Dene

Grammar Guide

Part B: The Verb

2. Second Person Subject Pronouns
Just as there are two prefixes to mark first person subject ' i' in Denes¶øiné, so there are two prefixes to mark second person subject 'you'. The first of these is ne. This is used with two syllable verbs beginning with ye or he.

yeøtsi 'He is making it'
neøtsi 'You are making it'
or
hesjen 'He is singing'
nejen 'You are singing'

Note: Verbs of travel beginning with he, (such as hegha 'he is going') do not use ne to indicate 'you'. ne, is used also with verbs having the syllable that occurs before the classifier ending in / a /.

yaøti 'He is talking'
yaneøti 'You are talking'
or
násdher 'He is staying'
nanedher 'You are staying'
or
hegha 'He is going'
hügha 'You are going'

The second way of marking second person subject 'you' is by nasalizing the final vowel of the syllable that occurs just before the classifier.

Nidhpn 'He is thinking'
nüdhen 'You are thinking'
or
holnü 'He is telling a story'
hulnü 'You are telling a story'
theda 'He is sitting'
thüda 'You are sitting'

Note: When vowel / e / is nasalized to make second person 'you', it becomes / i /.

With a few exceptions, ne is always used according to the conditions described. Nasalization is used everywhere else.

Second person forms are used as imperatives.

nüdá 'Be seated! '
nedq 'Drink it! '
ghügal 'Go!/ Walk.' '

Second person forms are used as negative imperatives by adding, híle kúlí.

Netsagh híle kúlí 'Don't cry! '
Yaneøti híle kúlí 'Don't talk'. '
Horüøæq híle kúlí 'Don't make a f ire'. '

 
Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre