Is it a verb or is it a noun?

Is it a Noun or Is It a Verb – Learning the Language

 

The Wyandot language has many more verbs than nouns (445 verb roots and 235 noun roots).  It often does with verbs what is done with nouns in English (e.g.,. tribal names and kinship terms are always verbs).   It is important to know what is a verb (the usual case) and what is a noun.  And sometimes they are both

 

Animals

Animal names are usually verbs, even if they begin with tsi- or -s and have no pronominal prefixes.  Dog and bear are easy to confuse.  Just remember that the distributive -nǫ means ‘many times or many places.

 

Dog            yanyęnǫh    She or it barks many times, is a dog.

[yan-yen-nonh]

ya-       feminine-zoic singular agent – she or it

-nyę-    verb root – bark

-nǫ-      distributive root suffix

-h         stative aspect

 

Bear            anyǫnyęʼ               She or it is a bear.

[an-yon-yen-en]

a-                     feminine-zoic singular agent – she or it

-nyǫnyę-          verb root – be a bear

Plants

 

Plants are usually nouns, although there are exceptions.  Onions for example, are represented both by verbs and by nouns.

 

Corn            unęhaʼ

[oo-nen-hah-ah]

u-         feminine-zoic singular patient – it

-nęh-    noun root – corn

-aˀ        noun suffix

 

Beans          uyaresaʼ

[oo-yah-reh-sah-ah]

u-         feminine-zoic singular patient – it

yares-   noun root – beans

-aˀ        noun suffix

 

 

Squash        unyǫhšaʼ

[oo-nyonh-shah-ah]

u-         feminine-zoic singular patient – it

-nyǫhš-  noun root – squash

-aˀ        noun suffix

Onions

 

yaˀnǫk        It is an onion.

[yah-ah-nonk]

ya-       feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-ˀnǫ-    verb root – be an onion

                        -k         stative aspect

 

yaˀnǫhšaˀ     onion

[yah-ah-nonh-shah-ah]

ya-       feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-ˀnǫ-    verb root – be an onion

-hš-      nominalizer

-aˀ        noun suffix

 

saˀnǫhšaerat          Add onion, onions, garlic

[sah-ah-nonh-shah-eh-rat]

sa-                    imperative + 2nd person singular agent ‘you (s)’

-ˀnǫ-                verb root – be an onion

-hš-                  nominalizer

-a-                    noun suffix

-erat-                verb root – add to + imperative aspect

 

Body Parts are nouns

 

Arm            yažahšaʼ  arm, her arm

[yah-zhah-shah-ah]

ya-                   feminine-zoic singular agent – it or her

-žahš-               noun root – arm

-aˀ                    noun suffix

 

Leg             yaʼnǫhtaʼ leg, her leg

[yah-ah-nonh-tah-ah]

ya-                   feminine-zoic singular agent – it or her

-ˀnǫht-              noun root – leg

-aˀ                    noun suffix

 

Possessions Can be Both Verbs and Nouns

 

Knife           wenęh         It is a knife.

[wen-nenh]

w-        feminine-zoic singular patient – it

-enę-    verb root – be a knife

-h         stative aspect

 

wenęšraʼ     knife

[wen-en-shrah-ah]

w-        feminine-zoic singular patient – it

-enę-    verb root – be a knife

-šr-       nominalizer

-aˀ        noun suffix

 

Dish            yatsęh          It is a dish.

[yah-tsenh]

ya-       feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-tsęh-   verb root – be a dish, spoon, bowl

-h         stative aspect

 

yasaʼ spoon, dish, plate, bowl

[yah-sah-ah]

ya-       feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-s-        noun root – dish, spoon, bowl

-aˀ        noun suffix

 

 

 

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