Lesson 5 – Achigaasan tataam axÌ‚sxaaxÌ‚taxÌ‚ / Review


Lesson Goals & Overview

In this Course, you should have learned how to:

  • Greet and introduce yourself and your friend/relative to others
  • Ask someone how to say/write different things in Unangam Tunuu
  • Ask someone what he/she is doing and respond to such questions
  • Count and use numbers, ask someone’s age, etc.

You should also have learned some basic ways of being polite or showing friendship with the use of the diminutive suffix.

This lesson is a review lesson. We will review the grammar, provide many review exercises, provide suggestions for your continued use of what you have learned, and provide recordings by a different speaker, to show slight personal or dialectal variations in what you have learned.

Grammar Summary

1. Word structure

Words consist of a stem, suffixes, and inflectional endings.

2. Noun structure

2.1. The two basic inflectional endings on nouns are -x̂‚ (for singular) and -n (for plural)

(a few words still take a dual ending —x, such as dax ‘eyes’):

kalikax̂‚ kalikan

lakaayax̂‚                   lakaayan

The ending -x̂‚ is used as a citation form for the majority of nouns in dictionaries, whereas the ending -n is used as a citation form for plural-only nouns.

2.2. There are other inflectional endings. The ending -ng is a first person possessive ending (equivalent to the English pronoun my):

kalikax̂‚ kalikang

lakaayax̂‚                   lakaayang

2.3. The diminutive form of nouns

Diminutive form of nouns is used for showing endearment towards a person or an object, or to emphasize small size of an object. It can be formed with two suffixes, -Vda- or -kucha-:

kukax̂‚                           kukaadax̂‚, kukakuchax̂‚

asxinux̂‚                       asxinuudax̂‚, asxinukuchax̂‚

3. Verb structure

Verbal endings indicate mood, person, and number; the marking of person and number is somewhat dependent on the mood:

3.1. Conjunctive mood (singular)

Conjunctive mood is used in many ways. In this unit, you have learned about using conjunctive mood in questions and as a citation form for verbs in dictionaries. It is formed using the suffix lix:


Alqutax̂‚ chitaayalix?

In questions, an unstressed (enclitic) pronoun can be added after the conjunctive suffix, to form questions in the first or second person. When the pronoun is added, the suffix lix becomes shortened to just l:


Alqutax̂‚ chitaaya-ltxin?

Alqutax̂‚ chitaaya-lting?

The -l is often dropped in 1st and 2nd person questions:

Alqutax̂‚ chitaaya-txin?

In yes-no questions, the particle ee follows the conjunctive verb:

Mariiyax̂‚ asax̂‚taltxin ee?                   ‘Are you called Mary?’

Aang.                                                                             ‘Yes.’

3.2. Indicative mood (singular)

Indicative mood is used to report about ongoing events or to answer questions about what is going on (…). This mood is formed using the suffix ku and person endings (in singular, the endings are qing, xÌ‚txin, and xÌ‚):

chitaaya-lix         chitaaya-kuqing



3.3. Imperative mood (singular)

Imperative mood is used to form commands or requests. Its singular form (when command or request is addressed to one person) is formed with the suffix da:

chitaayalix             chitaayada

To soften the request, the diminutive suffix -Vda- is often used:


4. Personal pronouns

Subject personal pronouns are generally inflectional endings on verbs (although not always); non-subject pronouns have independent forms. The basic object pronouns are as follows:

1sg ting ‘me’ 1pl tuman ‘we’
2sg txin ‘you’ 2pl txichin ‘you (pl)’
3sg   ‘he/she/it’ 3pl   ‘they’
4sg txin ‘he himself /she herself /it itself’ 4pl txidin, txichi(n) ‘they themselves’

Demonstrative pronouns are often used as 3rd person independent pronouns, e.g.:

3sg wan  ingan ‘this one’ 3pl wakun,  ingakun ‘those ones’

5. Word order

In Unangam Tunuu, the normal order of words in sentences is Subject-Object-Verb. This is also true of questions:

  • Kalikax̂‚ chitaayakuqing.
  • Anaadang kalikax̂‚ chitaayakux̂‚.
  • Kiin kalikax̂‚ chitaayalix?
  • Anaadang alqutax̂‚ chitaayalix?

