The marking of past time in Kalaallisut, the Greenlandic language
This paper is based on my Ph.D. thesis (Trondhjem 2007). It shows that unlike in traditional European descriptions of tense, where tense is conveyed by inflection, past tense is mainly marked by optional derivational affixes in West Greenlandic (WG). In this language, time is marked in three different ways, first by choice of a subordinate mood to indicate simultaneous or sequential situations, secondly by aspectual affixes, and thirdly by tense affixes. The meanings of the past time markers L<i>sima, Lnikuu</i>, and <i>Lreer</i> have developed from aspectual meanings to include tense and modal meanings as well. A number of regularities in the expression of past time in WG are presented.