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The Kingdom of God and Snow in Eskimo

January 22, 2011

The Kingdom of God will include people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. I’d love to reach out to Eskimos but I’m sure glad I don’t have to learn their language!

Central Alaskan Yupik (Yup’ik Eskimo) is spoken by about 13,000 people in the coast and river areas of Southwestern Alaska from Norton Sound to Bristol Bay. It is one of five Eskimo languages.

Below is a list of lexemes from Yupik. Lexemes are independent vocabulary items or dictionary entries. In Eskimo languages the word can change by  inflection. Some nouns have over 280 inflections, verbs 1000! Since it just snowed, I have snow on my mind. Look at the list below:

A. Snow particles

(1) Snowflake
qanuk ‘snowflake’
qanir- ‘to snow’
qanunge- ‘to snow’
qanugglir- ‘to snow’

(2) Frost
kaneq ‘frost’
kaner- ‘be frosty/frost sth.’

(3) Fine snow/rain particles
kanevvluk ‘fine snow/rain particles
kanevcir- to get fine snow/rain particles

(4) Drifting particles
natquik ‘drifting snow/etc’
natqu(v)igte- ‘for snow/etc. to drift along ground’

(5) Clinging particles
nevluk ‘clinging debris/
nevlugte- ‘have clinging debris/…’lint/snow/dirt…’

B. Fallen snow

(6) Fallen snow on the ground
aniu-  ‘snow on ground’
aniu-  ‘get snow on ground’
apun- ‘snow on ground’
qanikcaq ‘snow on ground’
qanikcir- ‘get snow on ground’

(7) Soft, deep fallen snow on the ground
muruaneq ‘soft deep snow’

(8) Crust on fallen snow
qetrar-  ‘for snow to crust’
qerretrar-  ‘for snow to crust’

(9) Fresh fallen snow on the ground
nutaryuk ‘fresh snow’

(10) Fallen snow floating on water
qanisqineq ‘snow floating on water’

C. Snow formations

(11) Snow bank
qengaruk ‘snow bank’

(12) Snow block
utvak ‘snow carved in block’

(13) Snow cornice
navcaq ‘snow cornice, snow (formation) about to collapse’
navcite- ‘get caught in an avalanche’

D. Meterological events

(14) Blizzard, snowstorm
pirta ‘blizzard, snowstorm’
pircir- ‘to blizzard’
pirtuk ‘blizzard, snowstorm’

(15) Severe blizzard
cellallir-, cellarrlir- ‘to snow heavily’
pir(e)t(e)pag- ‘to blizzard severely’
pirrelvag- ‘to blizzard severely’


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