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Ojebway Language:

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


The Preposition.

There are very few regular prepositions in Ojebway, and consequently there is some difficulty in the correct construction of a sentence. For instance, there is nothing in Ojebway equivalent to our preposition with. The only substitute is the particle weej-, which is prefixed to the verb, and implies going with, accompanying; thus: He goes with him, o-wéej-ewaun, He works with him, owéej-uhnóokemaun. This is simple enough, but when we want to render in Ojebway such a sentence as, he killed him with his knife, we have to introduce the verb (V.T., viii.) uhyoon, to use (or uhwaun, anim.) thus: Oge-nesáun o-móokomaun ge-uhyóod (lit., his knife using). Again, He met him with a joy, oge-nuhgíshkuhwaun emuh moojegezéwenig, (in joy); or kemoojegeze kenuhgishkuhwaud, He rejoiced that he met him.

With, together with expressed by gege-, prefixed to some words, thus: gege-sebingwuy, with tears.

From. This is expressed by oonje, (usually joined with the verb), and -ng affixed to the noun. Thus: He comes from town, Odánaung pe-óonjebah. He started from Toronto, Toronto-ing ke-óonjemáhjah.

To, in, on, at, are expressed by -ng affixed to the noun, and generally by a verb denoting the motion. Thus: In the box, muhkukóong. He does to Toronto, Toronto-ing ezháh.

Of, has been explained under Noun.

Among, mágwa; in compos. dúhgo-. Thus: Among his friends, magwa weejekewáyun. He is among others, duhgoühyáh.

For, for the sake of, on account of, óonje. As, oonje owh Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ's sake. Acting or doing for, is expressed by the accomodative modification of the verb, thus: nebó, he dies, o-nebótuhwaun, he dies for him.

By, near, chig'. As: Chig'ishkoota, by the fire. Chig'ishquáundam, near the door.

By, by means of, express by using uhyoon with inanim. verbs; uhwaun with anim. (See with); or by using the 2nd 3rd person sing. or pl. of the passive voice of transitive verbs. Thus: He was killed by a lion, ógenesegoon enewh meshébesheen.

Before, in the presence of, expressed by the participle of an obsolete verb. Thus: befor me, anáhsuhmeyaun.

About, concerning, expressed by oonje, or by participle passive of the verb debáhjimo, to tell about. Thus: This is what I heard about him, me suh óo-oo kahnóondumaun debáhjemind - about it, debahdóoduming.

According to, ezhe. Thus: According to thy will, ezhe-enandumaun.

Around, kewetúhyeëe. Thus: Around the throne, kewetúhyeëe ogemáh-wuhbéwining.

Out of, emuh oonje. The oonje often joined with the verb, thus: Out of his mouth proceeded, &c., emuh odóoning ke-oonjeémuhgudene.

Under, uhnáumuhyeëe. Thus: Under the box, uhnáumuhyeëe muhkukóong.

Upon, over, ogidjúhyeëe

Opposite, tébishko.

During, while, mágwah. Thus: During the feast, magwah weékoonding.

After, ishquah. Thus: after dinner, ishquah wéesening.

Except, if only, unless, kishpin atuh.

Against, can be expressed only by the verb, or by using near, before, &c. Thus, for "Against Thee have I sinned," say "Before Thee."

Without, expressed by the negative of the verb. Thus: Without religion, anuhmeähsing.

Notwithstanding, menóoch, pooch, ketwán.

Note. - It is very seldom that any of the above prepositions are used separately, they are generally joined with the verb in a contracted form, thus: They stand around him, okéwetuhgáhbuhwetuhwáhwaun.

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