might be helpful.
- I agree, this is information left over from an earlier version that I don't really think fits.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
-I've tried to clarify that.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Footnote 14 seems to contradict itself: syntax - phonology.
-Right you are of course!·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “Vowels” - If possible, the footnote should be at the end of this section, indicating that the whole section depends on it - every independent claim has to be referenced in a GA.
  • If (according to footnote 16) /w/ is phonemic, it should be included in the table, or at least discussed within the actual text.
Its not /w/ its a geminate /v/ - that is two consecutive v'es. In this combination they are devoiced and pronounced and written as ff.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The part of the section on prosody that is based on footnote 18 (syllable weight) reads a bit confusing. E.g. when reading “In words without long vowels or consonant clusters the antepenultimate syllable is stressed. In words with less than four syllables without long vowels or consonant clusters, the last syllable is stressed.”, it is not clear why the first sentence doesn’t follow the second sentence.
-Done·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “And that the word Inuktitut itself, when translated into Kalaallisut, is Inuttut, for example.” Wrong style.
-I don't see the style difference myself, maybe you could be bold and try to rewrite that phrase in a more suitable style, or suggest a better phrasing?·Maunus·ƛ· 08:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Ah, and before I forget about this totally minor point: the article would look more attractive if some picture could be placed within the grammar part. Needn't be, of course. G Purevdorj (talk) 19:26, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I am very patient and enjoy your comments as they come, I am not in a rush to get the article passed, only to get it improved. I hope you will be as patient as it turns out I have less time over the weekend than I had planned. I had Qaqqalik a native speaker administrator of the Greenlandic Wikipedia check the Greenlandic examples and he caught some embarassing mistakes as well. I will consider what kind of image could be introduced into the grammar section.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:45, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • first citation Fortescue 1993 on word order: no page number
  • new or emphasized information generally come last. This is generally the verb, but it can also be a foregrounded grammatical subject or object. - How can that be given the strict word order requirements?
  • We frequently have gendered glosses in interlinearization. If it is only about 3. person, there should be another way to mark this, maybe always (s)he or so. G Purevdorj (talk) 17:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I'll take care of the page number.
  • The paragraphs I have tried to paraphrase are rather densely written: Fortescue Writes: "First, however, we must be clear as to the nature of word order patterns in modern WG and just how 'free' these actually are. In what follows I shall be talking about narrative style as reflected in written texts, principally tales from the oral tradition recorded in written form, but the basic principles involved can be taken as applying generally across the various styles/media and registers of the language. They are exemplified in some detail in Fortescue (I984: 173-I99) and can be summarized thus: the most pragmatically/contextually neutral order of major clausal constituents is S-O-X-V, where 'X' is an oblique case NP other than the object (the latter may be in the instrumental case in the 'antipassive' construction). In copular clauses the order is (rigidly) S-Cop-Comp, where 'Cop' is a copular particle (or enclitic) and Comp, complement, may be an NP or a participial mood clause. The first pattern is relatively labile: various alternative orders are possible, depending on factors of contextual emphasis, stylistic balance or constituent 'heaviness' (the 'heavy' modifying constituents of an object NP may be postposed, for example, leaving only the head behind in neutral preverbal position - what Dik (I989: 350) calls 'Prefield leaking'). It should be borne in mind, however, that the verb on its own is a minimal clause in WG and that it is rather rare in texts for all possible nominal arguments of a verb to be explicitly present as independent constituents rather than cross- referred to by the verb's inflection alone. What I called in Fortescue (I984) 'thematicized' - that is, Given Topic - NPs find their natural place in initial position (following any conjunctional or 'frame-setting' material), whilst heavy or emphasized material representing new or otherwise 'newsworthy' material (to use Mithun's term) tends to come last in the clause. Normally this will be the verb: since in WG the verb contains inflectional reference to both its subject and object it tends to have greater 'communicative dynamism' than in European SVO languages. When this is not the case - notably in presentational sentences with verbs of minimal semantic content - the foregrounded subject or object typically follows the verb. However, especially in the spoken language, 'afterthought' or clarifying material may also follow the verb, typically with lowered pitch. It should also be pointed out that deviations from SOXV order are statistically not very frequent, especially in subordinate clauses and when a clause contains both plural subject and object (morphologically undifferentiated). Deviations from the rigid NP word order patterns of possessor-possessum and head-modifier(s) are not tolerated at all."
  • I don't know how to solve the interlinear gloss best - I would prefer writing 3pSg but I have preveiously been told that that is too technical - I think generic HE is too not gender sensitive and possibly confusing when the example have female or neuter participants., Ill go with whatever you suggest though as no solution seems perfect.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:52, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Too much to do in the real world, I'm afraid. "3pSg" is technical, but maybe we can explain the first instance via a footnote. As simple as possible, but not simpler. G Purevdorj (talk) 23:47, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually I am thinking that maybe "IT" is the best gloss to show that its not gendered.·Maunus·ƛ· 13:04, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I've changed the gloss to 3p and added an explanatory note. I hope you'll have time to continue the review soon.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “it is also sometimes used with the meaning of "that".” The meaning of “that” escapes me, unless you mean it is used as a mere complementizer. My friends think it’s funny that I tend to use this term of generativist provenience but I think it is quite useful. Similarly, “X ing” is quite too Englishy.
  • I have tried to rephrase these in more specific terms.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:44, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The description of the conditional and causative mood might be changed accordingly now. The “when” in the causative mood description is especially problematic. G Purevdorj (talk) 23:38, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • A short classification of derivational suffixes (not en detail, but just within the paragraph) would be interesting. If derivation is so important, it should be treated a bit lengthier.
  • I don't know if anyone's worked with such a classification. I'll look around·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “Verbs can be fixed in their time reference by using different derivational affixes expressing pastness, presentness or futurity of time, or by using temporal expressions like "today", "yesterday" or "tomorrow" in the clause.” This sentence is very awkwardly formulated.
  • “It is broken” is not a past meaning, it is resultative, but present. All of this smells fishy, and certainly without any trace of grammatical tense.
  • The example shows that the verb "aserorpoq" can have either the reading "it is broken" (present) or "it broke" (past).·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
"verbs that describe a change of state only have past readings" - That seems to contradict that translation, then. 'break' clearly denotes a change of state and thus shouldn't have a present reading, be it as aspectually close to past as it may. G Purevdorj (talk) 23:41, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the basic meaning of Aserorpoq is not "to break" but to "be broken" i.e. a stative verb rather than a change of state one. The example comes from the same source that mentions the fact about semantics/aktionsart determining the possibility of a past/present reading of verbs. (trondhjem 2009).·Maunus·ƛ· 06:18, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “It is often translated with the perfect past or with a hearsay marker.” Häh? There is no “perfect past” in English, as far as I know, and much less is there something like an obligatory hearsay marker that everyone would know.
  • That is not what that sentence means. It means that it can be translated either by the simple perfect (has/is) or with a hearsay marker depending on context. Much of this comes directly from sources so I find it a little hard to second guess them.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “This argument is supported by the fact that many morphemes require a nominal work almost syntactically identically as canonical noun incorporation and allow the formation of words that express an entire sentence with verb, subject and object in English.” The grammar of this sentence is incorrect somehow.
  • Yeah somethings missing - I'll take care of that.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “He makes a house” - What is that supposed to mean? “builds”?
  • I chose make to show that the suffix -lior- has a broader meaning than "build". Maybe I'll just use "make" in the gloss and build in the translation.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Did as you suggested. G Purevdorj (talk) 23:28, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “It is also used with numerals and the question word qassit to express the time of the clock, and to mean "per"” - Again, “per” does not express a sufficiently properly defined meaning.
  • Thats why I give an example with the meaning "per" below.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “The equative case describes similarity of manner or quality. It is also used for languages.” I don’t properly understand why this is the case. It looks so derivational. You might provide an explanation.
  • What kind of explanation? I show how it works with examples. I am unsure what kind of explanation you want.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • “"Y'alls house"” - I don’t get it.
  • It should be You (pl) to conform with the rest of the article's usage.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Please interlinearize the sample text.
  • I'll have to choose a nother text then.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • In fact none of the other language articles with sample texts such as the FA's Nahuatl, Swedish language or Turkish language gloss the example. I think the example is merely meant to give a feeling of what the written language looks like.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:00, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't really know what the sample text is meant for, but WP languages recommends it nevertheless. For a sample text to be meaningful from my point of view, it would have to contain orthography, a phonological transcription, an interlinearization and a translation. You would get a slightly better idea of how texts look like in that language then. But it is difficult. I would like to do something like this on Mongolian language, but as we now have an audio file included there for no apparent purpose whatsoever, it should be THAT text. So I would like somebody to provide me with the orthography. Anyway, the question of the sample text will be of no relevance whatsoever for the assessment. G Purevdorj (talk) 23:28, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

