SDÁ 1-2014: Ole Henrik Magga

Lullisámegiela muohtasánit

Ole Henrik Magga (Sámi allaskuvla)

Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).

Lullisámegielas ii leat dássemolsun ja dan fonologiijas, morfologiijas ja cealkkaoahpas leat eará nai iešvuođat mat eai gávdno eará sámegielain. Dás lea suokkarduvvon oassi lullisámegiela muohtasániin. Čuođi sátnemáddagis leat bealli earenoamáš lullisámegiela máddagat, omd. lopme ’muohta’. Badjel beannot čuođi sánis leat guokte goalmmádasa dakkárat mat eai gávdno eará sámegielain. Dát boađus doarju jurdaga ahte lullisámegiella ferte leat guhkes áiggiid leamaš sierranas giellan. Muohtasániid lohku orru leamen bures dássálaga eará sámegielaid loguiguin. Doložis lea gulustuvvan ahte inuihttagielain leat olu muohtasánit. Orru ain nu ahte inuihtain leat olu jiekŋasánit, muhto muohtasánit gal orrot leamen sámegielain eanet – ja maiddái lullisámegiella lea viehka muohtasátnerikkis.


South Saami snow terminology

South Saami is distinguished from the other Saami languages by numerous phonological, morphological and syntactic features. The most characteristic of them is its lack of grade alternation in central consonants, a feature that is found in all the other Saami languages and also in Finnish. In this study, I explore the vocabulary of snow: quantity, dry snow, wet snow, layers in the snow pack and the layer at the bottom of the snow pack. I further compare the basic stems, lexemes and terms with possible cognates in other Saami languages. The finding is remarkable, if not too surprising. In this article I present one hundred basic stems of snow terms, more than fifty of which have no cognates in the other Saami languages. And out of more than 150 words (lexemes) and terms, over two thirds are only found in South Saami. This seems to confirm the hypothesis that South Saami has been separated from the other Saami languages for a long period of time.

This study also has bearing on the discussion of how many terms for snow and ice languages may have. In spite of Geoffrey Pullum’s critique of the myth created by Benjamin Lee Whorf (Pullum 1991), the Inuit languages are probably still world champions when it comes to the number of words for ice (Krupnik & Müller-Wille 2010), while South Saami should not be neglected as a candidate for the position of having the most words for snow in the world.