This grammar note is available in the South Qikiqtaaluk dialect only.
In Inuktitut, as in English, we often describe two actions that are happening at the same time:
|I ate as I walked.||While he was reading, he fell asleep|
In English, we indicate that two actions are happening at the same time by putting a conjunction (as, while, when, etc.) before one of them.
In Inuktitut, instead of using a conjunction, we use a special ending on one of the verbs to indicate that it is happening (or happened) at the same time as the other verb in the sentence:
|Pisulauqtunga nirillunga.||I walked as I ate.|
|Uqalimaaqtuni sinililauqtuq||While he was reading, he fell asleep.|
Here is a list of these “conjunctive” verb endings that can be added to roots ending in vowels:
|nirillunga||while I was eating...|
|nirillutit||while you were eating ...|
|nirilluni ||while he was eating ...|
|nirillunuk||while the two of us were eating ...|
|nirilluta||while we (3+) were eating ...|
| nirillusik ||while the two of you were eating...|
|nirillusi ||while you (3+) were eating ...|
|nirillutik||while the two of them were eating ...|
|nirillutik||while they (3+) were eating ...|
Remember that when you come across one of these verb endings it means that the action being described is happening at the same time as the other action in the sentence.
The affixes above are used with verbs that end in a vowel. When working with a verb that ends in a consonant, the beginning of the affix changes from ll to t:
|uqaqtunga||while I was speaking ...|
|uqaqtutit ||while you were speaking ...|
|uqaqtuni||while he was speaking ...|
|uqaqtunuk ||while the two of us were speaking ...|
|uqaqtuta||while we (3+) were speaking ...|
|uqaqtusi||while you (3+) were speaking ...|
|uqaqtutik||While the two of them were speaking ...|
|uqaqtutik ||While they (3+) were speaking ...|
Important: The above endings are used when the two actions that appear in a sentence are performed by the same person.
|Pisuktuni tikittuq ||He arrived walking (He arrived on foot).|
|Isiqtutik ijukkalauqtut||As they were coming in, they fell.|
If we want to describe two actions that happened at the same time but that were performed by different people we add -ti- before the conjunctive ending:
|Aanniaqtillunga sanalaunngittuq.||When I was sick, she didn’t work.|
|Uqaqtillutit sinilauqtut.||While you were speaking they fell asleep.|
|Aullaqsimatilluta sulauqqit?||When we were away, what did you do?|
The -ti- ending can be directly added to a root ending in a verb or a consonant without affecting the spelling.
There is one form of this verb ending that is irregular.
|-luni becomes -tillugu|
|niritillugu miqsulauqtuq||While he ate she sewed.|
The -tillugu ending is especially useful for describing what the weather was doing or what time it was when something else happened:
|Silaluttillugu aullalauqtunga.||It was raining when I departed.|
|Piqsiqtillugu tikittugut.||It was blizzarding when we arrived.|
|9-miinngaaqtillugu tupaqqaujutit ||It was after nine when you woke up.|