Grammar » if

In this lesson we look at affixes that are used in Inuktitut for the idea of “if”.

 

Uqaalaguvit, qailangajunga. If you call, I will come.

 

 

You will notice that they are very similar to the affixes used to express the idea of “because”: 

 

 

uqaala - to call someone on the phone

 

uqaalaguma if I call
uqaalaguvit if you call
uqaalaguni* if he calls
uqaalappat if he calls
uqaalagunnuk if the two of us call
uqaalagutta if all of us call
uqaalaguttik if the two of you call

uqaalagutsi

if all of you call
uqaalagutik* if all of them call
uqaalappata if all of them call

 

* -guni can only be used when the subject of the verb it is 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, Aita mumiriarunnarniaqtuq.

 

Adding these affixes to roots ending in q:

The first letter of the endings that begin in g change to r. The last consonant of the root is deleted

Uirngaqtunga I am sleepy.
Uirngaruma anilangajunga. If I am sleepy, I will leave.
   
Nattiqtutit
You catch a seal.
Nattiruvit, nirittiarniaqtugut. If you get a seal, we will eat well.

 

As for the endings that end in p:
 tusaq-  hears
 tusaqpat  if he hears
 tusaqpata  if they hear
Adding these affixes to roots ending in k:

 

The first letter of the endings that begin in g change to k:

 tupakkuma  if I wake up
 malikkuvit  if you follow

 

The endings that begin in p are unchanged.  They delete the last consonant of the root:
 malippat
if he follows
 tupappata 
if they wake up
Adding these affixes to roots ending in t:

 

The last letter of the root and the first letter of the affix both change to k:

tikit-
to arrive
tikikkutta if we arrive
tikikkuvit if you arrive

 

The endings that begin in m are unchanged. They delete the last consonant of the root:
tikippat
if he arrives
tikippata
if they arrive