The following is mostly after Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen's "Zur Typologie der
Eskimosprachen" (1987), and the discussions on the old Nostratic list and in
private e-mail about Uwe Seefloth's paper "Die Entstehung polypersonaler
Paradigmen in Uralo-Siberischen". All higher-level reconstructions and
conclusions are my own, of course.


abs *-0
gen/erg *-m

The "local cases" are built on the ergative:

loc *-m-ni > -mi
all *-m-nun > -mun
ins *-m-n&ng > -m&ng
abl *-m-n&n > -m&n

We can think of an old noun (e.g. "the inside") declined with old
case endings (loc. *n&-i, ins. *n&-k, abl. *n&-t) and combined with
the genitive as "in the inside of the X", etc.

The plural is abs/erg *-t.

loc *-d-ni > -ni
all *-d-nun > -nun
ins *-d-n&ng > -n&ng
abl *-d-n&n > -n&n


Greenl. Chaplino Aleut
1 *ua-nga uvanga xwanga ti-ng t&-k
2 *lp-tk ivdlit Lp&k txi-n tk&-t

1 *ua-kuk uvaguk xwangkuk
2 *lp-t&k ilivtik Lp&t&k

1 *ua-kut uvagut xwangkut ti-mas t&-m&d
2 *lp-ci ilivse Lp&si txi-c^i tk&-t&d^

The Eskimo personal pronouns consist of a pronoun base (1st person
*ua-, 2nd. person *lp-) of probably deictic origin, suffixed with
the possessive markers (see below).

The Aleut personal pronoun uses different pronoun bases (*t&- and
*tk&-), but othewise the procedure is the same.


I will use the following higher-level reconstructions for particular

*-k 1st. person stative (sg)
*-tk 2nd. person stative (sg)
*-m(e) 1st person
*-t(e) 2nd person
*-(s)a 3rd person possessive
*-g dual subject
*-g^ dual object
*-d plural subject
*-d^ plural object


1. -nga
2. -ten
3. -0

1. -kuk
2. -tek
3. -k

1. -kut
2. -ci
3. -t

The first person sg. is *-k > -ng + emphatic -a.

The second person suffix varies between -ten and -ken. I reconstruct
*-tk, with secondarily added *-t (from the possessive), giving *-tken and
further -ken, -ten. An alternative explanation is that we're dealing with
suffixed *tke-t, as in the Aleut independent pronoun txin "you", but perhaps
the origin of the personal pronoun lies exactly in the stative ending *-tk+et.

The third person has -0.

In the 1du., we would expect something similar to the Uralic (Mordvin)
stative, i.e. something like *-g^-me-g^ > -kuk. However, in the objective
forms (see below), what we find is rather -(i)t&kuk as if from *-tk-me-g (cf.
Aleut indep. pn. timas "we" < *t(k)i-mat).

The 2du. -tek is also -tek in the objective forms. Perhaps this does come from
expected *-g^-te-g^, but the first dual marker has disappeared wihout a trace.

The 3.du. is -k < *-g^.

For the 1pl., the same can be said as for the 1du.: the form -(i)t&kut points
to *-tk-te-d rather than *-d^-me-d^, which would have given +-ni.

The 2pl. is derived from *-d^-te-d^: final -d^ (absolutive plural) gives -j
(perhaps through -j^), and *-(t)t^ej^ is assimilated to *-c^ej^ > *-c&j > -ci.
This form -ci was then analogically extended to all 2pl. morphemes.

The 3pl. is originally *-d^ > -j, as it still is in the objective forms. In
ordinary intransitive function, -j was replaced by the nominal plural morpheme
-t (< *-d).

The possessive:

Poss/sg Aleut
1. -ka -ma -k-ka -nka -ng -ning
2. -n -met, -mek -k-en -ten -n -nin, -nit
3. -a -an, -ata -k -i -: -:s, -ngis

1. -puk -k-puk -p(p)uk
2. -tek -k-tek -t(t)ek
3. -ak -k-ek -kek

1. -put -mta -k-put -p(p)ut -mas -mas
2. -ci -mci -k-ci -c(c)i -c^i(x) -tc^i(x)
3. -at -ata -k-et -it -ngis -ngis

The forms can be explained as follows: *-ka (ergative form: *-ma), from the stative/intransitive, replaced older
*-m(a). The ergative form can be *-m-ka (but one would expect *-Nga or *-Nka),
so perhaps it is simply *-m-ma. Aleut has *-k > -ng.

