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9. Derivation—Preverbs and Verb Initials

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Many Arapaho verbs consist of only an initial element and a final. However, it is common for “preverbal” lexical elements to be prefixed to the verb stem. The term “preverb” is preferred because these elements are added to the full verb stem. There are two different classes of preverbs. The first class involves a very limited set of grammatical preverbs, which always precede all lexical preverbs and never participate in the formation of verb stems. These grammatical preverbs are listed here with underlying pitch accent.

The second class of preverbs is the lexical preverbs/initials. As the name indicates, these have concrete meanings. In addition, these forms can occur either as preverbs or as the initial element in verb stems. When they occur with medial/final verb roots that do not occur as independent verb stems, such as /-see/ ‘walk’ or /-koohu/ ‘run’, they function as verb initials. An example is:

In this section, we examine this second class of morphemes—the lexical pre-verbs/verb initials—according to their semantics. Many correspond to English adverbs, expressing things such as the direction, location, time, or manner of the action expressed in the verb stem. Another group is made of up qualifiers, quantifiers, and intensifers. A third important group is roughly equivalent to English auxiliary verbs (‘able to’, ‘like to’, ‘want to’, and so forth). A fourth group expresses aspectual concepts such as finishing, starting, and continuing actions. Some of these groups have a fairly limited number of members, whereas others, such as the directionals and locations, are quite large. In general, the lexical preverbs/initials can be divided into two subsets. The first (aspectual, auxiliary, qualifiers, quantifiers, and intensifiers) is relatively smaller, tends to function most often as preverbs, and tends to be placed immediately after the grammatical preverbs in verb constructions. The second subset (time, location, direction, and manner forms) is relatively larger (an open-ended class, in fact) and tends to be placed after the preceding set and immediately before the verb stem. These forms are especially likely to be used as initials, although the first set can be used this way as well.

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11. Usage—Non-affirmative Order

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

As seen in the chapter on verbal inflections (chapter 3), the non-affirmative order is used in negative statements and in questions. But the non-affirmative-order inflections are used in numerous other constructions besides the negative and yes/no interrogative. In this section, we look in detail at the various other uses. In most cases, a specific particle, proclitic, or preverb requires the use of the non-affirmative.

The most common use of the non-affirmative in addition to yes/no interrogation and negation is in wh- question constructions. Wh- questions are constructed using roots meaning ‘why?’, ‘how?’, ‘when?’, and so forth, in conjunction with the non-affirmative order. The question roots can occur as preverbs, in which case they occupy the same position as the negative preverb within the verb and take derivational /-i/ as with other preverbs; they can also occur as verb initials (as in examples 6 and 9). Note that the yes/no interrogative marker koo= is not used with these forms.

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20. Numbers, Counting, Times, and Dates

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

The grammar of numbers, times, and dates is quite complex in Arapaho because except in the case of simple counting, number roots occur in verbal forms. There are numerous derivational suffixes used with number roots to form verbs indicating quantity, ordinal numbers, clock time, and so forth. Although some are familiar primary derivational forms, others are unique to the number verbs.

The simple count numbers are:

The numbers show clear traces of a quinary counting system, and this is reinforced by the fact that /niit/ is a common root for ‘one’ in the language (/niiteiyookuu/ ‘to stand in line, to stand one-by-one’, nííto’ ‘first’)

The teens series is formed by the addition of the II derivational final /iini/ to the number roots, thus forming verbs—but often without initial change. Formerly, the count form for ‘ten’ was added prior to this, and some people still do this today:

The succeeding decades are formed by adding the II derivational final /yoo/ to the count number roots. Once again, verbs are thus formed—but again without initial change for most speakers. The intervening numbers are formed in the same way as the teens:

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7. Derivation—Denominalizations

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

A common construction is the possessing construction, formed with an initial prefix /i/ (the same as the third person possessive prefix), added to the nominal element (along with an epenthetic /t/ if the noun begins with a vowel), and a final /i/. The underlying possessed form of the noun is used, which in the case of animate nouns, includes the /(e)w/ possessive theme suffix. Examples are:

This construction does not imply that the object is actually in the possession of the individual referred to at the moment in question.

When the possessor is inanimate, the II final /:noo/ is added to the AI /i/ final:

Note that when a modifying initial root is used, a middle-voice construction (see chapter 5) occurs in place of the possession construction:

The latter construction uses medials rather than the full noun form of the basic possession construction. This fact is disguised when the medial is the same as the full noun, as in example 4. But note the clear contrast below:

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15. The Verb Phrase—Particles

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Arapaho has a rich collection of particles, which are defined here as non-inflectable words. Many of these are invariable and occur only in particle form. Others can occur at least occasionally as roots within nouns or verbs but can also be used independently (unlike the vast majority of Arapaho roots). There are also a number of secondarily derived particles that are based on common and widely used roots. Of special note is a subclass of derived particles that will be labeled “adverbials” and play a major role in the sentence. Also of note are a number of particles that interact very closely with the verb; these particular particles require specific inflectional orders and modes on the verb stem and constitute fixed constructions. Finally, there is a large collection of discourse-level particles. This chapter examines only particles that occur specifically within the verb phrase and interact closely with the verb semantically and/or syntactically

There are many particles that express concepts similar to those expressed by pre-verbs. These include temporal and aspectual forms and a modal auxiliary:

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