The Myaamia word we’re going to introduce today is our word for ‘car’ šoohkwaakana. This term was created years ago, but it’s a very useful one! So let’s talk through what the different pieces of the word mean and other related words that you can use.
šoohkw + aakan + a
‘slide’ + ‘tool that does action’ + special noun
This word is related to another word that was already in existence, šoohkwaakani, which means ‘sled, wagon’. If you notice, the only difference is the last letter, which indicates ‘common nouns’ rather than ‘special nouns’. Well, you might ask, where did that word come from? The ending -aakan turns certain kinds of verbs into nouns (and causes some sound changes).
šoohkw + aham
‘slide’ + ‘by tool’ = ‘s/he drags it’
[šoohkwaham] + aakan + i
‘drag’ + ‘tool that does action’ + common noun ending
The word for ‘wagon’ literally translates as ‘tool for dragging things’. And remember, in two previous blog posts (An Introduction to Myaamia Nouns and Animacy and Animacy in Action) we discussed the difference between the two noun categories ‘common’ and ‘special’, a topic known as ‘animacy’. Changing from ‘common’ noun -i to ‘special’ noun -a elevates its status and allows it to be something different that has a higher degree of importance. In the case of wagon versus car, the car has a lot more control over speed, driving somewhat ‘on its own’ as well as more ability to go more places. It’s because of these reasons that it’s fitting to use the word for wagon but give it a special status, changing it to a car.
If you want to say ‘I am going somewhere (by car)’, you will say šoohkwaakanapiaani. As you can see, this word looks similar but still has some differences. Let’s look at those below:
[šoohkwaakan] + api + aani
‘car/wagon’ + ‘to be in’ + ‘I am’ verb ending
This word essentially translates to ‘I am sitting in the car’, which we take to mean going somewhere or traveling. Here are the three words we talked about in this post with links to the dictionary for the audio if you’d like to practice them:
Updated: May 10, 2022