Noun Derivation

Basic Nominalization

Makes nouns from verbs
Add -w- and then -ąąkan to a vai or voti verb stem to form a noun with related meaning.

Patterns of attachment are summarized as follows:

(vowel ending stem)-(w)-(ąąkan)
(voti stem)(am)(āā)-(w)-(ąąkan)
(voti stem)(um)(āā)-(w)-(ąąkan)

The connective w used here has the same properties as the -w used for verb endings in that it changes the vowel of unstable stems in similar ways.

unstable stem-ii + w => stem-uw
unstable stem-ąą + w => stem-āāw

miitθuw vai eat
miitθuwąąkan ni food /miitsii-w-ąąkan/

pumąąwθuw vai live
pumąąwθuwąąkan ni life

wunuθtam voti believe
wunuθtamāāwąąkan ni belief, faith

Nouns may also be built using TA verbs, using the derived reciprocal version of the verb. This derivation to reciprocal uses the suffix -utii- and changes the stem from a TA stem to an AI stem ending in unstable ii, and renders the stem to be eligible for nominalization. The reciprocal derivation process also changes the object of the TA verb to “one another” and when conjugated into a X-subject form, the object becomes indefinite, best translated as “people” using the English passive.

"People are ...." or "There is ...." followed by the verb meaning. 

The nominalization process has similar properties to the X Subject in terms of changing the meaning of the object from ‘one another ‘ to ‘someone or ‘people’ ‘and creates a noun based on the TA verb’s original meaning, minus the subject and minus the object.

ahwąąnāāw vta love s.o.
ahwąąntuwak vai love one another reciprocal verb
ahwąąntiin people are loved. X subject form
ahwąąntuwąąkan ni love

TA stems ending in -aw contract with the reciprocal suffix -utii- to form ąątii-

nahtamawāāw vta help s.o.
nahtamąątuwak vai reciprocal help one another
nahtamąątiin There is help. People are helped.
nahtamawąątuwąąkan ni help (s80)(s102)

There are also examples in Mahican texts of nouns built from TA stems which do not use the reciprocal form. These nouns are formed by adding -wāā- to the stem and the connective w and the noun final -ąąkan may then be added.

This pattern of attachment is summarized as follows:

(vta stem)-(wāā)-(w)-(ąąkan)

Examples from Mahican texts:
ahwąąnwāāwąąkan ni love (Ps51.2); derived from ahwąąnāāw vta love someone
wunih-anihwāāwąkan ni blessing (HA90,HA103); derived from wunih-anihāāw vta bless someone, do something good for someone
wuniimwāāwąąkan ni judgement (HA55); derived from wuniimāāw vta judge someone

An example of this was found in the Munsee Prayer Book, providing a clue to the proper way to phonemicize the vowels.
M wtahwaulwawaukuning Note: wa as written in Munsee prayer book corresponds to wee using the “writing system” in modern use.

M ahwaaleew vta love s.o.; wtahwaalweewaakaning “in his love”

Dwelling Noun Formation

Forms nouns from existing nouns and roots of words
Add -iikąąn to an existing noun to create a new noun with the meaning of house or dwelling related to the noun.

aθun ni stone
aθuniikąąn ni house of stone

koowuyhiikąąn ni barn (Sw148,47av) koowiikąąn (Sw148,av104)

mxih- big
mxiikąąn big house (TM21)

wusk- new
wuskiikąąn ni new house. (s84)

pihtawih pn extra
pihtawiikąąn ni room, chamber (Ps19.5)

Nouns with Holes

Creates nouns from other nouns
Add -ąąnakw to a noun to add the meaning of holes to the noun

aθun rock, stone
aθunąąnakw ni rock hole
pl aθunąąnahkwan rock holes (mlh14)

ahkuy ni earth, ground
ahkuyąąnahk ni cellar
Ahkuyanahkuk. In the cellar. (s47)