3 Suvit?

Dialogue: What are you doing?

Inuapik:
Suvit?ᓱᕕᑦ? What are you doing?
Jaaki:
Maanna?ᒫᓐᓇ? Right now?
Inuapik:
ii, maanna.ᐄ, ᒫᓐᓇ? Yes, now.
Jaaki:
Uqalimaaqtunga. Ivvilli?ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑐᖓ. ᐃᕝᕕᓪᓕ? I am reading. What about you?
Inuapik:
Miqsuqtunga. Unnusa suniaqqilli?ᒥᖅᓱᖅᑐᖓ. ᐅᓐᓄᓴ ᓱᓂᐊᖅᑭᓪᓕ? I am sewing. And, what will you be doing this afternoon?
Jaaki:
Iqalliarniaqtunga.ᐃᖃᓪᓕᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᖓ. I will be going fishing.
Inuapik:
Asu. Qauppalli, sulaaqqit?ᐊᓱ. ᖃᐅᑉᐸᓪᓕ, ᓱᓛᖅᑭᑦ?I see. What will you be doing tomorrow?
Jaaki:
Umiaqtulaaqtunga.ᐅᒥᐊᖅᑐᓛᖅᑐᖓ. I will be going boating.
Inuapik:
Aahali.ᐋᕼᐊᓕ. Okay, then.

Vocabulary

Qauppat sulaaqqa?
What is she doing tomorrow?
ilinniaqtuq
learns (he/she...)
ippassaq
yesterday
iqalliaqtuq
fishing (she goes...)
iqqanaijaqtuq
works (he/she...)
katimajut
meeting (they are...)
maanna
now
miqsuqtuq
sews (he/she...)
niqtiuqtuq
cooks (he...)
niuviriaqtuq
shopping (she goes...)
qauppat
tomorrow
sulaaqqit?
What will you be doing?
sulauqqit?
What did you do?
suvit?
What are you doing?
ullaaq
morning
ullumi
today
umiaqtuqtuq
boating (he/she goes...)
unnuaq
night
unnuk
evening
unnusa
afternoon
uqalimaaqtuq
reads (he...)

Grammar

future tense


Inuktitut has a number of ways of talking about events that will happen in the future.

One way is to insert the affix -niaq between the verb and the subject ending. -niaq- is used only for events that will happen later the same day.

Suvit? Suniaqpit?
What are you doing? What will you be doing?
   
nirijunga
niriniaqtunga
I am eating I will be eating

When -niaq- is added to a root that ends in q, the q changes to r.

kaapituq + niaq + tunga = kaapiturniaqtunga.
  I will be drinking coffee.
When -niaq- is added to a root ending in k, it changes the final k to n.
malik + niaq + tuq = malinniaqtuq
He is going to be here.
When -niaq- is added to a root ending in t, it changes the final t to n.
tavvaniit + niaq + tuq = tavvaniinniaqtuq
  He is going to be here.

The double n above is not just a quirk of spelling. When you pronounce this word, you have to hold the n sound for twice as long as you would a single n.

In Iqaluit, -langa- is the affix that is most commonly used for an event in the immediate future.  -langa- can be attached directly to a root that ends in a vowel.  When attached to a root ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:
Ullumi aullalangajuq He is leaving town today.
-laaq- is another affix that is used to talk about the future. -laaq- is used for events that will be happening the next day or further into the future.
Arvialianiaqtunga Arvialialaaqtunga

I am going to Arviat (later that day)

I will be going to Arviat (sometime in the future).
 
takuniaqpugut takulaarivugut
See you soon See you later/ See you then.
 
pinasuarusiulaaqtumi next week
If -laaq- is added to a stem that ends in a consonant, it deletes the last consonant.
aullaq + laaq + tuq = aullalaaqtuq.
  He will leave town.
 

past tense

There are a few ways that we can talk in Inuktitut about events that have happened in the past.

Firstly, we can attach an affix to a verb that marks the past tense.

 

-rataaq- is an affix that is used to describe actions that have happened in the immediate past (within the hour).
 isirataaqtuq
 She just came in.
 
 tikirataaqtugut
 We just arrived.

-qqau- is an affix that is used to describe actions that have happened earlier in the day.

Uqaalaqqaujuq.
He called earlier.
 
Angirraqqaujunga.
I went home (earlier that day).

 

-lauq- is used to describe actions that have happened yesterday or in the not too distant past.

Ippaksaq tuktulialauqtuq.
Yesterday, he went caribou hunting.
 
Aatuvaamuulauqtunga.
I went to Ottawa.

Note that when any of the above affixes are added to a root ending in a consonant, they delete the final consonant.

aullaq + rataaq + tuq = aullarataaqtuq
  She just left (departed) a few minutes ago.
   
tikit + qqau + juq = tikiqqaujuq
  He arrived earlier.
   
malik + lauq + tut = malilauqtut
  They followed (yesterday or earlier).
 
Important: Inuktitut speakers don't always use these affixes to talk about events in the past. At times you have to rely on context of the conversation to know whether a verb like "nirijuq" refers to an event right now or in the past.

Verbs involving motion often refer to an event in the past when they are combined with basic subject endings (-junga/-tunga, -jutit/-tutit, -juq/-tuq, etc.) :

isiq- to come in
isiqtunga I came in.
   
tikit- to arrive
tikippa? Did she arrive?