One important way in which Cree differs from English has to do with verb number and gender agreement. In English there is only one “where” – and it works any place you’ve got a question about location.
In Cree, the word for “where” has to change to match the number and gender of the items you’re asking about (just as the verb does). To cover all of the possibilities, you need (at least) four different forms.
tâniwâ Where is he or she (for animate singulars)
tâniwê Where is it? (for inanimate singulars)
tâniwêhkâk (for animate plurals)
tâniwêhâ: Where are they, where is it? (for inanimate plural)
Translated back into English, they all still just mean “where” – but fluent Cree speakers know when to use which one.
Solomon prepared these images and audio files as a drill to help students memorize which where to use when! Corresponding audio appears below each slide (or at least, it should). Enjoy! (And if you find errors, please let us know through the comment link at the bottom of the post!)
Taniwe taniwe Taniwe (The where audio ) I’m finding the recordings are spoken so fast it’s hard to understand. As a beginner…it’s so fast it’s hard to even make out the sounds of all the words.
Yes – it’s a challenge, but you can also read along and the audio and the printed words support each other. The more times you read and listen, the easier it will get.