The inuktitut is one of the four great dialectal whole of the language Inuit, the three other units being the Inupiaq, spoken in Alaska, the Inuktun, spoken in the Canadian North-West, and the Kalaallisut, language of the Greenland. This inuit-inupiaq group makes in its turn left the branch eskimo (which includes/understands also the Yupik and its varieties) of the family eskimo-aléoute.
The inuktitut is spoken by nearly 30.000 people in the Eastern Arctic Canadian, with the Quebec (in the Nunavik), in the island of Baffin, and in the Nunavut where it has the statute of official language, and is used in the bilingual road signs.
WritingInitially traditionally oral, this language with the characteristic to be transcribed as from the 20th century in a syllabic marking system, contrary to the others Langue S traditionally oral which are generally transcribed in Latin characters.
Missionaries come from Europe influenced the people of the Arctic to adopt a written form in order to introduce them with Christianity and the Bible. Today Inuits in the Canadian Arctic use either the Roman Orthographe ( qaliujaaqpait ) or syllabic characters ( qaniujaaqpait ). The first written form used among Inuit was the Roman orthography, with the Greenland, during the years 1760.
It is about an adaptation, in the years 1880, of the writing developped at the point for the cry by the reverend Evans towards the end of the year 1830. This writing is thus not specific to the inuktitut: it notes also other Amerindian languages, like the Naskapi, and on the other hand it does not note all the speeches eskimos: practically the use of this spelling-book is limited to the inuktitut. Kalaallisut of the West, the most important dialect with nearly 50.000 speakers and most firmly established, adopted an orthography normalized in character Romans.
The Yupik and the Inupiat of the Alaska and Yupik of the Siberia also employed the Roman orthography. On the other hand, the Netsilik of Pelly Bay and the island of Baffin adopted the syllabic writing during the years 1920 when they became the last people Scandinavian to meet the missionaries.
This marking system is also exceptional in what it in the long term presents of the series of correspondences term between the configuration of the graphic sign and the shape of the phonetic sign (the graphic sign is systematically directed in a precise direction according to the nature of the central vowel of the syllable). To be more precise, the graphème for a syllable containing U swivels of 90° on the right or 180° compared to the graphème representing the syllable containing I , and for the graphème has is symmetrical graphème U . The part in top on the left of the graphème, - for some graphèmes composed with initial consonant Q , ng -, remains always invariable.
This Syllabaire now makes integral part of the company inuite, which sees a mark of its identity there. Inuits regard it even as a gift of God, by allusion to the fact that it is a missionary who transmitted it to them.
- Dictionary of the languages
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