Junker, M.-O., & MacKenzie, M. (2013). East Cree Word Formation (Northern Dialect). In The Interactive East Cree Reference Grammar. Retrieved from [URL]
Marie-Odile Junker and Marguerite MacKenzie. East Cree Word Formation (Northern Dialect). In The Interactive East Cree Reference Grammar. 2013. Web. [date]
[URL] = website address, beginning with “http://” [Date] = the date you accessed the page, styled as follows: 13 Dec. 2015
The Structure of Cree Words
Initial, Medial, and Final
a needle for sewing
s/he is cold because the cold is coming through
it goes through it
it shines through
s/he sees through it, s/he takes an x-ray of it
The stems of these words have a meaning that includes the idea of through and they have a common element ᔖᐳshaapu. Most stems are made of smaller building blocks that can be recognized. An element like ᔖᐳshaapu that is typically found at the beginning of the word, is called an initial. Other elements can be found in other positions, like in the middle of the word stem, or at the end of it.
An element found in the middle position like -aapaachstring-like, is called a medial.
it (anim, string-like) is black
s/he lowers it using a rope
it (anim, string-like) is thick
An element found in the final position of the stem, before the inflection, like -nby hand, is called a final.
s/he extinguishes, puts it (animate) out, by hand
s/he breaks off a piece of something (anim) by hand
s/he bursts it (anim) with her/his hand
s/he rubs it on her/him
s/he pushes him/her under by hand
Stem, Derivation, and Composition
The process of assembling word stems can be done in three ways by: primary derivation, secondary derivation, and through composition.
A stem formed by primary derivation, called a primary stem, is made up of one or more elements that are not word stems themselves. For example, the verb ᐱᓱᐸᔨᐤpisupiyiu, s/he/it goes slow is made up of an initial pisu- and a final piyi- that are not words themselves.
A stem formed by secondary derivation, called a secondary stem, is made up of an underlying word stem and at least another stem-building element. For example, the verb ᐱᓱᐱᔨᐦᑖᐤpisupiyihtaaus/he makes it go slow is made up of the stem of the existing verb ᐱᓱᐱᔨᐤpisupiyiu and the causative final -htaa.
A stem formed through composition contains independent elements, like two existing word stems, or a preform and another word stem. For example, the noun ᒥᔥᑎᑯᓈᐹᐤmishtikunaapaaucarpenter is made by conjoining two other noun stems: ᒥᔥᑎᒄmishtikwwood and ᓈᐹᐤnapaauman.
The verb ᒥᔪᒌᔑᑳᐤmiyuchiishikaauit is a nice day is made by conjoining the preverb ᒥᔪmiyu and the verb ᒌᔑᑳᐤchiishikaau.