From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Native to Canada
Ethnicity Uummarmiut
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
Inuktitut dialect map.svg
Inuit dialects. Uummarmiut is the orange within Canada.

Uummarmiutun (pronounced /uːm.mar.mi.u.tun/) or Canadian Iñupiaq is the variant of Iñupiatun (or Inuvialuktun) spoken by the Uummarmiut, part of the Inuvialuit, who live mainly in the communities of Inuvik and Aklavik in the Northwest Territories of Canada.[1]

This dialect is essentially the same as that spoken by the Inupiat of Alaska, and is present in Canada because of migration from Alaska in the 1910s, reoccupying traditionally Siglit Inuit lands abandoned during the devastating disease outbreaks of the previous century.[2]

Because Inuvik and Aklavik are ethnically mixed communities where English is the near exclusive language of communication, few young people speak Uummarmiutun and the language is very endangered.

It is one of the three dialects, Kangiryuarmiutun and Siglitun are the other two, of the Inuit language grouped together under the label Inuvialuktun.


Uummartmiutun has 31 phonemes, 6 of which are vowels, 3 short and 3 long, 5 of which are diphthongs, the rest being consonants:

  • Vowels: /a, i, u, aː, iː, uː, ai, ui, iu, ua, ia/
  • Consonants: /p, t, k, g, q, m, n, ɲ, ŋ, f, v, ʁ, h, t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ, j, r, l, ɫ, j/

Vocabulary comparison[edit]

The comparison of some animal names in the two dialects of Iñupiatun:

Alaskan Iñupiaq[3] Canadian Iñupiaq[4] meaning
Uummaġmiutun Uummarmiutun Uummarmiut dialect
siksrik hikřik ground squirrel
qugruk qugřuk tundra swan
aaġlu arlu killer whale
amaġuq amaruq gray wolf
isuŋŋaġluk ihun’ngaq Pomarine jaeger
kaŋuq kanguq snow goose
qunŋiq qun’ngiq reindeer (¹)
tiġiganniaq tiriganiaq Arctic fox
umiŋmak umingmak muskox

¹ The name reindeer for semi-domesticated subspecies (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). The wild subspecies (Rangifer tarandus granti) is caribou (Iñupiaq name is tuttu).

See Also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Lowe, Ronald. Uummarmiut Uqalungiha Mumikhitchirutingit = Basic Uummarmiut Eskimo Dictionary. Inuvik, N.W.T., Canada: Committee for Original Peoples Entitlement, 1984. ISBN 0-9691597-1-4
  • Lowe, Ronald. Basic Uummarmiut Eskimo Grammar = Uummarmiut Uqalungiha Ilihaur̂r̂utikr̂angit. C.O.P.E, 5. Inuvik, N.W.T.: Committee for Original Peoples Entitlement, 1985. ISBN 0-9691597-4-9