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Ojebway Language:

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


The Impersonal Verb.

The impersonal verb has ten paradigms, distinguished from one another by the ending of the singular, present, indicative, viz.: AH, A, E, O, IN, UN, UD, MUHGUD, AHDA, and GWUD. These verbs are usen only with inanimate objects, but they have also their animate andings conjugated as neuter verbs. The variety of the object, it will be seen, influences the construction of Par. 7.

The participle is formed by adding g to all the paradigms, except those ending in ud, which take k in preference. Many of these impersonal verbs are used also as nouns, as: kezhegud, it is say; kezhegud, a day.

1.AH. Animate ending ESE. Thus: ishpah, it (inan.) is high; ishpese, it (anim.) is high. The latter conjugated as Par. 3, neuter verb (V. N. 3).
Verbs of this paradigm ending in kah, can be made adverbial by adding -ng. Thus: Puhsahbekah, there is a steep rock; puhsahbekaung, in a place where there is a steep rock.

2. A. Many of this paradigm end in da; their animate ending is so. Thus: Kezheda, it is hot, kezheso; conjugated as Par. 4, neuter verb (V. N. 4).

3. E. Many belonging to this paradigm end in gumme, water.

4. O. Many belonging to this paradigm end in -mo, a road, or track.

5. IN. Many of this paradigm end in -sin; their animate ending is shin. Thus: Pungesin, it falls, pungeshin; conjugated as Par. 6, neuter verb (V. N. 6).

6. UN. Animate ending eze. Thus: Soongun, it is strong, soongeze, (V. N. 3).

7. UD. Animate ending eze. Thus: Peenud, it is clean, peeneze, (V. N. 3).

-ahbekud, implies that the object is metal, stone, glass, &c. Thus: Mechahbekud ewh kazhaubekezegun, the stove is big, (anim. -ahbekeze).
-ahkwud, implies that the object is wooden, (anim. -ahkooze).
-eegud, implies that the object is stuff, cloth, &c, (anim. -eegeze).
-begud, implies that the object is string, thread, &c, (anim. -begeze).

8. MUHGUD. This is a convenient impersonal ending that can be affixed either to a neuter or an impersonal verb. Thus: Ekedomuhgud, it says; kezenahmuhgud (same as kezenah), it is cold.

9. AHDA. Most transitive verbs can be made impersonal with this ending. Thus: O-wahbumaun, he sees him; wahbunjegahda, it is seen, (anim. -auso).

10. GWUD. Transitive verbs of the 2nd Paradigm can be made impersonal with this ending. Thus: Onoonduhwaun, he hears him; noondahgwud, it is heard, (anim. -gooze).

Par. 1. -AH. (Animate ending ese, thus, ishpese. Conjugated as V. N. 3).

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Ishpah,it is high,kahween ishpahsenoon.
Ishpahne,his is high,kahween ishpahsenene.
Ishpahwun,they are high,kahween ishpahsenoon.
Bun Tense.
Ishpahbun,it was high,kahween ishpahsenoobun.
Ishpahbuneen,they were high,kahween ishpahsenoobuneen.

Ashpaug,that which is high,ashpahsenoog.
Ashpahnig,his that is high,ashpahsenenig.
Ashpaugin,those that are high,ashpahsenoogin.

Par. 2. -A. (Animate ending of verbs in da - so, thus, kezheso. Conj. as V. N. 4).

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Kezheda,it is hot,kahween kezhedasenoon.
Kezhedane,his is hot,kahween kezhedasenene.
Kezhedawun,they are hot,kahween kezhedasenoon.

Bun Tense.
Kezhedabun,it was hot,kahween kezhedasenoobun.
Kezhedabuneen,they were hot,kahween kezhedasenoobuneen.

Kauzhedag,a hot object,kauzhedasenoog.
Kanzhedanig,his hot object,kauzhedasenenig.
Kauzhedagin,hot objects,kauzhedasenoogin.

Note.-The perfect and future tenses are formed by prefixing ke, tah, ka, as in neuter verbs. The subjunctive is the same as the participle, without the change in the first syllable. The dubitative is formed by adding to the indicative doog, to the participle oogwan.

Par. 3. -E.

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Misquahgumme,it is red (liquid),k. ..gummesenoon.
Misquahgummene,his is red,k. ..gummesenene.
Misquahgummeewun,they are red,k. ..gummesenoon.

Bun Tense.
Misquahgummeebun,it was red,k. ..gummesenoobun.
Misquahgummeebuneen,they were red,k. ..gummesenoobuneen.

Masquahgummeeg,red liquid,masquahgummesenoog.
Masquahgummeenig,his red liquid,masquahgummesenenig.
Masquahgummeegin,red liquids,masquahgummesenoogin.

Par. 4. -O.

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Mungedamo,it is wide (a road),k. ..damosenoon.
Mungedamone,his is wide,k. ..damosenene.
Mungedamowun,they are wide,k. ..damosenoon.

Bun Tense.
Mungedamobun,it was wide,k. .. damosenoobun.
Mungedamobuneen,they were wide,k. .. damosenoobuneen.

Mangedamoog,that which is wide,..damoosenoog.
Mangedamoonig,his that is wide,..damoosenenig.
Mangedamoogin,those that are wide,..damoosenoogin.

Par. 5. -IN. (Animate ending of Verbs in sin - shin, thus, mudwashin. Conjugate as V. N. 6)

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Mudwasin,it sounds,kahween mudwasinsenoon.
Mudwasenene,his sounds,kahween mudwasinsenene.
Mudwasenoon,they sound,kahween mudwasinsenoon.

Bun Tense.
Mudwasinobun,it did sound,k. mudwasinsenobun.
Mudwasinobuneen,they did sound,k. mudwasinsenobuneen.

Madwasing,that which sounds,madwasinsenoog.
Madwasenig,his that sounds,madwasinsenenig.
Madwasingin,those that sound,madwasinsenoogin.

Par. 6.-UN. (Animate ending, eze, thus, soongeze. Conjugate as V. N. 3).

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Soongun,it is strong,kahween soongussenoon.
Soongunene,his is strong,kahween soongussenene.
Soongunoon,they are strong,kahween soongussenoon.

Bun Tense.
Soongunebun,it was strong,kahween soongunsenoobun.
Soongunebuneen,they were strong,kahween soongunsenoobuneen.

Swaungung,a strong object,swaungussenoog.
Swaungunenig,his strong object,swaungussenenig.
Swaungungin,strong objects,swaungussenoogin.

Note.-Dubitative formed by adding to the indicative, edoog; and by changing ng, to noogwan in the participle.

Par. 7. -UD. (Animate ending eze, thus, peeneze. Conjugate as V. N. 3).

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Peenud,it is clean,kahween peenussenoon.
Peenudene,his is clean,kahween peenussenene.
Peenudoon,they are clean,kahween peenussenoon.

Bun Tense.
Peenudobun,it was clean,kahween peenussenoobun.
Peenudobuneen,they were clean,kahween peenuseenoobuneen.

Pahnuk,a clean thing,pahnussenook.
Pahnudenig,his clean thing,pahnussenenig.
Pahnukin,clean things,pahnussenoogin.

Par. 8. -MUHGUD

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Ekedomuhgud,it says,kahween ekedomuhgussenoon.
Ekedomuhgudene,his says,kahween ekedomuhgussenene.
Ekedomuhgudoon,they say,kahween ekedomuhgussenoon.

Bun Tense.
Ekedomuhgudobun,it said,kahween ekedomuhgussenobun.
Ekedomuhgudobuneen,they said,kahween ekedomuhgussenobuneen.

Akedomuhguk,what it says,akedomuhgussenook.
Akedomuhguddenig,what his says,akedomuhgussenenig.
Akedomuhgukin,what they say,akedomuhgussenoogin.

Par. 9. -AHDA. (Animate ending auso, thus, ezhenekauso. Conjugate as V. N. 4).

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Ezhenekahda,it is called,kahween ezhenekahdasenoon.
Ezhenekahdane,his iscalled,kahween ezhenekahdasenene.
Ezhenekahdawun,they are called,kahween ezhenekahdasenoon.

Bun Tense.
Ezhenekahdabun,it was called,kahween ezhenekahdasenoobun.
Ezhenekahdabuneen,they were called,kahween ezhenekahdasenoobnneen.

Azhenekahdanig,(his) called,azhenekahdasenenig.
Azhenekahdagin,(they) called,azhenekahdasenoogin.

Par. 10.-GWUD. (Animate ending gooze, thus menopoogooze. Conjugate as V. N. 3).

Present, Indicative
Positive.   Negative.
Menopoogwud,it tastes good,kahween meno-poogwussenoon.
Menopoogwudene,his tastes good,kahween meno-poogwussenene.
Menopoogwudoon,they taste good,kahween meno-poogwnssenoon.

Bun Tense.
Menopoogwudobun,it tasted good,kahween meno-poogwussenobun.
Menopoogwudobuneen,they tasted good,kahween meno-poogwussenobuneen,

Manopoogwuk,smth. that tastes good,manopoogwussenook.
Manopoogwudenig,his that tastes good,manopoogwussenenig.
Manopoogwukin,things that taste good,manopoogwussenoogin.

Note.-The periodical subjunctive, may be formed by adding; in to the participle of either of the paradigms. Thus: Anuhmeäkezhegukin, whenever it is Sunday, (i.e , on Sundays).

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