Grammar Guide

Dakota Nakota Lakota Nouns

  1. Kinds of Nouns
    1. Common Nouns
      1. Regular Nouns
        1. Examples:
          1. åiöi - house
          2. ßuñúa - dog
          3. igmu - cat
          4. ©añ - tree
      2. Collective Nouns
        1. They are singular in form but plural in meaning.
          1. Exampes:
            1. oyaþe - people or nation
            2. åiwahe - members of a household or a family
            3. opþaye - flock
      3. Abstract Nouns
        1. Examples:
          1. wowaßþe - goodness
          2. wowas'aúe - power or strength
          3. woúinihañ - honour
    2. Proper Nouns
      1. One Word
        1. A noun
          1. Examples:
            1. Itela - Little Face
            2. Tahula - Little Neck
            3. Mato - Bear
        2. An adjective
          1. Examples:
            1. ik'ala - Little
            2. aköe - Six
      2. Two Words
        1. Two Nouns
          1. Examples:
            1. Wañbli Cañnuöa - Eagle Pipe
            2. Åaü©a Wañbli - Eagle Deer
        2. Noun and an adjective
          1. Examples:
            1. Heüaúa Saöa - Black Elk
            2. He Þoöa - Four Horns
            3. Maüöiya Luþa - Red Cloud
            4. Siñþe Gleßúa - Spotted Tail
            5. Öaha Saöa - Black Hills
        3. Noun and a verb
          1. Examples:
            1. Zitkala Iyañke - Running Bird
            2. Aúi©iþa Najiñ - Standing Soldier
            3. Óehañ Sañ Mani - White Crane Walking
        4. A Sentence
          1. Examples:
            1. Waßuþe ni - Never Misses A Shot
            2. Þoöa Iñyañúe - Runs Four Times
            3. Åioagla Iñyañúe - Runs Close To The Lodge
            4. Oglala - he scatters his own
  2. Forms of Nouns
    1. Primitive
      1. Primitive nouns are those whose origin can not be traced to any other word.
        1. Examples:
        2. mni - water
        3. óeþa - fire
        4. ©eða - pail
        5. ißþa - eye
        6. ble - lake
        7. pßiñ - onion
    2. Derivative
      1. Nouns of the instrument
        1. Nouns of the instrument are formed from active verbs by prefixing i.
        2. Examples:
          1. yuhdu - to plough and iyublu - a plow
          2. úahiñþa - to rake or sweep and iahiñþe - a rake or broom
      2. Nouns of the person or agent
        1. Nouns of the person or agent are formed from active verbs by adding the prefix wa
        2. Examples:
          1. ihañgya - to destroy and waihañgye - a destroyer
          2. yawaßþe - to bless and wayawaßþe - one who blesses or a blesser
      3. Abstract nouns
        1. Many abstract nouns are formed from verbs and adjectives by prefixing wo.
        2. Examples:
          1. ihañgya - to destroy and woihaññgye - destruction
          2. wayazañ - to be sick and wowayazañ - sickness
          3. waoñßila - merciful and wowaoñßida - mercy
          4. waßþe - good and wowaßþe - goodness
      4. Prefix O
        1. Some nouns are formed from verbs and adjectives by prefixing o.
        2. Examples:
          1. wañúa - to lie down and owañúa - a floor
          2. aöa - to strike and oaöa - a stroke
          3. owa - to mark or write and oowa - a mark or a letter of the alphabet
          4. sni - cold as an adjective and osni - cold as a noun
          5. maßþe - warm and omaßþe - warmth
      5. Prefix Wi©a
        1. Abstract nouns sometimes are formed by prefixing wi©a to nueter or intransitive verbs and adjectives.
          1. Examples:
            1. yazañ - to be sick and wi©ayazañ - sickness
            2. .waßþe - good and wi©awaßþe - goodness
        2. Sometimes forms nouns of the agent when prefixed to verbs or adjectives.
          1. Example:
