Rattlesnake                     ustamęhšrǫt           It has rattles attached, rattlesnake.


u-                     feminine-zoic singular patient – it

-stamęh-           verb root – be a rattle

-hšr-                 nominalizer

-ǫt-                   verb root – attach, be attached + stative aspect


Snake                             kyuˀgyętse



Spotted Snake                 kyuyaręyǫ



Snake clan                      hatingǫtrǫnǫh       people of the snake charm


hati-                             masculine plural agent – they (m)

-ngǫt-                           noun root – snake charm

-rǫnǫ                            popularizer root suffix

-h                                 stative aspect



yangyaˀwiš           It is a turtle


ya[1]–                              feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-ngyaˀwiš[2]                   verb root – be a turtle + stative aspect


Kinds of Turtles


Mossback, large turtle     amęrureˀ yangyaˀwiš         It is a mossback, large turtle


amęrureˀ                It is covered with moss

am-                  feminine-zoic – it

-ęr-[3]                 noun root – moss

-ure-                 verb root – cover

-ˀ                      stative aspect

Striped Turtle                  atežatǫˀ yangyaˀwiš           It is a marked turtle.


ate-                  feminine-zoic agent – it + semi-reflexive

                                                            -žatǫ-[4]              verb root – mark

-ˀ                      stative aspect


Snapping Turtle              yangyaˀwiš hayuwanęh   It is a big turtle.


ha-                   masculine singular agent – he

-yuwanę          verb root – be big

-h                     stative aspect


Prairie Turtle clan           yehtižurunǫ                    People of a large field.


yeht-                            feminine-zoic singular agent – it + noun root – field

-ižu-                             verb root – be large

-runǫ                            populative root suffix + stative aspect


Soft Shell Turtle              tehanyǫht[5]


Te-       negative (?)

-ha-      masculine singular agent – he

-ny-      noun root – finger (?)

-ǫht-     verb root – be attached (?) + stative aspect


Large Turtle Clan  yangyaˀwiš yanęstehrǫnǫh


yanęstehrǫnǫh      People of the….


ya-                   feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-nęsteh-            verb root – ?                                        ?

-rǫnǫ                populative suffix

-h                     stative aspect


Small Turtle          yangyaˀwiš huskeˀnyaˀ


huskeˀnyaˀ            he is small

hu-                   masculine singular patient – he

-skeˀnya           verb – be small

-ˀ                      stative aspect



The Shell –ˀnduhšr-


yaˀnduhšraˀ            turtle shell, turtle shell rattle


ya-                   feminine-zoic agent – it

-ˀnduhšr-          noun root – turtle shell

-aˀ                    noun suffix


hatiˀnduhšraˀžaˀ      They (m) have little shells (the Small Turtle clan)

hati-                 masculine plural agent –  they (m)

-ˀnduhšr–          noun root – turtle shell

            -a-                   verb root -be a size

-ˀ                      stative aspect

ža                     diminutive aspect suffix


yaˀndušruwanęh     It is a large turtle shell.

ya-                   feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-ˀnduhšr-          noun root – turtle shell

-uwanę-          verb root – be large

-h                     stative aspect


Legs = Wings


Sometimes the legs of the turtle are referred to as its wings:


yažaˀ                         wing, wings


ya-                   feminine-zoic singular agent – it

-ž-                    noun root – wing, wings

-aˀ                    noun suffix


[1] Often when this word was written in the Narratives, this pronominal prefix was missing.

[2] Possibly this word is built on the noun root -ngy- finger + verb root -aˀwi- -sail, float + the habitual aspect suffix.

[3] The Wenro, of the so-called Neutral Iroquoian tribes, whose refugees joined the Wendat and then the Wyandot have their name built on this noun root plus the Wendat verb root – be in water.,

[4] An alternative as utežatǫˀ following.

[5] Soft-shell turtles have three toes.

This entry was posted in Language. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.