G Purevdorj (talk) 22:34, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

  • The section on “tense” is certainly not “good”. As aspect is my profession, I would like to see it revised in a way that links the assessments of particular linguists to more general theoretical assumptions. I might try to do it myself, but I must see whether I’ll be able to do so. It pretty much depends on whether I will find the time to get to Cologne and use the libraries there, and whether or not the literature that you used is present in Cologne. But this point is probably too difficult to review if I don’t have all the data.
  • I would prefer if you try to do that - on purpose I have kept the section as a summary of the fact that there are divergent opinions about the presence or absence of tense in Greenlandic. I would be afraid to misrepresent the theoretical framework if I were to try to connect this somehow. However I thought I was fairly neutral in shopwing that both interpretations are valid depending on whether one defines "having tense" as being able to express tense or as obligatorily inflecting for tense.·Maunus·ƛ· 08:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The wording of the article is insufficient and might do with some copyediting. I have asked User:Truthkeeper88 for assistance.
  • After my points have been addressed and copyediting has taken place, I will try to assess whether or not the article meets the GA criteria.
G Purevdorj (talk) 22:47, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I just saw from the edit history that Truthkeeper88 has already done a number of edits here. Well, let her/him proceed. G Purevdorj (talk) 22:51, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I've been through a number of times and seem to have weeded out the errors. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 02:26, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment/Suggestion: Excellent. Since there is a separate section "Orthography" and the reform of 1973 is discussed, it could be interesting to show a sample-text comparison old/new orthography. Just a thought... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:29, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I will see if I can find a suitable text.·Maunus·ƛ· 06:11, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Starting the assessment

3. Broad in its coverage a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic - as far as I can discern, yes. All areas usually relevant to the proper description of a language get addressed to some degree b) focussed. That one is tricky. The article is at the upper limit at Wikipedia:Article_size# Splitting an article#A rule of thumb. This was caused by a presentation style that works with an abundance of language material even of sentence length to illustrate how grammar works. E.g., see the section Obviation and switch reference. Basically, this is more appropriate for a grammar article than for a language article. Yet, splitting this article into two such articles would leave both articles somewhat shallow given the current content. So while it is difficult to argue that this article always observes summary style, the details that are given are not exactly “unnecessary”. Thus, it passes focussedness. Anyway, a growth by another 20 KB or a nomination for FA would make a split mandatory. Pass.

4. Neutral: what kinds of controversies could we have?

  • Classification is short and to the point.
  • Noun incorporation: two opinions, both presented and with reasons. Not evaluated against a general linguistic theoretical background, but that may well wait until FAR.
  • Tense: maybe so neutral as to collide with Factually accurate. Neutrality is certainly not violated.


5. Stable: no edit wars or major disagreements on content. Pass.

6. Illustrated: the typical image for distribution and one pic of sociolinguistic relevance. All the other grammar things are hard to illustrate via images. Pass. G Purevdorj (talk) 17:34, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Pertaining problems to related to 1. Well-written and 2. Factually accurate

  • The article should make clear the relationship between the introduction of the new script and the “policy of Greenlandization”. Just juxtraposing these two passages doesn’t work.
  • “The second consonant in a cluster is always assimilated to the first one resulting in a geminate consonant.” “iglu ("house"), is illu in Greenlandic“ - Shouldn’t it be iggu then? But all examples seem to point to progressive assimilation. So the first sentence seems to be wrong.
  • “Native words may begin only with a vowel or with /p, t, k, q, s, m, n/; they may end only in /p, t, k, q/ and rarely /n/.” lacks a reference. If it is footnote 15, just draw the paragraphs together.
  • Footnote 8 still lacks its page number.
  • Petersen 1990: on which pages of Collis (ed.)?

I'm through with copyediting until the "Verb" section. Apart from the points noted above (and maybe a few other issues with notes and literature), I now consider these sections to meet GA standards at least as far as the criteria 1a and 2 are concerned. G Purevdorj (talk) 00:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

  • I don't think there is any relation between the introduction of the script and the policy of Greenlandization. The script was introduced 6 years before Greenland achieved homerule and Greenlandization policies began.
There needn’t be any relation between the causes for the results to be connected. I.e., the reversal would have started earlier. As it is put now, it did not. G Purevdorj (talk) 11:47, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • theres a special rule for clusters involving l - they always become ll regardless of the whether the l is first or last.
  • I have done that now.
  • I have added "passim" to citation 8 as inughuit is used throughout and not in a single instance.
  • I have added the page numbers.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:05, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Have we arrived at an impasse or at a "pass"?·Maunus·ƛ· 08:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
At neither. The time I spent on Wikipedia since my last actions here were just enough to create a tiny article on Baarin to relax a bit. I continue here when I find the time to spend at least two hours of copyediting and assessing. Today I must still busy myself with a bit of language acquisition (having invested the rest of the time into research). But it will not take awfully long till I'm back. G Purevdorj (talk) 17:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, take the time you need, I didn't mean to rush you.·Maunus·ƛ· 18:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Started with the noun section and then did the beginning of the verb section.

1. Nouns can be derived from verbs or from other nouns by a number of suffixes. E.g. atuar- "to read" + -toq becomes atuartoq "student" or atuar + -fik "place" becomes atuarfik "school".

