wiiyaakiteeheelo weehki-kihkatwe ‘Happy (Gregorian) New Year!’

In the next few days, we’ll be celebrating the Gregorian New Year! While this is the most commonly celebrated calendar new year around the world, it is also not the only one. For Myaamiaki, our year is based on the lunar calendar which reflects the cycles of the moon. This puts our lunar new year…

hohowa pyaaci ‘Santa is coming’

For most of us, the holidays are a time to relax in the good company of family and friends! Many children are also eagerly awaiting a visit from Santa Claus which means it’s a perfect time to introduce the phrase hohowa pyaaci! ‘Santa is coming!’ Since Santa says “hohoho!” so much we figured that was…

pileewa akiišikomi (Turkey’s Day)

As Myaamia people we enjoy a good feast as much as anyone else, and many of our families will be gathering to share a meal with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Because it’s such a widely celebrated holiday, we thought it’d be useful to be able to talk about it in Myaamiaataweenki. So the staff…

The Four Verb Types of Myaamiaataweenki

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…

Why are Myaamia words so long?

When I’m teaching in the community I often get the question, “why are Myaamia words so long?” So, what is it that makes them so different from English? Why are they longer? Let’s dig into Myaamiaataweenki and find out. When we think about English words and how they turn into sentences it normally goes like…

Animacy In Action

For this second blog post on animacy we will talk more about how it works when actually using the language. It’s important to recognize that animacy is very complicated to describe and understand as a concept. As a matter of fact, linguists have struggled for a long time to explain it so don’t feel bad…

An Introduction to Myaamia Nouns and Animacy

This post introduces a unique feature of Myaamia nouns known in linguistics as animacy. This system is used to separate nouns into two categories: animate and inanimate. Every noun we have falls into one or the other and that gets represented by the last letter of the word. For animate nouns the word ends in…

weehki-kaloosioni: wilaalaansanto ‘New Word: Color It!’

We recently helped the Cultural Resources Office (CRO) of the Miami Tribe with the creation of a new word for ‘color it’: wilaalaansanto. This word is going to be used in a new children’s coloring book that the CRO will publish later this year. We created wilaalaansanto because in the time period before our language…

weehki kaloosioni: waapicahkihkwa ‘New Word: shaker cans’

Normally, this time of year we would have had our Annual Winter Gathering filled with lots of socializing, fun, games and one of our big events of the year, stomp dance. Stomp dance is a common intertribal dance that has been around for a very long time and is still a big part of the…