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Nature and principles of the pronoun—Its distinction into preformative and subfor mative classes—Personal pronouns—The distinction of an inclusive and exclusive form in the number of the first person plural—Modifications of the personal pronouns to imply existence, individuality, possession, ownership, position and other accidents—Declension of pronouns to answer the purpose of the auxiliary verbs—Subformatives, how employed, to mark the persons—Relative pronouns considered—Their application to the causative verbs—Demonstrative pronouns—their separation into two classes, animates and inanimates—Example of their use.
Pronouns are buried, if we may so say, in the structure of the verb. In tracing them back to their primitive forms, through the almost infinite variety of modifications which they assume, in connexion with the verb, substantive and adjective, it will facilitate analysis, to group them into preformative and subformative, which include the pronominal prefixes and suffixes, and which admit of the further distinction of separable and inseparable. By separable is intended those forms, which have a meaning by themselves, and are thus distinguished from the inflective and subformative pronouns, and pronominal particles significant only, in connection with another word.
1. Of the first class, are the personal pronouns Neen (I,) Keen (thou,) and Ween or O (he or she.) They are declined to form the plural per sons in the following manner:
I, Neen. We Keen owind (in.)
We Neen owind (ex.)
Thou, Keen. Ye Keen owau.
He or She, Ween or O. They Ween owau.
Here the plural persons are formed by a numerical inflection of the singular. The double plural of the first person, of which both the rule and examples have been incidentally given in the remarks on the substantive, is one of those peculiarities of the language, which may, perhaps, serve to aid in a comparison of it, with other dialects, kindred and foreign. As a mere conventional agreement, for denoting whether the person addressed, be included, or excluded, it may be regarded as an advantage to the language. It enables the speaker, by the change of a single consonant, to make a full and clear discrimination, and relieves the narration from doubts and ambiguity, where doubts and ambiguity would otherwise often exist. On the other hand, by accumulating distinctions, it loads the memory with grammatical forms, and opens a door for improprieties of speech. We are not aware of any inconveniencies in the use of a general plural. But in the Indian it would produce confusion. And it is perhaps to that cautious desire of personal discrimination, which is so apparent in the structure of the language, that we should look for the reason of the duplicate forms of this word. Once established, however, and both the distinction, and the necessity of a constant and strict attention to it, are very obvious and striking. How shall he address the Deity? If he say—" Our father -who art in heaven," the inclusive form of "our" makes the Almighty one of the suppliants, or family. If he use the exclusive form, it throws him out of the family, and may embrace every living being but the Deity. Yet, neither of these forms can be used well in' prayer, as they cannot be applied directly to the object addressed. It is only when speaking of the Deity, under the name of father, to other persons, that the inclusive and exclusive forms of the word "our" can be used. The dilemma may be obviated, by the use of a compound descriptive phrase—Wa d se mig o yun, signifying—Thou Who Art The FaTher Of All. Or, universal father.
In practice, however, the question is cut short, by those persons who have embraced Christianity. It has seemed to them, that by the use of either of the foregoing terms, the Deity would be thrown into too remote a relation to them, and I have observed, that, in prayer, they invariably address Him, by the term used by children for the father of a family, that is, Nosa, my father
The other personal pronouns undergo some peculiar changes, when employed as preformatives before nouns and verbs, which it is important to remark. Thus neen, is sometimes rendered ne or nin, and sometimes nim. Keen, is rendered ke or kin. In compound words the mere signs of the first and second pronouns, N and K, are employed. The use of ween is limited; and the third person, singular and plural, is generally indicated by the sign, O
The particle suh added to the complete forms of the disjunctive pronouns, imparts a verbal sense to them; and appears in this instance, to be a succedaneum for the substantive verb. Thus Neen, I, becomes Neensuh, it is I. Keen, thou, becomes Keensuh, it is thou, and Ween, he or she, Weensuh, it is he or she. This particle may also be added to the plural forms.
Keenowind suh. It is we (in.)
Neenowind suh. It is we (ex.)
Keenowa suh. It is ye, or you.
Weenowau suh. It is they.
If the word aittah be substituted for suh, a set of adverbial phrases me formed.
,.,. . , T i Neen aittah wind, We &c. (ex.)
Neen aittah, I only. _, . . . .' _ . ,:
'Keen aittah wmd, We doe. (it.)
Keen aittah, Thou only. Keen aittah wau, You &c.
Ween aittah, He or she only. Ween aittah wau, They &a
In like manner nittum first, and ishkwaudj last, give rise to the following arrangement of the pronoun:
Neen nittum, I first
Keen nittum, You or thou first.
Ween nittum, He or she first.
Keen nittum ewind, We first (in.)
Neen nittum ewind, We first, (ex.)
Keen nittum ewau, Ye or you first
Ween nittum ewau, They first.
Neen ishkwaudj, I last,
Keen ishkwaudj, Thou last
Ween ishkwandj, He or she last
Keenowind ishkwaudj, We last (in.)
Neenowind ishkwaudj, We last (ex.)
Keenowau ishkwaudj, Ye or you last
Weenowau ishkwaudj, They last
The disjunctive forms of the pronoun are also sometimes preserved before verbs and adjectives.
NEEZHIKA. Alone, (am)
Neen neezhika, I alone.
Keen neezhika, Thou alone.
Ween neezhika, He or she alone.
Keenowind neezhika, We alone (in.)
Neenowind neezhika, We alone (ex.)
Keenowau neezhika, Ye or you alone.
Weenowau neezhika, They alone.
To give these expressions a verbal form, the substantive verb, with its pronominal modifications, must be superadded. For instance, I am alone, &C., is thus rendered:
Neen neezhika nindyau, I am alone, x aumin.
Keen neezhika keedyau, Thou art alone, X aum.
Ween neezhika Iyau, He or she is alone, &c, x wug.
In the subjoined examples the noun ow, body, is changed to a verb, by the permutation of the vowel, changing ow to auw, which last takes the letter d before it, when the pronoun is prefixed.
I am a man, Neen nin dauw.
Thou art a man, Keen ke dauw.
He is a man, Ween ah weeh.
We are men, (in.) Ke dauw we min.
We are men, (ex.) Ne dauw we min.
Ye are men, Ke dauw min.
They are men, Weenowau ah weeh wug.
In the translation of these expressions "man" is used as synonomous with person. If the specific term inine, had been introduced in the original, the meaning thereby conveyed would be, in this particular connexion. I am a man with respect to courage &C., in opposition to effeminacy. It would not be simply declarative of corporeal existence, but of existence in a particular state or condition.
In the following phrases, the modified forms, or the signs only, of the pronouns are used:
N' debaindaun, I own it.
Ke debaindaun, Thou ownest it.
O debaindaun, He or she owns it.
N' debaindaun-in, We own it (ex.)
Ke debaindaun-in, We own it (in.)
Ke debaindaun-ewau, Ye own it.
O debaindaun-ewau, They own it.
These examples are cited as exhibiting the manner in which the prefixed and preformative pronouns are employed, both in their full and contracted forms. To denote possession, nouns specifying the things possessed, are required; and, what would not be anticipated, had not full examples of this species of declension been given in another place, the purposes of distinction are not effected by a simple change of the pronoun, as I to mine, &c, but by a subformative inflection of the noun, which is thus made to have a reflective operation upon the pronoun-speaker. It is believed that sufficient examples of this rule, in all the modifications of inflection, have been given under the head of the substantive. But as the substantives employed to elicit these modifications were exclusively specific in their meaning, it may be proper here, in further illustration of an important principle, to present a generic substantive under their compound forms.
I have selected for this purpose one of the primitives. Ie-ac. is the abstract term for existing matter. It is in the animate form and declarative. Its inanimate correspondent is Ie-ee. These are two important roots. And the y are found in combination, in a very great number of derivative words. It will be sufficient here, to show their connexion with the pronoun, in the production of a class of terms in very general use.
/ Nin dye eem, Mine. Nin dye eeminaun, Ours, (ex)
, / Ke dye eeminaun, Ours, (in.)
t Ke dye eem, Thine. Ke dye eemewau, Yours.
Obj. O dye eem-un, His or Hers. O dye eemewaun, Theirs. Poss. tn.
In these forms the noun is singular throughout. To render it plural, as well as the pronoun, the appropriate general plurals ug and un or ig and in, must be superadded. But it must be borne in mind, in making these additions, "that the plural inflection to inanimate nouns (which have no objective case,) forms the objective case to animates, which have no number in the third person," fp. 30.] The particle un, therefore, which is the appropriate plural for the inanimate nouns in these examples, is only the objective mark of the animate.
The plural of I, is noun, the plural of thou and he, wau. But as these inflections would not coalesce smoothly with the possessive inflections, the connective vowels i. and e. are prefixed, making the plural of I, infirm, and of thou, &c. ewau.
If we strike from these declensions the root Ie, leaving its animate and inanimate forms Au, and Ee, and adding the plural of the noun, we shall then,—taking the animate declension as an instance, have the -following formula of the pronominal declensions.
To render this formula of general use, six variations, (five in addition