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Ojebway Language:

A Manual for missionaries
and others employed among the Ojebway Indians
by Edward F. Wilson, 1874



Particles used as Adjectives
Nouns with Adjectival Enging
Participles used as Adjectives
Verbal use of Adjectives



There are no proper adjectives in Ojebway. The words that are used as such may be classed as follows: (1) Particles. (2) Nouns with adjectival ending. (3) Participles (ar adjective verbs).

Particles used as Adjectives.

These are kéche-, big; meno-, good; mújje-, bad; óoshke, new; káta-, old; and some few others. With nouns these particles are used adjectivally, and with verbs adverbially. Thus with a noun, keche-enene, a great man; with a verb, keche-sáhgeëwa, he loves greatly.

Nouns with Adjectival Enging.

These are formed by simply adding -e, -ene, or -o, to the noun. Thus: wáhbegun, clay, wáhbegune-onáhgun, a clay platter. Shóoneyah, silver, shooneyáhwene-opwáhgun, a silver pipe. Metig, a log, metigo-chéemaun, a log canoe.

Participles used as Adjectives.

This is the common way of expressing quality in Ojebway. Thus; It is high, ishpah, participle (that which is high), ashpaug, hence a high building, ashpaug wahkuhegun. So in the same way, agáhsaug, small, participle of uhgáhsah, it is small. Kanwaud, long, from kinwah, it is long. Wuhyáhbishkaug, white, from wáhbishkah, it is white. Wásuhwaug, yellow, from osáhwah, it is yellow. Hence, when you want an adjective to qualify your noun, look in the Dictionary for the verb impersonal and use its participle, remembering always that an animate noun will require the participle of an animate verb. Thus: a white horse, wuhyáhbishkezid papazhegóonguhzhe. A white box, wahyáhbishkaug muhkuk. See Paragigms of the Impersonal Verb.


There are no proper degrees of comparison. The comparative degree can only be expressed by the use of the adverbs, nuhwúj, or ahwáhshema, more. And the superlative degree is imperfectly rendered by káche or uhyáhpeche, very, very much, or by muhyáhmuhwe, chiefly. Thus : prettier, nuhwúj quuhnáuj; fatter, nuhwúj wáhnenood. He loves me more than you, nuhwúj nesáhgeig keen dushween. The most powerful, owh muhyáhmuhwe mushkúhwezid. Áshkum, denotes more and more, increasingly. Thus: Áshkum áhkoose, he is getting worse (more sick). Áshkum wáhbishkah, it is getting whiter.

Verbal use of Adjectives.

Participial adjectives can be used verbally, thus: mushkuhwah, it is strong, o-mushkuhwahtoon, he makes it strong; kinwah, it is long, o-kinwahtoon, he makes it long. (Conjugated as Paradigm VIII., Transitive Verbs).

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