Forms of the Noun
There are two basic noun forms, those ending in a vowel and those ending in a consonant. The nouns ending in consonants are typically the triconsonant form of nouns. The table below shows the suffixes added to the noun in Miwok depending on how the noun is used in a sentence.
Table 1: Suffixes for Nouns
Ending in Vowel
Ending in Consonant
- Leeka, stick
Issak, he she it
||issakәt or issaktoo
||issakәm or issakmә'
The subjective case (suffix - ' ). This is the form in which a noun is spoken when it is devoid of context. To the question “How do you say ‘man’?” the answer is “naŋŋa?.” Nouns functioning as the subject of most verbs are in the subjective case (nominative case in Catherine Callaghan), also nouns or pronouns in apposition to the subject of such verbs. Apposition means 1) a grammatical relation between a word and a noun phrase that follows; "`Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer' is an example of apposition"; or 2) the state of two nouns or pronouns, put in the same case, without a connecting word between them; as, I admire Cicero, the orator. Here, the second noun explains or characterizes the first.
|pine nut's meat||ochukusu sakkuŋ|
|the lady's daughter||ossaŋ tuunesә|
|the horse kicked him||kawaayuŋ kalaŋŋe'sә|
|I can come.||әәnәnniṭ kanәŋ|
|If the weather is good.||kuchi'ka'sә uc'uŋ|
|The dog is barking at something.||tinnәy cuku' konaasәә|
|last year||hoy'ay umuucay|
|He is watering the lawn.||olkii chookiṭay|
|They are building a roundhouse.||okyep haŋiy|
Locative Definite (-t, -to, -tto):
Locative Indefinite (-m, -mmә or
|in the ground||walliim|
|in the brush||poochaam|
|in the water||kikkәәm|
|in the open||haleem|
|He is throwing it on the ground.||wikaasәә wallim|
|He is putting it in his mouth.||wiikә 'awwomsu|
|He is putting it in the fire.||wәkem wiikәә|
Instrumental (-s or -sә):
signalling with a
|She is swimming hard.||huwwaasә әpsәә|
|with a blanket||tonniis|
|with an awl||chәllaas|
|with thy foot||hatteesәәn|
|with my cane||siyaasәәt|
|with his tail||suukiisәәs|
instrumental case is used a great deal, and in many expressions
would hardly be conceived of as instrumental in character.
is partly owing to the fact that there is no dative case in Miwok,
indirect object. And all such expressions as to roast meat for someone, to give a present to someone,
put in the form to roast for
by means of meat, to
someone by means of a present, etc.
hina' 'im tinnәәs - with what shall we cook?
keŋŋes paypus 'ammәәp - they present him with one arrow
wәkkene' 'anәs semmilaas - he had them make a fire with bark
siilitәәsәs peluuyaa haŋiiy - with his saliva he sealed up the ceremonial house
ha'atnә sawaas - she throws at him with a stone
Noun Ending in Vowel
- Leeka, stick
Table: Example sentences with nouns in the present tense.
|short stick or The stick is
|The house on the left.
|The birds nest.
|The blackwidow bit him on the
||saatalmә yullusesә pokkomu
|The blackwidow bit the egg
belonging to him.
||pokkomu yullusesә haŋŋuysә
|The blackwidow bit on the
||pokkomu yulla haŋŋum
|It bit his, the blackwidow,
the scrotum the little one on the right.
||yullusesә pokkomu saatalmә
|he is climbing tree after you
||onpuu miini chәәmә leekay|
|this man washing sand out of
||naŋŋay ney wiskala uchuu sәttәmsә mulaakepuksu|
|he has something in his eye
||naŋŋay ney tinnәy uchuu sәttәmsә|