Grammar » calling or writing to someone

Inuktitut speakers use a structure that is different than English to indicate that you are calling or writing to someone:

uqaalavigijaanga
He calls me.
titirarvigijanga She writes to him.

To build these phrases:

1. Begin with the basic verb:

uqaala-
to call
titiraq- to write

 

2. Add the affix -vik. This is normally used to indicate a place. When it is added to uqaala- or titiraq- it means the person who is being called or written to.

3. Add the affix -gi.  This affix is used before double person endings and means "to have."

4. Add a double person ending to indicate who is calling/writing and who is being called or written to:

uqaalavigiviuk?Are you calling her?  / Did you call her?
uqaalavigijara I am calling her; or I called her.
Ippassaq uqaalavigilauqtaatit.She called you yesterday.
titirarvigivauk? Is she writing to him?
titirarvigijangaShe is writing to him.
Pinasuarusiulauqtumi titirarvigilauqtarma irngiinaaqtautikkut.You wrote to me last week by e-mail.

 

5.  So, when we put all of the pieces together:

uqaala+vi+gi+jara

We get, as a very literal translation:

"I have him as the place I am calling"

or, as we would say in English, "I am calling him."