  • If you give two examples, why not illustrate both stem types?
Good idea.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

2. possessive agreement suffixes on nouns and the transitive agreement suffixes on verbs have quite similar shapes

  • Similar or identical? The word “quite” is a bit confusing here. “often have identical” might also do if appropriate.
OK, done.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Still does not solve my problem altogether. The footnote gives an example of identical, not similar shapes. Then I guess some shapes will differ. We don't want to overload the text, but maybe the footnote could be more specific. G Purevdorj (talk) 13:49, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Again it is a problem of the actual facts being more complicated than broad statements allow. Some affixes are identical, some are very similar and others differ. Probably they do have a common history - but I dont know that anyone has determined this. Sadick who is the only one who talks about "transitive nouns" assumes they are the same. Others like Fortescue are not certain that they are the same affixes and only mention that the shapes are similar without claiming that they are the same, different or have a common history. I think this latter explanation is the most prudent.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It’s always a bit silly when one deals with a language that one does not know perfectly well. I tend to solve such problems by not mentioning opinions that clearly don’t confirm either to the data or to modern linguistic explanatory schemes. Even in specialized scientific articles, dealing in detail with all existing opinions would yield unreadable books, not to speak of actual lexical articles. Now you’ve chosen to name this opinion, which is okay, but if you have only one reference, you cannot write “some scholars”. I have shipped around this cliff by setting the ship onto another shoal, using the somewhat evaluative word “even”. This appears to be justified, though, if we understand “even” as a quantor and the opinion in question to be held by a minority. G Purevdorj (talk) 01:04, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

3. man-ERG seal eat-3p/3p

  • Shouldn’t the seal get an absolutive suffix, even if zero? The same would hold for “Peter”.
Of course.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

4. It is also used for naming languages through the expression "to speak like a" which uses the equative case on a nationality to express "like a person of x nationality".

  • “through the expression "to speak like a"” - only in the presence of a verb of saying? If not, this still has to be reformulated. For example,
It doesn't only work with verbs of saying, for nationality nouns the equative case is assumed to form the name of the language unless its contextually implied that it is some other part of "doing like an X" that is being referred to.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It is also used for deriving language names from nouns denoting nationalities, i.e. "like a person of x nationality [speaks]".
Ok, done.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

5. Derivational morphology includes processes of adverbial modification of verbs by a large number of different suffixes (numbering in their hundreds).

  • I don’t know how you are using the word “adverbial” here, but it doesn’t seem to fit.
I have reformulated thats sentence to: "Derivational morphology includes processes of modification of the meaning of verbs, in a way similar to that expressed by adverbs in English. These "adverb-type" derivational suffixes number in their hundreds."

6. Inflection

  • I have somewhat revised the introductory paragraph, but the last sentence confused me too much. “requiring 48 different suffixes to cover all possible combinations of agent and patient for each of the eight transitive paradigms”. So we get 384 suffixes? If so, we might want to spell out here which combinations of agent and patient with person are actually possible. Such info seems more crucial than providing a few tables below.
It is unfortunately slightly more complicated because some moods do not have all persons (contemporative doesn't have 3 person, participial doesn't have 4th person and imperative only has second person) - the actual number of verbal inflectional suffixes is 318. Maybe this should just be left out or stated in more vague terms.
  • The whole paragraph should be referenced.
Which paragraph? The one with the 48 forms?·Maunus·ƛ· 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I was talking about that one. As I included all the info you wrote into a footnote into the text, the respective reference has come to conclude this paragraph. If this is appropriate, point 6 is solved. Let me ask one ignorant question, though: "Lennert Olsen" is a surname? G Purevdorj (talk) 13:49, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

G Purevdorj (talk) 23:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Lennert Olsen is a surname yes (two in fact). And I find your edits to the section to be appropriate.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

1. "for expression verbs"

  • I don't think that "expression verb" is a proper designation. Does he mean "verbs of speaking", or include some "verbs of thinking"?

2. Tense

  • "aserorpoq "It is broken / It broke"" - as far as these glosses indicate, this is present perfect and past, thus, past and present reference as well.
  • We need more info on -ssaa-, if possible. The nature and position of this suffix within the language system does not become clear.
  • The last part of this chapter is not referenced.

I don't get to any library these days, but if you could email me scans of the stuff stated by the proponents, I might try to deal with it. But in short: I do think that we can not unequivocally state screwed opinions - if the opinions of the proponents should turn out to be screwed (instead of the way that the article presents them, that is). G Purevdorj (talk) 15:19, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Which opinions is it that you don't find convincing? Most of this is online - I like this one best[2] because its factual and describes usage rather than make generalizing theoretical claims. The Bittner stuff is all avaliable online. What is it you want to know about -ssaa- it is a derivational affix that usually occurs closest to the inflectional endings and fartest from the root. The debate about it is the degree to which it is mandatory with verbs referring to future events (it isn't as there are other derivational affixes that can be used for this as well).·Maunus·ƛ· 21:23, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

It's been a month since the last comment here; how close are we to passing failing the article? What's the status? Wizardman Operation Big Bear 04:06, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

As far as I know G Purevdorj is still reading the references I sent him in order to improve the tense section. Then I am going to expand the lead. ·Maunus·ƛ· 06:37, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Assessing the GA criteria
1. Well-written
a) Proseand grammar correct? - The prose is definitely not engaging, but as far as Ican see it is correct and not awkward. Pass.
b) Confirms to guidelines:
2. Factually accurate and verifiable:
a), b)
  • The article is based on reliable sources and the information presented there isattributed to these sources.
  • The section on Tense contains obvious contradictions. On hold. Pass. G Purevdorj (talk) 20:32, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
c) It contains no original research. Pass.
3. Broad in its coverage
a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic - as far as Ican discern, yes. All areas usually relevant to the proper description of alanguage get addressed to some degree
b) focussed. That one is tricky. The article is at the upperlimit at Wikipedia:Article_size# Splitting an article#A rule of thumb. Thiswas caused by a presentation style that works with an abundance of languagematerial even of sentence length to illustrate how grammar works. E.g., see thesection Obviation and switch reference. Basically, this is more appropriate fora grammar article than for a language article. Yet, splitting this article intotwo such articles would leave both articles somewhat shallow given the currentcontent. So while it is difficult to argue that this article always observessummary style, the details that are given are not exactly “unnecessary”. Thus,it passes focussedness. Anyway, a growth by another 20 KB or a nomination for FA would make a split mandatory.
4. Neutral: what kinds of controversies could we have?
  • Classification is short and to the point.
  • Noun incorporation: two opinions, both presented and withreasons. Not evaluated against a general linguistic theoretical background, butthat may well wait until FA nomination.
  • Tense: maybe so neutral as to collide with Factuallyaccurate. Neutrality is certainly not violated.
5. Stable:no edit wars or major disagreements on content. Pass.
6. Illustrated:the typical image for distribution and one pic of sociolinguistic relevance. All the other grammar things are hard to illustrate via images. Pass.
G Purevdorj (talk) 17:57, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Pass. G Purevdorj (talk) 20:32, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Single (f) is fine. ex. mittarfik = airport., ilisimatusarfik = university. ... Alex

Recent edits on tense[edit]

Hej Maria! I'm not sure whether quoting a number of authors on a particular view of tense is that helpful. At least anything Reichenbachian is controverse itself, and we need not include this controversy here. Not adding the references to the bibliography and entering some of the references immediately into the text was not ideal as well, but as the whole paragraph on tense (and aspect!) is in a sorry state, the first need not concern us now, and the latter I fixed. Anyway, I got some new reading, which also means that the revision of this paragraph may well have to wait for a few weeks. By the way, if you feel like it, revising paragraphs not immediately related to your own writing would also be very welcome. G Purevdorj (talk) 01:25, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi Dr. Bittner, tikilluarit. Sorry if you feel I've misrepresented your views. I can see how I got you and Shaer's arguments about the tense system wrong, I think I was trying to explain the tense controversy as simply as possible and lost sight of your actual arguments while "dumbing it down". In the bit about antipassive I meant to cite you only for your use of the term "antipassive" - not exactly about the definiteness/indefiniteness question, but I understand that that was not clear from the way I wrote it. If you want to add a few sentences about why that explanation is controversial that would be excellent.·Maunus·ƛ· 06:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Following Fort., drawing a line between aktionsart and aspect is next to impossible. If you start will categories that are not well-defined (e.g. the progressive) and are entirely semantic, you will learn too little about the language system. Trond. is worse – Fort. wrote his text in times of the stone age of aspectology, whereas Trond. chose to remain there willingly.

Use of reer does not become clear to me. Should be discussed if very frequent. Bittner 2005 (at the latest in 5.4) crushes the hypothesis that Greenlandic might have a future – although it might in theory be possible to show that some markers have been further grammaticalized in the spoken language than in the (possibly literary-style) translations that Bittner analyzed.

Footnote 72 should be converted into a note. Examples for my text have to be supplied from the respective source texts in agreement with the conventions of this wikipedia article. My footnotes were formatted somewhat differently, that has to be changed. Trondhejm has to be added the literature list. Some of my footnotes could be unified.

G Purevdorj (talk) 19:33, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I am uncomfortable with your version, I think it possibly crosses into original research to analyse the sources in terms that are not used in the literature that we're basing the article on - even if you find the authors ought to have used those terms. We cannot in my opinion make any claims about aktionsart in Greenlandic and its interaction with tense and aspect untill we find a source that describes that explicitly. The purpose of an encyclopedic article is to report what scholars have written, not to evaluate it. Wikipedia is not about truth but about verifiability and reliable sources. Whether or not you agree with Tronhjem she is a reliable source about Greenlandic and we can report her opinions and conclusions - while noting that Bittner disagrees. When I added the section on tense my purpose was to show that the interpretation of tense in greenlandic is an area where there is a difference of opinion between scholars and to describe the different arguments used by the two sides. This is all the article needs to do in my opinion. To say the last word about which side is best supported by modern linguistic theory is a job for a future article in a scientific journal.·Maunus·ƛ· 19:48, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
If you prefer, you can quote the three points of Bittner verbatim. That will force you to explain them in somewhat more detail, but that can be done and you can follow the respective part in Bittner's article. If you like, you can integrate the (refuted) positions of T. and F. into the article (either before or after the part taken from B.), but they should get less prominence due to their less detailed and less careful approach to their data. That might include reformulating the respective sentence in the lead. Could you live with the concessions I just suggested, or do you consider them insufficient? G Purevdorj (talk) 20:04, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
PS: I do not think that the use of the term "aktionsart" in the respective formulations does actually constitute much of a new claim. My main concern was reformulating the points in a more accessible way (but I probably didn't invest sufficient time for doing so, given that I just spent a full working day on Greenlandic tense). So, if YOU would actually find a way to put these points in a way that is even more accessible than my formulation and that is not identical to Bittner's fairly technical wording, that would be even better ... G Purevdorj (talk) 20:11, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, the reason I haven't done any work on the section is not because I'm lazy, but because I am not sure what it is you want. I disagree that Bittner has refuted Fortescue and Tronhjem's positions - I believe we are talking about theoretically incompatible claims. Fortescue and Trondhjem work in a functional tradition - Bittner in a formalist tradition. I am not sure that any of those sides would consider the other position able of refuting anything or that they would each consider the artguments of the other to have any power. Trondjem and Fortescue talk about how Greenlandic encodes temporal relations and call that tense, Bittner has a different definition of what is tense and what isn't. I disagree with you immensely in your characterisation of Fortescues approach to data as "less careful" than Bittners, she works in a linguistic tradition that prefers to set up data as mathematical formulae - in my eyes its a fatal error to mistake that for a more careful handling of data. I'd contend that Fortescue has a more respect for his data because he refrains from building up his analyses around formalist theories instead giving the analysis of how the language actually expresses its different semantic categories primacy.

Moving on, I don't find your edits very accesible to readers, your phrasings and use of jargon is opaque to me and I can only guess at how little a non-linguist reader would be able to glean from it. I think it will have to be "dumbed down" quite a bit - but in order for me to do that, I first need to understand the point.·Maunus·ƛ· 20:51, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Basically, I agree that the formalist tradition is less prone to use good data, and that it tends to have a distorted view on language. But here, the tables are turned:
  • B. attempts in refraining from any theory-specific exploitations, but limits herself to interpreting the data. Here, too, she largely refrains from relying on assumptions about language that are specific to formalists.
  • B. uses a definition of tense that is broad enough to be accepted by most linguists.
  • B., but not T. and F., uses a transparent corpus.
  • F. mistreats Greenlandic and its structure by fitting it into a Comrie grammar – with all the theoretical assumptions that result from it.
  • T. intentionally uses an outdated framework.
  • B. goes into much more detail than T. and F. who both refrain from trying to prove their claims.
It would be conceivable that the inventory of suffixes presented by B. is limited to the written language, but given the recent resurrection of written Greenlandic, that appears to be unlikely. If so, her argument on the functional properties of the suffixes in question is still more likely to hold than to fail. Moreover, the only one who establishes a claim that is to some degree transparent is she. We might fix that by obtaining the diss of Trondhejm and looking at her approach to linguistic evidence, though. In the course, we can also ask her what she thinks of B. 2005.
I’m not too surprised that you consider some of the stuff that I wrote difficult to understand – I did not take the time to revise it before putting it up for discussion. I also have a different style from yours, preferring not to demonstrate each and everything, but rather to hint at existing categories. That does not need to be retained.
G Purevdorj (talk) 21:30, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Sent T. and email. Good night for today! G Purevdorj (talk) 21:50, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, even if I concede that Bittner's analysis is superior I still am not convinced that we can treat it as such in the article without becoming guilty of OR.(I must admit that I don't understand her papers well enough to concede that point - if you are right that she refrains from theory specific assumptions in her analysis she certainly doesn't refrain from theory specific presentation - I am simply unable to read those large portions of her work that is presented in the form of mathematical formulas). I simply disagree that it is the function of an encyclopedic paper to evaluate the claims like that. If there are two points of view then we simply report that - unless one of them has been widely rejected by the scientific community (which is why for example we don't just mention Greenbergs families without mentioning that they are widely rejected). That is not the case here - we don't know whether the linguistic community has reached the same conclusions that you have. (In fact I think we can both agree that the linguistic community probably has not formed any opinion on which analysis to prefer.) I think that before writing the section you and I will need to agree on what it is that it should contain. I propose that the section on tense:
1. a description of the fact that the analysis of tense has generated different view points among scholars.
2. a description of the most common view points. Being: a. greenlandic has no tense. b. Greenlandic has a future/non-future distinction. c. Greenlandic has a straightforward past/present/future distinction.
3. We describe which facts of Greenlandic grammar serve as arguments for the different analyses.
4. we do no more.·Maunus·ƛ· 06:07, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Presenting all views as equal does not make sense and is one of two reasons why I rejected your version. (The other was factual inaccuracy.) A lexicon article on language can (and should) 1. confirm to a basic understanding of linguistic theory, adapting formulations stated outside of such a theory into it (with due care and indications such as “cp.” in the footnotes, but doing so nonetheless) 2. provide a clue to a possibly linguistically clueless reader how to weight opinions.

