Harman Patil

Lule Sami language

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Native to  Norway, Sweden
Writing system  Latin
ISO 639-2  smj
Native speakers  1,000–2,000 (2007)
Recognised minority language in  Norway; Sweden
Lule Sami language
Language family  Uralic Sami Western Lule Sami

Lule Sami (julevsámegiella) is a Uralic, Sami language spoken in Lule Lappmark, i.e. around the Lule River, Sweden and in the northern parts of Nordland county in Norway, especially Tysfjord municipality, where Lule Sami is an official language. It is written in the Latin script, having an official alphabet.



With 1,500 to 2,000 speakers it is the second largest of all Sami languages. It is reported that the number of native speakers is in sharp decline among the younger generations. The language has, however, been standardised in 1983 and elaborately cultivated ever since.


Lule Sámi has seven cases:


Like the other Uralic languages, the nominative singular is unmarked and indicates the subject of a predicate. The nominative plural is also unmarked and is always formally the same as the genitive singular.


The genitive singular is unmarked and looks the same as the nominative plural. The genitive plural is marked by an -j. The genitive is used:

  • to indicate possession
  • with prepositions
  • with postpositions.
  • Accusative

    The accusative is the direct object case and it is marked with -v in the singular. In the plural, its marker is -t, which is preceded by the plural marker -j.


    The inessive marker is -n in the singular and the plural, when it is then preceded by the plural marker -j. This case is used to indicate:

  • where something is
  • who has possession of something
  • Illative

    The illative marker is -j in the singular and -da in the plural, which is preceded by the plural marker -i, making it look the same as the plural accusative. This case is used to indicate:

  • where something is going
  • who is receiving something
  • the indirect object
  • Elative

    The elative marker is -s in the singular and the plural, when it is then preceded by the plural marker -j. This case is used to indicate:

  • where something is coming from
  • Comitative

    The comitative marker in the singular is -jn and -j in the plural, which means that it looks like the genitive plural. The comitative is used to state with whom or what something was done.


    The personal pronouns have three numbers - singular, plural and dual. The following table contains personal pronouns in the nominative and genitive/accusative cases.

    The next table demonstrates the declension of a personal pronoun he/she (no gender distinction) in various cases:


    Lule Sami verbs conjugate for three grammatical persons:

  • first person
  • second person
  • third person
  • Mood

    Lule Sami has 4 grammatical moods:

  • indicative
  • imperative
  • conditional
  • potential
  • Grammatical number

    Lule Sami verbs conjugate for three grammatical numbers:

  • singular
  • dual
  • plural
  • Tense

    Lule Sami verbs have two simple tenses:

  • past
  • non-past
  • and 2 compound tenses:

  • Present perfect
  • Pluperfect
  • Negative verb

    Lule Sami, like Finnish, the other Sámi languages and some Estonian dialects, has a negative verb. In Lule Sami, the negative verb conjugates according to tense (past and non-past), mood (indicative and imperative), person (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and number (singular, dual and plural).

    Writing system

    The orthography used for Lule Sámi is written using an extended form of the Latin script. There are a few special characters: á (a-acute), ń (n-acute), and å (a-ring). Traditionally, the character n-acute (Ń/ń) has been used to represent the [ŋ] sound, found, for example, in the English word "song". In place of n-acute (found in Unicode, but not in Latin-1 or traditional Nordic keyboards), many have used ñ or even ng. In modern orthography, such as in the official publications of the Swedish government and the recently published translation of the New Testament, it is usually replaced with ŋ, in accordance with the orthography of many other Sami languages.


    Lule Sami language Wikipedia

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