20 mikiningit, anginingit

Dialogue: Shorter and Taller

Ai, Anikulok uvannit takinitsauvutit.Ai, Anikulok uvannit takinitsauvutit.Hey Anikulok (little brother) you’re taller than me.
Tamanna tataminnangituk, takijovunga naittotillutit.Tamanna tataminnangituk, takijovunga naittotillutit. That's not surprising, I am tall and you are short.
kina takinitsauvâ ilinnit?kina takinitsauvâ ilinnit? Who is taller than you then?
Pauluse takinitsak uvannit.Pauluse takinitsak uvannit.Paul is taller than me.
Taggali, kina takinippauvâ ilatsini?Taggali, kina takinippauvâ ilatsini? So, who is the tallest in the family?
Simiuni takinippâk ilattini.Simiuni takinippâk ilattini.Simon is the tallest in the family.
Lydia nainnisak uvannit. Lydia nainnisak uvannit. Lydia is shorter than me.
Leahlu nainnipâk ilitsinit pingasunit. Leahlu nainnipâk ilitsinit pingasunit. And Leah is the shortest of you three.
Â, tamanna sulijuk.Â, tamanna sulijuk. Yes, that's right.


small (it is...)
big (it is...)
shorter (it's...)
taller (he/she/it is...)
wide (it is...)
narrow (it is...)
thick (it is...)
thin (it is...)
crooked; it is not straight
straight (it is...)
high (it is...)
low (it is...)
shallow (it is...)
deep (it is...)
dark (it is...)
good (it is...)
heavy (it is...)
light (it is not heavy)


38 » Describing People & Things

Inuktut has different ways to describe people or things.  The first is through words like these:
takijuk (someone/something) tall; he/she/it is tall
uKumaittuk (something) heavy; it is heavy
akitujuk (something) expensive; it is expensive
naittuk (someone/something) short;  he/she/it is short
piujuk something) good; it is good

At first glance, these words behave like verbs. We can change the ending to dual or plural and get:

takijok They (2) are tall.
takijut They (3+) are tall.
uqumaittok They (2) are heavy.
uqumaittut They (3+) are heavy.

These descriptive words must reflect the number of the word that they describe:

Kagitaujak akitujuk. The computer is expensive.
Kagitaujaak akitujok. The two computers are expensive.
Kagitaujait akitujut. The computers (3+) are expensive.

in other ways these descriptive words behave like nouns. You can, for example add noun endings to the words above:

piujumik a good one
itijummi in the deep one
naittumut to the short one

When these words describe a person or thing ending in -mik, they also have to take -mik:

Kattak uKumaittuk The pail is heavy.
Kattamik uKumaittumik a heavy pail


When we use descriptive words to talk about you or me, we also have to add the verb affix -u- which is only used after noun roots:

takijuq + u + vutit =  
takijuuvutit You are tall.
naittuq + u + vunga =  
naittuuvunga I am short.


Keep in mind that many descriptive affixes are also added directly to noun roots
alutsautialuk a big spoon
piungitualuk something awful
itsivautatsuak  a couch 
silakKisuak beautiful weather
mikijutsuak It is very small.
oganniavitsiak a good place for fishing
inutsiak a good/friendly person

39 » Comparing People and Things

Qualities and characteristics of people and things can be compared by using the roots of the describing words followed by the endings -nitsak- (it is more... than) or -nippâk-  (it is the most...) :

takijuk It is tall; the tall one
takinitsak It is taller; the taller one
takinippâk  the tallest one
piujuk It is good; the good one
piunitsak It is better; the better one
piunippâk the biggest one

When -nitsak and -nippâk are added to a stem ending in -t, they change the final t to n.  When this happens, the law of double consonant applies, so the consonant sounds in the endings are shortened:

tâttuk It is dark.
tânnisak It is darker.
tânnipâk the darkest one
naittuk It is short.
nainnisak It is shorter.
nainnipâk the shortest one


When talking about you, me or we, the endings above are followed by -u / -ngu (to be) and then a verb ending:
takinnisauvutit You are the tallest.
anginnipânguvunga I am the biggest.
To make a comparison, we then tack on the affix -mit to the person or thing to which a comparison is being made:
Makusimit takinitsauvunga. I am taller than Mark.
Amaguk Kimmirmit anginitsak. The wolf is bigger than the dog.


Keep in mind that when using personal pronouns to make comparisons, they don't follow a regular pattern:
uvanga me
uvannit than me
Uvannit takinitsauvutit. You are taller than me.
ipvit you
ilinnit than you
kinali ilinnit takinitsauvâ? And who is taller than you?
ilitsik the two of you
ilitsinit than the two of you
Ilitsinit nainnisauvuguk. We two are shorter than the two of you.

40 » Simultaneous Actions

Inuktut has a set of verb endings to join an event with another event happening at the same time.

PisukKauvunga nigitlunga. I walked as I ate.
Atuatsitluni sinisikKaujuk. While he was reading, he fell asleep.

Here is a complete list of these verb endings:

nigitlunga while I was eating...
nigitlutit while you were eating ...
nigitluni        while he was eating ...
nigitlunuk  while the two of us were eating ...
nigitluta while we (3+) were eating ...
nigitlusik while the two of you were eating...
nigitlusi while you (3+) were eating ...
nigitlutik while the two of them were eating ...
nigitlutik while they (3+) were eating ...

Important: All of the above endings are used when the two actions that appear in a sentence are performed by the same person.

Pisutluni tikikKaujuk He arrived walking.
Itilitlunga pâlakKauvunga As I was coming in, I fell down.

If we want to describe two actions happening at the same time that were performed by different people we add ti- before the ending:

uKaalattillutit sinisikKaujut While you were speaking, they fell asleep.
Aullasimatilluta sulaukKit? When we were away, what did you do?

In both of the above sentences, the two verbs are being performed by different people.

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. 

-tluni  becomes -tillugu  
Nigitillugu mitsulauttuk. While he ate, she sewed.

Here is a complete set of the endings beginning with ti-

aullasimatillunga while I was away ... (you/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillutit while you were away ... (I/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillugu        while he was away ... (I/you/they)...
aullasimatillunuk  while we (2) were away ... (you/he/she/they)...
aullasimatilluta while we (3+) were away ... (you/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillusik while you (2) were away ... (I/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillusi while you (3+) were eating ... (I/he/she/they)...
aullasimatillutik while they (2) were eating ...(I/you/he/she)...
aullasimatillutik while they (3+) were eating ...(I/you/he/she)...