Words like ᑳᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᑦkaachiskutamaachet 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.
wringer on washing machine
it goes up
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.
fruit salts, fizzing medicine (lit. it fizzes)
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
a snow plow
obviative (singular and plural)
(she sees a/many…) snow plow(s)
Noun Inanimate Participle
(she sees a…) tire
(she sees many…) tires
(?) nikaapimihiyaamakanim (I)
* the final h of the stem becomes n
Junker, M.-O., Blacksmith, L., & MacKenzie, M. (2015). East Cree Verbs (Southern Dialect). [Revised and expanded from 2006 original and 2013 revised edition] In The Interactive East Cree Reference Grammar. Retrieved from [URL]
Marie-Odile Junker, Louise Blacksmith and Marguerite MacKenzie. East Cree Verbs (Southern Dialect). [Revised and expanded from 2006 original and 2013 revised edition] In The Interactive East Cree Reference Grammar. 2015. Web. [date]
[URL] = website address, beginning with “http://” [Date] = the date you accessed the page, styled as follows: 13 Dec. 2015