  • 1. is essential. There are a lot of frameworks out there. Formal semantics, Chomsky grammar, Comrie grammar etc. are just a few of these. It is entirely possible to find linguistic essays (mainly from the verge of the industrialized world) that adopt frameworks which have been discredited for, say, 70 years! If the data we are dealing with is encoded in such a framework, the author of the lexicon MUST decode it. This can happen by switching to merely descriptive terms, or by actually trying to translate it into another framework that can be understood by every linguist. The difference between time reference and tense can be found here, as can be the difference between meaning and connotation. Authors who are not aware of these differences cannot be cited at face value. Actually, F. can be read as claiming a past tense, or, by a more cautious reader, he can be read as making several precautions that prevent him from actually making such a claim.
  • 2. is essential, too. Presenting the opinion that Greenlandic has a past tense in running text, even if stated as a minority opinion, would abandon any support for the non-linguist. There must be a reasonable linguistic argument to the effect that this might be so. A mere opinion without an argument behind it should always be ignored. (It is not that extreme with T. and F.) On the other hand, marginalizing a minority opinion that is based on a very high standard of linguistic evidence (B. 2005) is not acceptable either. If it can be shown (for which merely two sources are not enough) that a particular belief is commonly held, such a majority opinion should not be ignored. 2:1 does not make an obvious majority, of course, so we might need more sources (or a better understanding of T.s evidence) to include the proposal of a future tense on pair with B.s refutation of it. And in any case, the reason why the authors reach at different results has to be given. It is not transparent why T. thinks that future marking (in what form?) is obligatory, but that might become transparent from her diss. We would in any case have to state something like “One opinion holds that ssa and a small number of other suffixes must obligatorily be used when referring to the future”, but the word “small” that is so important here cannot easily be secured from F.

Solutions: Past: it is much better to approach this matter from a purely descriptive point (possible combination of past time reference and sima) and leave out possible conclusions. Future: possibly elaborating on both opinions in detail. It would be desirable to find more authors who assume a future, then. Listing opinions in a row without looking at how they came into being is exactly what I think that a GA should not be. (By the way, try to have a look into B. 2005 again. It differs from her other papers! You should at least be able to understand 1-14 without problems, which is not exactly all she has to say, but it will show you the problems in T.s and F.s analyses.) G Purevdorj (talk) 11:10, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

G. Could we please start here by formulating as simple as possible the nature of the problem. What should the article say.
I think that maybe I am not actually in disagreement with you but I am just uncertain what exactly is the point you are adressing.
I'll start by summarising what I see as the facts to see if we can at least agree on that:
"Greenlandic expresses temporal relations by derivational suffixes that encode temporal information, some that have information about futurity and others that have aspectual meanings and that interact with aktionsart to form perfective or imperfective meanings. Greenlandic does not have any inflectional categories of tense but the use of some derivational suffixes, particularly the suffix -ssa denoting future meaning, is seen by some authors as being so standardised that it functions equivalently to a tense system distinguishing betwen past/non-past categories. Other scholars maintain that since temporal affixes are not part of a tense system of obligatory tense marking the language is best analysed as tenseless. Particularly analyses of literary Greenlandic shows that the usage of -saa is far from as standardised as other studies suggest, but that a large variety of other derivational affixes are also used to express future meanings, this further strengthens the analysis of Greenlandic as a basically tenseless language"
I also wouldn't object to writing that "Greenlandic is a tenseless language" if we then follow up by describing why this is so "it has no tense system, in the sense of obligatory inflection for tense" (I find this convincingly proven by Bittner and I actually think Fortescue would agree - I believe that what he is claiming is not that Greenlandic has a tense system but that he is rather describing how it expresses temporal relations) but it can express temporal relations by the use of adverbial temporal particles AND derivational affixes. then I think we should continue to give examples of contexts in which the language does not employ temporal marking when it would be expected from the point of view of an English speaker and then give examples of the use of adverbs and derivational affixes to express temporal relations.·Maunus·ƛ· 11:49, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Most of what you wrote can be agreed upon. One would have to revise that there is actual disagreement about the meaning of -ssa- that, in B.'s analysis, does not express any future tense meaning, but a particular modal meaning, but expection or desire (B 2005: 11). If you want to introduce the topic with a similar heading, you can go ahead. Only take care that the final content of the article is precisely mirrored in this sub-lead.

To address your more general question: I of course think that the article should contain what I have written that it should contain when formulating the skeleton of my version of it:

  • default interpretation of aktionsarten (T. and B. both mention this, but T. has the better general formulation and B. is somewhat more precise)
  • means of referring to a vague recent and distant past (F., suffixes) and to events in a clear-cut temporal distance (adverbials)
  • Derivational means of expressing aspectual meaning (F. – very short, as the actual status of what F. described here is in severe doubt)
  • sima and nikuu as evidential perfects (F.) that in literary language (F.) and in the speech of younger speakers (T.) can combine with temporal adverbials denoting a concrete point in the past
  • the two contrasting analyses of the future either both in some detail or only a detailed presentation of B. (three example sentences) and en passant mentioning F. and T.

G Purevdorj (talk) 20:22, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Hi Maunus! You haven’t answered my last post so far. I don’t want to set you in a hurry, but I’d like to know for which reason. 1. You haven’t had time during the last week. 2. You find my suggestions so disagreeable that you don’t know how to proceed. 3. You still have problems in understanding my suggestions. If it is 1., there’s no problem. We have time. If it is either 2. or 3., I’d like to know. In case of 3., in detail, but you needn’t hurry with that either. Just tell me then that 3. applies. We’d then best discuss it via Instant messenger or so when we have time. G Purevdorj (talk) 08:49, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
No I don't find your suggestions disagreeable. I have been short on time and have hoped you would simply start implementing your idea of the section. I think I understand your point of view better now and I don't have any problems with it. I still don't feel confident writing up the section myself and would prefer you to do it.·Maunus·ƛ· 11:13, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Too much work to do. And almost all of the content that I proposed to include is present. As soon as you can find the time yourself, you can simply 1. insert the examples that I indicated 2. change my explanations so that they are easier to understand (rereading them, I perceive them as very simple, so I’m maybe not the right person to do that either 3. insert your introduction in a slightly altered form 4. cite Bittner’s three points verbatim and explain them. If you cannot explain them, I shall try that after you have taken care of 1.-3. If necessary, I can then also take care of what is now in the scope of footnote 63, the only other point where some new input is needed. G Purevdorj (talk) 20:02, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

