WAYK Cree: Session 3

Diana wasn’t able to make it to our third session, so it was just Dereck, Lorna, Rob, and me at the table. I had originally planned to work through ôma/anima/nema, but at the last minute, decided they weren’t that necessary to get into right away, and it would be fun to give the group a couple high-mileage verbs* and a few more inanimate nouns to play with.

The lesson focused on miyweyihta and nitaweyihta. I introducted them as a TQ: Craigslistbut didn’t do a very good job with my TQ: set up, so I think there was a bit of confusion for a while, especially around nitaweyihta.

I also tried adding in ap’sis and mistahi as a TQ: Craigslist, and mâka on its own, but mâka was really difficult to convey.

Here are the basic conversations of the ride:



maskihkiwâpoy ôma.

maskihkiwâpoy cî ôma?

eha, maskihkiwâpoy ôma.

miyweyihta + Make me say yes

kimiyweyihten cî maskihkiwâpoy?

eha, nimiyweyihten maskihkiwâpoy.

miyweyihta + Make me say no

kimiyweyihten cî maskihkiwâpoy?

namôya, namôya nimiyweyihten maskihkiwâpoy.

miyweyihta/nitaweyihten + Make me say yes or no (respondent’s choice)

kimiyweyihten cî maskihkiwâpoy?

eha, nimiyweyihten maskihkiwâpoy.

ah! kinitaweyihten cî maskihkiwâpoy?

eha, nimiyweyihten maskihkiwâpoy.

Despite everybody looking a little tired, I was feeling really excited about our progress so I pushed for us to do a quick round of new nouns, so everyone could have a handful of words to play with using miyweyihta and nitaweyihta. The words I chose were tohtôsâpoy, amômey, and pihkatewâpoy, because (a) they’re all inanimate nouns that will fit the rules we’ve been learning, and (b) they will all fit together in a conversation very well. We just did a quick round of “kîkwâyôma?” “_________ ôma” for each noun, and then we had a “free play” round where we each got to ask the next person a question of our choice (e.g., “Dereck, kimiyweyihten cî pihkatewâpoy?”) and answer according to our preference (e.g., “eha, nimiyweyihten pihkatewâpoy mistahi.”)

I forgot to run plus/deltas AGAIN, but I checked in with Dereck by text afterwards, and we agreed that, while we were really glad that we got through all that we did, it was definitely too long of a session, clocking in at around 1.5 hours from arrival to departure. I’ll try to keep the whole session to under an hour next time.

*The verbs we’re starting out with are TI (transitive inanimate) verbs, meaning someone acts on an inanimate noun. Inanimate nouns are the only ones we’re learning so far, since the rules for animate nouns can be really different in places. I’ll teach corresponding sets of rules for animate nouns once we go through a few more lessons on grammar for inanimate nouns.