My, Your, & His/Hers in Myaamiaataweenki Part 2

In part 2 of Possession in Myaamiaataweenki, we will explain how possession works in common (inanimate) nouns that can stand alone.

But first, a quick refresher from the first part of this series! Remember, there are two types of nouns in Myaamiaataweenki: common (also called inanimate) and special (also called animate). Here, we will cover just common nouns that can stand alone, as in nouns that do NOT have to be possessed — take a look at part 1 for more about nouns that must be possessed, like –ntepikani ‘head’.

If you wanted to say ‘my book’ in Myaamiaataweenki you would say niwiintaakanemi. This word has three parts to it that can be broken down, two are related to possession and one is the word ‘book’ itself.

To mark possession of common nouns, the two pieces of information are: one to add at the beginning of the word, to indicate who owns it; and a piece at the end, to indicate whether the possessed thing is singular or plural. We will stick to the singular, -emi, ending for this post. The piece at the beginning of the word will be one of three: ni- ‘my’, ki- ‘your’, and a- ‘his/her’. Overall, it will look something like this:

ni-  __________  -emi = ‘my ______’

ki-  __________  -emi = ‘your ______’

a-   __________  -emi = ‘his/her ______’

Let’s use the example word wiintaakani ‘book’ to test this out:

ni-  wiintaakani  -emi         = niwiintaakanemi ‘my book’

ki-  wiintaakani  -emi         = kiwiintaakanemi ‘your book’

a-   wiintaakani  -emi         = awiintaakanemi ‘his/her book’

Here’s another example word, miicioni ‘food’:

ni-  miicioni  -emi            = nimiicionemi ‘my food’

ki-  miicioni  -emi            = kimiicionemi ‘your food’

a-   miicioni  -emi            = amiicionemi ‘his/her food’

Note how the ‘e’ in -emi replaces the last ‘i’ in miicioni. Sound changes and adjustments are common in Myaamiaataweenki and you may notice that sometimes it is the ‘i’ that stays rather than the ‘e’. Let’s look at an example of this with the word nipi ‘water’:

ni-  nipi  -emi          = ninipimi ‘my water’

ki-  nipi  -emi          = kinipimi ‘your water’

a-   nipi  -emi          = anipimi ‘his/her water’

There are rules for why this happens that we won’t get into on this post but the most common will be the first one, -emi. Practice using this for common nouns you like to use in the dictionary.

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