            1. yaßi©a - to speak evil of or curse and wi©ayaßi©a - a curser
        3. When wi©a or it's contracted form wi© are prefixed to nouns, sometimes it limits their significance to the human species.
          1. Examples:
            1. ©añþe - heart and wi©a©añþe - human heart
            2. naöe - hand and wi©anaöe - human hand
            3. oie - words and wi©oie - human words
            4. oüañ - actions and wi©oüañ - human actions
            5. atúuúu - to have for a father and wi©aatúuúu - a father or one's father
            6. huñúu - to have for a mother and wi©ahuñúu - a mother or one's mother
            7. ©iñ©a - child and wi©a©iñ©a - one's children
      6. Prefix Ta (generic name for ruminating animals)
        1. When prefixed to the names of various body parts it limits the significance to such animals.
          1. Examples:
            1. cañþe - heart and ta©añþe - a deer or buffalo's heart
            2. pa - head and tapa - a deer's head
            3. ©eji - tongue and ta©eji - a buffalo tongue
            4. ha - hide and taha - deer hide
      7. Prefix Wa (shortened form of waüañksi©a - bear)
        1. When prefixed to certain nouns limits the significance to the bear.
          1. Examples:
            1. pa - head and wapa - bears head
            2. ha- hide and waha - bears hide
            3. ßuñ - den and waßuñ - bear's den
      8. Prefix Ho (shortened form of hoðañ - fish)
        1. When prefixed to certain nouns limits the significance to fish.
          1. Examples:
            1. hoape - fish fins
            2. hoaßke - the bunch on the head of a fish
      9. Prefix Wi©o
        1. Abstract nouns can be formed by prefixing wi©o which is a compound of wi©a and wo.
        2. Examples:
          1. waßþe - good and wi©owaßþe - goodness
          2. waoñßila - merciful and wi©owaoñßila - mercy
      10. Suffix Öi
        1. Nouns are fomred from verbs in the intransitive or absolute state by suffixing öi.
          1. Examples:
            1. wowa - to paint or write and wowaöi - something written, letter, or book
            2. wayawa - to count and wayawaöi - numbers or arithmatic
        2. Any verb may be used with the plural ending as a verbal noun or gerund, sometimes without but more commonly with the definite article.
          1. Examples:
            1. i©azo - to take credit and i©azoöi - credit
            2. wayawaßþe - to bless and wayawaßþeöi - blessing
            3. waihañgya - to destroy and waihañgyaöi - destroying
            4. e©oñ - to do and e©oñöi - the doing of a thing
      11. S'a
        1. When s'a is used after verbs, it denotes frequency of action and gives them the force of nouns of the person.
        2. Examples:
          1. úaða - make and úaðe s'a - maker
          2. e©oñöi - to do and e©oñöi s'a - doers
          3. yaúoñöi - to dwell and yaúoñöi s'a - dwellers
  3. Gender
    1. Animals
      1. By different words
        1. Examples:
          1. tatañka - buffalo bull and tapte or pte - buffalo cow
          2. heüaúa - male elk and uñóañ - female elk
      2. By adding a qualifier
        1. Examples:
          1. íañgi bloúa - male crow and íañgi wiñyeñna - female crow
          2. mañúa bloúa - male skunk and mañúa wiñyeñna - female skunk
          3. åabloúa - a male deer or buck and åawiñyeñna - a female deer or doe*
          4. ßuñbloúa - stallion and ßuñwiñyeñna - mare*
          5. ptebloúa - domestic bull and ptewiñyeñna - domestic cow*
            1. *often the words are contracted
    2. Humans
      1. By different words
        1. Different words are used to indicate the sex and age level of people.
          1. Examples:

