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Greenlandic: 4th Person?

From:Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
Date:Friday, September 5, 2008, 14:14
The Yupik languages of Western Arctic America, or some of them, are
famous-ish for having long-distance-reflexives.

I don't know as much about the Inuit languages of Eastern Arctic
America and Greenland.

In reading "Syntactic Heads and Word Formation" by Marit Julien
(Oxford University Press, 2002) I came across the following samples.

She says they come from "West Greenlandic" by Michael Fortescue
(Croom Helm, London, 1984).

Ippasaq tikip-put aqagu-lu ikinnguta-at tiki-ssa-pput.
yesterday arrive-IND.3p tomorrow-and friends-3p arrive-FUT-IND.3p
"They arrived yesterday and their friends will arrive tomorrow."

Isir-puq ingil-lu-ni-lu. sit.down-CTMP-4s-and
"She came in and sat down."

Pilirtuttumik irrui-vuq ini-mi-nul-lu majuar-lu-ni.
quickly wash.up-IND.3s room-4s.REFL-ALL-and go.up-CTMP-4s
"He washed up quickly and went up to his room."

(3p means "3rd person plural")
(3s means "3rd person singular")
(4s means "4th person singular")
(ALL means "allative")
(CTMP means "contemporative" relative tense; known elsewhere
as "simultaneous", contrasting with "anterior" and "posterior")
(FUT means "future")
(IND means "indicative")
(REFL means "reflexive")

My question is about the "-ni-" and "-ni" 4s and the "-mi- 4s.REFL
(1) Why are these fourth person?
(2) What does "fourth person" mean here? Does it mean obviative? Does
it mean long-distance-reflexive? Or something else?
(3) If it means "obviative", why wasn't "ikinnguta-at tiki-ssa-pput"
("friends-3p arrive-FUT-IND.3p") fourth-person in example "a"?
(4) If it means "long-distance-reflexive", why was it used in
examples "b" and "c", "ingil-lu-ni-lu" ("sit.down-CTMP-4s-and")
and "ini-mi-nul-lu majuar-lu-ni" ("room-4s.REFL-ALL-and go.up-CTMP-
4s")? Shouldn't those be 3rd person instead of Long-Distance-

And, a general question about Greenlandic Inuit:
Does it have obviatives?
Does it have long-distance-reflexives?


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Lars Mathiesen <thorinn@...>