On giving and receiving

Giving and Receiving

The verb root for both Giving and Receiving is “Min.”  The way it is formed determines who is giving and who is getting.

Some tips:

  1. The animate actors are expressed by the verb.  In other words, the person who gives the gift is grammatically more important than the gift itself.
  2. Different verb endings determine which way the giving is going.
  3. 2nd person is preferred:  You are more important than Me, and this is expressed grammatically by putting 2nd person in front of the verb.

Giving to a 3rd person:

Ngi mina ode nebyégen o Jigwékwé – I gave the pen to Jigwekwe

Ngi minak ode nebyégen gi nenwik éjibdebwat ibe – I gave the pen to the men sitting over there

*The verb is determined by the people, not the gift.

Ngi mina         Nin to win                               Ngi minak       nin to winwa

Ggi mina         Gin to win                               Ggi minak       gin to winwa

Wgi minan      Win to 4                                  Wgi minan      win to 4

Ngi minamen   Ninan to win                           Ngi minamen   ninan to winwa

Ggi minamen   Ginan to win                           Ggi minamen  ginan to winwa

Ggi minawa     Ginwa to win                          Ggi minawak  ginwa to winwa

Wgi minawan  Winwa to 4                             Wgi minawan  winwa to 4

Receiving from a 3rd person:

Ngi minek ode nebyégen o Jigwékwé – I got this pen from Jigwekwe

Ngi mingok ode nebyégen gi nenwik éjibdebwat ibe – I got this pen from those men sitting over there

*Now the verb is reversed.

Ngi minek       win to nin                                Ngi mingok     winwa to nin

Ggi minek       win to gin                                Ggi mingok     winwa to gin

Wgi mingon    4 to win                                   Wgi mingon    4 to winwa

Ngi mingonan win to ninan                            Ngi mingonanek  winwa to ninan

Ggi mingonan win to ginan                           Ggi mingonanek  winwa to ginan

Ggi mingowa   win to ginwa                          Ggi mingowak     winwa to ginwa

Wgi mingowan   4+ to win                             Wgi mingowan   4+ to winwa

Then it gets complicated.   Now you have to remember that YOU is grammatically more important than ME, and the most important thing comes first.

Ggi mish          Gin to Nin       You gave it to me

Ggi minen       Nin to Gin       I gave it to you

Ggi mishyémen           Gin to ninan                You gave it to us

Ggi minenmen             Ninan to gin                We gave it to you

Ggi mishyem               Ginwa to nin               Y’all gave it to me

Ggi minenem               Nin to Ginwa              I gave it to y’all

Ggi minem                  Nin to Ginwa              I gave it to y’all

Ggi mishyémen           Ginwa to ninan            Y’all gave it to us

Ggi minmenem            Ninan to ginwa           We gave it to y’all

Ggi minenmen             Ninan to ginwa           We gave it to y’all

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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