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Nouns table

gloss layer sg pl
hand lexeme iłkšin itkšinmax̣
hand prefix it
hand suffix zero max̣
acorn lexeme ag̣úlul itg̣úlul
acorn prefix a it
acorn suffix zero zero
chinook salmon lexeme igunat itgunat
chinook salmon prefix i it
chinook salmon suffix zero zero
dead person lexeme iłmiməlušt idmiməluštikš
dead person prefix it
dead person suffix zero Vkš
dish lexeme iládas iłládas
dish prefix i
dish suffix zero zero
female bat lexeme ac’ig̣ula itc’ig̣ulayukš
female bat prefix a it
female bat suffix zero Vkš
female wildcat lexeme apkwa apkwamax̣
female wildcat prefix a a
female wildcat suffix zero max̣
finger ring lexeme ak’wiak’wiamax̣ ik’wiak’wiamax̣
finger ring prefix a i
finger ring suffix max̣ max̣
her younger sister lexeme agaútxix iłgaútxikš
her younger sister prefix a
her younger sister suffix zero Vkš
his wife’s male relative lexeme iyag̣uqšin idiag̣uqšnana
his wife’s male relative prefix i it
his wife’s male relative suffix zero nana
lamprey lexeme igakwal agakwal
lamprey prefix i a
lamprey suffix zero zero
magpie lexeme iknáʔan itknáʔanukš
magpie prefix i it
magpie suffix zero Vkš
mail carrier lexeme iiagikʷčan idagikʷčan
mail carrier prefix ia da
mail carrier suffix zero zero
male wildcat lexeme ipkwa ipkwamax̣
male wildcat prefix i i
male wildcat suffix zero max̣
man lexeme ikala ikálukš
man prefix i i
man suffix zero Vkš
my father’s sister lexeme akłak iłkłagnana
my father’s sister prefix a
my father’s sister suffix zero nana
my friend lexeme iłkšikš iłkšikšnana
my friend prefix
my friend suffix zero nana
paiute lexeme it’uanx̣a iłt’uanx̣ayukš
paiute prefix i
paiute suffix zero Vkš
pin lexeme agikw’inc iłgikw’inc
pin prefix a
pin suffix zero zero
putter out of lights (female) lexeme ičak’ičxəbčxəb idak’ičxəbčxəb
putter out of lights (female) prefix ča da
putter out of lights (female) suffix zero zero
spider lexeme ałagagʷuli itłagagʷulimax̣
spider prefix a it
spider suffix zero max̣

Wishram notes

  • The primary system of number marking on nouns consists of prefixes and suffixes, which may be combined.
  • Some prefixes are described as marking gender-number: a- for feminine singular, i- for masculine singular and it- for gender-neutral plural. While their sex-designating function is clear in the case of animates (compare 'female wildcat' and 'male wildcat' in the database, which also may share a plural in it- indicating wildcats of either gender), they are also found with inanimates, and presumably are simply part of the lexical entry.
  • The suffixes have at least in part some semantic correlates: - may have a paucal meaning ('some', 'a few'), while -max̣ may have a distributive meaning, though for some nouns they appear simply to function as ordinary plurals. The suffix -nana occurs only with certain kinterms (not close relatives), and -Vkš is for animates, though what is construed as animate covers a fairly wide territory of non-living things.
  • The vowel in -Vkš varies in ways that are not phonologically conditioned, and this suffix could perhaps be understood as a set of different (animate) suffixes.
  • Some nouns are derived directly from verbs, e.g. 'mail carrier' ~ 'mail carrier's should be glossed as 'his carrying it' ~ 'their carrying it' (similarly for 'putter out of lights'). The number marking is manifested on the (originally) verbal argument marker.


Fowler, Nancy and David H. French. 1982. Wasco-Wishram noun pluralization. Working Paper for the 17th International Conference on Salish and Neighboring Languages, Portland State University (9-11 August).