Thanks to Solomon Ratt for giving us a start on baby-related vocabulary (audio below), and to Karlee Fellner for letting us share her own, tiny, poster-child, Naatósíniipi Nikosis.
There’s a lot of cultural teaching within the vocabulary Sol assembled: the use of moss in the moss bag (the original disposable diaper), the construction of the moss bag and cradle board, and the nature of a baby swing (that makes its term seem like onomatopoeia). Even in the etymology of a word like oskawâsis where we see the word for child (awâsis), modified with the prefix oski- (meaning young, or new)
But Sol’s short list is just a start: Why not challenge yourself to explore the latest version of the University of Alberta/Maskwacîs Online dictionary, and see how many other baby-related terms you can find there.
You can search in English or in Cree (roman or syllabic). I began with the word “baby”.
Update (April 2021): The updated dictionary can be found at https://itwewina.altlab.app/
When you’re ready for a your next challenge, try pasting the word forms from this list (in roman, syllabic or English) into the search bar, and see how many related forms you can find.
The speaker icon means Native-speaker pronunciation is also included!
Click on underscored entries to see the word in all its available forms (including verb paradigms).
After clicking to open the entry, click on the speaker icon again to find audio from multiple speakers (and who they are!)
oskawâsis ᐅᐢᑲᐚᓯᐢ newborn
âsiyân ᐋᓯᔮᐣ diaper
astâskamikwa ᐊsᑖᑲᒥᑿ ground moss
wâspison ᐚᐢᐱᓱᐣ moss bag
tihkinâkan ᑎᐦᑭᓈᑲᐣ cradle board
wêwêpison ᐍᐍᐱᓱᐣ swing
côcôs ᒎᒎᐢ soother