8 Naisautit taqsaillu

Dialogue: Red pen, blue pen

Ilisapi:
Aupaqtumik titirautiqaqpit? ᐊᐅᐸᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᑎᖃᖅᐱᑦ?Do you have a red pen?
Nanuq:
Aakka kisiani tungujuqtumik titirautiqaqtunga. ᐋᒃᑲ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᑐᖑᔪᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᑎᖃᖅᑐᖓ. No, but I have a blue pen.
Ilisapi:
Kina aupaqtumik titirautiqaqpa?ᑭᓇ ᐊᐅᐸᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᑎᖃᖅᐸ? Who has a red pen?
Nanuq:
Suusa titirautilik aupaqtumik.ᓲᓴ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᑎᓕᒃ ᐊᐅᐸᖅᑐᒥᒃ. Suusa has a red pen.
Ilisapi:
Qujannamiik.ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᒃ. Thanks.

Vocabulary

naasaut
number
qassinik
how many?
atausiq
one
marruuk
two
pingasut
three
tisamat
four
tallimat
five
amiat
colours
Una qanuittuuva?
What colour is this?
qirniqtuq
black
tungujuqtuq
blue
kajuq
brown
tungujurujuktuq
green
siarnaq
grey
aupajuktuq
pink
tunngutuuqtuq
purple
aupaqtuq
red
white
quqsuqtuq
yellow
pualuuk
mittens (a pair of)
nasaq
hat
nunakkuurut
car
uqalimaagaq
book

Grammar

18 » The Ending -mik / -nnik / -nik

The noun ending -mik (dual: -ngnik; plural: -nik) is used very frequently in Inuktut and requires a detailed explanation. Consider the following two sentences in English:

Una qarasaujaralaaq. This is a laptop.
Qarasaujaralaarmik niuviqtuq. She is buying a laptop.

In the first sentence, we are talking about a specific laptop that is right in front of the person who is speaking. In the second sentence, the speaker refers to the laptop very generally. The exact laptop that was purchased is irrelevant to the conversation.

In Inuktut, when we are speaking very generally about a person or a thing, we attach the affix -mik to the person or thing.

iglumik takujuq. She sees a house.

The ending -mik often (but not always) changes the consonant sound that comes before it:

qarasaujaq computer
qarasaujarmik a computer
   
inuk person
inungmik a person; an individual

The dual form of -mik is -ngnik. It is added to the dual form of the noun. 

pualu mitten
pualuuk two mittens
pualuungnik a pair of mittens
Pauluungnik niuvilauqtuq. He/she bought a pair of mittens.

Note that the dual ending -ngnik is always preceded by a long vowel sound:

tuktu caribou
tuktuungnik a couple of caribou
   
kamik sealskin boot
kamiingnik a pair of sealskin boots.

 

The plural form of -mik is -nik :

inunik some people
iglunik some houses
qarasaujarnik some computers

The endings  -mik-ngnik  and -nik  are frequently used with numbers:

atausiq one
atausirmik one of something
Atausirmik nasaqaqtunga. I have one hat.
   
marruuk two
marruungnik two of something; a pair of something
Marruungnik nasaqaqtunga. I have two hats
   
pingasut three
pingasunik three of something
Pingasunik nasaqaqtunga. I have three hats.

The endings  -mik-ngnik  and -nik  are also frequently used with colours.  Note that when the root word is a colour, these endings always delete the consonant sound that comes before:

aupaqtuq red
aupaqtumik a red one
Aupaqtumik titirautiqaqtunga. I have a red pen.
Aupatuungnik titirautiqaqtunga. I have a couple of red pens.
Aupaqtunik titirautiqaqtunga. I have some red pens.