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Ojebway Language:

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


Part II. Dialogs and Exercises.


Rules for composition.

1. The noun usually follows the verb. Thus: John is working hard - Keche-uhnooke owh John; My father (decd.) was wise - Ke-nebwahkah noosebun.

2. He - him often rendered in Ojebway in a reversed order with the passive voice, he is - by him. Thus: The dog follows the child - Owh uhnemoosh onoopenuhnaun enewh uhbenoojeyun; or, Owh uhbenooje onoopenuhnegoon enewh uhnemooshun - The child is followed by the dog. This is the favorite construction in Ojebway; the use of it exemplified in the following sentence: John said to James, you have decieved me, but he replied, Indeed I have not decieved you - John ogeënaun enewh Jamesun kegewuhyazhim oo-oo dush ogeëgoon kahween kuhnuhga kegewuhyazhemesenoon. Here, instead of "he replied," we say, "He (John) was said to by him."

3. Verbs should be used in preference to nouns. Thus: I cannot say much for his character; render, I cannot say that he behaves himself. According to his commandment; render, According as he commands. At our last assembly; render, When we last assembled. And so on.

4. As has been remarked, an animate noun requires as animate verb, and as inanimate noun as inanimate vern. This makes it necessary sometimes to employ two verbs in Ojebway sentence where in English we should use but one. Thus: We love our Queen and country - Ke-sahgeähnaun ke-keche-ogemahquamenaun, kesahgetoomin kuhya kiduhkeewenaun.

5. The second verb in a sentence is often put in the subjunctive mood, even though joined to the firts one by a conjunction and used indicatively. Thus: They lifted up thier eyes and looked - Keoombishkinzhigwanewug dush keënahbewaud.

6. The vocative singular of the noun may be expressed by using the 2nd person singular of the partciple present, the noun being put into verbal form. Thus: Young man! - Washkenuhwaweyun!

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