Inuinnaqtun Resources

Overview

Inuinnaqtun is a member of the Inuit language family, considered the Central Arctic form of Inuktitut as spoken by the Inuinnait or Copper Inuit people.

In 2019, there were 259 speakers in the NWT.

Inuinnaqtun is also recognized as an official language of Nunavut, where it is spoken in the western Kitikmeot (Central Arctic communities of Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, and Gjoa Haven). 

Speakers in the NWT may refer to the language as Inuinnaqtun or Kangiryuarmiutun as the dialect spoken in the NWT Community of Ulukhaktok.

The GNWT recognizes Inuinnaqtun as an official language, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation considers Kangiryuarmiutun to be a dialect of Inuvialuktun.

Inuinnaqtun is the primary Indigenous language spoken in:

  • Ulukhaktok

International Standards Organization (ISO) codes

  • Inuktitut (macrolanguage) – IKU
  • Inuinnaqtun/Western Canadian Inuktitut – IKT

Orthographic conventions

Consonants

b

dj

ff

g

h

k

l

m

 

n

ng

p

q

r

t

v

y

Vowels

a

i

u

aa

ii

uu

Notes

  • Written in Roman Orthography.
  • There should never be combinations of more than 2 vowels.
  • «ng» and «dj» represent single consonants.
  • The letters «g, k, l, m, n, ng, p, q, r, t, v» can be simple or double consonants.
  • Double «ng» is written as «nng», not «ngng».
  • When «n» is combined with «ng», the diacritic «’» is used in between the two letters (i.e., un’nguq – “wart”). This ensures the difference between «n+ ng» and «ng +ng».
  • «b» is only found in medial position and is always followed by consonant «l».
  • «f» is always found as a double consonant.
  • «y» is only found in a medial position between vowels or preceded by the consonant «g», «r», or «v».