I also don't have time at the moment - I had time three months ago when the review started. You were the one to object to the section and therefore I think it is reasonable that you implement the changes as you would have them. In fact I would not want to take credit for the section the way you have laid it out - I would be committing intellectual dishonesty if I introduced those changes which are not the way I would have written it at all. I do not object to your proposed changes, but I am not going to do that work for you. The section, unfinished as it is now, is a mess and frankly destroys the article. I think you should either take steps to at least make turn it into readable prose or revert to the previous version untill you have time to do something about it. What is more I am beginning to be a little offended by the way you handle this review, having time to layout detailed plans for changes but not the time to implement them, instead assuming that I will do it for you. You have already driven this simple GA review way beyond the standard timelimit drawing immensely on my patience and will to cooperate (I think I have been extremely cooperative in this review and have had very little in return). Instead of playing these games with my time you could have simply failed the article (In which case I would of course have had a possibility of requesting a second review).·Maunus·ƛ· 08:27, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Discussing is easier than writing. But be it as it may. I will finish the skeleton, but I won't substantially elaborate on it, i.e. your objection on readability will remain. Having "cleaned" off this "mess" in such a way, and possibly having created mistakes of my own that I am then to review, can I still rate this article at the same time? I fancy I will but you can trust me that I won't be comfortable with doing so. [I'm a bit angry about your formulation, by the way. The part on tense turned into what I'd call an obvious mess after Bittner's incomplete edits, and before it misrepresented her views, i.e. was a mess of another (and worse) kind. It is better for a page not to educate the reader at all than to do so wrongly. I.e. the option would not have been reverting, but blanking this section.] Anyway, I'll go ahead. G Purevdorj (talk) 08:59, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes! Of course you can rate the article as long as your contributions have been part of the review process that should not be a problem at all. Thanks for understanding. If you really don't have time we could also opt for a very short write-up that is neither counterfactual nor comprehensive - as you say it is most important not to miseducate then as long as we don't write anything wrong we can make it as brief as we wish.·Maunus·ƛ· 09:05, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I'll do a second edit later, then we can discuss the result. (I don't have time in the sense that other duties suffer. It is not that I could not find any. And I suppose it is least painful if we finish this as fast as possible then.) Would you please supply some missing ergatives (and possibly also indicative moods) in the meantime? I just realized that some of those are missing. G Purevdorj (talk) 10:02, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and thanks.·Maunus·ƛ· 11:57, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
All your examples were intransitive so no need for ergative suffixes.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:23, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Also, thanks for doing the work. Your version is clearly superior to anything I could have done, I have only edited abit for style wikilinked some terminology etc. I hope your duties won't miss you too much. If they do tell them this is for the greater common good.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:25, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I've serious problems with reglossing the examples from Bittner 2005: 12-13. There is a short table on page 6 that might help a bit. So if you could do that? Then I could finish the review. (Any other intermediate edits welcome, of course.) I've taken away the guess about differences between literary + spoken Greenlandic. It was based on the idea that the intensive use of Greenlandic in writing is relatively recent, but it might have been unwarranted nevertheless. G Purevdorj (talk) 16:22, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Its really difficult to regloss them, I agree. I've given it a shot. I don't completely agree with the translations either: as far as I have been taught a better meaning of aggiutilerpara would be "I am just about to bring him" ·Maunus·ƛ· 17:11, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
What is meant by „cn“? Bittner fails to gloss it. Reproducing the glosses of Bittner as far as the potential future markers is concerned is crucial, else we cannot present her opinion. Doesn’t the 3. example have imperative mood? You have created two INT/INT (IND/INT) glosses. A mistake? G Purevdorj (talk) 18:14, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I am stumped by the cn as well. I know a -tor suffix but it is a denominal suffix deriving verbs with the meaning "ingest x" which makes no sense in this case. The missing imperative is of course a mistake.·Maunus·ƛ· 19:05, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Just as a note: the article might benefit from a footnote (rather early up) that gives a unified account of all the interlinear glosses, and these are not completely unified yet. I don't claim that these slight inconsistencies cause much difficulties, though. G Purevdorj (talk) 20:29, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I think it is problematic to use Bittners gloss "expect" of -ssa- throughout - while it is justified in the examples taken from her article I don't think it is the best gloss of it in other cases. Some of the examples clearly have nothing to do with "expectations" - all in all I think her translations of the Greenlandic morphemes arte problematic and that they may be the reason that she arrives at different conclsuions than other linguists. But I'll leave that be for now. You should consider though, that -ssa- is standardly glossed as "future" in learners grammars such as Bjørnum, glossing it as "expect" is fairly close to being a neologism and it certainly has not gained foothold in the literature on greenlandic (and I doubt that it will).·Maunus·ƛ· 08:23, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Due to the stance taken in the Tense section, it is impossible to gloss -ssa- as "future" anywhere in the article. Personally, I rather tend to suspect a label like "future", but one could opt for glossing SSA. That would mean, of course, that you write the footnote that I suggested in the last comment where you discuss the interlinearization and give SSA a ("expect"-leaning) double explanation. G Purevdorj (talk) 09:41, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Spelling reform: expansion suggestion[edit]

I'd like to suggest an article expansion. The article is very heavy on linguistic theory, but is somewhat short on the practical side of using the language − the spelling reform is mentioned only briefly. I think addition of the full table of changes, of all variations, would greatly improve the article. There is a large number of resources which feature the old spelling, which affects not just Greenlanders, but all who for one reason or another deal with the language. While I'm here, I will also mention that there is only one illustration (apart from the map)... would be nice to have more. Algkalv (talk) 21:03, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The article is already long as is, what about making a new article at Greenlandic 1973 spelling reform and linking to it from the orthography section of this article?·Maunus·ƛ· 04:21, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Btw I share your desire for more pictures, but am unable to provide any. A photo of a well known book in Greenlandic translation would be excellent (e.g. Harry Potter) or a photo of two copies of the same text in both orthographies would also be great.·Maunus·ƛ· 07:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. The article may be long, yes, but I do think it would be more complete with the spelling reform covered. For this particular language, it was a revolution of sorts. A new article would be fine, but then I would submit that a linguist should write it, lest we drown in errors... which would be worse than no article at all.
I will be in Greenland in two months' time, so I can take the photographs you mentioned. If if you can think of any other picture request that would improve this article (or other Greenland-related articles outside of geography), please do let me know, either here or on my talk page. Algkalv (talk) 13:18, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
If you start writing the article up from the data you have I will help you out as much as I can. I canøt think of other good ways to illustrate the language at present.·Maunus·ƛ· 13:25, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
As I said, I don't have all the data − I don't even know the extent of missing data, and I'm unwilling to write an article which I'm certain will be full of errors for that reason. Just wanted to point out that the article is incomplete, suggesting expansion. Algkalv (talk) 14:26, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
And I can't do it because I haven't the time and I am not sure what it is you want it to include and I am not sure I agree that it would be an improvement. I think you should apply WP:BOLD in this case.·Maunus·ƛ· 14:36, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Outdent. "I am not sure what it is you want it to include". I will elaborate − the 'Ortography' section of the article cites some examples:

