Personal Pronouns

Personal prefixes

Observation
ᒋᐧᐋᐸᐦᑌᓐ ᒋᒨᐦᑯᒫᓐ᙮ Click here to hear this word chiwaapahten chimuuhkumaan. you see your knife.

This set of personal pronouns is called personal prefixes. This means that they always attach to the beginning of another word, like chi– in the example above. They are found on verbs and on nouns. The 3rd person prefix u- only appears on nouns, not on verbs.

Personal prefixes
for verbs   for nouns
chi- Click here to hear this word chi-
ni- Click here to hear this word ni-
Click here to hear this word u-

Compare the prefixes on the verbs in the right columns and on the nouns in the left columns. Notice that the suffix, also in bold, works together with the prefix to indicate the person. See also Emphatic Pronouns.

Animate noun ‘scarf ‘   Transitive Animate verb ‘to see him/her’
ᒋᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓐ Click here to hear this word chitaapishkaakan   ᒋᐧᐋᐸᒫᐤ Click here to hear this word chiwaapamaau
ᓂᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓐ Click here to hear this word nitaapishkaakan   ᓂᐧᐋᐸᒫᐤ Click here to hear this word niwaapamaau
ᒋᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓂᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word chitaapishkaakaniwaau   ᒋᐧᐋᐸᒫᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word chiwaapamaawaau
ᒋᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓂᓅ Click here to hear this word chitaapishkaakaninuu   ᒋᐧᐋᐸᒫᓅ Click here to hear this word chiwaapamaanuu
ᓂᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓂᓈᓐ Click here to hear this word nitaapishkaakaninaan   ᓂᐧᐋᐸᒫᓈᓐ Click here to hear this word niwaapamaanaan
ᐅᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓐᐦ Click here to hear this word utaapishkaakanh   ᐧᐋᐸᒣᐤ Click here to hear this word waapameu
ᐅᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓂᐧᐋᐤᐦ Click here to hear this word utaapishkaakaniwaauh   ᐧᐋᐸᒣᐅᒡ Click here to hear this word waapameuch
ᐅᑖᐱᔥᑳᑲᓂᔫᐦ Click here to hear this word utaapishkaakaniyuuh   ᐧᐋᐸᒣᔫᐦ Click here to hear this word waapameyuuh
Inanimate noun ‘knife’   Transitive Inanimate verb ‘to see it’
ᒋᒨᐦᑯᒫᓐ Click here to hear this word chimuuhkumaan   ᒋᐧᐋᐸᐦᑌᓐ Click here to hear this word chiwaapahten
ᓂᒨᐦᑯᒫᓐ Click here to hear this word nimuuhkumaan   ᓂᐧᐋᐸᐦᑌᓐ Click here to hear this word niwaapahten
ᒋᒨᐦᑯᒫᓂᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word chimuuhkumaaniwaau   ᒋᐧᐋᐸᐦᑌᓈᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word chiwaapahtenaawaau
ᒋᒨᐦᑯᒫᓂᓅ Click here to hear this word chimuuhkumaaninuu   ᒋᐧᐋᐸᐦᑌᓈᓅ Click here to hear this word chiwaapahtenaanuu
ᓂᒨᐦᑯᒫᓂᓈᓐ Click here to hear this word nimuuhkumaaninaan   ᓂᐧᐋᐸᐦᑌᓈᓐ Click here to hear this word niwaapahtenaan
ᐅᒨᐦᑯᒫᓐ Click here to hear this word umuuhkumaan   ᐧᐋᐸᐦᑕᒻ Click here to hear this word waapahtam
ᐅᒨᐦᑯᒫᓂᐧᐋᐤ Click here to hear this word umuuhkumaaniwaau   ᐧᐋᐸᐦᑕᒧᒡ Click here to hear this word waapahtamuch
ᐅᒨᐦᑯᒫᓂᔫ Click here to hear this word umuuhkumaaniyuu   ᐧᐋᐸᐦᑕᒧᐧᐁᐤ Click here to hear this word waapahtamuweu

In the plural, notice the difference between ᓂ–ᐃᓈᓐ ni–inaan, “we, but not you”, ᒋ–ᐃᓅ chi–inuu, “we, including you”, and ᒋ–ᐃᐧᐋᐤᐦ chi–iwaauh, “you, but not me”. This difference is not made in English.

Personal prefixes added to a stem beginning with a vowel

When a word begins with a vowel, a -t- is inserted between the prefix and the word. This is called an epenthetic -t-.

ᐋᒨ aamuu (na) bee
chi + t + aamuu + m = ᒋᑖᒨᒻ Click here to hear this word chitaamuum your bee
ni + t + aamuu + m = ᓂᑖᒨᒻ Click here to hear this word nitaamuum my bee
u + t + aamuu + m + h = ᐅᑖᒨᒻᐦ Click here to hear this word utaamuumh his bee

Other Examples:

ᐁᔅᑲᓐ Click here to hear this word eskan an ice chisel > ᒋᑌᔅᑲᓐ Click here to hear this word chiteskan your ice chisel
ᐊᐧᐋᔥ Click here to hear this word awaash a child > ᒋᑕᐧᐋᔒᒻ Click here to hear this word chitawaashiim your child
ᐆᑦ Click here to hear this word uut a canoe > ᒋᑑᑦ Click here to hear this word chituut your canoe
ᐄᓂᒥᓈᓐᐦ Click here to hear this word iiniminaanh blueberries > ᒋᑏᓂᒥᓈᓐᐦ Click here to hear this word chitiiniminaanh your blueberries

When the word begins with u- or uu-, the -i of the prefix becomes -u. Some people also use k- instead of ch-.

For the third person, people disagree, some think there is no prefix, some add a u- prefix. Some even write those words with two short u.

ᐅᑖᐹᓈᔅᒄ Click here to hear this word utaapaanaaskw a sled > ᒎᑖᐹᓈᔅᒄ Click here to hear this word chuutaapaanaaskw your sled
          ᑰᑖᐹᓈᔅᒄ Click here to hear this word kuutaapaanaaskw your sled
          ᐅᑖᐹᓈᔅᒄᐦ Click here to hear this word utaapaanaaskwh his/her sled
          ᐆᑖᐹᓈᔅᒄᐦ Click here to hear this word uutaapaanaaskwh his/her sled
          ᐅ ᐅᑖᐹᓈᔅᒄᐦ Click here to hear this word u-utaapaanaaskwh his/her sled
Click here to go back to Pronouns Pronouns Click here to go to the top Top