Participles (nominalizations)

ᑎᐦᑎᐱᐱᔨᐤ tihtipipiyiu it (anim) rolls
ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔨᒡ kaatihtipiyich that which rolls, a tire

Words like ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔨᒡ kaatihtipiyich 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
ᓰᓂᐹᑎᐦᐄᒑᐱᔨᐤ ᑳᓰᓂᐹᑎᐦᐄᒑᐱᔨᒡ
siinipaatihiichaapiyiu kaasiinipaatihiichaapiyich
it wrings wringer on washing machine
ᐃᔅᐧᑳᐦᑎᐧᐄᐱᔨᐤ ᑳᐃᔅᐧᑳᐦᑎᐧᐄᐱᔨᒡ
iskwaahtiwiipiyiu kaaiskwaahtiwiipiyich
it goes up elevator
ᑎᐹᔨᐦᑎᒻ ᑳᑎᐹᔨᐦᑎᐦᒃ
tipaayihtim kaatipaayihtihk
s/he governs it director

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.

ᑳᐧᐋᐱᐦᐋᑯᓈᑦ kaawaapihaakunaat (nap) snow plow
ᑳᒌᐧᐋᑎᑯᐱᔨᑦ kaachiiwaatikupiyit (nap) compass
ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔥᑭᐧᐋᑭᓂᐧᐃᑦ kaatihtipishkiwaakiniwit (nap) bicycle
ᑳᐧᐃᔨᐦᐧᑳᑯᐦᑎᐧᑳᔑᔑᒡ kaawiyihkwaakuhtikwaashishich (nap) beaver tail snowshoes
ᑳᐅᐦᑖᐱᔨᒡ kaauhtaapiyich (nip) fruit salts, fizzing medicine (lit. it fizzes
ᑳᒥᐦᒑᐹᑭᐦᒡ kaamihchaapaakihch (nip) porcupine butchered with the thighbone attached to the skin strip
ᑳᒥᒦᐅᐧᑳᑖᔑᒡᐦ kaamimiiukwaataashichh (nip) sealskin boots
ᑳᐃᔅᐧᑳᐦᑎᐧᐋᐱᔨᒡ kaaiskwaahtiwaapiyich (nip) elevator

Participle Inflection

Their inflection pattern is partly like verbs, partly like nouns. In the Northern dialect, the noun marker is used for plural, but the verb marker is used for obviative. In the possessive, there is no kaa-. See Southern participle inflection for dialectal differences.

Noun Animate Participle
singular ᑳᒋᓯᑳᐦᑭᓱᑦ kaachisikaahkisut a cigarette
plural ᑳᒋᓯᑳᐦᑭᓱᒡ kaachisikaahkisuch many cigarettes
obviative (singular and plural) ᑳᒋᓯᑳᐦᑭᓱᔨᒡᐦ kaachisikaahkisuyichh (she sees a/many…) cigarette(s)
Noun Inanimate Participle
singular ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔨᒡ kaatihtipiyich a tire
plural ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔨᒡᐦ kaatihtipiyichh many tires
obviative singular ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔨᔨᒡ kaatihtipiyiyich (she sees a…) tire
obviative plural ᑳᑎᐦᑎᐱᔨᔨᒡᐦ kaatihtipiyiyichh (she sees many…) tires


ᑳᐱᐹᒥᐦᔮᒥᑭᐦᒡ kaapipaamihyaamikihch* (nip) a plane
ᓂᐱᐹᒥᐦᔮᒥᑭᓄᒻ nipipaamihyaamikinum (nap) my plane

* the final h of the stem becomes n

For some words, a nominalization in –suu (-si) is used for the possessive forms instead of the participle (see participles paradigms with suppletive forms; nominalizations in –suu paradigms).