The modalis case plays many roles in the IÃ±upiat language. This is one of them.
In your intransitive sentence, often times you will need what is called an indefinite object. But what is an indefinite object?
First, an object of a sentence is the noun that is receiving the action of the verb, such as the word ‘pancake’ in the following sentence.
Marshall is eating a pancake.
An indefinite object refers to a non-specific object in an intransitive sentence. Take a look at the word ‘pancake’ in the following examples.
Marshall is eating a pancake. ‘¹—- indefinite
Marshall is eating the pancake ‘¹—- definite
An indefinite object, in IÃ±upiat, is always a part of an intransitive sentence rather than a transitive sentence. And an IÃ±upiat indefinite object takes the modalis case, which is a specific ending (similar to a postbase) Ã·mik.
Marshall niÄ¡iruq silÌ£aavyaÅ‹mik.
Remember that word order is flexible in IÃ±upiat. The word order depends on what you want to emphasize in your sentence.
Marshall silÌ£aavyaÅ‹mik niÄ¡iruq.
NiÄ¡iruq silÌ£aavyaÅ‹mik Marshall.
NiÄ¡iruq Marshall silÌ£aavyaÅ‹mik.
SilÌ£aavyaÅ‹mik niÄ¡iruq Marshall.
SilÌ£aavyaÅ‹mik Marshall niÄ¡iruq.
Assimilation with Ã·mik
If you need a refresher on assimilation, click here.
Ã·mik is the ending for the modalis case. This site is using the same assimilation symbols as the North Slope IÃ±upiaq Grammar. Remember that the Ã· means that “the postbase deletes stem-final weak q but not Q, k, or n.’ Here are examples of assimilation for Ã·mik, depending on the noun ending. For instance if a noun ends in:
vowel, n or Ã±
Just add. For nouns ending in -n or -Ã±, either add or convert -n to -ti and -Ã± to -si and add.
qavlu qavlumik an eyebrow
puya puyamik a piece of dirt or grime
avillaitqan avillaitqanmik or avillaitqatimik a friend
akiÃ± akiÃ±mik or akisimik a pillow
Add, deleting weak q. Middle consonant may be geminated.
aÄ¡naq aÄ¡namik a woman
qaqasaÅ‹Å‹uaq qaqasaÅ‹Å‹uamik a computer
qayaq qayamik or qayyamik a kayak
qimmIq qimmimik a dog
Add, retain the strong consonant and assimilate. For the purpose of this lesson, strong q’s will be marked as Q.
uyaÄ¡ak uyaÄ¡aÅ‹mik a rock
kamik kamiÅ‹mik a boot
AiviQ aiviÄ¡mik a walrus
Dual and Plural Nouns
Remember that all dual nouns end in -k. Remember that all k’s are strong. Strong I’s cause palatalization. When assimilating dual nouns with the modalis case, add Ã·nik.
qaqasannuak qaqasaÅ‹Å‹uaÅ‹nik (two) computers
uyaqqak uyaqqaÅ‹nik (two) rocks
aivvak aivvaÅ‹nik (two) walruses
qimmIk qimmiÅ‹Ã±ik (two) dogs
Remember that absolutive plurals end in either -t or -ch. For modalis plurals, add Ã·nik to the singular form of the noun. Strong consonants are retained and assimilated.
qaqasaÅ‹Å‹uaq qaqsaÅ‹Å‹uanik computers
uyaÄ¡ak uyaÄ¡aÅ‹nik rocks
aiviQ aiviÄ¡nik walruses
qimmIq qimmiÃ±ik dogs