16 Sila piuppat

Dialogue: Weekend plans

Pinasuarusiup nunnguani sulaaqqit?ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᐅᑉ ᓄᙳᐊᓂ ᓱᓛᖅᑭᑦ? What are you doing this weekend?
illuralaattinuulaaqtunga.ᐃᓪᓗᕋᓛᑦᑎᓐᓅᓛᖅᑐᖓ. I am going to my cabin.
Asukuluk, quviagiviuk tauvani?ᐊᓱᑯᓗᒃ, ᖁᕕᐊᒋᕕᐅᒃ ᑕᐅᕙᓂ? Oh yeah? Do you like it there?
ii, atsualuk quviagijara.ᐄ, ᐊᑦᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᖁᕕᐊᒋᔭᕋ. Yes indeed, I really like it there.
Tauvani suvakkavit? ᑕᐅᕙᓂ ᓱᕙᒃᑲᕕᑦ?What do you do out there?
Pisuppattunga kuummut.ᐱᓱᑉᐸᑦᑐᖓ ᑰᒻᒧᑦ. I often walk to the river.


What will you be doing? (tomorrow or father in the future)
sila piuppat
if the weather is good
if it snows
walks (she/he...)
boating (he/she goes...)
all day
pinasuarusiup nunngua
in that spot there
up there (general area)
up there in that spot
up to that general area
up to that spot
here in this spot
here, in this area
down there (general area)
down there in that spot
down to that spot
down to that general area
by snowmobile


32 » If and when...

Inuktut has a series of endings to talk about events that have not yet happened:

Uqaalaguvit, qailangajunga.
if / when you call, I will come.


Depending on the context, these endings can be translated in English as "when something happens..." or "if something happens..."


You will notice that these endings are very similar to those used to express the idea of “because”:

uqaala - to call someone on the phone

uqaalaguma if/when I call
uqaalaguvit if/when you call
uqaalaguni / uqaalappat * if/when he/she calls
uqaalagunnuk if/when the two of us call
uqaalagutta if/when we (3+) call
uqaalagutsik if/when two of you call
uqaalagutsi  if/when you (3+) call
uqaalagutik / uqaalappatik * if/when they (2) call
uqaalagutik / uqaalappata * if/when they (3+) call

* -guni, and -gutik can only be used when the subject of the verb they are attached to is the same person who is the subject of the verb in the main sentence:

Qaiguni, mumiriarunnarniaqtuq.
If she comes, she will be able to go dancing.

This sentence only works if the person who is coming is the same person who will be able to go dancing.

If, on the other hand, we wanted to say:

If Ilisapi comes, Ani will be able to go dancing

we would have to say:

Ilisapii qaippat, Ani mumiriarunnarniaqtuq.


Adding these affixes to roots ending in -q:
The basic endings that begin with g- change to r-. The last consonant of the root is deleted:

Natsiruvit, niritsiarniaqtugut. If you get a seal, we will eat well.
Quvianalaarmijualuk ammuumajjialirutta. It will be a lot of fun if/when we go clam digging.

The basic endings that begin with p- change to q-.

Aniniaqtunga 11-miinngaaliqqat. I will go out after 11.
Pijariiqqata, qailangajut. If/when they are finished, they will come.

Adding these affixes to roots ending in -t:
The basic endings that begin with g- change to k-. The last consonant of the root also changes to -k:

 Tikikkuma niuvirvimmuurniaqtunga.
 If/when I arrive, I will go to the store.

The basic endings that begin with -p are unchanged.  They delete the last consonant of the root:

Aullalaaqtugut ulippat.
We will depart when the tide is high.


33 » Locations

Inuktut speakers are precise when talking about where things are located.  There is a long list of locations to master.  The first thing to remember is that there are different workds to indicate a person or objects is in a specific spot versus a general area:

uvani (right) here
maani in this area
ikani over there (specific spot)
avani over there (general area)
pikani up there (specific spot)
paani up there (general area)
kanani down there (specific spot)
unani down there (general area)

There are no set rules that will help you to decide when to use one term over the other. A lot depends on context. For example, both uvani / maani could refer to very large areas:

uvani right here (in Iqaluit)
maani here (in Nunavut)

or they could each refer to much smaller spaces:

uvani right here in this spot
maani in this building

 The best advice is to learn these terms as pairs and then listen carefully to fluent speakers to hear how they are used in coversation.

2. These locational words will often be heard with the prefix ta- which indicates that a location has already been mentioned or implied in the conversation:

basic form with ta-prefix English equivalent
uvani tavvani right here
maani tamaani around here
ikani taikani over there (specific spot)
avani taavani over there (general area)
pikani tapikani up there (specific spot)
paani tapaani up there (general area)
kanani takanani down there (specific spot)
unani taunani down there (general area)


3. Note that all of the terms in the table above end with the affix -ni , meaning that the person/object described is in or at a place.

To talk about motion towards a specific spot we replace the -ni ending with -unga:

towards a location English equivalent
tavvunga to here (specific spot)
tamaunga to here (more general area)
taavunga to there (specific spot)
taikunga to there (more general area)
tappikunga up to there (specific spot)
tappaunga up there (general area)
takanunga down to there (specific spot)
taununga down to there (more general area)


4. If we replace the ending with -anngat, we can talk about motion away from a place:.

away from a location English equivalent
strong>tavvanngat from here (specific spot)
tamaanngat from here (more general area)
taavanngat from there (specific spot)
taikanngat from there (more general area)
tappikanngat from to there (specific spot)
tappaanngat from there (general area)
takananngat from down there (specific spot)
taunanngat from down there (more general area)


5. And, if we replace the ending with -(u)una, we can talk about motion through a space:

through a location English equivalent
tavvuuna from here (specific spot)
tamauna from here (more general area)
taavuuna from there (specific spot)
taikuuna from there (more general area)
tappikuuna from to there (specific spot)
tappauna from there (general area)
takanuuna from down there (specific spot)
taunuuna from down there (more general area)