Inuktitut syllabics

Inuktitut syllabics (Inuktitut: ᖃᓂᐅᔮᖅᐸᐃᑦ, qaniujaaqpait,[1] or ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᖅ ᓄᑖᖅ, titirausiq nutaaq) is an abugida-type writing system used in Canada by the Inuktitut-speaking Inuit of the territory of Nunavut and the Nunavik and Nunatsiavut regions of Quebec and Labrador, respectively. In 1976, the Language Commission of the Inuit Cultural Institute made it the co-official script for the Inuit languages, along with the Latin script.

Inuktitut syllabics
Inuktitut.png
Inuktitut syllabary. Extra characters with dots represent long vowels; When romanized, the vowel is duplicated.
Script type
Time period
1870s–present
Directionleft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesInuktitut
Related scripts
Parent systems
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Cans, , ​Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics
Unicode
Unicode alias
Canadian Aboriginal
Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, U+1400–167F (chart)
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
A bilingual stop sign in Nunavut displaying text in both Inuktitut syllabics and the English Latin alphabet. The Inuktitut ᓄᖅᑲᕆᑦ transliterates as nuqqarit.

The name qaniujaaqpait [qaniujaːqpaˈit] derives from the root qaniq, meaning "mouth". The alternative, Latin-based writing system is named qaliujaaqpait (ᖃᓕᐅᔮᖅᐸᐃᑦ), and it derives from qaliit, a word describing the markings or the grain in rocks. Titirausiq nutaaq [titiʁauˈsiq nuˈtaːq] meaning "new writing system" is to be seen in contrast to titirausiit nutaunngittut (ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓰᑦ ᓄᑕᐅᓐᖏᑦᑐᑦ), the "old syllabics" used before the reforms of 1976.[2]

HistoryEdit

The first efforts to write Inuktitut came from Moravian missionaries in Greenland and Labrador in the mid-19th century using Latin script. The first book printed in Inuktitut using Cree script was an 8-page pamphlet known as Selections from the Gospels in the dialect of the Inuit of Little Whale River (ᒋᓴᓯᑊ ᐅᑲᐤᓯᐣᑭᐟ, "Jesus' words"),[3] printed by John Horden in 1855–56 at Moose Factory for Edwin Arthur Watkins to use among the Inuit at Fort George. In November 1865, Horden and Watkins met in London under Henry Venn's direction to adapt Cree syllabics to the Inuktitut language.[4] In the 1870s, Edmund Peck, another Anglican missionary, started printing according to that standard. Other missionaries, and later linguists in the employ of the Canadian and American governments, adapted the Latin alphabet to the dialects of the Mackenzie River delta, the western Arctic islands and Alaska.

Inuktitut is one variation on Canadian Aboriginal syllabics, and can be digitally encoded using the Unicode standard. The Unicode block for Inuktitut characters is called Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics.

The consonant in the syllable can be g, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, ng, ł, or absent, and the vowel can be a, i, u, ai (now only in Nunavik), or absent.

TableEdit

The Inuktitut script (titirausiq nutaaq) is commonly presented as a syllabary. The dots on the letters in the table mark long vowels; in the Latin transcription, the vowel is doubled.

Note: An image of the chart is also available.
Short Trans.[a]
ai
pai
tai
kai
hai
gai
mai
nai
sai
   
   
lai
jai
ᑦᔦ jjai
   
vai
rai
qai
ᖅᑫ qqai
ŋai
   
   
   
   
   
Short Long Trans.
i
pi
ti
ki
hi
gi
mi
ni
si/hi
ᓯ̵ ᓰ̵ ši
ᓯˋ ᓰˋ hi
li
ji
ᑦᔨ ᑦᔩ jji
ři
vi
ri
qi
ᖅᑭ ᖅᑮ qqi
ŋi
ŋŋi
łi
     
     
     
Short Long Trans.
u
pu
tu
ku
hu
gu
mu
nu
su/hu
ᓱ̵ ᓲ̵ šu
ˎᓱ ˎᓲ hu
lu
ju
ᑦᔪ ᑦᔫ jju
řu
vu
ru
qu
ᖅᑯ ᖅᑰ qqu
ŋu
ŋŋu
łu
     
     
     
Short Long Trans.
a
pa
ta
ka
ha
ga
ma
na
sa/ha
ᓴ̵ ᓵ̵ ša
ᓴˏ ᓵˏ ha
la
ja
ᑦᔭ ᑦᔮ jja
řa
va
ra
qa
ᖅᑲ ᖅᑳ qqa
ŋa
ŋŋa
ła
     
