Nouns: Preterits

The preterit is used to indicate that the referent of the noun, if once living, is now dead, or if non-living, is now irreparably damaged or deteriorated.


'the late woman'


'the late women'


'the former canoe'


'the former canoes'

As you can see, the plural suffix after the preterit is either -eg or -en, depending on the gender of the noun.

The preterit is most commonly used in reference to deceased relatives. For example,

noosiban          'my deceased father'

ningeban          'my deceased mother'

Note too that the obviative (4th person) form of a preterit ends in /-en/, as in noosibanen, 'my late father' (obviative).

Examples. Some examples from Maude Kegg's stories.

a. Nookomisiban iko anooj gegoo ingii-ig.

‘My late grandmother used to tell me all sorts of things.’

b. Mii ko gaa-inaajimod a'aw mindimooyenyiban.

‘That's what the (deceased) old lady used to tell.’

c. Miish giiwenh iniw ogichi-omaamaayibanen; ogichi-odaanikobijiganibanen; gii-mindimooyenyiwiwan.

‘It was her (deceased) great-grandmother; she was an old lady.’

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