Grammar » 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