Lesson 15: What are you doing?

ke'kwa'n to'taman
'What are you doing?'
ke'kwa'n~iw to'tahk
'What is he doing?'
ke'kwa'n~iw to'tahkik
'What are they doing?'*
ke'kwa'n to'tama'n
'What am I doing?'
ke'kwa'n no'cihta'yan
'What are you working on?'
ke'kwa'n~iw no'cihta't
'What is he working on?'
ke'kwa'n~iw no'cihta'cik
'What are they working on?'
ke'kwa'n no'cihta'ya'n
'What am I working on?'
ke'kwa'n (ka'-)wi'-to'taman wa'pahke'
'What are you going to do tomorrow?'
ke'kwa'n ke'-to'taman wa'pahke'
'What will you do tomorrow?'
ke'kwa'n ka'-(ki'-)to'taman ota'hkosi'hk
'What did you do yesterday?'
ke'kwa'n ka'-(ki'-)no'cihta'yan ota'hkosi'hk
'What did you do yesterday?'
ke'kwa'n~iw mwe'hci to'tahk Alice
'What is Alice doing just now?'
ke'kwa'n~iw ana to'tahk
'What is that one doing?'
ke'kwa'n~iw no'cihta't ana iskwe'w
'What is that woman working on?'
ke'kwa'n~iw to'tahkik anikik awa's(i)sak
'What are those children doing?'*

(Western dialects: ke'kwa'n for ke'kwa'n~iw)

*(Norther dialects: to'tahkwa' for to'tahkik.)

New Verbs

no'cihta'
'work on it'
to'ta
'do it'

Notes

The verbs that end in a (but not a'), like to'ta, take the following subjunctive personal affixes:

Some of the other affixes which occur with these verbs are also a little different from those which occur with other verbs, as will be seen in later sections.


In supplementary questions, ta- 'will' is replaced by ke'- (sentence 10)


Note that in many Manitboa dialects ke'kwa'n~iw is used instaed of ke'kwa'n in any sentence containing 'he', 'she', or 'they'.


The student can use the questions in sentences 1-8 to increase their vocabulary of verbs, indeed, 'What am I doing?' and 'What am I working on?' could hardly be used for any other purpose, except perhaps also in classroom drill.


Sentences 1-8 do not include all the possible ways to say 'What are you doing?' in Cree. The following are used in some areas:

ta'n(i)si e'to'taman
'What are you doing?'
ta'n(i)si e'to'tahk
'What is he doing?'
ta'n(i)si e'to'tahkik
'What are they doing?'
ta'n(i)si e'to'tama'n
'What am I doing?'

But in an appropriate context these sentences mean 'How did you do it?' or 'What did you do to it?', etc., and will be so understood in some regions.

In eastern Manitoba, the above expressions may be used with ta'ni in place of ta'n(i)si.

The student must be alert to the usage of his teachers or his community and imitate them.


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