The eastern form of Cree syllabics was adapted to write the Inuktitut dialects of Nunavut (except for the extreme west, including Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay) and Nunavik in northern Quebec. In other Inuit areas, various Roman alphabet-based schemes are used.
Inuktitut has only three vowels, and thus only needs the a-, i-, and o-series of Cree, the latter used for /u/. The e-series was originally used for the common diphthong /ai/, but this was officially dropped in the 1960s so that Inuktitut wouldn’t have more characters than could be moulded onto an IBM Selectric typewriter ball, with -ai written as an a-series syllable followed by ᐃ i. Recently the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami decided to restore the ai-series, and the Makivik Corporation has adopted this use in Nunavik; it has not been restored in Nunavut.
Inuktitut has more consonants than Cree, fifteen in its standardised form. As Inuktitut has no /ts/, the c series has been reassigned to the value g (/ɡ ~ ɣ/). The y series is used for either y- or j-, since the difference is one of dialect. The eastern Cree l series is used: ᓚ la, ᓗ lu, ᓕ li, ᓓ lai; a stroke is added to these to derive the voiceless lh (/ɬ/) series: ᖤ lha, etc. The eastern Cree f series is used for Inuktitut v-: ᕙ va, etc. The eastern Cree r series is used for the very different Inuktitut sound, /ɢ ~ ʁ/, which is also spelled r in Roman orthography. However, this has been regularized in form, with vowels of like height consistently derived through counter-clockwise rotation, and therefore rai the inversion of ri:
ᕋ ᕈ ra ru
The remaining sounds are written with digraphs. A raised ra is prefixed to the k-series to create a digraph for q: ᖃ qa, etc.; the final is ᖅ -q. A raised na-ga is prefixed to the g-series to create an ng (/ŋ/) series: ᖓ nga, etc., and the na is doubled for geminate nng (/ŋː/): ᙵ nnga. The finals are ᖕ and ᖖ.
In Nunavut, the h final has been replaced with Roman ᕼ, which does not rotate, but in Nunavik a new series is derived by adding a stroke to the k-series: ᕹ ha, etc.
In the early years, Roman Catholic and Anglican missionaries used slightly different forms of syllabics for Inuktitut. In modern times, however, these differences have disappeared. Dialectical variation across the syllabics-using part of the Inuit world has promoted an implicit diversity in spelling, but for the most part this has not had any impact on syllabics itself.
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