From a recondite Yahoo search (“stress in evenki language”) that showed up in my referrer log, I arrived at a grammatical sketch of Tundra Nenets (part of Tapani Salmanen’s homepage, which includes links to other Nenets-related websites). This is a pretty detailed look at Tundra Nenets; if you want to know more, you’ll probably have to either study with Prof. Salmanen or take a trip to the tundra. But what led me to tell you about it here is the fact that, along with more common types of denominatives (verbs based on nouns, e.g. søwa ‘cap’ => søbyiq- ‘to have a cap, to use as a cap’; cf. English “to cap”), Tundra Nenets has a series of odorative verbs, e.g. xalya ‘fish’ => xalyayø- : 3sg xalyayi ‘to smell of fish’. A pungent language!


  1. I simply can’t believe nobody cares about odorative verbs in Nenets. Clearly, the US needs an intensive Nenets-awareness program, and I’ll bet we could get Prof. Salmanen to run it for the right price. I’m going to write my congressman today.

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