SDÁ 1-2006: Jussi Ylikoski 2

Fuomášumit sámegiela adposišuvnnaid funkšuvnnain: ovdamearkan alde– ja ala-postposišuvnnaid ii-lokála geavaheapmi

Jussi Ylikoski (Oulu universitehta)

Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).

Remarks on the functions of adpositions in North Saami: the non-spatial use of the postpositions alde and ala

The article presents a survey of the syntax and semantics of the postpositions alde ’on’ and ala ’onto’ in North Saami. In previous descriptions of Saami adpositions, the main focus has always been on the concrete spatial meanings of the adpositional phrases. However, a significant part of the actual usage of the adpositions has various other syntactic and semantic functions that have been taken into account only occasionally.

The diversity of the functions of adpositional phrases in North Saami is demonstrated by examining the usage of the prototypically spatial postpositions alde and ala. Based on extensive data from the literary language, it is shown that as many as one-third of the occurrences of alde and ala are more or less non-prototypical, i.e. they do not have a purely spatial meaning. In addition to certain fully opaque phrases, the postpositions may be used in various non-spatial expressions such as lihtera ala [liter.GEN «onto»] ’per liter’ or buot ilgadisvuođaid ala [all hardship.PL.GEN «onto»] ’in addition to all the hardships’.

Not infrequently, adpositional phrases function as obligatory complements of certain verbs and adjectives; ala, for example, is used especially with verbs expressing negative emotions, e.g. váidalit mu joavkku ala [complain.INF I.GEN team.GEN «onto»] ’to complain about my team’, whereas alde may be used especially with cognitive verbs with a reciprocal meaning (and often with a negative connotation), e.g. riidalit luopmániid alde [quarrel.INF cloudberry.PL.GEN «on»] ’to quarrel over cloudberries’. Furthermore, the complement of an adposition may be not only a noun but also a finite or non-finite clause; such constructions are commonly used as propositional complements, e.g. Son bargá dan ala ahte buorida/buoridit eallimis [s/he work.3SG it.GEN «onto» that make.better.3SG/make.better.INF life.ACC.3SG] ’s/he works on making his/her life better’.