2sg. -n, from *-t. Ergative -met ~ -mek from *-m-t or *-m-tk (< stative *-tk).

3sg. -a (Aleut *-a). It is tempting to link this to Uralic *sa (Samoyed -ta),
found in the same position in the paradigm. The ergative -ata, -an
(*-(s)a-t-a, *-(s)a-t) apparently has an ergative suffix *-t. Can it be the
pronoun *tu- (which gives the PIE nom. *-s)?

1du. -puk, from *-me-g, 2du. -tek from *-te-g, 3du. -ak from *(s)a-g.

1pl. -put, from *-me-d. 2pl. -ci is from the stative. 3pl. -at < *(s)a-d.
Ergatives -mta (*-m-d-a, with emphatic -a), -m-ci and -ata (*-at-a-d > *-atat,
dissimilated to -ata?). Aleut -mas (*-me-d), -c^i (as in Eskimo), -ngis (< pl.

The forms with dual possessum have the infix -k- (*-g^-).

The forms with plural possessum are very much like the ones we saw in Samoyed:

1sg.x3pl. *-d^-m > -n, to which *-ka was subsequently added. Aleut -n + *-k >

2sg.x3pl. *-d^-t > *-tet > -ten, in Aleut assimilated to -nin.

3sg.x3pl. *-(s)a-d^ > (-a)-j, with *-d^ in the Auslaut giving -j/-i (as in
Uralic or Indo-European). In Aleut regularized to -at.

1du.x3pl. *-d^-me-g > -(p)puk, without assimilation of *-d^-m- > -n-
2du.x3pl. *-d^-te-g > -(t)tek.
3du.x3pl. *-(s)a-d^ + -eg > *-(a)-i-ek, further -kek or -tek.

1pl.x3pl. *-d^-me-d > -(p)put, without assimilation of *-d^-m- > -n-
(analogy?). Aleut -(m)mas.
2pl.x3pl. *-d^-te-d replaced by *-d^-ci > -c(c)i. Aleut -tc^i.
3pl.x3pl. *-(s)a-d^ + -ed > *-(a)-it, Aleut -(a)-it > -(a)-ngis.


When the object (possessum) is not 3rd. person, Eskimo (but not Aleut) uses
different constructions.

For 3rd.person subject, we have e.g. Greeenl. takuvaanga "he sees me"
< taku-paR-a-nga "I am his seen-one", i.e. verbal participle (in *-paR or
*-daR) agreeing in number with the object + 3rd. person possessive + 1/2 person
stative endings.

For 1/2 person subject and 1/2 person object, the construction is something
like takuvavtigut "you see us" < taku-paR-m-t-tkud (verbal root + participial
suffix + ergative *-m- + 2nd.p. poss. *t + stative ending -tkud "we are" (i.e.
~ "we are of your seeing").

Third person subject forms add a marker *g^ to the particple if the
object is dual, and *d^ > -i if the object is plural. 1/2 person subject forms
add ergative *-m (which is per force singular).


First person subject:

2sg. 2du. 2pl
1sg. -- -aR-m-ken -- -aR-m-tek -- -aR-m-ci
1du. -- -aR-meg-ten -- -aR-meg-tek -- -aR-meg-ci
1pl. -- -aR-mte-ken -- -aR-mte-tek -- -aR-mte-ci

Second person subject:

1sg. 1du. 1pl.
2sg. -aR-pe-nga -- -aR-pe-tkuk -- -aR-pe-tkut --
2du. -aR-peg-nga -- -aR-peg-tkuk -- -aR-peg-tkut --
2pl. -aR-pci-nga -- -aR-pci-tkuk -- -aR-pci-tkut --

Third person subject:

1sg. 2sg. 1du. 2du. 1pl. 2pl.
3sg. -aR-a-nga -aR-a-ten -aRg^-a-tkuk -aRg^-a-tek -aRd^-a-tkut -aRd^-a-ci
3du. -aR-ag-nga -aR-ag-ten -aRg^-ag-tkuk -aRg^-ag-tek -aRd^-ag-tkut -aRd^-ag-ci
3pl. -aR-ad-nga -aR-ad-ken -aRg^-ad-tkuk -aRg^-ad-tek -aRd^-ad-tkut -aRd^-ad-ci

Having thus arrived in Greenland, this concludes the tour...

In the next chapter we'll see which conclusions can be drawn concerning
Proto-Nostratic grammar.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal