Chahta Anumpa: The Noun Phrase Chapter

Itimanumpoli: “Chukkoa!”     

Alikchi: “Chukkoa!”
Ohoyo sipokni: “Yakoke! Sa-tikahbi”
Alikchi: “Ilvppa binili!”
Ohoyo sipokni: “Abinili ma?”
Alikchi: “A, abinili chito ma.”
Ohoyo sipokni: “Ome.”

“Come In”

Doctor: “Come in!”
Old Woman: “Thank you! I’m tired!”
Doctor: “Sit here!”
Old Woman: “That chair?”
Doctor: “Yes, that big chair.”
Old Woman: “Alright.”

Anumpa Vlhpesa

Making Choctaw Noun Phrases

A noun phrase is a phrase made of a nound and its modifiers. Some English noun phrases are: dog; brown dog; big brown dog; that very big brown dog. In English the noun always occurs last in the phrase and there is a fairly strict order to the other modifying words. In Choctaw the word order is noun first, with the modifying words occurring after it. The word order of a Choctaw noun phrase is the mirror image, or reverse, of the English word order.

ohoyo himitta - ‘young woman’
vlla ossi - 'small child’
ofi okpulo - 'bad dog’
hina kullo falaya - 'long, hard road’
chukka tohbi ossi - 'small white house’

Word Order of Numbers and Demonstratives in Noun Phrases

A noun phrase may have several descriptive adjectives, and it may also have numbers, other quantifying words, and demonstratives. 

a. okhisushi ossi achvffa pa - this one small window
b. bok kapvssa lvwa - many cold rivers
c. aboha talhapi yvmma - those five rooms
d. iti yoskololi chohmi ilvppa - this rather short stick

Notice in b and c above that when the noun is plural, it does not change form in any way. Similarly, the demonstratives pa; ilvppa and ma; yvmma do not change form from singular to plural as do English this/these; that/those. In Choctaw plurality is often marked with numbers or other quantifying words such as Ivwa 'many’. 
The demonstratives yvmma and ilvppa often appear in their short forms, ma and pa



abinili - chair; seat
aboha - room
aiimpa - table; eating place
bok - river
hina - road
ninak; ninvk - night
nittak; nitak - day
okhisa - door
okhisushi - window
pulvska - bread
pishokchi - milk
tobi - beans


chaha - tall
chohmi - sort of;somewhat
falaya - long
himitta - young
himona - new
lvcha - wet
lvshpa - hot
kapvssa - cold
kvllo - hard
kowasha - short (in stature)
lvwa; laua - many; a lot
sipokni - old
tikabi; tikahbi - tired
yushkololi - short (in length) 


ilvppa; ilvppa - here; this (full form)
ma - there, that (short form)
pa - here; this (short form)
yvmma - there, that (long form)


a - yes
kiyo; keyu - no; not
ome - alright (literally, 'it is so’)
yakoke - thank you

Anumpa Anukfili

Ilvppa and Yvmma

The Choctaw demonstratives corresponding to English this/these and that/those have two forms, a full form and a short form. The full form may be used in all instances, but the short form is often preferred in noun phrases so we say both:

okhisa ilvppa - this door
okhisa pa - this door

Ilvppa and yvmma are also the adverbs corresponding to 'here’ and there’. Here too, the shortened forms may be used. The correct translation is obtained through context. 



What do the following phrases mean?

1. vllosi lvcha chomi ma
2. chikka hvnnali ilvppa
3. illimpa achukma
4. palvka kvllo lvwa
5. tobi lvshpa achukma
6. pishokchi kapvssa yvmma

Anumpa vlhpesa 

Give the Choctaw translation for the following noun phrases.

1. two old men
2. these three children
3. that red book
4. those six yellow books
5. that one
6. five sort of brown dogs
7. this hard road

Holissochi (Writing)

Using the vocabulary words, make as many noun phrases in Choctaw as you can. 

note: this was taken from the second chapter of Choctaw Language & Culture: Chahta Anumpa by Marcia Hagg and Henry Willis