Primary (Simple) Noun Stems

Noun stems with one element

Many noun stems cannot be broken down down into identifiable components. They seem to have only one element in the stem.

ᑳᒄ   kaakw porcupine
ᒪᐦᐄᐦᑲᓐ   mahiihkan wolf
ᐃᔥᑯᑌᐤ   ishkuteu fire
ᓈᐯᐤ   naapeu man
ᐃᔅᑴᐤ   iskweu woman

Noun stems with two elements

Some simple noun stems can be broken down into two elements: an initial and a final. In this example, the final -waapiskw means metal or stone.

ᐱᐧᔮᐱᔅᒄ   piywaapiskw metal

When identifying the parts of a noun, it is sometimes difficult to determine if one of the parts can also be a stem (is it secondary derivation or composition?).

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