As we saw in another grammar note, verbs in Inuktut have affixes tacked onto the end that tells us who is doing a particular action :
Inuktut does have words that mean I, you, he, we, etc. In English we call these personal pronouns.
|uvaguk||we; us (2)|
|uvagut||we; us (3+)|
|ivvit||you (1 person)|
|ukua*||they (2); the two of them|
*The last three pronouns we’ve indicated are just some of the many pronouns that Inuktitut uses to talk about a third person. The ones here can only be used when a person or object is very close by
Because the verb ending already tells us who is doing an action, these words are redundant and aren’t normally used.
Where personal pronouns are used is when :
- you are talking about a person or an object without a verb
- you are adding emphasis:
|Qanuinngittunga. ivvilli?||I am fine, what about you?|
|uvangalu qanuinngimmijunga.||I (too) am fine.|
Notice above the use of two little affixes : -li and –lu that can be tacked on to the end of the pronouns.
-li is used in conversation when you want to change the person or object you are talking about :
|ilitsi + li = ilistili?||What about you (3+)?|
|una + li = unali?||What about him?|
-lu is an affix meaning « and ». It is added to a personal pronoun when you want to re-state something that has already been said.
|Piita :||uirngaqtunga||I am sleepy.|
|Ani :||uvangalu, uirngarmijunga.||I, too, am sleepy.|
When –li and –lu are added to personal pronouns ending in a consonant, they change the final consonants to l:
|ilitsik + li = ilitsilli||What about you (2)?|
|ivvit + lu = ivvillu||you, as well.|