In today’s post we’re talking about the different types of verbs in Myaamiaataweenki. This may seem a little odd because in English we only have one type and we just call them ‘verbs’. Myaamia, however, has four different types. The reason for that is because the language uses verbs in more scenarios and in more complicated ways than English. Things that we might consider nouns in English would actually be verbs in Myaamia. The verb types we use depend on the context and which type of noun we’re using (see our animacy introduction and animacy in action posts). Because of this, each verb type has its own unique set of endings to make them appropriate for the sentence. These verb types have names that come from the field of linguistics so, for the sake of easier reading, we skipped the linguistic jargon and will use more descriptive names. The four types are: descriptive-it verbs, no-object verbs, it-verbs, and him-verbs. Let’s get a general explanation of these four types and when to use them.
The first type is the ‘descriptive-it verb’. This is used when describing something that’s happening. Essentially, it turns what in English might be a noun, into a verb talking about what that thing is. For example:
|English Noun||Myaamia Descriptive-it Verb|
|Black||meehkateeweeki ‘It is black’|
|Daylight||waahseeki ‘It is daylight’|
|Winter||peepoonki ‘It is winter’|
|Pancake||peepankihšinki ‘It is flat, pancake’|
No-object verbs are focused on an action done by someone. Alongside this, they include verbs that describe someone. Check out the examples below:
|I am tall||iihpisiaani|
|I am running||meemikwiaani|
|I am swimming||peemicimiaani|
|I am eating||weehsiniaani|
It-verbs are the opposite of no-object verbs in that they include a ‘thing’ that someone is acting on. This is where the noun posts, linked below, become important because this is only for nouns that end in ‘i’.
|English Noun||Myaamia sentence|
|Rock ‘ahseni’||waapantanto ahseni ‘Look at the rock’|
|Book ‘wiintaakani’||weentamaani wiintaakani ‘I am reading the book’|
|Meat ‘wiiyoohsi’||meeciaani wiiyoohsi ‘I am eating meat’|
The final verb type is the him-verb. These are used when talking about interactions between people. More broadly, interactions between two nouns that end in ‘a’ (opposite of the category used with it-verbs in the above section).
|Little bird ‘pihcita’||waapami pihcita ‘Look at the little bird’|
|I love you||teepaalilaani|
|Apple ‘mihšiimina’||eemwaki mihšiimina ‘I am eating an apple’|
Myaamiaataweenki is heavily focused on using verbs more so than nouns, and sometimes it is done in ways that are confusing when coming from an English perspective. These four verb types play a key role in understanding and using Myaamia and are also a fascinating view into the different categories we use to make sense of the world.