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Encyclopedia > Kalaallisut language
Kalaallisut
Spoken in: Greenland (Denmark
Region: North America
Total speakers: approximately 54,000
Language family: Eskimo-Aleut
 Inuit
  Kalaallisut 
Official status
Official language of: Greenland (Denmark)
Regulated by: Oqaasileriffik
Language codes
ISO 639-1: kl
ISO 639-2: kal
ISO/FDIS 639-3: kal 

The Kalaallisut language (also called Western Greenlandic, Greenlandic Eskimo, or Greenlandic Inuktitut) is an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Greenland. It is closely related to some languages in Canada, such as Inuktitut. Kalaallisut is spoken by about 54,000 people, which is more than all the other Eskimo-Aleut languages combined. The northern dialect, Inuktun, spoken around the city of Qaanaaq (Thule) is particularly closely related to Canadian Inuktitut. World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... Eskimo-Aleut languages Eskimo-Aleut is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... The language of the Inuit people is traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic and to some extent in the subarctic in Labrador. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code Twenty-two of the languages have two three-letter codes: a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B) a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T). ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Because of technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... This is a concise version of the International Phonetic Alphabet for English sounds. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Eskimo-Aleut languages Eskimo-Aleut is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... There are a multitude of languages spoken in Canada. ... Inuktitut (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ, literally like the Inuit) is the language of the Inuit people. ... Eskimo-Aleut languages Eskimo-Aleut is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... Map of Greenland Qaanaaq (roughly pronounced KAH-nahk), formerly Thule, is a town and municipality in northwestern Greenland. ...

Contents

Phonology of Kalaallisut

The most extensive study of Kalaallisut phonology is Jørgen Rischels "Topics in West Greenlandic Phonology" (1974)[1]. Jørgen Rischel (born 1934) is a Danish linguist who has worked extensively with different subjects in linguistics especially phonetics and phonology, lexicography and documention of endangered languages. ...


Three vowels: /i/, /u/ and /a/


Before an uvular consonant ([q] or [R]) /i/ is realized allophonically as [e] or [ɛ] and /u/ as [o] or [ɔ]. This alternation is shown in the modern standard orthography by writing /i/ and /u/ as {e} and {o} respectively when ocurring before uvulars ({q} and {r}).


Double vowels are pronounced as two mora, so they are phonologically a vowel sequence not a long vowel, they are also written as two vowels in the orthography. There is no stress phonemic or phonetic but heavy syllables (with double vowel or in front of a consonant cluster) sound stressed and some intonational patterns also sound like stress.


Consonants


Letters between // are phonemes and the following letter is the way it is spelled in the new standard Greenlandic orthogaphy of 1973.

  Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular
Stops /p/ - p /t/ - t /k/ - k /q/ - q
Fricatives /v/ - v/f [2] /s/ - s /ɣ/ - g
Nasals /m/ - m /n/ - n /ŋ/ -  ng
Liquids /l/ - l / ɬ -  ll /R/ - r
Semivowel /j/ - j

Kalaallisut phonology distinguishes itself phonologically from the other Inuit languages by a series of assimilations. One of the most famous Inuktitut words, iglu (house), is illu in Kalaallisut, where the /gl/ consonant cluster of inuktitut is assimillated into an unvoiced lateral affricate. And for example the name Inuktitut, when translated into Kalaallisut, is Inuttut.


Grammatical features of Kalaallisut

The language, like its relatives, is highly polysynthetic and ergative. There are almost no compound words, but mostly derivations. Greenland has three main dialects: North, West and East Greenlandic; West Greenlandic, the largest dialect, is called Kalaallisut. Polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i. ... An ergative-absolutive language (or simply ergative) is one that treats the agent of transitive verbs distinctly from the subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive verbs. ...


Kalaallisut distinguishes two open word classes: nouns and verbs. Each category is subdivided by intransitive and transitive words. The languages distinguishes four persons (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd reflexive), two numbers (singular, plural; no dual as in Inuktitut), eight moods (indicative, participial, imperative, optative, past subjunctive, future subjunctive, habitual subjunctive), ten cases (absolutive, ergative, equative, instrumental, locative, allative, ablative, perlative; for some selected nouns: nominative, accusative). Verbs carry bipersonal inflection for subject and object (distinguished by person and number). Transitive nouns carry possessive inflection. A noun, or noun substantive, is a part of speech which can co-occur with (in)definite articles and attributive adjectives, and function as the head of a noun phrase. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In grammar, an intransitive verb is an action verb that takes no object. ... In grammar, a verb is transitive if it takes an object. ...


Orthography

In contrast to Eskimo-Aleut languages in Canada, Kalaallisut is written with the Latin alphabet and not with the Inuktitut syllabary. A special character, Kra (ĸ), was used exclusively in Kalaallisut until the spelling reform of 1973 replaced it with the letter q. [3] The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The Inuktitut syllabary (Inuktitut: ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᕐᒃ ᓄᑖᕐᒃ titirausiq nutaaq) is a writing system used by Inuit people in Nunavut and in Nunavik, Quebec. ... Kra (ĸ) is a character used when writing the Kalaallisut language spoken in Greenland. ... Q is the seventeenth letter of the Latin alphabet. ...


External links

  • The Greenland Language Council
  • Greenlandic Inuktitut at Ethnologue

Notes

  1. ^ Jørgen Rischel, 1974, Topics in West Greenlandic Phonology. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
  2. ^ f is the way of writing the devoiced /vv/ geminate.
  3. ^ http://www.evertype.com/alphabets/greenlandic.pdf
Wikipedia
Kalaallisut language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Kalaallisut language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (527 words)
The Kalaallisut language (also called Western Greenlandic, Greenlandic Eskimo, or Greenlandic Inuktitut) is an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Greenland.
Kalaallisut is spoken by about 54,000 people, which is more than all the other Eskimo-Aleut languages combined.
In contrast to Eskimo-Aleut languages in Canada, Kalaallisut is written with the Latin alphabet and not with the Inuktitut syllabary.
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