Grammar » 38 » Describing People & Things

Inuktut has different ways to describe people or things.  The first is through words like these:
takijuq (someone/something) tall; he/she/it is tall
uqumaittuq (something) heavy; it is heavy
akitujuq (something) expensive; it is expensive
naittuq (someone/something) short;  he/she/it is short
piujuq something) good; it is good

At first glance, these words behave like verbs. We can change the ending to dual or plural and get:

takijuuk They (2) are tall.
takijut They (3+) are tall.
   
uqumaittuuk They (2) are heavy.
uqumaittut They (3+) are heavy.

These descriptive words must reflect the number of the word that they describe:

Qarasaujaq akitujuq. The computer is expensive.
Qarasaujaak akitujuuk. The two computers are expensive.
Qarasaujait akitujut. The computers (3+) are expensive.

in other ways these descriptive words behave like nouns. You can, for example add noun endings to the words above:

piujumik a good one
itijummi in the deep one
naittumut to the short one

When these words describe a person or thing ending in -mik, they also have to take -mik:

qamutaujaq uqumaittuq  The snowmobile is heavy.
qamutaujarmik uqumaittumik a heavy snowmobile

 

When we use descriptive words to talk about you or me, we also have to add the verb affix -u- which is only used after noun roots:

takijuq + u + jutit =  
takijuujutit You are tall.
   
naittuq + u + junga =  
naittuujunga I am short.

 

Keep in mind that Inuktut speakers use many affixes that are attached directly to the nouns that they describe:
illuqpak the big house
nunasiutiqpak the big car
   
illuralaaq the small house; the cabin
nunasiutiralaaq the small car
   
angutikutaaq the tall man
angutikallak the short man
   
silattiavak good weather
inuttiavak a good person
   
inuttiavaujutit You are a good person.