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Inflection

Updated: 6-28-2011 7:21 AM

Inflection

 Many affixes are inflections, or word parts that indicate the grammatical categories of the language. These categories are the organizing ideas of the language. The inflections that express them transmit information (who is involved? how many? when?) and tie words together in phrases, clauses, or sentences. In Ojibwe, grammatical categories such as gender, number, person, and obviation and the inflectional affixes that represent them are essential aspects of nearly every sentence.

 Much of what is indicated in English by the position of words in a sentence is shown in Ojibwe by inflection – that is, by the change in the form of a word through the addition of affixes.

 The following examples are different forms of the same word; they share the same word stem, but have different inflections.

anokii  =  s/he works

nindanokii  =  I work

anokiikan  =  do some work later

ji-anokiiwaad  =  so they will work