Nouns with Person Inflection

Dependent Nouns

Observation
ᓂᒧᔓᒻ nimushum my grandfather
ᓂᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ nishtikwaan my head
Nouns like ᓂᒧᔓᒻ nimushum and ᓂᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ nishtikwaan are called DEPENDENT nouns. They always appear with a prefix indicating a person.
ᒋᒧᔓᒻ chimushum your grandfather
ᒋᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ chishtikwaan your head
ᐅᒧᔓᒻᐦ umushumh his/her grandfather
ᐅᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ ushtikwaan his/her head
In the Cree dictionary, a noun like ᓂᒧᔓᒻ nimushum is indicated as nad (noun animate dependent ), while a noun like ᓂᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ nishtikwaan 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
ᐅᑐᔑᒥᔅᐧᑳᒥᒫᐤ utushimiskwaamimaau nad a niece, step-daughter
ᐅᑐᔑᒥᔅᐧᑳᒻᐦ utushimiskwaamh 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
ᒥᑐᐦᑎᓐ mituhtin nid heel
Paradigm for Animate DEPENDENT NOUN
ᐅᒥᔅᐦ umis-h (nad) older sister
POSSESSOR NOUN English TRANSLATION
2 ᒋᒥᔅ chimis your older sister
2 ᒋᒥᓯᒡ chimisich your older sisters
1 ᓂᒥᔅ nimis my older sister
1 ᓂᒥᓯᒡ nimisich my older sisters
2p ᒋᒥᓯᐧᐋᐤ chimisiwaau your older sister
2p ᒋᒥᓯᐙᐅᒡ chimisiwaauch your older sisters
21p ᒋᒥᓯᓂᐤ chimisiniu our older sister
21p ᒋᒥᓯᓂᐅᒡ chimisiniuch our older sisters
1p ᓂᒥᓯᓈᓐ nimisinaan our older sister
1p ᓂᒥᓯᓈᓂᒡ nimisinaanich our older sisters
3 ᐅᒥᔅᐦ umis-h his/her older sister(s)
3p ᐅᒥᓯᐧᐋᐤᐦ umisiwaauh their older sister(s)
3′(p) ᐅᒥᓯᔨᐤᐦ umisiyiuh 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 nitaas my sock
ᐅᑖᔅᐦ utaas-h his/her socks
ᒥᑖᔅ mitaas a sock
ᓃᔓ ᒥᑖᔅᐦ niishu mitaas-h two socks
ᐊᓐ ᐃᔅᐧᑳᐤ ᒌᐦ ᐧᐋᐱᐦᑎᒻ ᐋᐦ ᒥᐦᐧᑳᔨᒡᐦ ᒥᑖᔅᐦ᙮ an iskwaau chiih waapihtim aah mihkwaayichh mitaas-h. That woman saw red socks.
Inanimate
ᓂᐦᑎᐧᐃᑮ nihtiwikii my ear
ᒥᐦᑎᐧᐃᑮ mihtiwikii an ear
ᓂᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ nishtikwaan my head
ᒥᔥᑎᐧᑳᓐ mishtikwaan 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
ᐅᒧᔓᒻᐦ umushumh his grand father
ᓂᒧᔓᒻ nimushuum my grandfather
ᐅᒧᔓᒥᒫᐤ umushumimaau a grand father
ᐐᒋᔖᓐᐦ wiichishaanh his sibling
ᓃᒋᔖᓐ niichishaan my sibling
ᐐᒋᔖᓂᒫᐤ wiichishaanimaau a sibling
ᐅᑐᔑᒥᔅᐧᑳᒻᐦ utushimiskwaamh her/his niece, step-daughter
ᐅᑐᔑᒥᔅᐧᑳᒥᒫᐤ utushimiskwaamimaau a niece, step-daughter

The suffix -im

When dependent nouns use the suffix –im, it indicates that the relationship includes another (3rd) person.
ᐅᔥᑭᔒᐦ ushkishiih his (own) nail(s)/claw(s)
ᐅᔥᑭᔒᒻᐦ ushkishiimh his nail/claw (from an animal or somebody else)
ᓂᔥᑭᔒ nishkishii my (own) nail
ᓅᔥᑭᔒᒻ nuushkishiim my nail/ claw (from an animal or somebody else)
Notice the change in the prefix, ᓅᔥᑭᔒᒻ nuushikshiim literally means ni-u-shkishii-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.