HOME | Nouns
| PR | VAI
| VII | VTA | VTI
| Dem | Inter
| Dub | Indef
Demonstrative pronouns are closely tied to conversation, and are used to
identify people and objects relative to some point of reference, usually the speaker's
location at the time of speaking, or some reference point that the speaker establishes
in a narrative. English demonstrative pronouns include this, that,
these, and those, and Ojibwe equivalents for all of these exist.
However, Ojibwe uses demonstrative pronouns quite differently than does English;
for example, demonstratives in Ojibwe are common with personal names.
Most of the
pronouns listed above have variant forms, e.g., wa'aw
(wa), a'aw (aw,
a'a, a), ongow
(ogow, ogo), ingiw
(igiw, giw), o'ow
(o'o, o), etc.
Note that there
are animate obviative (4th person) demonstrative pronouns, used to identify (grammatically)
less-focussed objects. Animate obviatives
do not distinguish between singular and plural number, so, for example, onow
is ambiguous as to meaning, translatable into English as this or these,
depending on context. Often in Ojibwe context will make clear whether the obviative
pronoun is referring to singular or plural objects.
Note that the
form of the animate obviative pronouns is identical to the inanimate plurals,
so, for example, iniw out of context is ambiguous
as to whether it means those (inanimate) or that/those
The following are some examples
of the usage of demonstrative pronouns in sentences:
- Apegish gaye giin wawiyadenimad
wa'aw waabooz. 'I hope you too find this rabbit cute.'
- "Oonh, yay yay, baasinigo gosha wa'aw," ikido.
'"Oh, goodness gracious, this one is just bloated," she says.' (MK)
- Mii gaye gaawiin gegoo i'iw. 'There wasn't
anything there.' (MK)
- Mii sa go i'iw. 'That's it. (said
at the end of a story)' (MK)
- Mii iidog i'iw gaa-ikidod. 'That's
what she said.' (MK)
- Niizhwaachinoon imaa iniw minisensan. 'There
are seven little islands there.' (MK)
- Mii iidog a'aw nookomisiban niibowa ogii-nagadenimaawaan iniw
gichi-mookomaanan imaa. 'My late grandmother was acquainted with lots of white
people there.' (MK)
- Ingii-wanendam-sh ezhinikaazowaad mii ingiw.
‘But I have forgotten their names.' (MK)
- Mii sa azhigwa zegiziwaad ingiw anishinaabeg aandi
gaa-izhaad a'aw ikwezens, wanishing. 'Th(os)e Indians
are scared about where the/that little girl has gone, she's lost.' (MK)