"Speak same!"

Lesson 4


This is a topic we will be discussing in greater detail later. It does not occur in the English language and I will explain it when we start to talk about verbs. For now, please do the following:-

For the third person subject, singular or plural, when the noun stem is animate you need to add an ending, a suffix, to the full version of the stem. The suffix is '-ah'. This is known as the obviate suffix.

Example with obviative suffix
NA ice → 'kuppát(-un)

his/her ice → 'ukkuppátunah : singular subject but stem is 'k' initial so the 'w' of the prefix drops. The noun stem is animate and because this noun has a third person subject, we must add the '-ah' as a suffix. You will see in the next section, that adding a suffix means we have to use the full form of the stem, so the invisible '-un' becomes visible.

Plural subjects

So far we have dealt with the pronominal prefix and how it attaches to the stem of the noun. This is all that is needed when the subject, the one doing the possessing, is in the singular. Nothing further needs to be added. When the possessor is plural, then a suffix needs to be added to the end of the stem to indicate that the subject is plural. The appropriate suffix is in two parts. The first part is added when the noun/stem is singular. When the noun/stem is plural, a further additional suffix is used along with the plural marker at the end. Here are the suffixes needed:-

prefix (E)prefix (M)stemsuffixan/inan. plural
our (excl.)nu-stem-un(ôn)--ak/-ash
our (incl.)nu-stem-un(ôn)--ak/-ash
your (pl.)ku-stem-uw(ôw)-ak/-ash

Here are some more nouns to add to your vocabulary:-

NIa drumpopowuttáhig
NAa fishnamohs(-an)
NAfishing netásháp
NIa giftmag8onk(-an)

Try turning these following English words into the appropriate word in our language by using the nouns given above and adding the correct prefix and suffix where required :-

my drum → 'nuppopowuttáhig' : Although the noun is 'p' initial, the possessor is first person, so the full prefix is used.

your (sg.) land → 'kuttohke' : a connective 't' is inserted between the prefix and the vowel initial stem. The 't' is doubled as a consonant.

his/her fire → 'wun8hteau' : straight forward addition of third person prefix.

our (exc.) fishes → 'nunnamohsanunônak' : the object is NA plural. Note the '-an-' between the stem and plural suffix which is not visible in the singular, the additional '-unôn-' which marks plural subject (our) and plural ending (-ak).

our (inc.) fishing net → kuttáshápun : the subject is plural (our) but the object is singular so there is no plural ending or additional 'ôn' after the '-un'.

your (pl.) gate → 'kukkuppuhhouanuw' : although the stem is 'k' initial, the full prefix is used as it it second person, not third. The invisible, singular '-an' is added because of the plural subject ending '-uw'.

their gifts → 'ummag8onkanuwôwash' : the 'w' from the prefix is dropped as the stem begins with 'm'. Notice now the inanimate plural ending.

our (inc) mosquitoes → 'nussogkemasunônak' : plural subject and plural animate object.

his/her grass → 'ummoskeht' : the stem has 'm' initial and is third person subject so the 'w' of the prefix drops away.

Previous    Next    Index