     
     
Final Trans. IPA
 
p /p/
t /t/
k /k/
h [b] /h/
g /g/ - /ɣ/
m /m/
n /n/
s/h [c] /s/ - /h/
ᔅ̵ š [d][e] /ʂ/
ᔅ̷ h [f][g] /h/
l /l/
j /j/
ᑦᔾ jj /jː/
ř [h] /ɟ/
v /v/
r /ʁ/
q /q/
ᖅᒃ qq [i] /qː/
ŋ [j][k] /ŋ/
ŋŋ [l][m] /ŋː/
ł [n] /ɬ/
b [o] /b/
h [p] /h/
ʼ /ʔ/
  1. ^ Found in Nunavik (ᓄᓇᕕᒃ)
  2. ^ Found in Nunavik (ᓄᓇᕕᒃ)
  3. ^ s in eastern Nunavut but h in western Nunavut
  4. ^ Found in Natsilingmiutut (ᓇᑦᓯᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ)
  5. ^   Not yet in Unicode. Approximated here as ᓯ series with a bar through the stem (much like with ᖨ series) for shr
  6. ^ Found in Natsilingmiutut (ᓇᑦᓯᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ)
  7. ^   Not yet in Unicode. Approximated here as ᓯ series with acute, grave, or slash off the head (much like with ᖠ series) for h
  8. ^ Found in Natsilingmiutut (ᓇᑦᓯᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ)
  9. ^ Found in Nunavut (ᓄᓇᕗᑦ)
  10. ^ ᖕ is a ᓐᒡ ligature in most areas but a ᓐᒃ ligature (which may resemble 8) in Nunavik
  11. ^ These are generally romanized as ng, but in Natsilingmiutut as ŋ
  12. ^ ᖖ is a ᓐᓐᒡ ligature in most areas but either a ᓐᓐᒃ ligature (which may resemble ᓐ8) or a doubled ᓐᒃ (ᓐᒃᓐᒃ) ligature (which may resemble 88) in Nunavik
  13. ^ These are generally romanized as nng, but in Natsilingmiutut as ŋŋ
  14. ^ Found in North Qikiqtaaluk, Natsilingmiutut, Aivilingmiutut and Paallirmiutut; occasionally ł is transcribed as &
  15. ^ Found in Aivilingmiutut
  16. ^ Found in Nunavut (ᓄᓇᕗᑦ)

ModificationsEdit

The Makivik Corporation expanded the official version of the script to restore the ai-pai-tai column. The common diphthong ai has generally been represented by combining the a form with a stand-alone letter ᐃ i.[example needed] This fourth-vowel variant had been removed so that Inuktitut could be typed and printed using IBM Selectric balls in the 1970s. The reinstatement was justified on the grounds that modern printing and typesetting equipment no longer suffers the restrictions of earlier typewriting machinery. The ai-pai-tai column is used only in Nunavik.

VariationsEdit

 
A sign in Danish and Greenlandic; Greenlandic is written in the Latin script.

The Inuit languages are written in different ways in different places. In Greenland, Alaska, Labrador, the Mackenzie River delta in the Northwest Territories and in part of Nunavut, it is written with the Latin alphabet (also known as Roman orthography in some regions). In all of Nunavut, east of Cambridge Bay, and in Nunavik, Quebec, Inuktitut is written using the Inuktitut script. At present, Inuktitut syllabics enjoys official status in Nunavut, alongside the Latin alphabet, and is used by the Kativik Regional Government of Nunavik. In Greenland, the traditional Latin script is official and is widely used in public life.

Because the Inuit languages are a continuum of only partially intercomprehensible dialects, the language varies a great deal across the Arctic. Split up into different political divisions and different churches reflecting the arrival of various missionary groups, Inuktitut writing systems can vary a great deal.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Writing the Inuit Language | Inuktut Tusaalanga". tusaalanga.ca. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  2. ^ Lorraine E. Brandson (1994). Carved from the land: the Eskimo Museum collection. Diocese of Churchill–Hudson Bay. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-9693266-1-8.
  3. ^ "Aboriginal syllabic scripts". Library and Archives Canada Blog. June 11, 2015.
  4. ^ Harper, Kenn (2012-08-10). "The First Inuktitut Language Conference". Nunatsiaq News. Archived from the original on 2018-11-29.

Further readingEdit

  • Balt, Peter. Inuktitut Affixes. Rankin Inlet? N.W.T.: s.n, 1978.

External linksEdit