Qitiniasaaq, the language of the Qitiniina

Background & Introduction

I created Qitiniasaaq in 2016, sometime after I’d created Kitlinar. It’s less complete than Kitlinar, since the first version of The Gate at the End of the World only had one Qitiniina character and the Qitiniasaaq language wasn’t spoken.

kitlinqitinmap

I never bothered creating any specific dialects for it like I did with Kitlinar, even though it’d likely have many more dialects. I guess what I’m describing here is the Kuulitaisaa dialect.

You may have assumed that this language has some phonological and orthographical influences from the Inuit languages, and you’d be correct. It also has some inspirations from Finnish – primarily in the number of cases it has.

Consonants

[ɴ] is an allophone of /n/ and only occurs at the end of words.

LabialAlveolarPalatalVelarUvular
Nasalmnŋ(ɴ)
Stopptkq
Fricatives
Approximantlj

Vowels

Vowels are either long or short. Diphthongs are the same.

FrontBack
Closei iːu uː
Opena aː

Syllable Structure and Stress

Syllable structure is CVC, where:

  • C = any consonant
  • V = any vowel or diphthong

The majority of syllables are CV, with CVC syllables mainly occurring word-finally.

Primary stress usually falls on syllables with long vowels.

Orthography

Letteraaaiiijkl
Sound/a//aː//i//iː//j//k//l/
Lettermnngpqst
Sound/m//n//ŋ//p//q//s//t/
Letteruuu
Sound/u//uː/

Pronouns

Qitiniasaaq didn’t even have any pronouns until I started cleaning up all my notes a couple of months ago. That’s how little grammar I made for this language – it’s basically a glorified naming language!

As a result, the pronoun system is fairly standard and boring:

PersonSingularPlural
1stliinliinik
2ndsanasanamik
3rdmainmainik

Nouns

Nouns are marked for case & number. They can also take on a demonstrative determiner as an interfix. Adjectives are fused onto the end of the noun, and any noun can be used as an adjective without any modification – til can mean both “ice” and “icy”.

Short phrases formed with the genitive case tend to become one word, such as qitiniasaaq “tundra’s language”. This is broken down into qitin “tundra” + ia “genitive” + saaq “language”.

Qitiniasaaq is also ergative-absolutive instead of nominative-accusative like most of my languages – another major influence from the Inuit languages.

SingularPlural
Ergative-kaa-kaamik
Absolutive-(m)ik
Genitive-ia-iamik
Dative-inuu-inuumik
Comitative-pi-pimik
Instrumental-qui-quimik
Abessive-miu-miumik
Ablative-tautaumik
Allative-kaai-kaaimik
Adessive-laa-laamik
Inessive-qu-qumik
Elative-sau-saumik
Illative-naa-naamik

Verbs

Verbs are declined for tense, mood, and voice. They aren’t declined for person, but pronouns can be stuck onto the end of the verb.

  • Tenses: far past, past, near past, present, present habitual, near future, future, far future
  • Moods: indicative, conditional, imperative
  • Voice: active, passive

I think Qitiniasaaq is the first language where I made a distinction between near & far past/future tenses. That’s something I’ve used in other conlangs I’ve created since 2016.

Not all conjugations in the table below exist – I haven’t yet figured out which ones don’t:

Far pastPastNear pastPresentPresent hab.Near futureFutureFar future
Ind. (A)-timi-mi-kami-lii-katuu-tuu-tituu
Ind. (P)-timisa-misa-kamisa-sa-liisa-katuusa-tuusa-tituusa
Cond. (A)-timimiiq-mimiiq-kamimiiq-miiq-liimiiq-katuumiiq-tuumiiq-tituumiiq
Cond. (P)-timimiiqsa-mimiiqsa-kamimiiqsa-miiqsa-liimiiqsa-katuumiiqsa-tuumiiqsa-tituumiiqsa
Imp. (A)-timikui-mikui-kamikui-kui-liikui-katuukui-tuukui-tituukui
Imp. (P)-timikuisa-mikuisa-kamikuisa-kuisa-liikuisa-katuukuisa-tuukuisa-tituukuisa

Here’s an example of the passive/active voice:

Kaalaliiliin Qitiniasaaq.

  • I speak Qitiniasaaq.
  • speak.PRS-HAB.IND.ACT.1SG Qitiniasaaq.ABS

Kaalaliisaliin Qitiniasaaq.

  • Qitiniasaaq is spoken by me.
  • speak.PRS-HAB.IND.PASS.1SG Qitiniasaaq.ABS

Resemblance to the Greenlandic Inuit word “kalaallisut” is entirely coincidental. Seriously!

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