Inuktitut has a minimal vowel system containing three vowels /i/, /a/, and /u/. /i/ represents the most frontal of high vowels; /u/ represents the furthest back of high vowels; /a/ represents the lowest of the vowels. They create the maximal contrastive oppositions in acoustics.
Within a word, these three vowels can appear in single, double, or combined distribution. However, the phonological system of Inuktitut does not allow a sequence of more than two vowels. Likewise, vowels do not form a true diphthong as they belong to different syllables. Each vowel in a combined distribution is pronounced distinctively without hiatus.
nanuq (polar bear)
The following is a brief guide to Inuit vowel pronunciation, using non-technical terms.
|"i"||"ee" or "ey"||fee or key|
|"u"||"oo" or "ew"||too or new|
Inuktitut includes 14 consonants: /p/, /t/, /k/, /q/, /g/, /r/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /v/, /s/, /l/, /ł/ ,and /j/. These consonants can be single or double (the double /ŋ/ is represented by ¡Vnng-).
sanngijuq (he is strong)