1.13.2008

This paragraph absolutely thrills me!

I've been studying Inuktitut. I love it, and it's awesome. I'll never learn to speak it, or probably ever meet anyone else that does, but I've been taking notes like a madman. It thrills me to understand/comprehend the following (from Wikipedia):
Ergativity in Inuktitut
Inuktitut marks the subject of a non-specific verb and the object of a specific verb in the same way - the absence of a specific morphological marker - and marks the subject of a specific verb and the object of a non-specific verb with particular morphological elements. This kind of morphosyntactic structure is often called an ergative structure. However, ergativity in its most clearly defined instances is primarily about transitive and intransitive verbs, This dichotomy is not identical to the specific/non-specific verb distinction in Inuktitut, since Inuktitut usage is also concerned with the definiteness of the objects of verb.
Consequently, the application of the notion of ergativty to Inuktitut, and to many other languages, is somewhat controversial. Regardless, by analogy with more conventionally ergative languages, the -up, -k, -it endings described above are often called ergative suffixes which are taken to be indicative of the ergative case, while the -mik, -rnik, -nik endings (see Non-specific verbs - Objects) are called accusative. This usage is often seen in linguistics literature describing Inuktitut, and sometimes in pedagogic literature and dictionaries, but remains a quite foreign vocabulary to most Inuit.
Sweet.

1 comment:

J-- said...

Hey there Polyglot...
...been missing your blog for a few months now...
all is well?
hope so...
take care and
I look forward to reading some more soon...
what's your latest language?
--a reader in AZ, formerly in Seattle...