Abenaki Language Gathering
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prepared by Jesse Bruchac (JB) with help and guidance from Conor Quinn (CQ)
In grammar, a ditransitive verb is a verb which takes a subject and two objects. These objects may be called direct and indirect, or primary and secondary. This is in contrast to transitive verbs, which take only one object, a direct or primary object. - wiki
It's called the ethical dative, double object and/or possessor raising.
“Ditransitives are very relational and personal, because they're about someone being affected by what you do to/with some thing of theirs.” (CQ)
“Since all verbs have at least one subject, verbs are classified according to how many more
arguments/participants they have from there.
No more arguments (beyond the subject) = Intransitive” - CQ
Animate Intransitive (AI) wligo – he is good
Inanimate Intransitive (II) wligen – it is good
“One more argument (the subject and the object) = Transitive” - CQ
Transitive Animate (TA) w'namih8 Az8 - he sees John
Transitive Inanimate (TI) w'namiton awighigan - he sees the book
“Two more arguments (subject + indirect and direct; or in Algonquian terms, primary and
secondary) = Ditransitive” - CQ
Ditransitive (DTV) k'milin migwen – you give me the feather
“So ditransitives have a total of three arguments.
Subject, primary (indirect) object, and secondary (direct) object.
There are many ditransitives. The most basic/familiar is GIVE.
Others would include Pass. Like Pass me the salt. Or Throw, as in you throw me the ball. Or
sing, like “he sings me a song”. Or Bake, like can you bake him a cake?
The ditransitive almost always comes from adding in a recipient/beneficiary/affectee of the
action: the person you sing/bake FOR, the person you owe money TO, or the person you
steal something FROM.” - CQ
Part One: -i (me) and -a (him)
1. Mili – give me (milina give us)
mili nilil pilaskol – give me those papers
2. Mila – give him/her/them
mila kigawes kdagihi aplesa – give your mother another apple
Seeing the pattern:
Commanding one person
1. Mili t8bi ta pakwa. Give me a bow and arrow. PPW
2. Mili wl8ganal. Give me dishes CW
3. Mili almos. Give me the dog CW
4. Mili kapi nitta. Give me coffee now CW
5. Mila t8bia ta pakwa. Give him a bow and arrow. PPW
6. N8zenemawi Touch something for me! JB
7. N8zenemawa Touch something for him! JB
Commanding a crowd!
(milinakw - you all give us)
Ni Sazos wdezidamôn wdihlôn, milokw Sazal tôni wadahimit, ta Kchiniwaskw tôni wadahimit Kchiniwaskw. And Jesus answering said unto them, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. PPW
Part Two: k' (you), -el (me), -n (it)
3. k'mili – you give me (something)
k'mili mdala monial – you give me ten dollars
4. k'milel – I give you
k'milel kwat – I give you a cup
5. k'milin – you give me it
k'milin awighigan – you give me the book
6. k'millen – I give you it
k'millen sen – I give you the stone
Starting a conversation
Continuing the conversation
1. Ndachwaldam tabna kmilin Azô noji sognebôlwat wdep tawiwi kchi wlôganek.
I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. (Mark:25)
2. wikodmawi tônitta kagwi walaldaman, kmillenji.
Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. (Mark:24)
3. Tônitta u wikodmawian kmillenji achikiba pabasiwi nginjameswi tbaldamwôgan.
Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. (Mark:24)
Who, when, that, what Word Forms
wligen milimek – it is good when I am given something!
1. Nd'alamizi kchi niwaskw milit wlidbamalsw8gan akw8bigadmaa.
I'm thankful that the great spirit that he gave me health in spite of my age. CW
2. N'-d-alamizowi wahw8gom8 Tabaldak milit s8glamalsow8gan akw8bigademaa.
`I thank the Lord who gives me good health in my age. JL84:99
lakawi – throw me something
wijokami – help me do something
ab8nkawi – cook me something
mili – give me something
hli – tell me
sami – feed me
namithli – show me
kinawi – look at me
kitawi – hear me
tbestawi – listen to me
nadmihi – lend me
kemodnawi – steal from me
nadodmawi – ask me
mikolawami – remind me of something
ônkawôdokawi - interpret for me, speak as my substitute
adagenemawi - cheat me
mozmawi - cut my hair
azimawa - dip (water) for me, give me a drink
nimskamawi - fetch something for me
nôbamakawi - step in my tracks, follow in my foot- steps, follow my example
jibadegwenamawi – somone makes the sign of cross on me by hand
tmezemawi – someone cuts something for me
gadzemawi – someone cuts it off for me
pitsenawi – someone fills a pipe for me
nosokamawi – someone follows it for me
dalijigitamawa - leave it for someone there
jigitamawi - he leaves it for me
gikinamawi - look at something of mine
gizitawi - make something for me
bigwedanemawi - open it for me
lagwenamawi - direct me, point out something for me
lôwigôdamawi - point your finger at me
gebahamawi - shut something for me
jannemawi - stop something for me
wikwikadawi - draw someone to me
adelitakamawi - get in front of me
nadialwawi - hunt in the interest of me
nadialwawad – the one who hunts for someone else, he hunts for someone
zôbodakawi - make a hole through me
gachkônewi - scratch someone/something for me
witamawi - tell to me for me to learn, teach me
gelahamawi - forbid me, hold or stop me from doing something
galahamawad – the one who is forbiden
anhaldamawi – someone forgives me of something
bôbatamawawi - pray for me
siziwanamawi - rattle for me
bonamawi – someone replaces something for me
askodamawi - signal me with a gun
nadodemawi - ask me something
baganemawi - break off a piece for me
gizanohomawi - can buy something for me, already buy something for me
wiwnitahamawi - he helps me strike around (as in catching muskrats), he strikes around for me
olikawi - build a house for me, build me a nice house
wikawi - build a house for me
ademikawi - overtake me; reach or catch me
maotakawi - hit me with body or foot, collide but not face to face, collide as with shoulder
gibtakawi - knock me down, wound me with an instrument
Last but not least...
We can also make our own Ditransitives using our favorite inanimate verbs!!
namito = namitawi = see something for me, in my interest
waj8nem = waj8nemawi = have something for me
gelnem = gelnemawi = hold something for me
kizito = kizitawi = make something for me
kwilawato = kwilawatawi = search for something for me
meskam = meskamawi = find something for me