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Lesson 3: Possessive Prefixes

A noun is shown to be possessed and by whom when it drops the absolutive suffix (lesson 2) and adds a possessive prefix.

The possessive prefixes are:

Possessive Prefixes for Nouns
n(o)- = my t(o)- = our
m(o)- = your (s) am(o)- = your
ï- = his/her ïm-/ïn- = their
(The vowels in parentheses are omitted if the noun itself begins with a vowel.)

Examples

Do not include the long mark over any vowel and do not use periods to separate elements. (The program is too dumb to understand that that can be part of a right answer.)

Each space can be filled in only with the right answer; if you enter anything else, the Answer Ghost will make it vanish as soon as your cursor leaves the box. You can use all upper-case or all lower-case or can capitalize the first letter of each answer (because that is automatic in some browsers). To simplify programming, in these exercises the possessive prefix ï-, which means either "his" or "her," should always be translated "his."

Remember that inanimate Nahuatl nouns can be singular or plural with no change of form. Tecomatl means jar or jars. Calli means house or houses. In these exercises, always use the singular form when it is possible. (The Answer Ghost dislikes unnecessary plurality.)

If you get stuck, place the cursor in the nearest "Uncle Box" and the correct answer to the most recent item you attempted will briefly appear there. Usually one or two items are already filled in by way of example. They cannot be changed.


calli = house

no.cal
ï.cal
ïncal
tocal
mocal

 


cintli = ear of corn

ï.cin
to.cin
ïncin
nocin
mocin

 


camohtli = sweet potato

ï.camoh
ï.camoh
to.camoh
mocamoh
nocamoh

 


comitl = bowl

to.con
ïncon
mocon
ïcon

 


tahtli= father (< -tin)

ï.tah
to.tah.huän
notah
amotah
ïntah
ïntahhuän

 


cihuätl = wife, woman (< -h)

no.cihuä.uh
amo.cihuä.huän
ïncihuähuän
ïcihuäuh

 


axcaItl = property

Note: The I capitalized in the middle of the word "axcaI.tl" is part of the root. Because the root ends in a vowel, the absolutive suffix is -tl. However the I is a "disappearing" I, which vanishes before other suffixes are added. To facilitate identifying such "disappearing" stem vowels, I find it convenient in vocabulary lists to capitalize them. In most cases they are initial; about half of the roots beginning with I loose it before adding prefixes. An example is "Ichca.tl" = cotton (no.chca.uh = my cotton).

ï.axca.uh
m.axca.uh
amaxcauh
taxcauh

 


Ichcatl = cotton

ï.chca.uh
nochcauh
mochcauh
amochcauh

 


tecomAtl = jar

no.tecon
ïtecon
amotecon

Possessive prefixes are used whenever a noun is possessed, even if another noun shows who is the possessor. Sometimes the particle "in" is placed between the object possessed and the possessor. (Caution: This particle has other uses as well. In general it merely shows that what follows is a noun, noun phrase, or noun clause, so it is not equivalent to English "of.")


tecomAtl = jar (root: tecom-)

ïtecon = her jar
ïtecon Marta = Marta's jar
ïtecon in Marta = Marta's jar

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Challenge A: ichcatl = cotton; äxcäItl = property.

Challenge B:

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