The causative root suffix in Wyandot

The Causative Root Suffix

The causative root suffix is one of the most common of the root suffixes, and tends to be the one that comes before the others.


Sometimes the causative root suffix can add the meaning of  ‘place’.  It does so with verbs involving motion, usually the verb root -e-  ‘to come or go’.

tuh       usareht                                     d’         iyarhiˀt                         sahǫteˀndiyǫružaˀ

then     he went back to a place      the       it is a tree                            they (m) are still playing

Then he went back to the tree where they are still playing.

usareht                 He went back to a place.


u-                     factual modal

-s-                    repetitive ‘back’

-a-                    factual

-r-                    masculine singular agent ‘he’

-e-                    verb root  ‘to come or go’

-ht                   causative root suffix + punctual aspect

aˀyatakeht              She goes running to a place.


aˀ-                    factual

-ya-                 feminine-zoic singular agent ‘she’

-take-               verb root ‘to go running’

-ht-                  causative root suffix + punctual aspect

deheręh            arehtaˀ                          He often goes to a place far away

far away          he goes to a place

arehtaˀ                   He often goes to a place.


a-                     translocative ‘away’

-r-                    masculine singular agent ‘he’

-e-                    verb root  ‘to come or go’

-ht-                  causative root suffix

-a՚                    habitual aspect

Cause or Make

tsihsturaht              Hurry up! (said to more than one person) = cause yourselves to be fast


tsi-                   imperative prefix and 2nd person plural agent,  ‘you’

-’hstur-             verb root ‘to be quick, fast’

-aht-                causative root suffix + imperative aspect

ažateyaht       They (masculine) two built a fire – caused burning.


a- factual

-ž-                    masculine dual agent ‘they two (m)’

-atey-               verb root ‘to burn’

-aht                 causative root suffix + punctual aspect

taˀwakyerihat        She straightened up – caused herself to be straight.


t-                      dualic

-a՚w-                factual

-ak-                 feminine-zoic singular agent ‘she’ + semi-reflexive voice

-yerih-              verb root ‘to be straight’

-at-                  causative root suffix + punctual aspect

kǫmąˀtęhtiˀ            Where they (m) made, caused her to fall.


k-        cislocative ‘where’

-ǫmą-   masculine plural agent + feminine-zoic patient ‘they (m) – her’

-ˀt-        noun root ‘body’

-ę-         verb root ‘to fall’

-ht-      causative root suffix

-iˀ          stative aspect

For some purpose

ǫndaeˀ  ahaerat                               d          aˀęndaˀ             ahutehšratǫnyǫkwaˀ

that      he used it for a purpose    the       bow

he menaced him with it

ahaerat                          He used it for some purpose


a-                     factual

-ha-                  masculine singular aspect ‘he’

-er-                   verb root ‘to do’

-at                    causative root suffix + punctual aspect

nęh      awatiteˀt                                               nęh      aˀwatindaˀtarǫhtǫnyǫˀ

now     they (f) pounded for a purpose           then     they (f) bake a lot of bread

They pound to bake a lot of bread.

awatiteˀt       They (f) pounded for a purpose.


a-         factual

-ati-      feminine-zoic plural agent ‘they’

-te-       verb root ‘to pound’

՚t         causative root suffix + punctual aspect



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