Grammar » 13 » Where You Work & What You Do

Observe the following Inuktitut names of organizations:

Pinnguaqtulirijikkut Department of Recreation
Iliqqusilirijikkut Dept of Culture & Heritage
Maligalirijikkut Department of Justice
Qattirijikkut Fire Department

Note that many of these names end with the affix –kkut. Among its various meanings –kkut is used to designate an organization.

Many names of organizations include the affix –liriji. It is used to talk about a particular thing that a person is involved with or working on. –liriji deletes any consonant that appears immediately before it.

kiinaujaq money
kiinaujaq + liriji = kiinaujaliriji person who deals with money
kiinaujaliriji + kkut = kiinaujalirijikkut an organization of people who deal with money (Dept. of Finance)
illu house
illulirijikkut Housing Corporation
-ni is a noun ending that is translated as “in” or “at” in English.

So, to the question:

Nami iqqanaijaqqit? Where do you work?

One could answer:

Kiinaujalirijikkunni iqqanaijaqtunga. I work at the Department of Finance.


Note that according to the rules of Inuktitut pronunciation, when the ending -ni is added to a root ending in -t, the final -t softens and becomes an -n sound.