Skip to main page content

Ajjigiinnginnatta (Because We Are Different): Linguistic Differences Between Inuktitut and Qallunaatitut, and Why It Matters - Raigelee Alorut

Part of:
4:15 PM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
As noted by the United Nations in declaring 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, languages play a crucial role in people's daily lives. Although non-Inuit in Canada are increasingly aware of cultural differences between Inuit and non-Inuit, they are often unaware of the extent of linguistic differences. Furthermore, although it is often stated that Inuktitut is integral to Inuit worldview, it is not always explained why that is the case. This presentation will enhance understanding about the linguistic differences between Inuktitut (literally “in the way of the Inuit”) and Qallunaatitut (literally “in the way of the white people”, i.e. English).

The presentation will discuss ways in which Inuktitut uniquely reflects Inuit conceptions of respectful relationships with (1) adults, (2) children, and (3) the natural world. The presenters will explain how the Inuit worldview ties in with linguistic phenomena such as polysynthesis, word order, specific verbs, metaphors, and details (or lack of details) for certain categories and nouns. Drawing on examples such as Inuktitut stories, naming traditions, humour and place names, presenters will reflect on the ways in which relationships with adults, children, and the natural world are conceptualized differently when Inuktitut concepts are translated into Qallunaatitut.

As well, the presenters will explore how learning Inuktitut can impact relationships between peoples, generations, and the natural world, including in Ottawa and Montreal, where Inuktitut has become the most spoken Indigenous mother tongue. Presenters will conclude that learning and fostering Inuktitut, including in urban settings, is an important part of tukisiqattautiniq.

Tungasuvvingat Inuit
Session detail
Allows attendees to send short textual feedback to the organizer for a session. This is only sent to the organizer and not the speakers.
To respect data privacy rules, this option only displays profiles of attendees who have chosen to share their profile information publicly.

Changes here will affect all session detail pages