Nouns with Person inflection

Dependent Nouns

Observation
ᓂᒧᔔᒻ nimushuum my grandfather
ᓂᔅᑎᐧᑳᓐ nistikwaan my head

Nouns like nimushum and nistikwaan are called DEPENDENT nouns. They always appear with a prefix indicating a person.

chimushuum your grandfather
chistikwaan your head
umushuumh his/her grandfather
ustikwaan his/her head

In the Cree dictionary, a noun like ᓂᒧᔔᒻ nimushuum is indicated as nad (noun animate dependent ), while a noun like ᓂᔅᑎᐧᑳᓐ nistikwaan is indicated as nid (noun inanimate dependent). Dependent nouns include the name of relatives (kinship), body parts, and personal belongings. For example:

ᓂᓃᒋᐦᐄᑯᒡ niniichihiikuch nad my parents
ᐅᑑᔑᒥᔅᐧᑫᒥᒫᐤ utuushimiskwemimaau nad a niece, step-daughter
ᐅᑑᔑᒥᔅᐧᑫᒻᐦ utuushimiskwemh nad her/his niece, step-daughter
ᐅᐦᑐᐃ uhtui nad her/his harpoon for sturgeon, whale
ᐅᔅᑯᓐ uskun nid his/her liver
ᐧᐄᐧᐃᑦ wiiwit nid her/his suitcase, luggage
ᒥᑑᐦᑎᓐ mituuhtin nid heel
Paradigm for Animate DEPENDENT NOUN
ᐅᒥᓴ umisa (nad) older sister
POSSESSOR NOUN English TRANSLATION
2 ᒋᒥᔅ Click here to hear this word chimis your older sister
2 ᒋᒥᓯᒡ chimisich your older sisters
1 ᓂᒥᔅ Click here to hear this word nimis my older sister
1 ᓂᒥᓯᒡ nimisich my older sisters
2p ᒋᒥᓯᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word chimisiwaau your older sister
2p ᒋᒥᓯᐙᐅᒡ chimisiwaauch your older sisters
21p ᒋᒥᓯᓅ Click here to hear this word chimisinuu our older sister
21p ᒋᒥᓯᓅᒡ chimisinuuch our older sisters
1p ᓂᒥᓯᓈᓐ Click here to hear this word nimisinaan our older sister
1p ᓂᒥᓯᓈᓂᒡ nimisinaanich our older sisters
3 ᐅᒥᓴ Click here to hear this word umisa his/her older sister(s)
3p ᐅᒥᓯᐧᐋᐤᐦ Click here to hear this word umisiwaauh their older sister(s)
3′(p) ᐅᒥᓯᔫᐦ Click here to hear this word umisiyuuh his/her/their older sister(s)
The prefix mi-

Dependent nouns denoting body parts and personal belongings take the prefix mi- to indicate that there is no specific possessor.

Animate
ᓂᑖᔅ Click here to hear this word nitaas my sock
ᐅᑖᓴ Click here to hear this word utaasa his/her socks
ᒥᑖᔅ Click here to hear this word mitaas a sock
ᓃᔓ ᒥᑖᓴ Click here to hear this word niishu mitaasach two socks
ᐊᓐ ᐃᔅᐧᑫᐤ ᒌ ᐧᐋᐸᒣᐤ ᐁ ᒥᐦᑯᓯᔨᒡ ᒥᑖᓴ᙮ Click here to hear this word an iskweu chii waapameu e mihkusiyich mitaasa. That woman saw red socks.
Inanimate
ᓂᐦᑑᑲᐃ Click here to hear this word nihtuukai my ear
ᒥᐦᑑᑲᐃ Click here to hear this word mihtuukai an ear
ᓂᔅᑎᐧᑳᓐ Click here to hear this word nistikwaan my head
ᒥᔅᑎᐧᑳᓐ Click here to hear this word mistikwaan a head
The suffix -imaau

Nouns denoting relatives (also called kinship nouns) take the suffix, -imaau when there is no specific possessor. These nouns are all animate as they denote people.

Animate
ᐅᑳᐐᐦ ukaawiih his/her mother
ᓂᑳᐐ nikaawii my mother
ᐅᑳᐐᒫᐤ ukaawiimaau a mother
ᐅᒧᔔᒻᐦ umushuumh his grand father
ᓂᒧᔔᒻ nimushuum my grandfather
ᐅᒧᔔᒥᒫᐤ umushuumimaau a grand father
ᐐᒋᔖᓐᐦ wiichishaanh his sibling
ᓃᒋᔖᓐ niichishaan my sibling
ᐐᒋᔖᓂᒫᐤ wiichishaanimaau a sibling
ᐅᑑᔑᒥᔅᐧᑫᒻᐦ utuushimiskwemh her/his niece, step-daughter
ᐅᑑᔑᒥᔅᐧᑫᒥᒫᐤ utuushimiskwemimaau a niece, step-daughter
The suffix -im

When dependent nouns use the suffix –im, it indicates that the relationship includes another (3rd) person.

ᐅᔥᑲᔒᐦ ushkashii his (own) nail(s)/claw(s)
ᐆᔥᑲᔒᒻᐦ uushkashiimh his nail/claw (from an animal or somebody else)
ᓂᔥᑲᔒ nishkashii my (own) nail
ᓅᔥᑲᔒᒻ nuushkashiim my nail/ claw (from an animal or somebody else)

Notice the change in the prefix, nuushakshiim literally means ni-u-shkashii-m my his-claw.

To know more, read: Junker, Marie-Odile. 2003. East Cree Dependent Nouns and Disjoint Reference, Algonquian and Iroquian Linguistics 28(1): 11-13.