Grammatical structures in Greenlandic as found in texts written by young Greenlanders at the turn of the millennium

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This paper focuses on examples of change in the morphosyntactic structures of possessors and subjects of transitive verb phrases in West Greenlandic. Changes from ergative case to absolutive case are seen in the language of young Greenlanders and even in written language. The examples do not, however, correlate with noncomplex language or other deficiencies. The changes do not appear to be a language-contact phenomenon, but may rather be the final stage of a shift from ergativity to a morphologically nominative–accusative language. A Greenlandic grammar-checking program is in the offing, and the Greenlandic Language Board will need to decide whether to accept the accusative structure or not; use of the checker over time will show the impact of this tool.


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