Lesson Three: Babby's First Derivational Postbases!Ilinniannguarpitigooq?
Now that we're all experts on the positive indicative mood, we can move on to the even more interesting stuff.
In this three-part lesson, I'm going to introduce you to three commonly-used verbal derivational postbases (your first!). Incidentally, all three of them involve noun-incorporation, which is as easy as pie. Ingerlallat!
"Let's go!"Section One: qaq "have, exist"
The ways in which the possessive verb manifests (if at all) in different languages is very varied. Fortunately for English speakers, Greenlandic's way of doing it is pretty similar. So, what does it exactly mean and how does it work?
Well, one way of thinking about it is that qaq
has one meaning, "have". It can be used not only for sentences like "I have a cat" and such, but for sentences like "There are people on the street", or "The street has people". Let's take a look at the Greenlandic translations:pussi
"cat" + qaq
"I have a cat"aqqusinneq
= Aqqusinneq inoqarpoq.
"There are people on the street." "The street has people."
You can make several observations about qaq
(1) Possessed nouns are incorporated into the verb, and qaq
is stuck on right after them.
attaches to the vocalic form of incorporated nouns (inuk
is essentially inuk
(3) Plurality is not expressed in incorporated nouns (that's part of what makes them incorporated linguistically anyway).
(4) Verbs with qaq
are always intransitive. No need for personal agreement here!
Also one observation about sentence structure:
(1) Verbs like to go after subjects. In fact, Greenlandic is mainly an SOV language. But since that has nothing to do with qaq
, I'll talk about syntax later.
Anyway, if you're familiar with the Japanese verb of existence いる or its Korean counterpart 이다, you can be sure there is little to no difference between their and qaq
Two more things. First, what to do if you just want to say "There is/are [an] X[s]?" without a specific location like aqqusinneq
? Simple; just use the third person without any subject.
Second, unlike the Japanese and Korean verbs, qaq
can be used to state the cost of something by incorporating kruuni
"krone" (since, you know, Greenland uses Danish kroner) into the verb with the number of kroner right before the verb. For example:Ataatseq kruuneqarpoq.
"It costs one krone."Qulit kruuneqarpoq.
"It costs ten kroner."
I'll teach numbers later.
Now, here's a list of more nouns in addition to those already mentioned:illu
Now, have some practice with qaq
. Translate these sentences:
"Thou hast a house."
"There is a kayak in the river."
"We have water."
"You (pl.) have a sled."
"There are dogs."
"He has a book."
"There is a dog in the house."
"There is water in the river."
"There are people in the house."
Check your answers here: