The Language Secretariat of Greenland

Search

atuarneq

that the word atuarneq (to read) didn’t exist in the Greenlandic language before the concept was introduced into the Greenlandic consciousness? When Greenlanders began to learn to read after the missionaries arrived the word atuarneq came into being.

New words (neologisms) which were created after missionaries and whalers arrived were some of the following: suaasat (rice), umiarsuaq (ship), qerititsivik (freezer), amusartoq (drawer), ujalussiaq (thread), qamutilik (cannon) etc.

New words are created through the introduction of new concepts. Because of the possibility to add endings to words, it is easy to create neologisms in Greenlandic.

·  the derivatives {-usaq/-usat} describe that which resembles the word through the stem: suaasat (that which resembles spawn: rice)  qajuusat (that which resembles soup: flour) kumaasat (that which resembles lice: cumin seeds) inuusaq (that which resembles a human: doll) etc.

·  the derivative {-suaq} describe something which is larger than the stem of the word: umiarsuaq (big umiaq: ship), tuttorsuaq (large caribou: red deer), quersuaq (large storehouse: warehouse) etc.

·  the derivatives {-fik/-vik} describe the place or object, where the verbal stem is repeated several times: qerititsivik (the place where something is put to freeze: freezer) atuarfik (the place where ‘the lines’ are followed: school), siniffik (the place where you sleep: bed), sinittarfik (the place where you sleep: bedroom) etc.

· Conversion into nouns through derivatives {-toq/-soq} can be used in creating new words; amusartoq (that which is pulled out: drawer), igasoq (the one cooking: cook), oqaluttartoq (the one who repeatedly talks: grammophone) etc.   

· the derivative {-ssiaq}(as well as the derivatives {-ssaq & -liaq}) describe what the stem of the word is intended for: ujalussiaq (something intended for sinew: thread), puussiaq (something intended to contain something: bag), qarmasissiaq (material for a wall: brick) atuagassiaq (something intended to be used as reading material: newspaper) etc.

· the derivative {-lik} describe the attribute in the nominal stem (person, animal or thing); atorfilik (one who upholds a position: salary earner), noqartilik (that which has strings: stringed instrument), tingerlaataannalik (that which is equipped solely with sails: sailing ship) etc.

Newest Greenlandic neologisms are: qarasaasiaq (computer), oqarasuaat (telephone), nittartagaq (homepage), etc.