Prefix č-, is locational indicating an elevated position and/or a specialization as opposed to a generalization. It directs the act indicated by its stem at, toward, or upon the object. It elevates the act/object or notion above/forward a norm. By elevating, it indicates a specialization out-of/above/forward a generalization.
Generalizations are derived from the inherent worldview of the language. They are an important aspect of understanding meaning. Within the philosophical foundations of Nselíšcn is a hierarchical system of control and of the capacity to act. Prefix č- is a component of this system. An example of this is the designation of č- indicating people. See below for more on how people fit within this hierarchical system.
This prefix has the following two patterns. It either elevates the act/state/change-of-state in the stem-word or it elevates the specialization indicated by the lexical suffix.
- č-/stem-word/-lexical suffix
When affixed to a stem-word it elevates its act, state, or change of state from a norm to a specialization that’s culturally understood or indicated through context.
The Nselíšcn hierarchical system of control and of the capacity to act in holds a worldview that humans have a high level of control and the highest capacity to act. This view is revealed in the use of č- to designate people among all other things. Others report that the prefix designating people is a different prefix.
The example below illustrate this concept. In the world there are things in general. When inquiring about the quantity of some group of things you ask, k̓ʷinš, /How many are there?. Isolated from any context, one is inquiring about the quantity of some unspecified things. In context or when specified like, k̓ʷinš ɬu sc̓eɁek̓ʷ, /How many flowers are there?/, the inquiry is specific but general, or un-elevated.
- k̓ʷinš, How many?
- č-k̓ʷin-k̓ʷnš, How many people?
In the worldview of Nselišcn, people are special. People have the highest capacity to act and a high level of control. In the world of things, people are viewed in an elevated position. Prefix č– is used to indicate people when counting. The indicates people have an elevated status above all things countable. In this example k̓ʷinš is reduplicated as you would not inquire about number of people if there were thought to be fewer than two.
The next example illustrates how stem-word’s act/state/change-of-state is elevated. The root word, k̓ʷul̕, means work, effort to produce or accomplish something. This word is all inclusive of every thing that falls in the category of ‘effort to produce or accomplish something.’ It is a generalization.
- es-k̓ʷul̕-i, S/he/it is working, in the process of producing or accomplishing something.
- es-č-k̓ʷul̕-i, S/he/it is ornamenting something, beading, embroidering.
In the example above, prefix č– elevates the ‘effort to produce or accomplish something’. Elevated work in Nselišcn worldview means to adorn or ornament something. This is the specialization of work. This elevated work is understood to refer to the act/work of beading.
- q̓ʷlew̓-m, harvest/pick berries.
- č-q̓ʷlew̓-m, harvest/pick berries from a tree.
In this example, q̓ʷlew̓-m refers all forms of fruit harvesting by hand. Adding the prefix indicates an elevation of act, q̓ʷlew̓-m, hand-harvest fruit/pick berries. The only elevated option of this act is locational. A tree is an elevated location to harvesting fruit. As fruit harvesting goes there are ground fruit, bush fruit, and tree fruit. Prefix č- indicates the elevated/highest option/form. In a hypothetical world, čq̓ʷlew̓-m, could be used to indicate the harvest of some highly specialized/rare and magical berries. In the real world it indicates picking fruit/berries from up in a tree.
The word puʕus, heart, thought, derives the act, pusəm, to think on/at/about something or someone, to have the heart on something or someone.
- i-es-pus-əm, I have my heart on it; I think on/at/about it.
- i-es-č-pus-əm, I compare it to something; I judge it.
This example shows the elevation of heart/thought from an internal position to an external position. To think about something, is an internal/inward activity. Making a comparison or judgement is an external activity, elevating and externalizing thoughts about something. In this case prefix, č- elevates the inward thought act to and outward ‘airing’ of the thought act.
- šin, cover over, put upon.
- č-šin, put something special/important upon/over; to accompany someone.
- č-šn-ten ɬu malye, I put medicine on it. literal
- č-šn-ten ɬu in-qeneɁ, I went with my grandma. figurative
The elevative element in this example makes use of the literal and figurative use of the word. Most words have a literal and a figurative meaning. In this case the elevated literal meaning of čšin includes medicine or other beneficial additive. The root is locative and directive and conveys a meaning similar to the prefix, č-. In this sense a doubling effect is achieved. This elevated position is where a ‘beneficial additive’ resides. The same effect of a ‘beneficial additive’ in an elevated position is achieved in the figurative sense. The elevated figurative meaning is the benefit of not going alone. Going alone is viewed as inferior or in a lower position than going together.