(1) hokßila - boy

            1. wi©iñ©ala - girl
            2. koßkalaúa - young man
            3. wikoßkalaúa - young woman
            4. wi©aü©ila - old man
            5. winoü©ala - old women
            6. wi©a - male
            7. winyañ - female
            8. wi©aßa - is the generic term for human beings but is commonly used for man, as well.
        1. Different words are used to indicate the sex of a child
          1. Examples:
            1. ©uñkß/©uñkßi - daughter
              1. mi©uñkßi - my daughter
              2. ni©uñkßi - your daughter
              3. uñúi©uñkßi - our daughter
                1. also a man's brother's daughter or a women's sister's daughter
            2. ©uñß - my daughter (used only in direct address to the indiviudal)
            3. ©iñkß/©iñkßi - son
              1. mi©iñkßi - my son
              2. ni©iñkßi - your son
              3. uñúi©uñkßi - our son
                1. also a man's brother's son or a women's sister's son
            4. ©iñs - my son (used only in direct address to the indiviudaul.
      1. Sex of children
        1. The word "ciñ©a" - one's child may alos be used but requires that the sex be indicated.
          1. ©iñ©a hokßila - one's boy
          2. ©iñ©a koßkalaúa - one's grown up son
          3. ©iñ©a wiñyañ - one's adult daughter
          4. ©iñ©a - one's child
        2. Waíañheja - genric term for child or children alos requires that the sex be indicated.
          1. Examples:
            1. waíañheja wi©iñ©ala - girl child
            2. waíañheja wikoßkalaúa - grown up girl child
      2. In proper names of women
        1. To indicate the proper name of a female, "wiñ", an abbriviation of "wiñyañ" always follows it.
        2. Examples:
          1. Ptañ Waßþe Wiñ - Good Otter Woman
          2. Wiyaka Wajila Wiñ - One Feather Women
      3. In expressing relationship
        1. In expressing relationship for man terms men have their own specific terms which they use based on the age and sex of the relative.
          1. Examples:
            1. åañúe - older sister
            2. åañkßi - younger sister
            3. ©iye - older brother
            4. åañhañ -brother in law
            5. hañúa - sister in law
        2. In expressing relationship for many terms women have their own specific terms which they use based on the age and sex of the relative.
          1. Examples:
            1. ©uwe - older sister
            2. åañúa - younger sister
            3. åiblo - older brother
            4. ßi©e - brother in law
            5. s©eóañ - sister in law
  1. Number
    1. Singular
      1. Example:
        1. ßuñúa - dog
        2. wi©aüöi - star
        3. ßina - blanket
        4. iyußla - scissors
    2. Dual
      1. The dual is the same in form as the singular, but it can be used only in connection with the dual form of the inseperable personnal pronoun.
        1. Example:
          1. wiuñ©aßa - we (I and thou) are men
          2. wiuñkoßkalaúa - we (I and thou) are young women
      2. Or with the inseperable possessive adjective.
        1. Example:
          1. uñúi©iñ©a - our (my and thy) child
          2. uñúiaþe - our (my and thy) father
    3. Plural
      1. Animate things
        1. Nouns representing animate things take the suffix öi to form the plural.
          1. Example:
            1. hokßilaöi - boys
            2. åuümagaöi - bees
            3. iþañ©añöi - chiefs
            4. aúi©iþaöi - police officers
        2. This suffix is used even if such nouns are formed from the third person plural of verbs and consequently already terminate in öi.
          1. Example:
            1. waniyañöiöi - deomestic animals
        3. If the noun is accompanied by a qualifying adjective, the suffix is applied to the adjective.
          1. Example:
            1. pte ©eöaöi úiñ - the fat buffalo cows
        4. The plural suffix öi is often omitted when such nouns are used in the objective case, because then the plurality has to be expressed in the verb by the inseperable objective personal pronoun wi©a - them.
          1. Example:
            1. Waüpani©e úiñ Waíañ Tañka toie úiñ owi©aúiyaúaöi - the poor have the gosepel told/preached to them.
      2. Inanimate things
        1. Nouns representing inanimate things NEVER take the suffix öi; nor do their modifers and predicates. Plurality is expressed by numerals adjectives.
          1. Example:
            1. óejiöaha þoöa üuknage - four haystacks burnt
        2. In the case of personnification, however, the plural ending may be used.
          1. Example:
            1. añöa wi úiñ hañheöi wi úiñ na wi©aüöi aíe wañji mayuoñihañöi - the sun and moon and stars worshipped me

  2. Diminutive
    1. La is suffixed to nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs sometimes with diminutive and sometimes with restrictive significance.
      1. Suffixed to nouns la generally indicate the diminutive
        1. Examples:
          1. blela - little lake
          2. wakpala - little river/creek
          3. aöala - a small part
      2. Some nouns now are used only with the diminutive ending although formerly have been used without it.
        1. Examples:
          1. hoksila - boy
          2. ßuñüpala - puppy
          3. ßuñðila - fox
      3. Nouns ending with the dimunitive take the plural termination after the la
        1. Example:
          1. hokßilaöi - boys
      4. La is often joined to adjectives and verbs as the last principle word in the clause although it properly belongs to the noun
        1. Example
          1. ßuñúawaíañ wañ waßþela - a good little horse
          2. ni©iñkßi ceyela - thy little son cries
      5. When used with the transitive verb la may belong either to the subject or the direct object of the verb.
        1. Example
          1. nisuñúa ßuñúa úiktela - thy little brother killed his dog or thy brother killed his little dog
  3. Case
    1. Laíoþa nouns have the same form for all cases. The case of the noun is indicated by its position in the sentence and the context, or by the possessive adjectives employed, or by the predicate verb.
      1. Nominative and accusative
        1. As a rule, the noun in the nomitive case or subject precedes a noun in the accusative or direct object and the verb always concludes the sentence.
          1. Example:
            1. Waíañ Tañka maía úiñ úaðe - The creator made earth
            2. uñúa ©añ ekþa iyañúa - the dog ran to the tree
      2. The order may be inverted for the sake of emphasis, but then the contents of the sentence would guide the speaker/writer.

