Participles (nominalizations)

ᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᐤ   chiskutamaacheu he teaches
ᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉ   kaachiskutamaachet the one who teaches, a teacher

Words like ᑳᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᑦ kaachiskutamaachet are verbs that are used as nouns. They are called participles or nominalizations. Like nouns, participles are used to identify people and things, like professions and machines. Literally they mean ‘the one who…’ or ‘the thing that…’, but they become lexicalized and function as nouns in the sentence.

Verb Participle
  ᓰᓂᐹᑕᐦᐄᒉᐸᔫ     ᑳᓰᓂᐹᑕᐦᐄᒉᐸᔨᒡ
Click here to hear this word siinipaatahiichepayuu   Click here to hear this word kaasiinipaatahiichepayich
  it wrings     wringer on washing machine
  ᐃᔅᐧᑳᐦᑐᐧᐄᐸᔫ     ᑳᐃᔅᐧᑳᐦᑐᐧᐄᐸᔨᒡ
Click here to hear this word iswkaahtawiipayuu   Click here to hear this word kaaiskwaahtuwiipayich
  it goes up     elevator

Participles are made from the conjunct indicative neutral third person singular of a verb. They end with a conjunct verbal suffix -t, -k or –ch, depending on their original verb type (vai, vti, vii). They usually begin with the preverb kaa- which is written together with the verb to make a participle.

Animate noun participles are marked as (nap) and Inanimate noun participles are marked as (nip) in the Cree lexicon.

ᑳᐧᐁᐸᐦᐋᑯᓀᑦ Click here to hear this word kaawepahaakunet (nap) snow plow
ᑳᓂᔥᑐᑳᑌᑦ Click here to hear this word kaanishtukaatet (nap) three-wheeler
ᑳᑲᔅᒋᐦᑖᑦ   kaakaschihtaat (nap) hero, winner
ᑳᑲᓇᐧᐁᔨᐦᑕᐦᒃ   kaakanaweyihtahk (nap) caretaker
ᑳᒥᐦᑯᐸᔨᓈᓅᒡ Click here to hear this word kaamihkupayinaanuuch (nip) measles
ᑳᐅᐦᑌᐸᔨᐦᒡ Click here to hear this word kaauhtepayihch (nip) fruit salts, fizzing medicine (lit. it fizzes)
ᑳᒋᐦᑳᔥᑌᐦᑎᐦᒡ   kaachihkaashtehtihch (nip) movie
ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐸᔨᒡ   kaatihtipayich (nip) a tire

Participle Inflection

Their inflection pattern is partly like verbs, partly like nouns. In the Southern dialect, the verbal marker is used to form the plural and the obviative, while in the Northern dialect, the noun marker is used (see Northern participle inflection). In the possessive, the kaa- is usually dropped except for a few (Inland) speakers who can say the possessive with and without the kaa-. This might be an influence from neighbouring languages, like Innu or Naskapi, which use a kaa- in the possessive.

Noun Animate Participle
singular ᑳᐧᐁᐸᐦᐊᑯᓀᑦ   kaawepahaakunet a snow plow
plural ᑳᐧᐁᐸᐦᐊᑯᓀᐧᑖᐤ   kaawepahaakunetwaau snow plows
obviative (singular and plural) ᑳᐧᐁᐸᐦᐊᑯᓀᔨᒡᐦ   kaawepahaakuneyacht (she sees a/many…) snow plow(s)
Noun Inanimate Participle
singular ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐸᔨᒡ   kaatihtipayich a tire
plural ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐸᔨᐧᑳᐤ   kaatihtipayikwaau many tires
obviative singular ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐸᔨᔨᒡ   kaatihtipayirich (she sees a…) tire
obviative plural ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐸᔨᔨᒡ   kaatihtipayiyacht (she sees many…) tires


ᑳᐱᒥᐦᔮᒪᑲᐦᒡ Click here to hear this word kaapimihyaamakahch* (nip) airplane
ᓂᐱᒥᐦᐃᔮᒪᑲᓂᒻ Click here to hear this word nipimihiyaamakanim (C) (nap) my airplane
ᓂᑳᐱᒥᐦᐃᔮᒪᑲᓂᒻ Click here to hear this word (?) nikaapimihiyaamakanim (I) (nap) my airplane

* the final h of the stem becomes n