lesson 7 - demonstratives
vocabulary words
demonstratives
my 3rd person pronoun he, she, it
myje general demonstrative that one
ʔa anaphoric (mentioned before)
ʔama anaphoric demonstrative (that one mentioned before)
mo deictic demonstrative (the one I’m pointing to)
moje demonstrative that one I’m pointing to
héde proximal this, here, now
hódo medial that, there, then, later
húdu distal yon, yonder, much earlier or later
verb roots
eat mé: grab
pípa: swim ʔýdo: climb
bə́də be happy c’é see/look
péska whisper ʔysí get out
wénne be good já:he look around
noun roots
ʔó: rock c'a: tree
kawaja horse
suffixes
-di to, toward, on -j 1st.person (I)
-c’ok’ dual (on nouns) -sa: dual
-paj, -pa plural (human) -nono plural (non-human)
-pa dubitative (maybe)
part 1 demonstratives

Konkow does not have words for “a” or “the.” jý:py can mean “a girl” or “the girl.”
But they do have words like “that.” They are called demonstratives.
Looking through the transcriptions of the stories, you can see lots of those words. Here are a few from Coyote and the Turtle Girls. Let’s look at just two of the common ones first and see how they interact with plural for non-human nouns.

mỳjem ʔó:di That rock
mỳjem ká:nom That man
mỳjem jý:pyc’ok’om Those girls
ʔàmam jý:pym That girl
ʔàmam jý:pyc’ok’om Those girls
ʔàmam ʔó:-di "to" that rock

“to” is indicated by the –di. We’ll discuss that later.

The -m on the demonstratives in the examples above is the same -m that connects other describing words to nouns, that we talked about in Lesson 4.

So the roots of the demonstratives would be:

mỳje and ʔàma

We introduced my in Lesson 5 as the 3rd person pronoun (most often translating as “he” or “she”). Adding the -je suffix makes it the demonstrative.


Ultan calls mỳje a “general” demonstrative, which would mean that it doesn’t differentiate by distance from speaker, whereas English “this and that” do. We translated mỳje as "that," above, but if it was referring to something close to the speaker, we would have translated it as "this."
And Ultan calls ʔàma an “anaphoric”, which means you are referring to someone or something you have mentioned before.

The third demonstrative, mo, mòje, is less common in the stories. Ultan calls it a “deictic,” meaning it “points” to something. The examples in his dissertation all involve referring to something that is in sight of the speaker or narrator.

Examples:

mòje péwa!
mòje
that.​those
   
eat
-wa!
imperative.​plural
   
Eat them (those berries there)!

More than one demonstrative is used in the same sentence sometimes:

ʔàmamjý:pym   mé:nkani,   mỳjemkóle:kan
ʔàmam
that
-jý:py
girl
-m
subject
   
mé:
grab
-n
neutral
-kani,
and.​then
   
mỳjem
that
-kóle:
boy
-kan
with
   
that girl grabbed that boy (Coyote).

If we look at that sentence in context,

Now those two girls were talking to one another, those two were chatting. "I'm going to go in again." said one to the other on the rock. That (ʔàmam) girl grabbed that (mỳjem) boy.

Both the girls and Coyote (referred to in this sentence as “that boy”) have been given the myje demonstrative throughout the story. In this case, the narrative is pointing out that of the two girls, it was the one who had spoken who grabbed the boy. The use of ʔàma in that case is referring to the girl just mentioned (the “aforementioned girl”).

If you skim through the whole text of Coyote and the Turtle Girls or other stories, you’ll see that the demonstratives are used a great deal. In some cases mýje can just translate as “he” or “she”, or “that.one”, if it is not followed by a noun.

Line 15 is an example.

pípa:n,   mỳjem   ʔó:di   ʔýdo:n.
pípa:
swam
-n,
verb.​final
   
mỳje
he (that.​one)
-m
subject
   
ʔó:
rock
-di
on
   
ʔý
move
-do:
climb
-n.
verb.​final
   
He swam to it and climbed that rock.
part 2 plural demonstratives

If you are talking about more than one person or thing, the demonstrative will take one of the following suffixes:

-sa dual (two)
-paj (or -pa:) plural for humans
-nono plural for non-humans
Examples:
mósa:mpa hàn
that
-sa:
dual
-m
subject
-pa
maybe
   
be
-n
verb.​final
   
Maybe it was those two (ie. standing over there.
ʔámapa:ma bə́dǝn
ʔáma
that
-pa:
plural
-ma
nominalizer
   
bə́dǝ
be.​happy
-n
verb.​final
   
those people were happy
ʔámanono
ʔáma
that
-nono
plural(nonhuman)
   
those (non-human)
part 3 connection of demonstrative to nouns
In Ultan’s dissertation and texts, he frequently writes the demonstratives connected to the following noun without a space between. An example from his dissertation:
ʔàmamkáwajam májdym hasám
ʔàmam
that
-káwaja
horse
-m
subject
   
májdy
man
-m
subject
   
ha
be
-sám
it.​is.​said
   
That horse was a man
He writes them together because of the stress patterns (see Lesson 1). Primary stress (marked with ´ over the vowel) is usually on the first syllable of the word, but the demonstratives usually have secondary stress ( ` ). In our examples we sometimes separate the demonstratives from the noun that follows, for ease of interpreting the words.
In Exercise 1 at the end of this lesson, we will give you practice doing that separation yourself.
part 4 demonstratives on their own
Demonstratives can also be the main noun of the noun phrase.

