lesson 3 - konkow word

These are the new vocabulary words we introduce in this lesson.

verb roots
símyhmyh talk
máhwo clap hands
noun roots
jý:py woman, girl
konojbe girl
verb suffixes
-to to each other
-ki:n future
-wono long ago (remote past)
-p imperative
noun suffixes
-k’i possessor (“his,” etc.)
-k’an with (comitative case)
-dyki rather close to (locative case)
-beh, be: little (before k or k’, the h disappears and the vowel gets long.)
-c’ok’ two
-nono plural (3 or more)
-kyto group of
1. Parts of words

A word in Konkow may have several parts to it each of which contributes to the meaning of the word. We’ll call these parts “components.” (In Ultan’s work, they are called “morphemes.”)

The main component (the root ) may be followed by one or two or many suffixes (that is, smaller parts that follow the root.)

word chart
Here are some examples of words from the text Coyote and the Turtle girls. We put the components in boxes to show the different parts of the word (roots and suffixes).
jý:pyc’ok’om noun
two girls

jý:py noun root
-c’ok’ suffix
-om suffix
vowel harmony
-im => -om
símyhmyhton They were talking to each other.

símyh verb root
-myh reduplication
-to suffix
-n suffix
verb final
símyhmyh talk (continual action)

símyh verb root
-myh reduplication
Note that in the second and third example, part of the root is reduplicated – that is, a part of it is repeated. This makes the word mean that the action is occurring over and over or continuously for a long time. There are many words like this in Konkow.

2. Types of words

Words can be nouns or verbs, pronouns, demonstratives, adverbs, or what Ultan calls “minor words”. Which kind of word they are will determine what kinds of suffixes they can take.

A noun, for example, can have “case” suffixes – suffixes that tell us what the role of the noun is in the sentence. In addition to the stem and case suffix, the noun below has three additional types of suffixes, which we will discuss later.

pronoun chart
3. Noun suffixes

We will talk about the suffixes that go on verbs in later lessons. In this lesson we will focus on noun suffixes.

The subject suffix -m (-im) and object suffix -i that were discussed in lesson 2 are case suffixes (the subject case and object case). Below are those and some other case suffixes:
májdy man, noun stem
májdy-m man, subject case
májdy man, object case (the -i object suffix disappears when it follows a vowel.)
májdy-k’i kýlate the man’s daughter (-k’i, possessive case)
májdy-k’an with the man (-k’an, comitative case)
Besides case suffixes, there are other suffixes that can go on nouns as well:
májdy-beh little man
májdy-c’ok’ two men
májdy-nono many (3 or more) men
májdy-kyto a group of men
There is a special group of noun suffixes called locationals and directionals – that is, suffixes that tell something about where the person or thing is located or what direction they are going.
-di in, on, at
uj-di in the house
-dyki rather close to
májdy-dik’y close to the man
In English, words with these kinds of meanings are called “prepositions,” because they are words that come before nouns. Since these are suffixes, not words, and are not before the noun, we just call them locationals and directional.

Some suffixes can occur together on a noun, such as:

kánoj-be:-k’an with a little girl
májdy-c’ok’-om símyhmyhton. Two men talked to each other.

In the sentence above, the subject marker is -om. Why isn’t it -im? There is a process called vowel harmony that changes i to be like the vowel that precedes it. Thus: (Note: vowel harmony (lesson 2) applies to the last example. The subject suffix -im changes to -om to match the vowel before it.) This only happens when the consonant between the two vowels is k or k’.

májdy-c’ok’-om Two men

pronoun chart

4. verb suffixes

Verbs have their own kinds of suffixes, such as tense (e.g. past, future), commands, negatives, questions, etc. You saw the verb ending -n (-in) in the previous lesson.

Some verb suffixes come before the -n, and some (like -p) come instead of the -n.

pronoun chart
Verbs can get very long. Altogether there are 20 position classes for verbs! You can see a complete set of all noun and verb suffixes in the Noun Endings and Verb Endings charts on the CHARTS page.
matching exercise
májdyk’i kýlate
clap handsUPDOWN
talking to each otherUPDOWN
the waterUPDOWN
It’s a cradle basketUPDOWN
Old Man CoyoteUPDOWN
the man’s daughterUPDOWN
many menUPDOWN
Hit Check to see if you have them all correct

review lesson points

use these extras for reference and to practice what you have learned