Innuktitut Verbs

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, linguistics, language, ethnicity

Principal Investigator: Jones, Alana (1)
Licence Number: 13027
Organization: University of Toronto
Licenced Year(s): 1999
Issued: Mar 23, 1999
Project Team: Carrie Gillon

Objective(s): This research forms part of a larger investigation into verbal systems across a number of languages. The larger project is centered in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto, with researcher Diane Massam, Elizabeth Cowper, and Alana Johns. The purpose is to compare languages like English, Korean, Niuean and Inuktitut, so as to discover similarities in how verbal systems are formed. Languages with different properties were chosen such as English where the verb itself has little inflection e.g... bake, bak-ed, bak-ing. This contrasts with other languages such as Inuktitut, where the verb ranges from fairly simple form to quite complex.

Project Description: Alana Johns and Carrie Gillon will visit Inuvik for approximately three weeks in June 1999. During this time they will employ a number of speakers of the Siglit and Ummarmiut dialects of Inuktitut for brief one hour sessions. These sessions will either be 1) story collecting where the main purpose is to collect language data, not the content of the story itself. For this reason any story which the individual is comfortable telling is suitable. It can be a story about time long ago etc. The story will be transcribed and analyzed linguistically into morphemes. 2) The second and more common type of interview will consist of the linguist asking the speaker to translate an English sentence into Inuktitut. Subsequently the linguist may say another sentence in Inuktitut and ask if is well formed i.e. proper Inuktitut. All speakers will be paid for their time, interviewers have consent forms which they will ask people to read and sign before they work with them. All sessions will be tape recorded with consent.