Obviative Proper Nouns

Like other 3rd person nouns, proper nouns are subject to obviation and can take obviative endings. In the following two examples, the proper nouns Maniana, Matinina and Mashkuanu-nipińu are obviative.

Example of an animate proper noun:
Nikaui atussemeu Maniana tshetshi nataniti mitshitakanashkua nete Matinina.
My mother asks Mary-Ann to go and get a fleshing pole at Madeleine’s.
Example of an inanimate proper noun:
Antan kueshtakameimᵘ Mashkuanu-nipińu.
Andrew paddles along the shoreline of Musquaro lake.

Proper nouns with (i)shkueu and (i)nnu as finals

The noun ishkueu ‘woman’ can be added to proper nouns of people with the meaning ‘wife of’, but this construction only works if the proper noun refers to a man.

Munissishkueu Maurice’s wife

This construction can’t be used to refer to a woman’s husband or to same-sex couples. For example, napeu ‘man’ can’t be added to the proper noun Puańin to refer to the husband of Pauline; *Puańinapeu is incorrect. For all of these, the possessive construction is used.

Mańi utishkuema Mary’s wife
Matiass unapema Mathias’ husband

With place names, the endings (i)shkueu and (i)nnu can be added to refer to the place’s inhabitants. The endings napeu and auass ‘child’ can also be found, but much more rarely. While place names are inanimate, they become animate when these endings are added.

Unaman-shipishkueuat tshitshue maminutauat mitasha.
The women of La Romaine make socks in very good taste.
Tshishe-shatshiunnuat mitshetuau kashkameshtauat.
The people from Sheshatshiu often take a shortcut portaging.

Diminutive Proper Nouns

Proper nouns referring to people can take the diminutive ending -iss to refer to someone who is young or short. Similarly, the ending -ish can be used to refer to someone who is older.

Proper Noun Diminutive -ish Old
Pień Pierre Pieńiss Little Pierre Pieńish Old Pierre
Sheshiń Cécile Sheshińiss Little Cecile Sheshińish Old Cecile
Pinashue François Pinashuess Little François Pinashuesh Old François
Kańańin Caroline Kańańiniss Little Caroline Kańańinish Old Caroline

The two endings can be combined to refer to someone who is old and short.

Pinashueshiss Old, short François
Kańańinishiss Old, short Caroline

The diminutive can also sometimes be used on a proper name to refer to the child of that person. This construction is similar to what we find with animal names.

Teneshiss Theresa’s child (the young of Theresa)
Shushepissat Joseph’s children (the young of Joseph)
piness young partridge (the young of the partridge)

In terms of humour, the diminutive can be used on company or employer names to refer to the members, for example Tshakapeshissat ‘Tshakapesh’s employees’.


Proper Nouns in the Past Tense

A proper name can take a past tense ending to refer to someone who is deceased.

Pienipan the late Pierre
Ńishetipan the late Lisette

In Western dialects, proper nouns can also carry indirect or deductive endings, but these are not used in the Eastern dialects.

Shuńishapan looks like Julie
Teńinatshe probably Adelina