SDÁ 1-2006: Marjatta Jomppanen

Relatiivainfinitiiva davvisámegielas ja suomagielas

Marjatta Jomppanen (Oulu universitehta)

Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).

Infinitival relatives in North Saami and Finnish – A semantic and syntactic comparison

North Saami and Finnish are related to each other as can be seen in the semantic and syntactic structure of the languages. They also share a common historical background. Here I have compared the infinitival relatives in Saami and Finnish. An infinitival relative consists of a relative word and an infinitive verb. The relative word can be a relative pronoun, i.e. mii, gii in Saami and joka, kuka, mikä (’which, who, what’) in Finnish or a pronominal adverb, i.e. goas, go, gosa, gos in Saami, and jolloin, jonne, joten, milloin (’when, where’) in Finnish. The relative word is never in its basic form in my research material, because a basic form would require verb congruence: piika, jonka kanssa jutella/ biigá geainna háleštit ’maid with whom to talk’ vs. piika, joka juttelee/ biigá, gii hálešta ’maid who talks’.

The infinitival relative is grammatically either a modifier of the antecedent e.g. Mus lea sadji (antecedent) gosa mannat/ Minulla on paikka (antecedent) jonne mennä ’I have a place where to go’ or an independent sentence constituent e.g. Mus lea gosa mannat/ Minulla on minne mennä ’I have (a place) where to go’. In my research material the infinitival relative can act as a modifier of a subject, an object or a predicate, and the independent sentence constituent can act as a subject or an object. When the infinitival relative is a modifier of the antecedent, it seems to be pragmatically obligatory: — čuoččuimet ráiddus vuordimin beavdegeaži, mas boradit (RPL 1994: 23) ’we stood in line waiting for the end of the table, where to eat’. The word order is constant: relative word before infinitive. An infinitival relative never begins the sentence; it always follows the predicate.

The frequency of infinitival relatives is higher in Saami (n = 26) than in Finnish (n = 14). In Finnish the context of occurrence is mostly negative (10/14), whereas in Saami the frequency is equal (13/13). Finally, the infinitival relative is very similar in both languages. Mainly it carries the proposition of the sentence but sometimes also an affective meaning.