Noun cases


All genuine nouns in the Kalix language have different forms, basically different word endings and accent, representing different noun cases among other things. Just as various prepositions, e.g. 'into' or 'inside' can make a great difference in meaning, the same difference can also be built into the noun itself, by it's ending and accent. Master Wivan here explains the difference between saying "into the house" and "inside the house":


ɪnɪ høʉsɛ / ɪnɪ høʉ`sɛn

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The word 'house' is a neutral gender noun, ending with either 'ɛ' with accute accent, or 'ɛn' with grave. There is also a vocative 'ɛ' ending with grave accent, but since nobody talks to a house, it does not make much sence.

The first form is directional or direct action (accusative), e.g. if you "see the house", "run into the house", or non-objectal (nominative), e.g. if you just say that "the house is red".

The second form is an indirect action (dative), e.g. if you do something "with the house" (instrumental) or e.g. if you are "inside" the house (positional/locative). The same word form is also used to express ownership (genitive).

In plural, neuter nouns ens with 'a' and accute accent (nominative/accusative), or 'ʊ' and grave accent (dative/genitive).

Although one can make lists of prepositions and verbs which must be followed by certain case forms, fluent speakers never think of such things. Once you have understood the meaning of the different cases, you will also know perfectly when to use which word form. You will steer what you actually mean by using the different forms, just like the fluent speaker does all the time.

If you would have known Old English you would have found all this a piece of cake, while the Anglo-Saxons speaking it some thousand years ago also had such an advanced case and genus system. While we have preserved almost all of the similar northern Old Norse in Kalix, cases and also genders have all been simplified away in modern English.




Master Arne here talks about the Kalix river water level, and uses different cases of the boat house...


ɒtɪ bɒthøʉsɛn / ɛn:da ʊp ɪsɪ bɒthøʉsɛ

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We put a mark on a rock by the boat house / the water reaching up to the boat house


The word 'wall' is a masculine noun, ending with 'n' as directional, or 'ʊ' as positional. If you run through the wall, it is a directional action, but if you sit behind something, it is an indication of a position.


fɒra djœnʊ vɛg:ɛn

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The bull had almost been riding through the wall

sat: bakɪ vɛg:ʊ

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He sat behind the wall and played (the organ)


Another example of the difference between directional and positional (accusative and dative) is the use of the verb 'to be' (vɒɾa) combined with a preposition, e.g. 'on'. Followed by directional noun form, it actually means to travel to the place, or just make a short visit, while followed by a positional noun form, it indeed means to be at the location for a longer time, e.g. to work there. Master Arne, who worked 44 years (phat respect guys) on the reed island (vassholmen), uses accusative when he talks about a short visit, but dative when talking about working there.


ʝɛ vaɾ ʊpa vashɒɭmɛn ...

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I was at (visited) the reed island

mɑ:ɑk sʊ ha vʏrɪ ʊpa vashɒɭmʊ ...

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Many who has been (working) on the reed island.


Note also that the feminine word 'fɭʏtɪfœrɛnɪŋa' (nominative), ending with 'a', here is used in it's indirect object (dative) noun form 'ɒt fɭʏtɪfœrɛnɪŋɛn', ending with 'ɛn'.

Some feminine words also get an 'n' ending in their dative case, instead of 'ɛn'. An example of that can be read on the comment about 'farmʊ:ra / ɒt farmʊ:ɳ' with Master Herbert.


Another feminine word is the word 'strɛk:a' (the lenth). First, the 'ʊpa strɛk:ɛn' with 'ɛn' ending is used, talking about people working on that very length, being inside it, using the positional case. Then later the 'a' ending is used when just telling that 'I got that length'.


ʊpa bɒndɛʂbʏstrɛk:ɛn ... fɪk ʝɛ de: strɛk:a ɒ

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on the Bondersby length.. I got that length too..

(Master Sten here makes an interview with Master Arne...)



ɔ:tn.. krɒʊkɛn.. / framɪ ɔ:tʊ

Masculine nouns again. Also worth taking notice on is the directional case 'n' ending on both the masculine words 'ɔ:tn' (the promontory/isthmus) and 'krɒʊkɛn' (the bending) when talking about a length reaching from one spot to the other. Compare with the example about the boat house above, where the water level reaches up to it. Then the positional case 'ʊ' ending, 'framɪ ɔ:tʊ' is used, when telling where it was located.



ʊpa `rɛɪ:ʊ

In plural, the feminine nominative or directional (accusative) '`rɛɪɛn' (the barns), grave accent, has 'ʊ' ending when marking positional, e.g. as in this case, talking about a guy who lives there. It is a feminine noun, but all genders get positional 'ʊ' endings with grave accent in their plural form.



tɪl ni: øʉndɪ strʊkan / ɪsɪ strʊkanʊ

The directional case form of the masculine word 'strʊkan' is used when talking about the length reaching there. If telling about something located there, one would say 'ɪsɪ strʊkanʊ'.

Loaned words are sometimes exceptions, especially if loaned form languages where the words does not comply with the nominative genuine norm of either being neutral ending with 'ɛ', masculine ending with 'n', or feminine ending with 'a' or 'ʊ'. The most common loan word is the name of our city itself, 'kœɭɪs', loaned from the Samic spoken in the region before Germanic speakers entered the scene. 's' endings are foreign in nouns, and it is therefore not possible to differ between noun cases. Many of our local places are named with Samic or Finnic names.

frɒ kœɭɪs / bʊɖɪ bʏɾɪsbœʏnʊ

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from Kalix (no cases) / from the byris village (dative case)


œvɾʊ fɒʂ:ʊ / ɪ `mœr:krɛn

above the stream / in the darkness

Note the positional case forms.