Potawatomi is very verb heavy • English is perhaps 30-35 percent verbs • Potawatomi is closer to 80 percent verbs • Potawatomi is very descriptive. • Understanding verbs is very important to Potawatomi
Some unique traits of Potawatomi • Word order is less important because so much information is contained in the verb. • This will be covered in greater depth in lesson 9. • Potawatomi is gender neuter. In languages like French a word is either masculine or femine. • In Potawatomi a word is either Animate(alive) or Inanimate(nonliving) This will be covered in much more depth in lesson 6.
More unique traits • Many words which are considered adjectives in English are verbs in Potawatomi. For example wawyeya- it is round or mkedewa- it is black. • In Potawatomi there is a we excluding the person being spoke to. So you can say nmajimen- We are leaving but not you. In this way Potawatomi is more direct and there is less confusion as there might be in English.
Writing • Potawatomi has been written down a number of ways over the years by preists, census takers, linguists and different bands of Potawatomi. • Because English has a several hundred year history of written materials much more emphasis is put on writing and there are many available books in english. Our society was mostly an oral society with some exceptions. This will be explained in detail in Lesson 3.
Verbs Verbs Verbs • There are four main types of verbs in Potawatomi • AI (Animate intransative) • II (Inanimate intransative) • TI ( Transative Inanimate) • TA (Transative animate)
AI Verbs • These are the simplest of verbs. They simple state that something is taking place which doesn’t effect anyone else. • Examples: (verbs are in the third person) • Bidge- he/she goes enters. • Maji- he/she leaves • Nebyege- he/she writes • Jiptebe- he/she sits
II Verbs • These are verbs which basically state something non living is.Often these are adjectives in English. • Examples: • Wawyeya- It is round • Mkedewa- it is black • Gachinwa- it is small • Gshate- it is hot (weather/sun related)
TI Verbs • These are verbs were something happens between someone alive and something not alive. • Nodan- he/she hears it. • Nedwendan- he/she wants it • Dagnan- he/she touchs it • Gishpnedon- he/she buys it.
TA Verbs • These involve something happening between two people or two animate things. • nWabma- I see him • Nwabmek- he sees me • Nwabmak- I see them • Gdbabma- You check on him • Kenonan- he talks to him
A few other unique traits • To make something small in Potawatomi we usually add an s or es. • Example: Mko- bear Mkos- little bear • Pluralizing in Potawatomi is done by adding an n or en to something non living and a k or ek to something living. • Example: Dopwen- table Dopwenen-tables • Mko- bear Mkok- bears
Conclusion • The language is a portal into the past. It allows us to see what was important to our ancestors. It is also our birthright it is something that has been carried down for thousands of years to us. The more you understand the language the better you will understand our culture. They are intrinsicly wrapped together. • IW- end