Participles are verbs that modify nouns or act as a noun.
Verbs generally focus on an action or a state and the subject is a secondary focus. A participle focuses on the subject and the action is the secondary focus.
He dances. versus He who dances or the dancer.
Participles use initial change and normal conjunct endings. Additional endings such as plural endings may be added.
Jonathan Edwards provided the following participles in his book about the Mahican language.
Pāāmθuyah. I walking. Pāāmθuyan. You walking. Pāāmθiit. He walking. The walker. Pāāmθuyakw. We walking. Pāāmθuyāākw. You (pl) walking. Pāāmθiichiik. They walking. The walkers.
Note the plural ending -iik on the last word in this series.
Participles may be translated using terms like : ‘that which’ or ‘he who’ or ‘the one who’
Māāxkāāyuk. He who is red, the red one. Māāxkāāyāākw. You (pl) who are red. Aāyąąt. Where he went. āāw he goes (somewhere = implied) āāyąąt: verb stem is (ąąaa) => (āā)-(y)-(ąą)-(t) (initial change)-(y insert)-(stem)-(conj ending) Aāyah. Where I went. Pāāyąąt. The one who came. pāāw he comes its verb stem is (pąą) irregular participle (initial change as āā + y) Aāyiit. What he said. uwah he says (something = implied) stem is (ii) āāyiit: (āā)-(y)-(ii)-(t) (initial change)-(y insert)-(stem)-(conj ending)
The above three examples illustrate some particularities of monosyllabic verb stems, re: atypical initial change in the form of (āāy)
Siiwāāntak. Sad man. Wāānāāyuk. The pretty one. wunāāyuw vai-cv be pretty, nice, good Kāāwiit. The sleeping one.
VAI participles are listed in the dictionary inflected for a 3rd person head (person who is the main focus of the participle)
Extra suffixes for obviation may be added to third person forms using -uniit instead of the usual conjunct ending.
Siiwāāntamuniit. Sad man. (obviative) Siiwāāntak. Sad man. (proximate) Wāānāāyuniit. The pretty one. (obv) wunāāyuw vai-cv be pretty, nice, good Kāāwiiniit. The sleeping one. (obv)
(-t) or (-uk) endings for 3rd person sg subjects
Plural 3rd person participles are formed by adding -iik to the the 3rd sg conjunct form.
Niimanāāw māāchāāyuk. Evil man. Nimanāāk māāchāāyukiik. Evil men. Kāāwiichiik. The sleeping ones, they who are sleeping. (kawii)-(t)-(iik) (stem)- (3rd sg conj)-(animate pl)
Preverbs and participles
Some verbs or preverb-verb combinations have a quantity or a location or another attribute built in to the meaning of the verb. For example in English, the verb ‘to come from’ requires a precise location (I come from home) or a vague location (He came from somewhere).
Preverbs that point to a certain way, a certain place, a certain amount, a certain thing exist in Mahican, and when the preverb is part of the verb as a verb root it is called a relative root.
Participles of such verbs or preverb-verb combinations may use take on the meaning of that quantity, attribute or location. For the verb ‘to come from’ the participle is ‘where he comes from’.
Said otherwise: stems with relative roots (or a preverb) may form participles that may use as a focus any of the participants or the relative root may be the focus.
Anąąwatuw He costs a certain amount. Aānąąwatuyah. What I cost. Aānąąwatuyan. What you cost. Aānāāyah. How I am. Aānāāyan. How you are. Aāyah. What I said. Aāyan. What you said. Aānih-ąąptóonayah. How I speak. Aātanih-pumúθuyan. Where you walk. Sahkih-anahkayah. How much I worked. Sahkih-anahkayakw. How long we worked. sáhkih- pv a certain length (of time, measurement)
Wíikuw vai dwell there
Wíikuyah. Where I dwell. My home. Wíikuyan. Where you dwell. Your home Wíikiit His home. Wíikuyakw. Our home. Wíikuyāākw. Your (pl) home. Wiikíhtiit. Their home.