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)
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-aaw
miitθuw vai eat
miitθuwąąkan ni food /miitsii-w-ąąkan/
pumąąwθuw vai live
pumąąwθuwąąkan ni life
wunuθtam voti believe
wunuθtamaawąąkan 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.
ahwąąnaaw 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-
nahtamawaaw 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 -waa- to the stem and the connective w and the noun final -ąąkan may then be added.
This pattern of attachment is summarized as follows:
Examples from Mahican texts:
ahwąąnwaawąąkan ni love (Ps51.2); derived from ahwąąnaaw vta love someone
wunih-anihwaawąkan ni blessing (HA90,HA103); derived from wunih-anihaaw vta bless someone, do something good for someone
wuniimwaawąąkan ni judgement (HA55); derived from wuniimaaw 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)
mxiikąąn big house (TM21)
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)