THE REVITALIZATION OF THE NISHNAABEMWIN LANGUAGE PROJECT

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Language Textbooks

The language texts are being revised so as to reflect changes to the new orthography which is known as the double vowel writing system.  There are three textbooks being developed which are entitled: Eshkentam-Nishnaabemang Mzinagan (Introduction of Nishnaabemwin), Eko-niizhing Nishnaabemang Mzinagan (Intermediate Level) and Oshme geyaabe Wii-Nishnaabemang Mzinagan (More Advanced Level).  These texts promote language learning through a progressive development of oral, reading, writing and listening skills.  Although aimed at adult learners, they can also be used by teachers who wish to extract lessons from the text in order to teach literacy language programs or for new orthography learners.  The expected date of completion of the first textbook is the summer of 2001. 



 1.  Bemaadziimgakin Nanda Kidwinan:  Animate Intransitive Verbs (VAI)

 2.  Bemaadziimgasnog Nanda Kidwinan:  Inanimate Intransitive Verbs (VII)

 3.  Bemaadziimgakin Nanda Kidwinan:  Transitive Animate Verbs (VTA)

 4.  Bemaadziimgasnogin Nanda Kidwinan:  Transitive Inanimate Verbs (VTI)

 5.  Verb Type Comparison Table:VAI, VII, VTA, & VTI



Bemaadziimgakin Nanda Kidwinan
Animate Intransitive Verbs (VAI)

Animate intransitive verbs (vai) are verbs which have a subject but no object.  The subjects of animate intransitive verbs are always animate.
 
 
 

Kwezens niimi  The girl dances
kwezens
niimi
the girl
s/he is dancing
animate
animate
subject
intransitive verb

 
Nini aakozi   The man is sick
nini
aakozi
the man 
s/he is sick
animate
animate
subject
intransitive verb

 
Kinwaajiganan: Examples

 
Goojin na waawaashkesh mitigoong?
Is that deer hanging in the tree?
Enh! Goojin waawaashkesh mitigoong.
Yes! That is a deer hanging in the tree.
Kaa! Gaawiin waawaashkesh mitigoong, gookoosh ow.
No! A deer is not hanging in the tree, that's a pig.


Bemaadziimgasnog Nanda Kidwinan
Inanimate Intransitive Verbs (VII)

Inanimate intranitive verbs (vii) are verbs which have a subject but no object.1The subjects of inanimate intransitive verbs are always inanimate.
 
 

Wiiyaas mnode   The meat is well cooked.
wiiyaas
mnode
the meat
to be well cooked
inanimate
inanimate
subject
intransitive verb

 
Doopwin waawyeyaa   The table is round.
doopwin
waawyeyaa
the table
to be round
inanimate
inanimate
subject
intransitive verb

 
Kinwaajiganan: Examples

 
Mnopogwad na waawaashkesh-wiiyaas?
Is the venison tasty?
Enh! Mnopogwad waawaashkesh-wiiyaas.
Yes! The venison is tasty.
Kaa! Gaawiin mnopogwazinoo waawaashkesh-wiiyaas.
No! The venison is not tasty.


Bemaadziimgakin Nanda Kidwinan
Transitive Animate Verbs (VTA)


Binoojiinh shamaan dayan.   The child feeds his dog.
Binoojiinh
shamaan
(w)dayan.
The child
s/he feeds s.o.
his/her dog
3rd person subject
VTA
3rd person object
proximate
 
obviative

 
Gaazhag waabmaan kwewan.  The cat sees the woman.
Gaazhag
waabmaan
kwewan.
The cat
s/he see s.o.
the woman.
3rd person subject
VTA
3rd person object
proximate
 
obviative

With each of the following transitive animate verbs, it is important to remember that two third persons are involved, one of which (the proximate) is performing an action on the other (the obviative).  Each verb has the underlying meaning "s.o. (proximate) does something to s.o. (obviative)."
 
 

Kinwaajiganan: Examples

 
Giiwose-nini na gii-goojin'maan waawaashkeshshoon?
Did the hunter hang the deer in the tree?
Giiwose-nini gii-goojin'maan waawaashkeshshoon mitigoong.
The hunter hung the deer in the tree.
Gaawiin gii-goojin'maasiin waawaashkeshshoon mitigoong.
He did not hang the deer in the tree.


Bemaadziimgasnogin Nanda Kidwinan
Transitive Inanimate Verbs (VTI)

Like transitive animate verbs, transitive inanimate verbs (vti) take both an object and a subject.  While the subjects of transitive inanimate verbs are animate, the objects are always inanimate in gender.  Because there are never two animate third persons (as both subject and object), proximate/obviative distinctions are unnecessary.
 
 

N-shiimenh biidoon miijim.   My younger sibling brings the food.
N-shiimenh
biidoon
miijim
My younger sibling
to bring s.t.
(the) food
3rd person subject
VTI
inanimate object

 
Kwe ziignaan niibiishaaboo.  The woman pours the tea.
Kwe
ziignaan
niibiishaaboo
The woman
to pour s.t.
(the) tea
3rd person subject
VTI
inanimate object

 
Kinwaajiganan:  Examples

 
G-zigos na minpidaan wi waawaashkesh wiiyaas?
Does your aunt like the taste of that venison?
N-zigos minpidaan wi waawaashkesh wiiyaas.
My aunt likes the taste of that venison.
Gaawiin n-zigos minpidaasiin wi waawaashkesh wiiyaas.
My aunt does not like the taste of that venison.


Verb Type Comparison

The following table demonstrates the difference in form and function of the four major verb types.1  Intransitive verbs are located on one side of the table in order to contrast with their transitive counterparts on the opposite side.  A number of differences in structure and function may be discerned from the table, and examples of the use of each verb type are also included further in the text.
 
 
Intransitive Verbs
Transitive Verbs
VAI
VII
VTA
VTI
mnopogozi
s.o. tastes good
mnopogod
s.t. tastes good
minpwaan
s.o. likes the taste
of s.o.
minpidaan
s.o. likes the taste of s.t.

 
 
 



1 This Table is adapted from Lena White's Ojibwe Structure Reference Book, 23.
 
 

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