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Possessed nouns table

gloss layer 1 sg 1 pl 2 3
book (iii) lexeme a̲holisso chi̲holisso i̲holisso
group (i) lexeme aaittaphihali' ilaaittaphiha' ishaaittaphiha'
mother (ii) lexeme poshki ishki
book (iii) prefix am pom chim im
group (i) prefix zero il ish zero
mother (ii) prefix sa po chi zero
book (iii) suffix zero zero zero zero
group (i) suffix li zero zero zero
mother (ii) suffix zero zero zero zero

Verbs intransitive table

gloss layer 1 sg 1 pl 2 3 1 sg neg 1 pl neg 2 neg 3 neg
be fat (ii) lexeme salhinko polhinko chilhinko lhinko
be fat (ii) prefix sa po chi zero iksa ikpo ikchi ik
be fat (ii) stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem
be fat (ii) suffix zero zero zero zero o o o o
be slow (iii) lexeme amalhchiba pomalhchiba chimalhchiba imalhchiba iksamalhchi'bo
be slow (iii) prefix am pom chim im iksam ikpom ikchim ikim
be slow (iii) stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem
be slow (iii) suffix zero zero zero zero o o o o
hurt (ii) lexeme sattopa pottopa chittopa hottopa
hurt (ii) prefix sa po chi zero iksa ikpo ikchi ik
hurt (ii) stem #stem2 #stem2 #stem2 #stem1 #stem2 #stem2 #stem2 #stem2
hurt (ii) suffix zero zero zero zero o o o o
jump (i) lexeme mallili iimalli ishmalli malli akmallo kiimallo chikmallo ikmallo
jump (i) prefix zero il ish zero ak kii chik ik
jump (i) stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem #stem
jump (i) suffix li zero zero zero o o o o

Chickasaw notes


  • Argument marking affixes fall into three series (I, II, III), found both singly with intransitives and in combination with transitives. As Munro and Wilmond (1994: xxvi) write:

    The series I affixes are used primarily for indicating semantically active intransitive subjects and most transitive subjects. II prefixes can indicate non-active intransitive subjects, most transitive objects, and a few transitive subjects. III prefixes indicate indirect and direct objects as well as subjects, most of which could be viewed as semantic datives [...] the affixation structure of the majority of Chickasaw verbs can, indeed, be predicted from their semantics. However, the particular agreement pattern used with any given single verb must be lexically specified.

    This suggest that at some level the lexical choice between these different series might be construed as constituting inflection classes.

  • 1st and 2nd plural prefixes are additionally preceded by ho-, which is deleted in case there is another prefix preceding. As this is entirely predictable, it is not represented in the database.

  • 1st plural of series I is il- before consonants and ii- before vowels; kil-/kii- may also be used, apparently without any difference in meaning.

  • There are various morphophonological adjustments which appear to be automatic, and these are not reflected in the database. But within the series II type there are some verbs with the stem-initial element ho- (e.g. 'hurt' in the database), where this element deletes when preceded by a prefix; this appears to be lexically specified.

  • Some verbs also show a stem alternation (or suppletion) according to subject or object number (in the case of transitives it may be either, depending on the verb). Note that this may involve a distinction between dual and plural, which otherwise does not play a role in verb inflection. This seems so closely bound to lexical semantics and so orthogonal to the inflectional affixes that we have not represented in the database.


  • Possessed nouns take the same sets of person-marking affixes as verbs (not the negative prefixes,though). In this case the semantic basis for the distinction is less transparent.
    • Series I affixes are found with a few complex derived nominalizations.
    • Series II is used with body parts and kin terms (i.e. inalienable possession).
    • Series III is the default, but includes nouns which on semantic grounds would seem to fall under the purview of inalienable possession, e.g. 'father'.

Orthographic notes

  • Underlined vowels are nasalized.


Munro, Pamela and Willmond, Catherine. 1994. Chickasaw: An Analytical Dictionary. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.