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P-SAMISK-Program for samisk forskning

Definiteness in North Saami (dr.stip)

Tildelt: kr 2,2 mill.

The aim of the research is to establish how definiteness is expressed in North Saami. In Saami, definiteness is not expressed by articles, as in article languages, but rather by certain determinants and word order. In most cases, however, definiteness is inferred from the context, discourse-based knowledge. I will be paying particular attention to when an NP in which the referent is identifiable by the recipient (i.e. definite) gets a determiner expressing definiteness, and when it does not (e.g. dat vi essu vs. viessu 'the house'). Furthermore, my aim is to establish the role of demonstrative pronouns other than dat 'it' in expressing definiteness, and to determine their distribution. Definiteness and its expression in Saami have received little acade mic attention; grammar books have cursory observations of the definiteness of nouns. Traditionally, the use of certain pronouns and numerals, such as dat 'it' and okta 'one' has been considered to be a Scandinavian influence from, in particular, Norwegian . To analyse the phenomenon, we need scientific knowledge of how definiteness in general is expressed in Saami and how central a role determiners have in this task. The research findings will be of use in the teaching of Saami and in preserving its puri ty. In addition to the actual findings, the articles to be published in the North Saami language in conjunction with the project as well as the final research report, containing concepts and terms in Saami, will be used as native-language literature in Sa ami teaching and in research.


P-SAMISK-Program for samisk forskning

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