Let's Talk Lenape!
Let’s Take a Minute to Talk About Time:
pètapàn dawn; it is approaching dawn; it is coming daylight; first light of day
kchinkwehële it is sunrise
òpàn it dawns; morning
alàpae early in the morning
òpànke next morning; tomorrow morning;
sëtpuk tomorrow morning; early in the morning
nèsko paxhàkwe forenoon; before noon
kìshi paxhàkwe afternoon
lòku evening; it is evening time
wëlòku nice evening
wëli lòku it is a nice evening
tòkanilòku nice evening (beginning at sundown)
piske it is night; it is dark (no light)
piskèk night; dark
tòkanitpikàt nice, pleasant night
Terms and concepts adopted from Europeans:
kwëti spànkweokàn one second (lit: one blink of the eye)
këlak clock; o’clock
newa këlak it is four o’clock
Kèxa hèch këlak? What time is it?
Tèlën òk palenàxk kìshi newa. It is four-fifteen.
Tèlën mìnìt xu palenàxk. It is ten minutes to five.
Some other time related words:
yukwe ènta kishkwik today
lòmëwe long ago
lilòmëwe very long ago
kishux month; sun; moon
PRONOUNS IN LENAPE
First Person I ni
Second Person you ki
Third Person he (or) she nèka
First Person Plural Exclusive we [other person(s) and me] niluna
First Person Plural Inclusive we [you and me] kiluna
Second Person Plural you [plural: you-all; you people] kiluwa
Third Person Plural they nèkao
For the plural pronouns, the only possible surprise is kiluna, which translates as ‘we’ but specifically includes the listener whereas niluna specifically excludes the listener. Thus kiluna is often described as first person INCLUSIVE, whereas niluna is referred to as first person EXCLUSIVE based on the inclusion or exclusion of the listener.
Examples of how they are used:
Lënape hèch ki? Are you a Delaware?
Kàchi hèch ki? How about you?
Awèn hèch ki? Who are you?
Kèxiti Lënape ni. I am a little bit Delaware.
Pahsi Lënape ni. I am half Delaware.
Pilaechëch ni. I am a boy.
Ku ta ni! Not me!
Lënape ta ni! I am a Delaware!
More on Building Sentences:
We will use Kawi – to sleep for these examples.
Kawi He is asleep.
Mèchi kawi. He is already asleep.
Kati kawi. He almost went to sleep.
Kati kawi na skixkwe. The young woman almost went to sleep.
Mèchi kìshi kawi. He already finished sleeping.
Kahta kawi. He wants to go to sleep.
Kahta yukwe kawi. He wants to
Kawi na sëksit pushis. The black cat is asleep.
Piskèke xu nkawi. Tonight I will sleep.
Na lënu tàkiti kawi. The man slept just a short time.
Hakink kawi. He slept on the ground.
May kawi. You
go (somewhere) and sleep
Kawi hèch? Are you asleep?
Nkawi I sleep; I slept.
Nkata kawi. I want to sleep.
Nkati kawi. I almost went to sleep.
Nëwinki kawi. I like to sleep
Nkata yukwe kawi. I want to go to sleep now
Wëlakwihe sòmi nkëshsi, ntala kawi. Last night it was too hot, I couldn't sleep.
kawënhe he is putting him to sleep (to bed)
kèhkawihink anesthetic; something to put someone to sleep
In Lenape there is also a bound form that can be used to describe ways to sleep or things that can happen while you sleep. It is, –unkòm.
nkatunkòm I am sleepy
katunkòm hèch? are you sleepy?
kahtunkòm he is sleepy
wëlunkòm he slept well
kitunkòm he sleeps soundly
këkhitunkòm he sleeps very soundly
ayëhèlunkòm he oversleeps; he sleeps late
ntayëhelunkòm I slept late