It’s All Verbs
Verbs are very important in the Oneida language. Where English uses nouns and adjectives, Oneida often expresses those as verbs. All Oneida verbs have pronoun prefixes and that means Oneida verbs can often be translated as short sentences. So an Oneida verb with its attached pronoun prefix might be translated focussing on the action ‘he does X’ or focussing on the pronoun ‘he who does X’ or ‘the doer’.
A good way to explore how verbs are used is to search for the content areas in the on-line Oneida dictionary or to do a search by English words by entering nouns and then looking up the individual citations to see if they are composed of verb roots. There are plenty of nouns in Oneida but you will often find that nouns in English are built from verbs in Oneida.
shakoyaˀtakalényehseˀ is made up of the pronoun prefix shako- ‘he to them’ and the
verb -yaˀtakalnyehseˀ ‘haul around’. It can be translated as ‘he hauls them around’ or ‘he who hauls them around’ or ‘bus driver’.
aksóthaˀ is made up of a pronount prefix ak- ‘she to me’ and the verb -hsóthaˀ ‘be grandparent to’. It can be translated as ‘she is grandparent to me’ or ‘she who is grandparent to me’ or ‘ my grandmother’.
ká·slehti·yó is made up of a pronoun prefix ka- ‘it’ and the verb -slehti∙yá ‘(have) a good car’. It can be translated as ‘it is a good car’ or ‘a good car’.