Talk:Northern Sami

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I am writing the grammar section of Northern Sami. Native speakers, please check my spelling of Sami words and correct possible grammatical errors. In future I am planning to add adjectives, tenses, moods, voices etc. Arteum

There are no possessive pronouns in Northern Sami. The listed ones are genitive forms of the personal pronouns. --Hippophaë 17:50, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, Hippophaë, but I think it is understood that a possessive pronoun by definition is a personal pronoun in the genetive case. Arteum
Possessive pronouns or personal pronouns in genitive are just differences in terms. Northern Sami does have, however, "posessive suffixes" for nouns, if it helps at all. I'd help out the effort by writing more here on grammar, but I have to learn decent wiki-coding skills first. ;) --Alcarilinque 09:36, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
No, it's not a difference of terms. Possessive pronouns are different pronouns from the normal pronouns, while pronouns in the genitive are regularly agglutinated. Consider "I — my", "mu- — mu". --Vuo 14:09, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

As Vuo says, Northern Sámi does not have any possessive pronouns, it uses the genitive case of pronouns to accomplish the same thing. These are, however, two distinct linguistic phenomena. -Yupik 11:21, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Being a native Finnish speaker, I disagreed with this: "and as Ŋ (engma) is not just an allophone of N as in Finnish, it needs a separate letter." Sometimes it's an allophone, but sometimes it's a different phoneme in Finnish, as well. "langan" /lɑŋŋɑn/ = wire (genitive case); "lannan" /lɑnnɑn/ = dung (genitive case). So I edited that part a little. Now it sounds stupid, so maybe someone is interested in writing it in fluent English. -anonymous
Please, anyone could write any word that it contains 'ŋ' in sami. Perhaps I cant understand why is wrong the sentence that reduced the anonymous. It was: " Sometimes it's an allophone, but sometimes it's a different phoneme in Finnish, as well." The samples that fournished himself confirm that he dislikes, it is unreasonable!
Pasqual (ca) 22:44, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Langan is a form of lanka, where [ŋ] is clearly an allophone of N. In Finnish, this is always the case for /ŋ/; it never occurs independently of /k/, whether or not /k/ is actually pronounced. In Sami languages, /nn/ and /ŋŋ/ can differentiate unrelated roots. --Vuo 23:10, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that it is simpler, I would write something like: "The velar nasal is transcripted with Ŋ, this sound can be also an allophone of /n/ when precedes /k/ and /g/." Because the reference of Finnish doesn't appears before this sentence and it makes dificult the understanding, why does the text speak about Finnish? Because it is a knowner language?
Pasqual's talk (ca) 18:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I just did several changes, with bearings on the ongoing discussion: There are no possessive pronouns in Sámi, and the statement on ŋ (both in Finnish (cf. the word sangen and in Sámi (the word maŋŋel)) was just misleading. The only special thing about ŋ is that it cannot occur syllable-initially, and that it must be long (the last only in Finnish). Terminology: Locative has been standard since after Nielsen's grammar. Abessive: Not in the nominal paradigm. Trondtr 23:26, 8 April 2006 (UTC).

Pronoun table changes[edit]

Thought I'd make a note of this in discussion incase anyone had something to say. Genitive and Accusative don't really diverge in personal pronouns, and generally in the literature concerning Sámi are treated separately. As for Inessive-Elative, I haven't really seen that term used though it makes complete sense. On the other hand, the literature I've got just refers to it as locative. --Ryan 11:44, 14 May 2006 (UTC)


How does a handwritten Ŧ look? How do you differentiate Ŧ and F in handwriting? Thanks! (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I doubt there are enough minimal pairs to create particular confusion. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 00:00, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Imperative of negative verb[edit]

The current table only gives the you-forms (ale, alli, allet) but there are also I-forms and he/she-forms of the negative verb in its imperative form: I don't know how to put it into the table, but it's:
1sg allon
3sg allos
1du allu
3du alloska
1pl allot
3pl alloset may have been left out due to the assumption that there would be no imperative form referring to oneself or a third person, but Sámi has a function for it: self-referring imperative makes it a suggestion ("let's not stop here"), and third-person-referring makes it an expression of a desire ("may he never find out!") —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:13, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

actually, the conjugation is identical to the one marked "optative" except that optative has allom instead of allon
scratch that, I just found out what "optative" is... I guess it covers the meaning of 1-person and 3-person imperative in Sámi. But when learning Sámi, one is taught all these nine forms of the negative verb as "imperative forms" rather than two separate but identical forms...
Also, what's up with the "m" in the first form?

Vibrancy / Decline[edit]

This is a question to editors more familiar with the situation than myself: Is there any data on the language's present status among the younger generations? Is it generally being passed on to children, are there enough schools to ensure education in North Sami, etc. Is there a government effort to support the language? Trigaranus (talk) 16:21, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Early Sami text[edit]

I recently transcribed a Swedish-Sami book that appears to be in Northern Sami. It was out of scope for Swedish Wikisouce, so I duplicated the entire book at the common Wikisource site and placed the Sami part here.

This title is described in the article "History".

Peter Isotalo 20:26, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I can't really make much sense of it in this old orthography. Is there a modern version available, or could it perhaps be rewritten? CodeCat (talk) 21:30, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Given that the book is from Sweden, this is likely old Lule Sami rather than Northern Sami; as might be suggested by e.g. åå for *oa (as in pååtedh 'to come'). In theory it could be also Ume Sami, for which several religious writings from the 17th century are known (but I can't seem to notice any positive characteristics of it just now, and at least mubbe 'second' is clearly a Northwestern Sami form). As far as I know, there are no written Northern Sami materials from before the 18th century. --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 19:30, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
I noticed a few instances of "uä" too, is that also consistent with Lule or Ume? CodeCat (talk) 20:03, 11 September 2015 (UTC)