Forming Basic Plurals In Cherokee

Example Nouns - Animate

Animate nous often form the plural by changing a- to ani-


ᎠᏍᎦᏯ asgaya (a man) - ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ anisgaya (men)

ᏴᏫ yvwi (a person) - ᎠᏂᏴᏫ aniyvwi (people)

ᏣᎳᎩ tsalagi (a Cherokee) - ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ anitsalagi (Cherokees)


There are excecptions (of course):

ᎤᏚᏥ udutsi (an uncle) - ᏧᏚᏥ tsudutsi (uncles)

ᎤᏙ udo (an opposite sex sibling) - ᏧᏙ tsudo (opposite sex siblings)

ᎠᏲᏟ ayotli (a child) - ᏗᏂᏲᏟ diniyotli (children)



Example Nouns - Inanimate

Inanimate nous usually form plurals by adding the di- prefix to the beginning of the word. If the noun begins with a-, the di- plural prefix will usually replace the a- prefix at the beginning of the word.


ᏔᎷᏣ talutsa (a basket) - ᏗᏔᎷᏣ ditalutsa (baskets)

ᎠᏗᏙᏗ aditohdi (a spoon) - diditohdi (spoons)

ᎠᎵᏲ aliyo (a sock) - ᏗᎵᏲ diliyo (socks)

ᎠᎳᏑᎶ alasulo (a shoe) - ᏗᎳᏑᎶ dilasulo (shoes)

ᎠᎱᎵ ahuli (a drum) - ᏗᎱᎵ dihuli (drums)


If the word begins with u-, the di- usually changes to ts- and combines with the u- to become tsu-

ᎤᎵᏑᏫᏓ ulisuwida (a color) - ᏧᎵᏑᏫᏓ tsulisuwida (colors)

ᎤᎿᏬ uhnawo (a shirt) - ᏧᎿᏬ tsuhnawo (shirts)

ᎤᏪᏥ uwetsi (an egg) - ᏧᏪᏥ tsuwetsi (eggs)

ᎤᎦᎶᎦ ugaloga (a leaf) - ᏧᎦᎶᎦ tsugaloga (leaves)

ᎤᎩᏓᏟ ugidatli (a feather) - ᏧᎩᏓᏟ tsugidatli (feathers)



Example Nouns - Non-possesive

ᎤᏓᏁᎲᎢ udanehv'i (a puddle) - ᏚᏓᏁᎲᎢ dudanehv'i (puddles)

ᎤᎿᏚᎸᎢ uhnadulv'i (an island) - ᏚᎿᏚᎸᎢ duhnadulv'i (islands)

ᎤᏅᏓᎷᎢ unvdalv'i (a mountain) - ᏚᎾᏓᎸᎢ dunvdalv'i (mountains)

ᎠᏓᎾᏅᎢ adananv'i (a store) - ᏓᏓᎾᏅᎢ dadananv'i (stores)


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