For example, the name Kalaallit Nunaat was spelled Kalâdlit Nunát. This scheme uses an acute accent ( ´ ) to indicate vowel gemination (i.e., á, í, ú modern: aa, ii, uu), a tilde ( ˜ ) or a grave accent ( ` ), depending on the author, indicates gemination of the following consonant (e.g., ãt, ĩt, ũt or àt, ìt, ùt, modern: att, itt, utt), while a circumflex accent ( ˆ ) indicates a sequence of a geminated vowel followed by a geminated consonant (e.g., ât/ît/ût, modern: aatt, iitt, uutt). The letters ê and ô, used only before r and q, are now written er/eq and or/oq in Greenlandic

What I propose is expanding this section with a table of all such changes; 'rdl->rl', 'vdl->ll', 'gdl->ll', 'tdl->ll', 'rss->rs', 'gss->ss', 'gp->pp', 'vk->kk', 'vs->ss', 'ngm->mm', and a collection of others. If there is justification for citing already existing examples in the ortography section, the same should apply to a list/table which would be complete. Should that list be in the form of a table, another column might present example words or own names. I don't see such a listing/table increasing the article length to an exorbitant degree.

"I am not sure I agree that it would be an improvement" Perhaps not, but why restrict the coverage of ortographical changes to examples, if a full coverage is within reach. Algkalv (talk) 15:27, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

In East Greenlandic I also found 'ôr' expanded to 'oor' rather than 'or' as cited in the examples, and 'ík' to 'ik'. Algkalv (talk) 15:54, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Please note the current reference to the accents used in the Kleinschmidt orthography is slightly wrong. The circumflex was a long vowel, the acute represented a geminate following consonant, and the tilde was both a long vowel and a following geminate consonant. naaq = nâK; manna = mána; aamma = ãma. (see p468, "Oqaatsit: Kalaallisuumiit Qallunaatuumut", Atuakkiorfik, ISBN 87 558 0520 5) Tulunnguaq (talk) 23:55, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Gemination and vowels[edit]

Part of the discussion was moved from Talk:Greenland#2 consecutive vowels, not long vowels

In the article, Greenlandic language#Vowels, it says (Double vowels are pronounced as two moras, so they are phonologically a vowel sequence and not a long vowel; they are also written as two vowels in the orthography.) and it is sourced. I am not confusing anything. Maybe you are the one who confuses things here? Speaking about Maunus's revert. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 13:02, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Morae is a phonological concept, not a phonetic one. The text say that they are phonologicallya vowel sequence - not phonetically. IPA transcriptions are phonetic and describe the realization, not the phonological analysis. And no it is not sourced that this is a normal transcription.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:05, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Help:IPA transcriptions are broad and not strictly/always phonetic. — Lfdder (talk) 13:15, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
This is a linguistic article that strives for phonetic accuracy and follows the establish transcription system used by linguists working with Greenlandic. There is no IPA symbol for mora divisions. The transceription used here follows for example the one used in this article, which in fact shows that while the moraic analysis is correct phonologically, phonetically it is a long vowel (Jacobsen B. 2000.

The Question of ‘Stress’ in West Greenlandic. Phonetica 2000;57:40–67). The mora division only has prosodic significance.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:19, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, can you add this to the article of Greenlandic language? [a.a] sounds different from [aː]. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 13:25, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
[a.a] sounds different from [a:] only if there is a stress difference that divides the two syllables or a prosodic difference. Yes I can add the article.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:35, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Maunus reverted may latest fix to the article, claiming that it needs a source. Well, the article already has its source which says, (Double vowels are pronounced as two moras, so they are phonologically a vowel sequence and not a long vowel; they are also written as two vowels in the orthography.). Geminated consonants sound longer in duration (as in Italian, Arabic dialects and Classical Hebrew), but do the geminates belong to the same syllable to be transcribed with the length mark? --Mahmudmasri (talk) 13:18, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

You are misunderstanding the sourced statement which clearly says that they are PHONOLOGICALLY two vowels - not phonetically (also you are quoting the text, not the source). This is because morae is a phonological concept not a phonetical one. In Greenlandic the moraic divisions determines word prosody, but they are phonetically transcribed with the IPA signs for length. There are no IPA symbols for mora division - because they are not phonetic. See for example this article which uses mora divisions in phonemic transcription but length in the phonetic ones. B. Jacobsen. 2000. The Question of ‘Stress’ in West Greenlandic. Phonetica 2000;57:40–67. Geminate consonants are also transcribed with the length mark. Whether they belong to different syllables is also a phonological question, because phonetically they are clearly realized as long according to the literature.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:24, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

The confusing statement is still there (so they are phonologically a vowel sequence and not a long vowel). I should change it. Geminated consonants shouldn't be written with the length diacritic in IPA if they belonged to two syllables. For example, in Arabic dialects, geminated consonants always belong to two syllables and therefore are always transcribed as double consonants, they often happen to have a stress break. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 14:40, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

The statement should not be removed, just because you dont understand the difference between phonology and phonetics. The article follows the way the sources writing about Greenlandic writes them, not the way arabic dialects do.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:13, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

You also sloppily removed the diphthong diacritic with your revert. I understand the difference between phonology and phonetics! I was giving you an example because you didn't seem to understand syllabification and it was clear that it's not specific to Arabic, it's the same for Classical Hebrew and even for English when two words, one ending with a consonant and another starts with the same consonant coincidentally come next to each other, also in the word "tattoo" which is always pronounced [tæˑtˈtuː]. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 08:00, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

What you inserted was not a "diphthong diacritic" you inserted the letter i with a devoicing diacritic thus bringing the article out of line with the source which writes the rising diphtong "ai". And again sgowing that you dont understand the distinction between phonology and phonetics because that example wasw ithin // and thus phonological, which means that the addition of diacritics to indicate phonetic pronunciation is impossible since it is only showing the sequence of phonemes. If you want to write about syllabification in Greenlandic then you will have to read sources about Greenlandic and follow those sources.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 11:52, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
That was the non-syllabic diacritic, not devoicing. — Lfdder (talk) 11:59, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Ah, correct. But it was still wrong because it was 1. not in the source, 2. a phonological not phonetical representation showing the sequence of phonemes, not their pronunciation.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 12:23, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

A missing reference[edit]

There are several notes referring to Trondhjem (2009), but no such item appears in the "Cited literature" section. I suppose it is the article by Naja Frederikke Trondhjem which appears in Mahieu & Tersis's book on polysynthesis in the Eskaleut languages? Ælfgar (talk) 12:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Correct, that is it. I will insert it.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:31, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Done.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:59, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

External links section[edit]

I was looking for GA language articles in an attempt to help with cleanup of the generally poor External links sections that we have in most language articles (recent discussions at Talk:Amharic language, ELN and RSPAM). This article looks well maintained, so I thought it would be helpful to have a discussion here.

