Personal Pronouns

Personal emphatic pronouns

Observation
ᓀᑌᐦ ᒋᑲ ᐃᑐᐦᑌᐤ ᐧᐄ᙮ Click here to hear this word neteh chika ituhteu wii. It is her who will go there.

The word ᐧᐄ wii is called a personal pronoun. Cree has a set of personal pronouns that are used to express emphasis.

Personal emphatic pronouns
Click here to hear this word chii you
Click here to hear this word nii me
ᒌᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word chiiwaau you all
ᒌᔮᓅ Click here to hear this word chiiyaanuu we (you, me and possibly others)
ᓃᔮᓐ Click here to hear this word niiyaan we (but not you)
ᐧᐄ Click here to hear this word wii him/her
ᐧᐄᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word wiiwaau them
ᐧᐄ Click here to hear this word wii (uhtaawiih) him/her/them (the other/s)

Cree has two words that correspond to English ‘we’: ᒌᔮᓅ chiiyaanuu is used when I am talking about you, me and possibly others. ᓃᔮᓐ niiyaan is used when I am talking about us, but not you. ᒌᔮᓅ chiiyaanuu and ᓂᔮᓐ niyaan have sometimes been called the ‘we inclusive (of you)’ and the ‘we exclusive (of you)’. From a Cree perspective, because both chiiwaau and ᒌᔮᓅ chiiyaanuu contain chii ‘you’, ᒌᔮᓅ chiiyaanuu is a ‘you inclusive (of me)’, used when you count me in, while ᒌᐧᐋᐤ chiiwaau is a ‘you exclusive (of me)’, used when you do not count me in.

The pronoun ᐧᐄ wii is used for proximate singular and very rarely for obviative forms. It must not be confused with the volitional preverb ᐧᐄ wii, nor with the emphatic particle ᐧᐄ wii.

The position of the emphatic pronoun in the sentence can make a difference in meaning.Compare:

ᓀᑌᐦ ᒋᑲ ᐃᑐᐦᑌᓐ ᒌ᙮ Click here to hear this word neteh chika ituhten chii. You will go there, YOU (and not someone else).
ᒌ ᒋᑲ ᐃᑐᐦᑌᓐ ᓀᑌᐦ᙮ Click here to hear this word chii chika ituhten neteh. YOU will go there (whether you like it or not).

When the pronoun chii is at the beginning of the sentence, it seems more like an order.

Such pronouns can also be used to emphasize possession. In that case, the pronoun appears first.

ᐊᓐ᙮ Click here to hear this word nii an. That is mine!

Sometimes these pronouns are written ᓃᔭ niiya, ᒌᔭ chiiya. Such forms are used in letters and in the Bible.

ᓃᔭ ᑌᐃᓰ᙮ Click here to hear this word niiya Daisy. From Daisy/ Yours, Daisy.
ᒌᔭ ᐹᑦᕇᔖ᙮ Click here to hear this word chiiya Patricia. To Patricia, Dear Patricia.
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