Grammar » 9. To Want

As you put together roots and affixes to build words, the first letter or the last letter of these elements will often change. These spelling changes allow for smoother pronunciation.

Let's look at the verb -juma-. This is a common affix used to express in Inuktitut to want.

Because -juma- is an affix, it must be added to a root. ilau- is a root meaning to come along.

The affix -juma- can be inserted between the root (ilau-) and the subject ending:

ilaujumava? ii, ilaujumajuq.
Does he/she want to come along? Yes, he/she wants come along.
-juma- works fine when it is added to a root ending in a vowel. If it is added to a root that ends in q, though, a spelling change happens:
kaapituq- kaapiturumavit? ii, kaapiturumajunga.
to have coffee. Do you want some coffee? Yes, I want to have some coffee.


If -juma- is added to a root ending in a k, we get a different change:

sinik- sinigumavisi? ii, sinigumajugut.
to sleep Do the three of you want to sleep? Yes, we want to sleep.