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-taqaq- (affix)

THE VERB -TAQAQ-

-taqaq- is used to express the English there is / there are. This affix is tacked on to the end of nouns and must be followed by a subject ending:

kaapitaqaqqa Is there coffee?

 

When we want to say "there is...", Inuktitut speakers avoid the construction ...taqaqtuq, and use the affix -talik instead:

kaapitaqaqqa? ii, kaapitalik.
Is there coffee? Yes, there is coffee.

 

Note that -talik is never used to make a negative sentence:

kaapitaqaqqa? aagga, kaapitaqanngittuq
Is there coffee?
No, there is no coffee.

-taqaq- deletes final consonants of any nouns it is added to:

paippaaq + taqaq + qa =  
paippaataqaqqa? Is there any paper?
ii, paippaatalik Yes, there is paper.
aagga, paippaataqanngittuq No, there is no paper.

 

dual

In English, when we want to talk about more than one of something, we usually add an s to the end of a noun:
one door two doors
three doors

In Inuktitut, we use different endings to distinguish between two of something and more than two of something:

matu matuuk matuit
one door
(two) doors (three) doors
The dual form is used to talk about two of a particular object. You can recognize the dual form as any noun that ends in a double vowel, followed by a k.
saak uqaalautiik illuuk
(two) tables
(two) telephones
(two) buildings

 

Here's some instructions on changing a noun from its singular form to the dual:

  • if the object ends in a vowel, double the last vowel and add k:
nuvuja nuvujaak
cloud (two) clouds

  • if the object ends in a t, add the ending iik:
paippaamuurijjut paippaamuurijjutiik
printer (two) printers


  • if it ends in any consonant other than t, delete the last consonant, double the last vowel, and add k:
kamik kamiik
skin boot
(two) skin boots
   
qarasaujaq qarasaujaak
computer (two) computers


remember: that in Inuktitut, you almost never put together more than two vowels in a row. So if you drop the final consonant and find you already have two vowels, just add k:

nunannguaqnunannguak
map(two) maps

plural

In Inuktitut, the plural is used to talk about more than two of any noun:
inuk inuit 
person people

The plural form always ends in t. Here are some instructions on changing a noun from its singular form to the plural:

if the noun ends in a vowel, add -it:

ilisaiji ilisaijiit
teacher teachers (3+)

If the noun ends in t, just add -iit:

uqaalaut uqaalautiit
telephone telephones

If the object ends in any other consonant, delete the last consonant, and add -it:

iqaluk iqaluit
fish fish (3+)

If you delete the last consonant, and find that you already have two vowels, just add t:

uqaalautiralaaq
uqaalautiralaat
cell phone
cell phones (3+)

to have

If you want to talk about having something in your possession, you add the affix -qaq- directly to the end of a noun:

ulu + qaq + qit? =
uluqaqqit?

 Do you have an ulu?
ulu + qaq + tunga =uluqaqtunga.
 I have an ulu.

When -qaq- is added to a noun ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:

umik + qaq + qa = umiqaqqa?
 Does he have a beard?

 

Watch out for singular nouns that end in t.  Many of them add an i before being put together with affixes:

titirautpen
titiraut + i + qaq + tunga = titirautiqaqtunga
I have a pen

 

Now, watch what happens when we answer in the negative. Remember that both -qaq- and -nngit- delete any consonant that appears immediately before them:

umik + qaq + nngit + tuq = umiqanngittuq.
  He doesn't have a beard.

When we want to say "he or she has something", Inuktitut speakers avoid the construction ...qaqtuq, and use the affix -lik instead:

nuliaqaqqa? ii, nulialik.
Does he have a wife?
Yes, he has a wife.

 

Note that when –lik is added to a root ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:

 nuliaq + lik =  nulialik

 

 

Note, too, that -lik is not used to make a negative sentence:

aaggaa, nuliaqanngittuq.
No, he does not have a wife.