Here are some examples with the demonstrative as the subject of the sentence:

mýsa:m   pésketon
those
-sa:
two
-m
subject
   
péske
whisper
-to
reciprocal
-n
verb.​final
   
They whispered to one another

and commonly with locative suffixes to refer to a place:

ʔakym   ʔàmaná:   jà:héjje:n.
ʔakym
and
   
ʔàma
there
-ná:
from
   
jà:héj
look around
-je:
move.​around
-n.
verb.​final
   
And from there, they looked around.
Part 5 distal demonstratives

The “distal demonstratives” translate with words like “here,” “there,” “yonder.” (what Ultan calls proximal, medial and distal.) An interesting fact about them is that the vowels of the word change depending on how far away the object is.

he, ho, hu are the distal demonstratives

héde
proximal
this, here, now
hódo
medial
that, there, then, later
húdu
distal
yon, yonder, much earlier or later

Now these words are more like the English words “this” and “that” or “here” and “there”, depending on context. It can also be used to talk about time (see third example below).

nì hédedi k’ə́hkit’ùdihàno, ʔýda:n
ni
I
   
hede
near
-di
place
   
k’ə́hkit’ùdihàno,
sitting
   
ʔýda:
motion.​toward
-n
verb.​final
   
While I was sitting here, you arrived.
héde pép!
hède
this
   
eat
-p
imperrative
   
Eat this!
hédem ʔysí:sʔànano wénnekì:n
hédem
here,now
   
ʔysí・s
move.​out
-ʔànano
consequence
   
wénne
good
-kì・n
future
   
If you get out now, you will be all right.
Exercise 1
Practice the words you just learned by moving responses up or down until they match. Click the up or down arrow to make them move. When you think you have them right, check. Then scramble and play again.
ʔámapa:ma
bə́dən
áma
nakaj
ʔýk'ojm
mýjesa:ma
nik
c'é
those peopleUPDOWN
were happyUPDOWN
thereUPDOWN
IUPDOWN
goUPDOWN
theyUPDOWN
meUPDOWN
seeUPDOWN
Hit Check to see if you have them all correct
demonstrative dice
Cut out and assemble the die template using clear tape. Roll the dice and translate the phrases into English using the key below. This can be played with 1, 2 or more learners.
mỳjem ʔó:di That rock
mỳjem ká:nom That man
mỳjem jý:pyc’ok’om Those girls
ʔàmam jý:pym That girl
ʔàmam jý:pyc’ok’om Those girls
ʔàmam ɂó:-di to that rock
image of die
exercise 3
crossword puzzle image
answer key to crossword puzzle
summary
  • Demonstratives are words that normally translate as “this or “that”
  • The main demonstratives are:
    • mỳje general demonstrative
    • ama anaphoric demonstrative
    • mòje deictic demonstrative
  • A demonstrative before a noun is a describing word, and will have the -m suffix just like other describing words do. (See Lesson 4.)
  • Demonstratives take suffixes to talk about more than one person (or non-person)
    • -sa dual
    • -paj, -pa: plural human
    • -nono plural non-human
  • Ultan often writes demonstratives as connected to the following noun without a space. He does this because of stress patterning.
  • Distal demonstratives refer to space and time. The distal demonstratives are:
    • héde proximal this, here, now
    • hódo medial that, there, then, later
    • húdu distal yon, yonder, much earlier or later
Mary Jones
The wonderful Mary Jones videos have lessons organized by topic rather than grammar, and are very good for learning conversational speech.


Click the arrow to start the video. Once started, moving the curser off the image causes the controls to disappear. Move the curser over the image to return the controls.

Want to learn more? All the Mary Jones videos lessons are available HERE

or you can download a PDF of the lesson here DOWNLOAD - LESSON 2
Each lesson has a set of flashcards that can be printed and used for practice. As you work through the lessons, the sets can be combined to create more advanced sentences. There are several fun games you can play using these flashcards. The cards can be printed either single or double sided depending on what and how you want to play. Three games will be outlined below.

Go Fish
This is a multiple player game. It can be played from a basic level with simply the vocabulary words, to a more advanced game where all the questions are asked in the language. At the most basic level, you can play with an open hand. The object is to get pairs and practice the vocabulary. You will need to print two or four copies of each card to play Go Fish and Concentration.

Concentration
This can be played individually or as a multiplayer game. Cards can be double sided or single sided. Pictures can be facing up or hidden. You can match pictures and/or words.The object is to find matches and pronounce the vocabulary.

Flashcard Drills
This can be played individually or as a two player game. One person shows the image to their partner, who says the Konkow word. This is repeated until each player can identify and pronounce each card in the stack. The amount of cards in the stack can be increased as needed.