The -m mystery

 

If you know the word a'su'n 'blanket', you might be wondering why this -m is added when it is possessed.

There is a simple reason for this, which goes back to how precise the Mi'gmaq language tends to be about different kinds of relations. Words for parts of the body (like your teeth) or parts of your family (like your father) are naturally related to you. But most other things in the world are not.

Mi'gmaq allows you to set up any old word as related to you (or me) by adding -m to it. From there, you can then just add on the n- or g- and so forth as usual.

This is not a 100% rule. A few body parts and family members actually do use -m, and a few things that aren't actually don't use the -m. But by and large, when in doubt, if you use the -m, you will be correct, and at worst, just a little over-correct, and fluent speakers will easily set you straight.

Vocabulary Section 1
 

a'su'n

blanket

 
 

'nt-a'su'nM

my blanket

 
 

'gt-a'su'nM

your blanket