Tunux̂‚tam malgaa / Conversation exercises

Tunusax̂‚ / Conversation: Awaltxin ee?

  • P–Aang aang Mariiyax̂‚. Wayaam alqutaltxin?
  • M–Ix̂‚am(a)nakuqing, qaĝaalakux̂‚. Altxin?
  • P–Ting kay(ux), ix̂‚am(a)nakuqing. Waya sistrang Viira.
  • M–Qam agalaa, Viira. Aslixsxaan ix̂‚am(a)nakux̂‚. Mariiyax̂‚ asax̂‚takuqing.
  • V–Qam agalaa, Mariiyax̂‚, aslixsxaan ix̂‚am(a)nakux̂‚.
  • M–Viira, alqutaltxin?
  • V–Maqaĝil(a)kaqing. Altxin?
  • M–Ting kay(ux). Kiin ingan lakaayax̂‚?
  • V–Ingay(a) lang akux̂‚. Nikulaay(ax̂‚) asax̂‚takux̂‚.
  • P–Mariiyax̂‚, Braataan Giyuurgiiyax̂‚ wayaam awalix?
  • M–Aang, braatang awakux̂‚.
  • P–Unangam Tunugan ilan tunux̂‚taax̂‚tan!
  • M–Aang, Unangam ilan tunux̂‚taax̂‚tan. Paavilax̂‚, wan tunux̂‚ Unangam ilan aqatal(a)kaqing. Nung ix̂‚tada.
  • P–Wan ‘kukax̂‚’ Unangam ilan akux̂‚.
  • M–Tataam nung ix̂‚tada…
  • P–‘Kukax̂‚.’ Mariiyax̂‚, nung kalikax̂‚ ukuchx̂‚ida.
  • M–Way(a) kalikax̂‚.
  • P–Ix̂‚am(a)nakux̂‚. Alqutax̂‚ maltxin?
  • M–Wan kalikax̂‚ chitaayakuqing.
  • P–Chitaayakux̂‚txin.
  • M–Alqutax̂‚ maltxin?
  • P–Aluĝ(i)kuqing. Unangam ilan aluĝ(i)kuqing.
  • M–Aang, aluĝ(i)kux̂‚txin.
  • V–Ix̂‚tanaan aqatal(a)kaqing!
  • P–Ukidigilix, Mariiyax̂‚! Aslaan ilix txin ukux̂‚taduukuqing!
  • M–Ukidigilix, Paavilax̂‚, ukidigilix, Viira ama Nikulaayax̂‚!

Tunux̂‚tam malgaa / Conversation exercises

  1. Read the conversation out loud. Make sure you understand it both while reading and listening to it. Record yourself reading it.
  1. Answer the questions:
  • Mariiyax̂‚ alqutalix?
  • Paavilax̂‚ ix̂‚am(a)nalix?
  • Kiin Paavilam sistraa?[1]
  • Kiin Viiram lakaayaa?[2]
  • Giyuurgiiyax̂‚ alqutax̂‚ malix?
  • Mariiyax̂‚ alqutax̂‚ Unangam Tunugan ilan aqatal(a)kan?[3]
  • Mariiyax̂‚ alqutax̂‚ malix?
  • Paavilax̂‚ alqutax̂‚ malix?
  1. Upload a picture with people doing something, and create a video recording of yourself explaining who the people are (make it up if you have to) and what they are doing. Upload your video to YouTube and put the link in a blog post on this website. Comment on at least one other student’s video, mentioning what you understood from their video.
  2. On the course blog, and using a set of pictures depicting words from lessons 1-4, review the vocabulary by asking questions or giving commands to each other (e.g. Wan tunux̂‚ aqataltxin? Alqutax̂‚ qalax̂‚talix?nung ukuchx̂‚ida,ix̂‚tada, tataam ix̂‚tada, etc.).
  3. On the course blog, upload a picture and ask 5 questions about it. Likewise, respond to at least 10 questions posed by other people on the course blog.
  4. In pairs, have one person read the following statements and ask the questions that follow; the other person should respond to the Practice creating your own scenarios according to this model:


Look at the picture. In pairs, ask each other 5 questions about the picture (each; you can ask a question about the same thing as long as the questions are not repeated).

