The Transitional Root Suffix

Transitional Root Suffix

The root suffix that I call the transitional is not an easy one to describe precisely in terms of meaning.  For at least some of the verbs it is used with the notion of putting into a state seems to be added.  This is clear with the verb roots -u- to be in water, with -ˀnǫt- and -ǫt- to be inside.

The usual form that it takes is -wi- (-mi- after a nasal vowel) with the stative, and before another root suffix. With verb roots that end with a -t- an -ra- appears before this. With the punctual aspect immediately after the transitive root suffix, you get -ˀ- or -h.

It appears before any other root suffix.  It only occurs with 10 different verbs in the Narratives.

uhtaˀwih     She slept.


u-         feminine-zoic singular patient – she

-taˀ-      verb root – to sleep

-wi-      transitional root suffix

-h         stative aspect


yanyęmitih She has skill on this side; the right side


ya-       feminine-zoic singular agent – she

-nyę-    verb root – to have skill, ability

-mi-     transitional root suffix

-t-         causative root suffix

-ih        stative aspect


ahekwaˀnǫtraˀ       We should put him inside, bury him.


a-                     optative

-hekwa-           1st person inclusive plural agent + masculine singular patient – we  – him

-ˀnǫt-                verb root – to be inside

-ra-                   transitional root suffix

-ˀ                      punctual aspect


shundatitrawih    They (m) load again.


s-                     repetitive

-hund-              masculine plural patient – they (m)

-at-                   semi-reflexive voice

-it-                    verb root – to load

-rawi-               transitional root suffix

-h                     stative aspect



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