Is the section being maintained with EL in mind? --Ronz (talk) 16:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Nope, be a friend and prune away. That is more helpful than tagging.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the cleanup. I'll go over all the remaining links. --Ronz (talk) 19:53, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Per WP:ELBURDEN the burden is on inclusion. The links should remain out until there is consensus to include them. However, I'm happy to explain. I went over all the links, finding to be such an excellent site that no others had much to offer in addition. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Grønlandsk for voksne/ Greenlandic for Foreigners
    Promotional. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Agreed.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Indeed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oqaasileriffik (The Greenland Language Secretariat) (version in English)
    Excellent site. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Makes sense. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oqaaserpassualeriffik (Official Site for the Greenlandic Language Technology project including online dictionaries and tools)
    Linked from above. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Better to have a direct link to the tools and dictionaries as well as one to the Greenlandic language secretariat.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    External links should be kept to a minimum. We're not here to create a directory. --Ronz (talk) 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    Articles should be kept maximally useful and informative to the reader. This is not a paper encyclopedia, and this is hardly among the largest EL link farms on wiki.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    Could function as a directory service to the better dictionaries and grammars. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The Bible in Kalaallisut online translation from the Church of Denmark
    Off topic. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    I dont think links to notable literature in the language is off topic in an article about a language. Especially not when we are dealing with a small scale language.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    I fail to see how it helps in the direct understanding of the language, which is the topic of the article. --Ronz (talk) 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    And what makes the Bible in Greenlandic more notable than the Quran, the Hitchhikersguide to the Galaxy and 3 novels written by a local writer. Ask the question the other way: if I don't read the bible in Greenlandic, do I then fail to understand what the language is about? I don't think so, so the link is not needed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    Nothing makes the Bible more notable than the QUran or Hitchikers guide, but none of the latter have been translated into Greenlandic, nor arey they freely available online. I dont know of any policy or guidelines that states that only links that are crucial for understanding the topic at hand can be linked. In fact if it were necessary to access an EL to understand the topic, that would mean tht the article was not doing its job. External links points to links that are likely to be of interest to readers. People who are interested in a language are likely to be interested in seeing or reading texts in that language, to get a feeling of what it looks and reads like. For small languages finding literature is often difficult, and that is why links to important literature in the language is relevant for language articles.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:56, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    We don't link just because it exists. "I don't know of any policy or guidelines that states that only links that are crucial for understanding the topic at hand can be linked" - WP:EL: "Some acceptable links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic", and "Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject: the link should be directly related to the subject of the article. A general site that has information about a variety of subjects should usually not be linked from an article on a more specific subject.". A Bible, nor the Quran or whatever does not tell you about the language. We have WikiSource and WikiQuote for linking texts if reading a piece of text in the article is so important, one could also upload a narration of a piece of text (I am sure that is available, an small piece of that would certainly be fair-use), but linking to the bible like this is not appropriate, why the Bible specific? And if the Bible is so important, then why is it not mentioned in the text, or otherwise, why are we not linking to a well-chosen web directory with multiple texts in the language. I could argue that having to read a piece of Bible in the language (which people do not understand unless they can read the language anyway) could be problematic to some. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Online news in Kalaallisut
    Off topic. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    I dont think links to notable news media in the language is off topic in an article about a language. Especially not when we are dealing with a small scale language.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    I don't believe anything in EL or relate policies/guidelines support this. --Ronz (talk) 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    I don't believe anything in EL or guidelines suggests that such links should be viewed as problematic. For a small language like Greenlandic it is rather uncommon that there is a dedicated newsmedia in the language. This makes Sermitsiaq highly relevant. Perhaps it should even be mentioned in the article text.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    This article is about the language, not about the news media in Greenland. This link is indirect, and listening to the news does not tell you about the language, it tells you what is happening in the area. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    Again you fail to note that for small languages like this it is quite exceptional to have dedicated news media. Remove it if you like, I am going to work the link into the actual text. It is so important that it should be in the text.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:05, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    No, the newspaper has its own article, and if you say that you can work the link into the actual text (I hope the wikilink to the newspaper, an inline external link is also discouraged by our external links guideline), the external link by definition is in violation of the external links guideline: "... Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject: the link should be directly related to the subject of the article. A general site that has information about a variety of subjects should usually not be linked from an article on a more specific subject". --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Pulitzer Center Project on Greenlandic preservation
    Dead link. New link Too off topic. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Agreed.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    If it was about the preservation of the language, maybe. If it was about general preservation, it should go as too indirect. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Maria Bittner web page including papers on Kalaallisut language, also original texts
    Off topic. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Maria Bittner is an expert in Kalaallisut and the page gives access to her work. This is very clearly on topic and allowed by WP:EL.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    She is not on topic. Some of her work, yes. We're already using some of that work as references. --Ronz (talk) 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    If there is a bibliography of Kalaallisut language articles on that site, that specific link may be of interest, this general link is indirect. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • — A morphological parser for Kalaallisut (paste text to be analysed)
    Off topic. --Ronz (talk) 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    How is this off topic? It is an online machinated way of analyzing the language. It is a really amazing tool for learning about the language and for parsing texts in it. You can't really get more on topic than this.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Tools like this almost never are included as external links. We're here to write an encyclopedia, not provide directories of tools. --Ronz (talk) 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    A good encyclopedic article also helps the reader find further places to explore the topic. This is not a paper encyclopedia, and I dont see the damage done by linking to tools that are directly related to the topic, and which are highly likely to help at leats a number of readers who are interested in the topic. If there were 8 competing Greenlandic parser tools then probable it would make sense to argue that we are not a directory of tools and wouldnt have to list all of them (or perhaps any). But this is not the case. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    Does this link teach you more about the language than the already linked (referenced) material and what is in the article? It 'translates' text. We are not a web service to find translation/parsing sites. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    I dont think you understand what parsing means in a language like greenlandic. It means grammatical analysis. The language analyses words and sentences into its parts.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:05, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    Now you're starting to make a case for inclusion. Can you make sure that the title of this link gets made more clear? A good (preferably officially recognised) grammatical analyser would be close to a good (officially recognised) general dictionary. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
    By the way, something like this is also available from - do we need to duplicate? The link to this linkfarm is better than reproducing it ourselves. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:36, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps that link could substitute for this one as it has more tools in addition to the parser.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for looking at these in detail. We have some very different opinions on some. Shall we try to get others to help find consensus? --Ronz (talk) 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, let's do that.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Discussion at ELN to get others' opinions. --Ronz (talk) 17:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Greenlandic is nom acc in verb marking[edit]

This article is somewhat misleading since it paints this picture of an exotic, unique ergativity, while, in fact, greenlandic has a rather limited ergativity. It is basically nominative-accusative and the ergativity only comes up in nouns, not even the third person agreement. They should clarify this. (Furthermore, that sort of defective/limited/split ergativity happens all over the world whether because it is limited to the third person, or to nouns, or to finite verbs, or to one tense, or to definite objects.)

The article follows the sources, and the sources unanimously consider Greenlandic simply an ergative language. I have not read a single source calling Greenlandic "basically nominative-accusative".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:26, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


Inuktun, also called Avanersuamiutut or North Greenlandic or in more dated sources "Polar Eskimo Language", is a dialect that occupies a space in the Inuit dialect chain between Inuktitut and Kalaallisut. It is generally considered a Greenlandic dialect vby experts in Greenlandic because it is spoken in Greenland. In this article it provides a useful illustration of the the dialect continuum from Inuktun over Kalaallisut to Tunumiisut. Do not remove it without consensus.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:56, 24 April 2016 (UTC)