The Undoer in Wyandot

The Undoer

The undoer root suffix ‘undoes’ what the verb root ‘does’.  It takes two forms ‘(-a/u)wa- and the much less common -ska-.

ahumaˀtrawaˀ      He picked him out, selected him.

[ah-hoo-mah-ah-trah-wah-ah]

tl-                     factual

-hum-              masculine singular agent + patient  ‘he to him’                                                   – -aˀt-                  noun root ‘body’

-ra-                  verb root ‘to be with’

-wa-                undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual  aspect

ahatikaskaˀ                    They (m) divided it.

[ah-hah-tee-kah-skah-ah]

a-                     factual

-hati-                masculine plural agent ‘they (m)’

-k-                   verb root ‘to join’

-aska-              undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect

aˀhakehtaskaˀ         He took off his shoulder strap carrier

[ah-ah-hah-keh-tah-skah-ah]

aˀ-                    factual

-h-                   masculine singular agent ‘he’

-ak-                 semi-reflexive voice

-ehta-              verb root ‘to carry with a shoulder strap’

-ska-                undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect

ahahkǫtawaˀ        He took it down.

[ah-hah-kon-tah-wah-ah]

a-                     factual

-h-                   masculine singular agent ‘he’

-ahkǫt-             verb root ‘to hang it up’

-awa-               undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect

ahaˀhušrǫtawaˀ       He untied a small bag.

[a-hah-ah-hoo-shron-tah-wah-ah]

a-                      factual

-ha-                  masculine singular agent ‘he’

-ˀhušr-              noun root ‘small bag’

-ǫt-                   verb root ‘to tie up’

-awa-               undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect

sayǫkyatuwaˀ         They (f) lie down again.

[sah-yon-kyah-too-wah-ah]

s-                   repetitive

-a-                   factual

-yǫ-                 feminine-zoic plural agent ‘they (f)’

-kya-               semi-reflexive voice

-t-                    verb root  ‘to stand’

            -uwa-              undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect

usaharǫmawaˀ        He goes back.

[oo-sah-hah-ron-mah-wah-ah]

u-                     factual

-s-                    repetitive

-a-                   factual

-ha-                 masculine singular agent ‘he’

-rǫm-               verb root ‘to cross’

            -awa-              undoer root suffix

-ˀ                    punctual aspect

aˀeyarurǫmą           One detached bark.

[ah-ah-eh-yah-roo-ron-man]

ah-                   factual

-e-                   indefinite agent ‘one’

-yar-                noun root ‘bark’

-ur-                  verb root ‘to affix’

           -ǫmą                undoer root suffix + punctual aspect

aharawaˀ              He took it off (of a tree).

[ah-hah-rah-wah-ah]

a-                    factual

-ha-                 masculine singular agent ‘he’

-ra-                  verb root ‘to put on top’

-wa-                 undoer root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect

Examples of Contrasts

Verb Root                                            + Undoer

To be with                                            to pick or select out[1]

To stand a stopper                                To unplug a stopper

To join                                                  to divide

To carry in a shoulder strap             to take the shoulder strap carrier off

To hang it up                                      to take it down

To tie up                                              to untie

To stand up                                         to lie down

To have a position of authority        to lose a position of authority

To cross                                               to go back

To affix                                                to detach

To put on top                                        to take off

 

[1] This is the one that occurs most often in the Narratives.

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