This paper analyzes the ergative-antipassive alternation in Inuktitut using a variationist sociolinguistic approach. This alternation is not a typical linguistic variable, as these constructions are traditionally believed to have different syntactic functions. However, the nature of those functions remains controversial (e.g., Bittner 1987, Manga 1996), and they are undergoing changes in some dialects (e.g., Johns 2001, Carrier 2012), with the antipassive being increasingly used in place of the ergative. Thus, a variationist sociolinguistic approach is employed here to identify the significant functions of these constructions, and to find the specific context where they overlap and the language change is taking place. The study examines data collected in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, which presents a case of new-dialect formation due to the High Arctic relocation. The analysis reveals the functions of these constructions, describes the source of fading ergativity for the dialects considered in this study, and supports Trudgill's (2004) theory on new-dialect formation.