By Henry A., M.D. Solomon
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Skiri distinguishes two persons–first and second–as well as three numbers–singular, dual, and plural. In both the dual and plural numbers there is a further distinction between inclusive (including the person spoken to) and exclusive (excluding the person spoken to) [table 7:11-12, 15]. There is, in addition, an obviative (OBV) prefix ir- that designates an indefinite third-person agent or a reversal in third-person agent and patient [table 7:13]. Table 9. Pronominal Prefixes Person Agent Patient 1st t- ku- 2nd s- a- Obviative ir- Dual inclusive acir- Plural inclusive a- aca- Singular number is unmarked in Skiri verbs.
Ak- ak- + raar- AN INDV Possession. Both subject and object possession are marked by either single prefixes or combinations of prefixes. There is a distinction between regular and partitive possession, and between simple subject ownership and actual subject physical possession. Independent possessive constructions, which are gerundial forms of the verb ‘to be one’s’ and serve as modifiers of nouns, are rarely used. • ir . . POSS + kawirahur ‘be an acre’ + uk ‘be, exist’ + -Ø PERF • ir . . ri .
In South Band and Arikara the forms are waahri and waahnu, respectively. The verbal prefix sequence ut- PREV/BEN + uks- AOR/JUSS is realized as icuks in Roaming Scout’s speech (as it is in South Band), whereas contemporary Skiri speakers consistently say ucuks-. The prefixal sequence si- DU + ar- EV, that is, si®ah-, which contemporary Skiri speakers generally contract to siih-, was not contracted by Roaming Scout. 17 3 Major Sound Changes The basic meaningful elements, or morphemes, that comprise Skiri words generally have a single basic (or underlying) form.