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Noun Stems

Updated: 6-28-2011 7:46 AM

Noun Stems

 Primary Noun Stems

 Many noun stems cannot be broken down into identifiable elements and so are seen as having only one element in the stem.

Ishkode  =  fire

 A few primary noun stems consist of two elements – an initial and a final. In the example below, a root is followed by a final (in bold) that means metal, stone.

biiwaabik  =  iron

Secondary Noun Stems

 Many noun stems are derived from verb stems by the addition of a secondary final. The finals used in noun stems generally differ from those used in verb stems. One or more medials may also occur.

INITIAL + MEDIAL(S) + FINAL (word stem)

baashkizige  =  he/she shoots

baashkizigan  =  gun

wiisini  =  he/she eats

wiisiniiwigamig   =  restaurant

 A noun, even if it is itself a secondary noun, may be the initial element of a secondary noun stem. The underlying noun in the example is a primary noun; the underlying nouns in the other examples are themselves formed by secondary derivation.

aniibiish  =  leaf

aniibiishaaboo  =  tea

mazina'igan   =  book, document

mazina'iganaak  =  pencil

 Compound Noun Stems
Stem Compounds

 A compound noun stem is composed of a modifying noun or verb stem and a noun stem. Connective sounds may appear between the two underlying stems. The pattern of compound noun stems is:

WORD STEM + NOUN STEM (noun or verb stem)

wiigwaas  =  birch bark

makak  =  box

wiigwaasi-makak  =  birch-bark box

aki  =  land

mazina'igan  =  book, document

akii-mazina'igan  =  map