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Properties of Verb Endings

Rule #21

All verb endings express mood and subject person. Verb endings can also express object person.

Thus, there are two types of verb endings:

  • one-person endings
  • two-person endings

Mood indicates whether the verb serves to state a fact, to ask a question, to give a command, or to express subordination to another verb. There are ten possible moods for a verb in Inuktitut:

  1. basic (or attributive) takujunga / takujara
  2. indicative takuvunga / takuvara
  3. interrogative takuvit / takuviuk
  4. imperative takugit / takuguk
  5. causative takummat / takummauk / takugami / takugamiuk
  6. conditional takuppat / takuppauk / takuguni / takuguniuk
  7. dubitative takummangaat / takummangaagu
  8. perfective appositional takutsunga / takutsugu / takunanga
  9. imperfective appositional takulunga / takulugu / takunanga
  10. non-reflexive appositional takutillunga / takutinnanga

Let’s consider the words takujunga and takujara. Both are in the indicative mood and state a fact. Both express a first person singular subject. But takujara also expresses a third person singular object.

The first four moods are called independent (or superordinate) moods. They are used in main clauses. The other six moods are called dependent (or subordinate) moods. They are mainly used in subordinate clauses.

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