Much the same way “-er” is added at the end of words in English to indicate “one who does”, a Cherokee speaker can do similar word creation by replacing the “-ᎣᎢ” sound at the end of the habitual verb form with an “-Ꭲ” sound. These new words are referred to as the agentive form.
[adananesvhvsgoi] “He/she is often shopping.”
[adananesvhvsgi] “One who shops. A shopper.”
[gaduhvsgoi] “He/she is often baking it.”
[gaduhvsgi] “One who bakes. A baker.”
[gawonisgoi] “He/she is often speaking.”
[gawonisgi] “One who speaks. A speaker. A spokesperson.”
[adisgoi] “He/she is often saying it.”
[adisgi] “One who says.”
Because these agentive forms are created from the “habitual” verb form, bound pronouns are used to indicate the person or persons that the “one who” applies to and in relation to whom or what.
[anadananesvhvsgoi] “They are often shopping.”
[anadananesvhvsgi] “They who shop. Shoppers.”
[aniduhvsgoi] “They are often baking it.”
[aniduhvsgi] “They who bake. Bakers.”
[jiwonisgoi] “I am often speaking.”
[jiwonisgi] “I, the one who speaks. I, the speaker. I, the spokesperson.”
[hadisgoi] “You are often saying it.”
[hadisgi] “You, the one who says.”
When creating an agentive form, the “de-” prefix is substituted with the “dị-” prefix and follows the “dị-” pronunciation pattern.
[dehigowhtisgoi] “You often see them.”
[tigowhtisgi] “You, the one who sees them.”
[daniwonisgoi] “They are often speaking them.”
[diniwonisgi] “They who speak them.” Perhaps those who speak multiple languages. Polyglots.
[dudulisgoi] “He/she is often wanting them.”
[judulisgi] “One who wants them.” Perhaps a needful person.
The use of these agentive forms are required when talking about inanimate things “speaking”, “seeing”, etc.
One can say:
- ᎺᎵ ᎠᏗᏍᎪᎢ “Ꭷ.”, Mary usually says “Hi.”
But one can not label a trap with a number like “ᏔᎵ” then say:
- ᎯᎠ ᏌᏛᏗ ᎠᏗᏍᎪᎢ “ᏔᎵ.”, This trap habitually says “Two.” This is not valid Cherokee because verbs require an animate person or other thing to do the action, the trap, not being an animate being, can not be used here in this fashion.
Instead it is a requirement that you say:
- ᎯᎠ ᏌᏛᏗ ᎠᏗᏍᎩ “ᏔᎵ”, This trap is one that says “Two”, This is commonly translated into English as: This traps says “Two”.
As in English, there are forms which will not make sense when creating new words.