But, since I was unable to find any comprehensive advanced resources, I gave up on Inuktitut and started learning Navajo instead, which has many excellent resources for learners of all levels and is also a super neat language. But, Navajo is also significantly more difficult for a couple of reasons:
- Navajo seems to be more fusional than Inuktitut, and it's more complicated to figure out how different morphemes fit together to make a word. With Inuktitut, there are some phonological rules when you stick syllables together, but it is fairly regular and much more lego-like than Navajo which has some very arcane rules.
- The phonology is much more complex. Inuktitut has only three phonemic vowels and around fourteen phonemic consonants (depending on the dialect). Navajo has twice as many consonants (and many of them are completely alien to speakers of most Eurasian languages), and although there is only one more phonemic vowel, Navajo has contrastive nasalization and tone, which Inuktitut doesn't have.
But, after Inuktitut came up in my Navajo thread, I have been obsessively trying to track down some resources, and now I have enough resources to get to a high level. So I'm switching to Inuktitut for the time being. I still want to get back to Navajo to finish Rosetta Stone before my subscription expires in September, but there are some major grammatical similarities between the two languages so learning some Inuktitut first should help me grasp Navajo a bit more quickly. My other high priority language is Biblical Hebrew, which I would also like to get to in this coming year.
The first high-level resource I tried to find was Inuktitut: a Grammar of North Baffin Dialects by Alex Spalding (1992), which is one of the main sources that Wikipedia cites. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a single available copy anywhere on the internet. I even tried calling the publisher in Winnipeg, but the number was disconnected (I guess they went under). But, after days of searching, I discovered that the 1992 version was an update of an original 1979 version, called Learning to Speak Inuktitut: A Grammar of North Baffin Dialects. The 1992 edition is more than twice as long and expanded into two volumes, but that doesn't do me any good if I can't find a copy so I guess the 1979 version will do fine. I found a used copy for a very low price... only for my order to be cancelled because that copy doesn't actually exist. So I just ordered a much, much more expensive copy and that should be here in a couple of weeks.
Some other main sources that Wikipedia cites are by Mick Mallon, an Irishman who moved to Nunavut and became an Inuktitut professor. None of his materials are in print anymore (even when they were, they were just spiral-bound books meant for classroom use), but I ended up finding a ton of his materials online for download. First I downloaded Introductory Inuktitut Reference Grammar and an intermediate book of his as well from a very sketchy Russian website using Google Translate. I won't post a link here because it also had at least one book that is still in print available for download, which would violate this forum's copyright rules.
But then, I hit the mother lode. Mallon taught an online Inuktitut course at the University of Washington last year, and his entire course module, including several textbooks and a series of interactive Windows applications with sound, is available to all: https://moodle.llc.washington.edu/cours ... php?id=183. It contains the Intermediate book I mentioned above, as well as Inuktitut - the Hard Way which is meant to be a self-study replacement version of Introductory Inuktitut Reference Grammar.
I now have enough Inuktitut material to last me years, so now the only limit is my attention span! ...which is admittedly unreliable.
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut) comprises the Inuit dialects spoken in the northeast of Canada, mainly in and around the Canadian territory of ᓄᓇᕗᑦ (Nunavut). Inuinnaqtun is spoken in the west of Nunavut but is not considered to be a part of Inuktitut; ᐃᓄᒃᑐᑦ (Inuktut) is a term used to describe Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun together. Inuktitut is part of the Inuit dialect continuum that ranges from Inupiaq (spoken in Alaska) in the West to Greenlandic in the East.There is no one standard version of Inuktitut, but North Baffin seems to be the de facto standard that is taught in most learning materials (almost everything I have found teaches either North Baffin alone, or North Baffin alongside other dialects). I think the reason is that is extremely close to the South Baffin dialect that is spoken in Nunavut's capital (and only) city of ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ (Iqaluit), but it retains some traits that are common to the other Inuktitut dialects of Nunavut but not South Baffin:
- South Baffin does not have the lateral fricative /ɬ/(like the Welsh "LL"), which is written "ł" in Inuktitut when the Latin script is used.
- Combinations of two consecutive consonants in other Inuktitut dialects are often merged into one geminate consonant in South Baffin. For example, the North Baffin word for "house" is one of the two Inuktitut words that you probably already know: ᐃᒡᓗ (iglu). However, it is ᐃᓪᓗ (illu) in South Baffin.
Inuktitut can be written in either Latin script or syllabics, but I think syllabics are much more readable. With only 17 phonemes, Latin script quickly becomes long strings of the same letters over and over. The syllabics can actually be learned in an afternoon if you know that each syllable forms either a diamond or a square, and the corner determines the vowel sound. Here is an image of all the symbols used in the Baffin Dialects, plus the "ai" syllables to show the full shapes, but they are not used in Nunavut, only in Nunavik (northern Québec). The ł and ŋŋ (nng) symbols are not used in Nunavik si there is no Unicode "ai" syllable for them. A long vowel is marked with a dot above the syllable (eg, ᐄ, ᐲ, ᑮ, ᒦ, etc). A final consonant is a superscript version of the "a" syllable, as in ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut). The symbol for "q" is actually a "k" modified with an "r" diacritic to show that it is uvular (the Inuktitut "r" is a voiced uvular approximant like in German or French). The symbol for "ŋ (ng)" is a "g" that is modified with a small ligature of "n" and "g". The "ŋŋ (nng)" adds an extra "n" to the ligature.
Here is a summary of my resources:
- Intruduction to Inuktitut 101 A course module by Mick Mallon, contains several of his textbooks for free:
- Elementary Dialogues v1.2 (1998)
- Intermediate Inuktitut (1999)
- Inuktitut the Hard Way: There is no Easy Way (1997).
- Workplace dialogues (2000)
- Mick Mallon - Introductory Inuktitut v2.2 (1999).
- Alex Spalding - Learning to Speak Inuktitut: A Grammar of North Baffin Dialects (1979). ISBN 0771401396.
- Inuktut Uqausiup Aaqqiksuutingit (Inuktut Reference Grammar, available for free at https://uqausiit.ca/grammar-book. Focuses on North Baffin dialect.
- "Inuktitut for Technocrats" by Mick Mallon, available for free at http://www.inuktitutcomputing.ca/Technocrats/info.php
- Inuktitut - A Multi-dialectal Outline Dictionary (with an Aivilingmiutaq base) by Alex Spalding, available for free at http://www.inuktitutcomputing.ca/Spalding/index.php
Edit: I'm also trying to study isiXhosa.
See also my previous isiXhosa log.
- Udemy: "isiXhosa for Beginners" by Ron Endley. He has three other isiXhosa courses that I might buy depending on how much I like this one. https://www.udemy.com/course/isixhosa-for-beginners/
- Ubuntu Bridge: "Confident isiXhosa". I haven't bought this yet but I'm planning on getting it. http://www.learnxhosa.co.za/product-cat ... materials/
- Teach Yourself Xhosa
- Patricia Schonstein Pinnock - Xhosa: A cultural grammar for beginners. ISBN 1874915032
- J.C. Oosthuysen - The Grammar of isiXhosa. ASIN B07XPCN5YZ. I got the Kindle edition but the formatting is abysmal; unfortunately I couldn't find any physical copies for sale so that's what I'm stuck with. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XPCN5YZ
- Memrise - Xhosa - an Intro
- UNISA - Learn to Speak an African Language. https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corporate ... n-Language
- J.S. Claughton - "The Tonology of isiXhosa." https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/11985212.pdf
- XhosaKhaya (YouTube channel)
Edit: Tabling isiXhosa for now and working on French.