Lokatiivva gehčosat Gáivuona suopmanis
Lene Antonsen (Romssa universitehta)
Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).
Locative suffixes in the Gáivuotna dialect
In Sami the locative singular s-suffix is the most common one, but in some
dialects -n is used in bisyllabic stems and -s in trisyllabic stems. In the
dialect of Gáivuotna it is typical for the older generations that the same
informants use both n and s, but n is now losing ground, especially in the
younger generations. The written standard supports the choice of s-suffix
in the spoken language, but it looks like there is another trigger too.
Gáivuotna is on the coast. The neighbouring inland dialects are the Gárasavvon
dialect with sg.loc. -n, and the Guovdageaidnu dialect with sg.loc.
-s in bisyllabic stems. In the latter dialect there is assimilation ii>i in
unstressed syllables. This assimilation together with the -n suffix causes
in the Gáivuotna dialect a homonymic clash between locative singular and
plural in nouns with i-stem. The speakers evidently prefer using s-suffix
in nouns with i-stem that are not place names. This could have been the
impetus for the takeover of the s-suffix in bisyllabic stems.