Page 1 of 1

Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-01-03, 17:08
by księżycowy
Ok, I've noticed some discussions on Inuktitut and also some grammar notes on Greenlandic. But I haven't seen any grammar notes for Inuktitut. As I've started similar threads with Aleut and Yup'ik, why not make it three for three (as far as the ones I'm currently learning, I don't mean to imply these are the only languages in the linguistic family or anything like that). I'm using the infamous Nunavut College materials, and what will ensue are my notes on those resources. As started in my other threads, I'm not a native speaker, but here goes anyway! Enjoy!

(I'll be using the latin script through-out, IPA inside the '/'s)

a /a/ - 'a' as in 'father'
aa /a:/ - longer version of 'a'
i /i/ - 'i' as in 'machine' (Short i is sometimes realized as [e] or [ɛ])
ii /i:/ - longer version of 'i'
u /u/ - 'u' as in 'pull' (Short u is sometimes realized as [o] or [ɔ])
uu /u:/ - longer version of 'u'

p /p/ - 'p' as in 'pear'
s /s/ - 's' as in 'side'
t /t/ - 't' as in 'tear'
k /k/ - 'k' as in 'kite'
q /q/ - a deeper version of 'k' (similar to Yup'ik 'q')
l /l/ - 'l' as in 'ladder'
ł /ł/ - Similar to Tibetan 'lh' or Welsh 'll'
v /v/ - 'v' as in 'vase'
j /j/ - 'y' as in 'yes' (not 'j' as in 'jeep')
g /g/ - 'g' as in 'gear' (not 'g' as in 'gentle')
r /G/ - like the French 'r' in 'Paris' (Similar to Yup'ik 'g')
m /m/ - 'm' as in 'mother'
n /n/ - 'n' as in 'Inuit'
ng /ŋ/ - 'ng' as in 'sing' (not 'ng' as in 'finger')
[I'm using underlining for ng = 'ng' in 'sing' to distinguish it from 'ng' = n+g]

(These pronunciation notes are approximate, and could even be wrong [though I'm fairly confident they're good enough], as the Inuktitut texts don't really go over pronunciation that well :( )


Most nouns end in a vowel or the consonants k, q, or t/ti (most nouns that end in 't' really end in 'ti' but the final 'i' is dropped)

anaana - mother
qukiuti - gun
siiqquq - knee

-qaq- is a suffix added to the base of the noun to indicate that the noun is 'had' by some thing.
In other words -qaq- = have.

niqi + qaq --> niqiqaq - to have meat
qukiuti + qaq --> to have a gun

Usually personal ending are added to this and other suffixes. They are as following:

The 'j' at the beginning of these endings is used only if the ending of the noun or suffix it is attached is a vowel, if it is a consonant the 'j' changes to 't'.
So we can get the following:
ataata + qaq + juuk --> ataataqaqtuuk - Those two have a father
qukiuti + qaq + junga --> qukiutiqaqtunga - I have a gun

The negation of -qaq- is -qangngit-
qukiutiqangngittunga - I do not have a gun

That is all for now. If I've piched your curiousity enough you can check out this site for basic Inuktitut lessons (w/audio!) [But hopefully you'll still come here for your grammar needs!].

Re: Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-01-07, 21:59
by księżycowy
More Grammar coming at you:

Last time we studied the suffix -qaq- and some personal endings, this time I wish to expand on that:

-qangngit- = negative form of -qaq-

qangngit functions similarly to qaq in that it deletes final 'k' and 'q'
Ex. iji + qangngit + tunga --> ijiqangngittunga - I don't have (an) eye(s)

There is also a special set of pronouns that can be used with the base which means 'no/not', which is -ngngit-

1st Person-langa-laguk-lagut
2nd Person-latit-lasik-lasi
3rd Person-laq-lak-lat

[These forms also delete final consonants]
tukisi + ngngit + laguk --> tukisingngilaguk - We two do not understand

However these personal endings are 'optional' (?) and one can just as easily say
tukisingngittuguk - We two do not understand

-u- is a suffix which carries the meaning of the verb 'to be' in English
Suusiujunga - I am Suusi
(Suusi - u - junga
However -u- also deletes final 'q' and 'k'
It also adds ng before it if the following word ends in two vowels
Ex. qallunaaq + u --> qallunaa + ng + u --> qallunaangujunga - I am European/White
Remember the word that end in 't' really end in 'ti'

Question Form of Personal Endings:
1st Person-vunga-vinuk-vita
2nd Person-vit-visik-visi
3rd Person-va-vak-vat

[These forms are used to form questions with the personal endings. '-v' changes to '-p' before consonants, just like the -j/t change]
ijiqaq + vit --> ijiqaqpit - Do you have (an) eye(s)?

That's all for now. Happy reading!

Re: Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-02-11, 4:58
by Æxylis
Hello all...
I've started work on some grammar pages for Inuktitut here. So far I've gotten alright with the syllabary myself, but if you spot any mistakes, please feel free to correct them or notify me. I've been working off the tusaalanga ᑐᓴ˙ᓚᖓ(?) site. For some reason, my keyboard doesn't want to type the dot above the letters, but that helps point out grammatical changes anyway. If you know of any more free online resources for Inuktitut, Iñupiaq, or Kallaalisut, that would be great.
Also, I was wondering how to do transitive imperatives for dual and plural forms (for example, something like you dual bring them plural or something).

Re: Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-02-11, 20:23
by księżycowy
Interesting, new life comes forth on the Inuktitut thread! :D
Too bad I was/am unable to continue my posts. (Due to a lack of resources :evil: and too many languages at once. [Reality really sets in when you start learning a few.]) Though I'm sure I'll get around to Inuktitut soon enough. In the mean time, you, 邪悪歌, can feel free to post whatever you want here (that's related to Inuktitut of course! :twisted: ) if you like. [Or at the other site, doesn't really matter to me, though I must confess I mostly check Unilang myself]

And tusaalanga is a good site. Too bad the lessons don't go into much detail with regard to grammar. Though I never did check out the grammar notes they had there much . . . :hmm:
the audio is great though!

Re: Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-10-19, 21:11
by księżycowy
Put some links to resources in the NAIL sub-forum.

Re: Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-11-16, 17:28
by johnH
Thanks I’ll check the site out again. ‹(O·O)› I’ll hope to pay upmost attention for as long as possible.
··· You give this maybe have the Inuktitut flag? why is it written ng and not ŋ?, Is their any interesting reason behind that.–—· Historically or something. Probably not unless Historic, but their may-be for why it also has such a strange written form in the syllabic. I’ll ask in the general forum, this is the general forum and by forum I meant thread.

Re: Inuktitut Grammar

Posted: 2010-11-16, 17:40
by księżycowy
I haven't worked on this project in a while, so asking in a better place in this sub-forum would help your chances of getting help. And I don’t know when (or if) I’ll start this up again.

As far as my usage of 'ng' instead of 'ŋ,' it was just simpler at the time to type ’ng’ instead of finding a way to type ’ŋ.’ Ultimately it doesn’t matter which you use, as Inuktitut doesn’t general use the roman alphabet anyway. It has it’s own syllabic alphabet, extremely similar (if not the same) to the Cree alphabet.