University of Oulu

Ylikoski, Jussi (2017). Similarity, equality and the like in North Saami. In Treis, Yvonne & Vanhove, Martine (Eds.), Typological Studies in Language: Vol 117. Similative and equative constructions : a cross-linguistic perspective. (pp. 259-290). doi 10.1075/tsl.117.11yli

Similarity, equality and the like in North Saami

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Author: Ylikoski, Jussi1,2
Organizations: 1UiT The Arctic University of Norway
2University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: submitted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-01-04


The paper discusses various linguistic expressions of similarity, equality and related meanings in North Saami, the major language of the westernmost branch of the Uralic language family. In addition to function-based synchronic description of similatives, equatives and functives (role phrases), the paper also discusses certain on-going language changes due to both external influences and language-internal development. Special attention is given to the use of the postpositionláhkai‘like; in the manner of’ and its development to a marker of a non-finite verb form in -nláhkaiexpressing not only similarity, but also purpose and at times even future events. As regards other parts of speech, it is proposed that a limited set of North Saami adjectives that refer to measurable physical properties such as size, weight, depth and strength have specialized equative forms on a par with the positive, comparative and superlative degrees. The analysis of similarity at phrase and clause levels is further extended to the derivational suffix ‑láganthat is used to turn both nouns and adjectives into ‘-like’ or ‘-ish’ adjectives and ultimately into semantically analogous ‘kind of’ or ‘-oid’ nouns.

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Series: Typological studies in language
ISSN: 0167-7373
ISSN-L: 0167-7373
ISBN: 978-90-272-6597-5
ISBN Print: 978-90-272-0698-5
Volume: 117
Pages: 259 - 290
DOI: 10.1075/tsl.117.11yli
Host publication: Similative and equative constructions : a cross-linguistic perspective
Host publication editor: Treis, Yvonne
Vanhove, Martine
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Copyright information: © John Benjamins. The publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use the material in any form. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.