Identifying deceased relatives

 

The ending -aq added here is mainly used to refer to the deceased. Sometimes you will also hear it used just for someone who has just gone away or even is just asleep (gone off to dreamland).

The -sn- and -pn- are both endings used to talk about the past. We will learn more about them later: for now, we can roughly say that the P-past is the main, plain, usual way of talking about the past.

The S-past has more special uses: in particular, it is what we usually use to ask questions about the past, like we do here. (You can try thinking about it as the "supposedly" past, since you usually use it when you don't have proof of what happened.

Dialog 1
 

Taluisisnaq gmijgamijaq?

What was your (deceased) grandfather's name?

 
 

Nmijgamijaq Sulian teluisipnaq.

My (deceased) grandfather's name was Julian.

 
 

Taluisisnaq gugmijaq?

What was your (deceased) grandmother's name?

 
 

Nugmijaq 'Lluis teluisipnaq.

My (deceased) grandmother's name was Eloise.