Kw’íy means ‘to climb, to rise up’.
It can refer to a deliberate action of climbing up (Lalh kw’íy! – ‘Go climb!’), and also to an inanimate thing rising up, such as the tide (Me kw’ekw’í te qó: – ‘The water is rising’).
This word is also spelled kw’í.
Kw’íy sounds like KWEE, except that the kw sound is also popped, by combining it with a catch in the throat (glottal stop).
Audio: Elizabeth Herrling, Elizabeth Phillips
Kw’íy has a special –ing form , to describe an ongoing action, like this: kw’ekw’í – climbing, rising (audio here).
This type of verb makes its –ing form by doubling (‘reduplicating’) the first part of the word.
Kw’íy is related to a number of other words, including:
- Skw’iytel – ladder (literally ‘tool for climbing’)
- Kw’iyeqel – climb a mountain (the -qel ending here marks ‘…a cliff’; it can also mean ‘of the throat’)
- Kw’ekw’íythet – training (lit. ‘raising oneself up’, the idea being that in spiritual and physical training, you are raising yourself up)
- Kw’íyles, kw’eyles – (be) Spring (lit. ‘period when things rise up’)
- Temkw’eyles – Springtime (lit. ‘time when things rise up’)