Grammar » 40 » Two actions happening at the same time

Inuktut has a set of verb endings to join an event with another event happening at the same time.

Pisulauqtunga nirillunga. I walked as I ate.
Uqalimaaqtuni sinililauqtuq While he was reading, he fell asleep.

Here is a complete list of these verb endings:

nirillunga while I was eating...
nirillutit while you were eating ...
nirilluni        while he was eating ...
nirillunuk  while the two of us were eating ...
nirilluta while we (3+) were eating ...
nirillusik while the two of you were eating...
nirillusi while you (3+) were eating ...
nirillutik while the two of them were eating ...
nirillutik while they (3+) were eating ...

The affixes above are used with verbs that end in a vowel.  When working with a verb that ends in a consonant, the beginning of the affix changes from ll to t:

uqaq- to speak
uqaqtunga while I was speaking ...
uqaqtutit    while you were speaking ...
uqaqtuni while he was speaking ...
uqaqtunuk  while the two of us were speaking ...
uqaqtuta while we (3+) were speaking ...
uqaqtusi while you (3+) were speaking ...
uqaqtutik While the two of them were speaking ...
uqaqtutik    While they (3+) were speaking ...

 

Important: All of the above endings are used when the two actions that appear in a sentence are performed by the same person.

Pisuttuni tikiqqaujuq He arrived walking.
Anillunga paallaqqaujunga As I was going out, I fell down.

If we want to describe two actions happening at the same time that were performed by different people we add ti- before the ending:

Uqaalatillutit siniliqqaujut While you were speaking, they fell asleep.
Aullasimatilluta sulauqqit? When we were away, what did you do?

In both of the above sentences, the two verbs are being performed by different people.

The -ti- ending can be directly added to a root ending in a verb or a consonant without affecting the spelling.

There is one form of this verb ending that is irregular. 

-luni  becomes -tillugu  
Niritillugu miqsulauqtuq. While he ate she sewed.

Here is a complete set of the endings beginning with ti-

aullasimatillunga while I was away...(you/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillutit while you were eating ...(I/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillugu        while he was eating ...(I/you/we/they)...
aullasimatillunuk  while the two of us were eating ...(you/he/she/they)...
aullasimatilluta while we (3+) were eating ...(you/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillusik while the two of you were eating...(I/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillusi while you (3+) were eating ...(I/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillutik while the two of them were eating ...(I/you/he/she)...
aullasimatillutik while they (3+) were eating ...(I/you/he/she)...