Sámegillii | På norsk | In English

Nouns are words expressing people, animals, things, processes or abstract relations, e.g.: nieida 'girl', Káre 'Káre (a name)', beavdi 'table', ráhkisvuohta 'love', dávda 'illness', Norga 'Norway'.

Nouns are declined in cases, which are inflectional forms marking the function a noun has in a sentence. In North Saami, there are seven cases:

  • The nominative case is the base or presentational form: 'Gussa' lea olgun. (The cow is outside.)
  • The accusative case is the form marking the object: Mun oasttán 'gusa'. (I am going to buy the/a cow.)
  • The genitive indicates the possessor: 'gusa' juolgi (the cow's leg).
  • The illative is used to indicate motion to or into something: Mun attán biepmu 'gussii'. (I am going to give food to the cow.)
  • The locative provides the notions on/at/in a place or from a place: 'Gusas' oažžut mielkki. (We get milk from a cow.)
  • The comitative is the case providing the meaning "with": Mun bohten 'gusain'. (I came with a cow.)
  • The essive is the state case, which often gives the notion "as, like": 'gussan' 'as a cow'

In Saami, there is variation in inflectional suffixes for nouns. This variation correlates with the number of syllables in the final foot of the nominative plural form. There are

  • nouns with vowel stems (bisyllabic nouns), e.g. gussa - gusat 'cow - cows', vilbealli - vilbealit '(male) cousin - cousins',
  • nouns with consonant stems (trisyllabic nouns) rieban - riebanat 'fox - foxes', nisu - nissonat 'woman - women' and
  • contracted nouns boazu - bohccot 'reindeer (sg., pl.)', bálggis - bálgát 'path - paths'.

It is important that you pay attention to diphthong simplification and gradation when inflecting Saami words.

You can read more about nouns here .

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