Let's Talk Lenape!
More Kinship Terms:
In lesson 7 we discussed some basic kinship terms and here are some more:
Note: All the following terms for brother or sister are also used for cousins of all degrees. The ones ending with an exclamation mark (!) are vocative forms used in speaking to your relative:
Older Brother -(na)xans
naxans my older brother
[ kënaxans] your older brother
xònsa his/her older brother
xansa Older brother!
Older Sister -mis
nëmis my older sister
këmis your older sister
mwisa his/her older sister
mësa Older sister!
Younger Sibling (Brother or Sister) -(na)xisëmës
naxisëmës my younger brother or sister
kxisëmës [ kënaxisëmës] your younger brother or sister
xwisëmësa his/her younger brother or sister
xisëmësa ~ xata ~ xatash ~ xatas Younger brother! or Younger sister!
Aunt -kahètët (literally: “little mother”)
nkahètët my aunt
kahètët your aunt
kohètëta his/her aunt
kahèti ~ nkahèti Aunt!
Uncle -shis (mother’s brother only)
nshis my mother’s brother
kshis your mother’s brother
wshisa his/her mother’s brother
shësa Mother’s brother! Uncle!
Uncle -uxtët (father’s brother only) (literally: “little father”)
nuxtët my father’s brother
kuxtët your father’s brother
uxtëta his/her father’s brother
nuxtëta Father’s brother! Uncle!
Grandchild -uxwis (male or female)
nuxwis my grandchild
kuxwis your grandchild
uxwisa his/her grandchild
And one strange Lenape kin term:
nuxwisxàm my child’s pet (literally: “my grandchild animal.” Mainly used when speaking of a dog.)
Some of the verb forms are classed as Imperative which often means they are a command but depending on how they are said they could also be considered as a request.
All Delaware verbs are built around a ROOT, which carries
the basic meaning of the verb. A
verbalizing suffix is added to the root to form a
VERB + -0 = VERB him or her.
Mil Give him/her
The imperative form for, VERB me, could be written as
VERB + -i = VERB me
Mili Give me
And the imperative form for, VERB us, could be written as:
VERB + -inèn = VERB us
Milinèn Give us
Mili në shukël. Give me the sugar.
Mili në shukël. Give me the sugar.
Mili në ahpon Give me the bread.
You can also say:
Mili ahpon Give me some bread.
Mil ahpon Give him some bread.
Wichëm Help him
Wichëmi Help me
Wichëmikw Help me, you people
Wichëminèn Help us
Witkèm Dance with him/her
Witkèmi Dance with me
Witkèmikw Dance with me, you people
Witkèminèn Dance with us
These forms might be useful to you:
xàm Feed him
xami Feed me
xamikw Feed me, you people
xaminèn Feed us
In Lenape it is often common to use a verbal form which includes the noun which it is built around. An example might be taking the word, Alukwèpi = Hat, and using it in a verb. An example would be:
alukwèpisu He is wearing a hat
Another example using a word that we have already had is the word, Hèmpës = A shirt or a dress. In Lenape you can combine different word elements into a single word because Lenape is what linguists call a polysynthetic language.
If we take the prefix Aon- which means, Blue, we can combine it with the Lenape word for a shirt or a dress and make it is:
And it can be made into a verb:
aonhèmpse She is wearing a blue dress, or He is wearing a blue shirt
You might think that it is confusing whether that can mean a shirt or a dress and wonder why it can be used that way. Remember that at the time the Lenape people adopted the word Hèmpës their clothing was made of deerskin so this was somewhat of a catchall term for something made of cloth. If you have to be specific in Lenape about it being for a man you can say:
lënuwahèmpës A man’s shirt