[1] Paavilam sistraa ‘Paul’s sister’

[2] Viiram lakaayaa ‘Vera’s son’

[3] aqatalakan ‘to not know’

Test Your Knowledge

Understanding Conversations

Watch the videos below and try to translate the conversations. What would you say differently?  



In-Class Group Exercises


 Group Conversation Exercises

These exercises will be completed during synchronous class time and led by your instructor. You will  be graded on attendance and participation.

1.  Discuss the videos from the ‘Test Your Knowledge’ section. Were you able to understand the conversation?

2.  Look at the  picture below and take turns asking questions about it.  Likewise, respond, taking turns.  (you can ask a question about the same thing as long as the questions are not repeated).

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.23.51 PM

Lesson Assignment

1. Make a blog post. On the course blog, and using a set of pictures depicting words from lessons 1-4, review the vocabulary by asking questions or giving commands to each other (e.g. Wan tunux̂‚ aqataltxin? Alqutax̂‚ … qalax̂‚talix? … nung ukuchx̂‚ida, … ix̂‚tada, tataam ix̂‚tada, etc.).

2.  Download the  assignment file for this lesson (Google Doc),    complete, and upload the file to the Assignment Upload area for Lesson 4  in the UAF Blackboard course shell (https://classes.uaf.edu — log in with your UA username and password).

If you have problems with the assignments or with uploading the file, please contact your instructor right away for help.


Variations in Unangan

Personal and Dialectal Variation (Track 3 in the textbook DVD)

Listen to Mary Bourdukofsky saying different phrases in Unangam Tunuu.

  1. Notice variations on the phrases that you have learned in this unit, as well as differences in the way she says the phrases.
  2. Make a list of the variations you notice; discuss these on the course blog.
Qilam ix̂‚am(a)naa! Good morning!
Qam agalax̂‚! Good afternoon!
Qam agalam ix̂‚am(a)naa! Good afternoon!
Angal(i)kingam ix̂‚am(a)naa! Good evening!
Alqutaadatxin? How are you?
Maqaĝil(a)kaqing. I am not bad.
Altxin? And you?
Ukid(i)gilix. Bye!
Qilagan txin ukux̂‚taduukuqing. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Aang. Yes.
Kuugux̂‚. No.
Amusukux̂‚. Maybe.
Qaĝaalakux̂‚. Thanks.
Maqaĝilakax̂‚! It’s okay, no worries! (polite response to thanks)
Qaĝaasakung I thank you for it.
Txin ukux̂‚tal(i)duukuqing. I’ll see you!
Alqutal(ix) Unangam ilan ix̂‚taduukatxin? How do you say it in Unangam Tunuu?
Aqatal(a)kang. I don’t know it.
Kiin txin? Who are you?
Aana akuqing. I am Anna.
Kiin ingay(a)? Who is this?
Asxinung ing(aya). It’s my daughter.
Anaadang ing(aya). It’s my mother.
Alqutax̂‚ ingay(a)? What is this?

Expand your use of the Unangan language

Now that you have completed class, here are some ideas for continuing to use your skills:

  1. Use Unangan greetings to greet the people you meet in every day life. With friends you see especially often or regularly, make flash cards for them, or give them a list of the greetings you will use, and let them know you will be using these from now on. If they are interested, introduce them to the responses.
  2. Put up signs in Unangam Tunuu around your house; for example, on your bookshelf, you might put Kalikan.
  3. Find someone who is also interested in learning Unangam Tunuu and teach him/her some basic expressions and words, including not just greetings but also questions such as alqutax̂‚ maltxin? Include some basic responses as well. Practice whenever you meet each other.
  4. If you are fortunate to live in an area with an Unangax̂‚ Elder, pay him/her regular visits if possible (and with his/her consent) and practice. Don’t get discouraged if at first it is difficult to understand each other. Keep a notebook of words and phrases that keep coming up, and try to understand the structure of these phrases.
  5. Make your way through the rest of the textbook.