Atiġausit: Nouns

Remember again all those grammar lessons you received as a kid. Remember that a noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing or idea. Of course, in Iñupiat, nouns look different than English nouns.

Iñupiat nouns come in singular, dual and plural forms. How will you be able to identify Iñupiat nouns? By following these guidelines:

  1. a singular noun can end in any of these letters: a, i, u, n, k, q
  2. all dual nouns end in k
  3. all plural nouns end in t (or ch after a strong i)

Nouns play many roles in Iñupiat sentences. They can be the subject, object, or they can even become the verb of the sentence. In order for an Iñupiat noun to play different roles in a sentence, it either needs to have a postbase attached or it needs to be in a specific noun case. A noun case is a special suffix ending, similar to a postbase. But, unlike a postbase, you can’t attach anything else onto a noun case.

There are 9 noun cases. If you are following the Module schedule, then you’ve already learned about one of the uses of the Relative Case, and one use of the Modalis Case. If you continue with the modules, you will learn about the other noun cases along with other grammar concepts.

If you would like to learn about the functions of all the noun cases, check out the chart linked below.

Iñupiaq Noun Cases


Are you able to identify Iñupiat nouns? Practice here.

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