    1. Possessive
      1. A noun in the possessive or genative case, indicated in English by an apostrophe "s" or an "of"phrase, denotes one of two relationships, that is , possession or more connection. That distinction is important in Lakota, for the possessive case is expressed in various ways.
        1. Real possession
          1. Is expressed by employing the possessive adjective, both the seperate and the inseperable form. When the seperate possessive adjective is used, the object possessed is placed first, then the possessor, and finally the seperate possive adjective. The possessive adjective must be in plural if one or both of the nouns are in the plural.
            1. Examples:
              1. ßuñúawaíañ David åawa úiñ - David's horse
              2. ßuñúawaíañ Peter na Paul åawaöi úiñ - Peter and Paul's horse (or horses)
          2. When the inseperable possessive adjective (åa or åa---öi) is used, the possessor is placed first, then the possessive adjective, is prefixed to the object possessed. The adjective must be in plural if there is a plurality of possessors or objects possessed.
            1. Examples:
              1. Itañ©añ åawoidaúe úiñ - the Lord's servant
              2. Abraham åawamaíaßkañöi úiñ - Abrahm's animals
          3. When the possessive case deonotes relationship, åawa and åa are not used. Instead the noun expressing relationship takes one of the following suffixes, túu, úu, or ©u.
            1. Examples:
              1. John åuñúaßitúu - John's grandfather
              2. Huñúaúu úiñ - his anscestor
          4. The word "©iñ©a" or child, however, takes neither these nor the possessive adjective mentioned.
            1. Example:
              1. Sam ©iñ©a úiñ - Sam's child
      2. Connection
        1. When the possessive case does not mean real possession but rather connection only, the possessive adjective usually is not used, but other constructions are employed.
        2. Often the words are just placed together, the noun is int he possessive case coming first.
          1. Examples:
            1. maüöiya zitkalaöi úiñ - the birds of the air
          2. ©eü iúañ wañ - rope of a bucket (bucket handle)
        3. The forgoing rule hold true even when one possessive case follows another.
          1. Example:
            1. maüöiya woúi©oñze iyußloke - the keys of the kingdom of heaven
        4. When numerals procede an "of"phrase which refers to a unit of objects and of which they denote a part, the noun of the "of" phrase is placed first in Lakota, and is followed by the definte article "úiñ". The numbers take the last place.
          1. Examples:
            1. aúi©itaöi úiñ zapþañ - five of the soldiers
            2. Itañ©añöi úiñ oþa - many of the chiefs
            3. woyuha miåawa úiñ iyoíise - half of my property
        5. Many possessive expressions can not be rendered into Lakota literally. The construction must be changed, while the meaning is retained.
          1. Examples:
            1. talo mazaska wañji úiöiya - meat fitting one dollar for a dollars worth of meat
            2. wi©aßa oü'añ waßþe úiñ he©a - such a man that is good in his actions for a man of good works
            3. Waíañtañka íoúiöaöi úiñ -God they fear him for the fear of God
    2. Dative
      1. A moun in the dative case or as an indirect object is recognized as such by the propositions úi - to and úi©i - for which are incorporated into the verb. The indirect object either procedes or follows the direct object, the important word coming first.
    3. Vocative
      1. Possession indicating relationship is expressed by the following inseperable possives adjectives:
        1. mi ... my
        2. ni... thy
        3. ...úu/©u/túu his/her
        4. uñúi... our in the dual form
        5. uñúi...öi our in plural form
        6. ni...öi your in plural form
        7. ...úuöi/©uöi/túuöi their in plural form
      2. Note that the pronominal adjectives of the first and second persons are prefixed to nouns and those of a third person are suffixed.
      3. The possessive adjective "their"is sometimes expressed by prefixing wi©a or wi©i to nouns which indicate the relationship. When this is done the plural öi is omitted
        1. Examples:
          1. wi©ahuñúu (instead of huñúuöi úiñ) their mother
          2. wi©iatúuúu úiñ (instead of atúuúuöi úiñ) their father

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