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Nouns table

gloss layer stem phonology sg pl
axe lexeme resonant-final husan husanis
axe suffix resonant-final zero is
dog lexeme x-final sinox sinoxos
dog suffix x-final zero Vs
ear lexeme default kʸutekʸute kʸuteykʸutey
ear suffix default zero y
goat lexeme qayla qaylaɬayis
goat suffix zero ɬayis
house lexeme t-final wet wetes
house suffix t-final zero es
myth lexeme paɬa paɬalis
myth suffix zero lis
shoulder lexeme u-final hʷapu hʷapuɬ
shoulder suffix u-final zero ɬ
song lexeme teneq tenhay
song suffix eq hay
star lexeme qates qatetsel
star suffix s tsel

Possessed nouns table

gloss layer 1 2 3 1 incl unspecified
ear lexeme nkʸute hakʸute lakʸute ɬakʸute tokʸute
ear suffix n ha la ɬa to
grandfather lexeme nkʸoti akʸoti lakʸoti ɬakʸoti tokʸoti
grandfather suffix n a la ɬa to
hand lexeme ntkʷey akʷey takʷey ɬakʷey tokʷey
hand suffix nt a ta ɬa to

Verbs table

gloss layer stem phonology 1 2 3 1 incl
cook prefix C-initial nt lata ta yat
cook lexeme C-initial ntqatay lataqatay taqatay
die prefix V-initial ny lat’ y yat’
die lexeme V-initial yiɬ
leave prefix C-initial n la i ya
leave lexeme C-initial nwum
play prefix C-initial n la ya ya
play lexeme C-initial yaquy
slip prefix C-initial n la hi ya
slip lexeme C-initial hip’etax
be bad prefix C-initial n a zero ya
be bad lexeme C-initial axʷitsax xʷitsax
talk prefix V-initial ny ɬ y y
talk lexeme V-initial nyomey ɬomey yomey
swallow prefix C-initial n la zero ya
swallow lexeme C-initial tim

Wichi notes

Possessed nouns

  • Inalienably possesed nouns take possessor-marking prefixes; the 'grandfather' type is the most frequent pattern.


  • The -eq (singular) ~ -ay (plural) is found with patient-oriented nominalizations (e.g. 'song' as derived from 'sing'). There are though nouns such as kʷen-eq 'slave', for which there is no synchronically attested verb that it could be derived from.
  • The suffix -lis is really a distributive, which with some nouns can follow the regular plural marker. For other nouns, though, it is the sole marker of plurality. The suffix -ɬayis is really a collective marker. Again, though, with some nouns it is the sole marker of plurality.


  • Terraza (2009: 129-37) characterizes the consonant-initial verb classes in semantic terms, though it is no clear how deterministic these definitions are:
    • 'leave'-type: agentive
    • 'be bad'-type: stative
    • 'cook'-type: eventive (non-agentive)
    • 'slip'-type: non-control
    • 'play'-type: animate subject, with lower volitionality than 'leave'-type
    • 'swallow'-type: affected subject
  • 2. Vowel-initial verbs have no particular semantic characterization, and themselves fall into two apparently arbitrary classes.


Jimena Terraza. 2009. Grammaire du Wichí: Phonologie et Morphosyntaxe. PhD thesis, Université du Québec à Montréal.