Grammar » 2 » I am...

To introduce yourself, you can add the affix -u- to the end of your name followed by the verb ending -vunga:

Peta Peter
Peta + u + vunga = Piitauvunga I am Peter; My name is Peter.

The affix -u- means to be.  When it is added to a root that ends in a -k or a -q, it deletes the final consonant. We can use a different verb ending -juk to talk about he / she or it:

tupik + u + juk =    tupiujuk It is a tent.

If the last vowel sound before the consonant is a u, the verb –u merges with thtat sound to become a long u . In Nunatsiavummiutitut long u is written as o.

inuk + u + vunga =    inovunga I am Inuk.

Adding –u to names coming from other languages like English, can sound quite awkward in Inuktut.  If such a name ends in a vowel, it usually isn’t a problem:

Susi Susie.
Susi + u + vunga = Susiuvunga My name is Susie.


But if the name ends in a consonant, Nunatsiavummiutitut speakers will often add an -i- sound before -u- to make pronunciation easier:

Jobiuvunga. My name is Job.

To ask someone their name, you start with the root kina, meaning who?  You then add the affix -u- to the end of kina, followed by the question ending -ven?:

kina + u + ven? Susie.
kinauven? Who are you?