Lesson Sixteen - Part One
TA Imperatives



These are the lyrics from a Round Dance Song, sung to Andrew Cowell by Eugene Ridgely, III, in June 2004:


noohowunee huu3e’ beebei’on
neneenit ceneeno’
Look at them a long ways away over there.
It is him/them, the sage chickens.

noohow-unee huu3e’ beebei’on neneeni-t cenee-no’
look at-them over there far away it is-him sage chicken-PL


In the song, the very first line includes a command to one person, to do something to another person. This command uses the TA verb noohow-, meaning ‘to see somone.’

When you give someone commands involving two people (the person you’re talking to, and someone else) then you have to use TA verbs. At this point, the suffixes you use to give these commands should look familiar:


noohow-ú See me! Look at me!
ceh’e3h-í Listen to me!
niiteheib-í Help me!


(Note that people often add a cih- prefix when talking about ‘me.’ This simply makes the command a little bit stronger. It means literally ‘to’ me: cih-biin-i = ‘give it to me!’)


noohob-éi’ee See us! Look at us!
ceh’e3h-éi’ee Listen to us!
niiteheib-éi’iee Help us!


As you can see, the endings are the same ones you use with TA verbs when someone is doing something to ‘me’ or ‘us.’ There’s no need to add the -n for ‘you,’ since you’re giving someone a command, so it’s clear who’s involved in the sentence. Notice that there is no initial change on the verbs, since these are command forms.

If you want to tell a person to do something to someone else besides ‘me’ or ‘us,’ you use -ín or -ínee (they both mean the same thing – different people use one of the other), or -ún or -únee when there is vowel harmony.


noohow-ún See us! Look at him!
ceh’e3h-ín Listen to her!
niiteheib-ín Help him/her!



Exercises for Lesson Sixteen