Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Tuktugiaqarunniiqtut

I'm listening to CBC radio right now, and I just heard someone say: tuktugiaqarunniiqtut "they no longer need to hunt caribou". Since he's talking about declining stock of George River Caribou, I think what he's trying to say is: tuktuttailititauliqtut "they are now prohibited from hunting caribou (from that stock)".

I mean, I understand that speaking on the radio can make one nervous and prone to make mistakes. But these are two Inuit speaking Inuktitut.

Tukisimainnaqattarattigut (also from the interview). In Inuktitut, there is an ergative case:
[-jara]; [-javut], etc. that makes the actor "own" the action: tuktu takujara "I see the caribou", but there is also a "case agreement" morpheme [-si-] that may occur on it's own but still imply ergativity: tukisijuq "she understands". For the notion of "comprehension"/"to understand (something)" the ergative agreement [-si-] is obligatory but it is missing in tuki[-si-]simainnaqattarattigut.

I'm not criticising frivolously but trying to demonstrate that grammar-, narrative-based Inuktitut instruction is required if we want to perserve and promote the use of Inuktitut in society, media and personal communication.

Jay

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