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4. Derivation—Nouns

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

The second-most important word category in Arapaho, after the verb, is the noun. In this chapter, we examine first the internal structure of the noun stem. The stem consists of one or more lexical roots and sometimes various derivational suffixes. In many cases, the noun stem is modified by lexical prenouns, although the analytic distinction between a prenoun and an initial root of a complex noun stem is not always clear. Next we discuss abstract grammatical initials, preverbs, and proclitics that occur with nouns. Finally, we discuss derivation of nouns from verbs.

Note that in this chapter, we have included underlying pitch accents in the analyses as much as possible: a special effort was made to verify all the underlying forms, in order to show the relationship to surface pronunciations.

The noun stem, like the verb stem, is often internally complex. In addition to single-morpheme stems, there are stems that contain both an initial and a final element and also modified stems that have one or more adjective-like “prenouns” affixed to them. Moreover, some of the initial and prenoun elements are themselves derived from independent verb or noun stems. There are also noun stems that contain lexical derivational finals—“dependent nouns”—that cannot occur independently and are not obviously related to another independent noun. Note that from a broad perspective, as argued by Ives Goddard (1990), all of the multi-morpheme nominal forms can simply be considered to be compound noun stems consisting of two elements, an initial and a final. The finals may be either independent or dependent. The initials are likewise often derived from independent forms. Nevertheless, in the following, we examine separately the different subcategories of compound nouns listed above for the sake of greater clarity.

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22. Beyond Grammar

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Fundamental to correct use of the Arapaho language, and to participation in the Arapaho speech community, are the many social rules governing language use, as well as the paralinguistic, kinesic, and proxemic components of communication in the language. These are not part of the “grammar” of the language narrowly conceived, and there is not space to cover them here. But it should be pointed out, for example, that Arapaho speakers use a number of characteristic gestures shared by all in the speech community. Many of these are likely shared more generally throughout the Plains Indian community, whereas others may be Arapaho specific. Certainly some are derived from Plains Indian Sign Language. Although there are less than a handful of fluent users of this language among the Northern Arapaho today (including one man who learned it because he was raised by a deaf grandfather), many speakers know at least a few signs. A highly salient gesture often commented on by Arapahos themselves is the use of pursed lips, in conjunction with a gesture of the head in the appropriate direction, for pointing; use of fingers for pointing is largely avoided.

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12. Usage—Imperatives and the Imperative Order

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Commands and requests are complicated in Arapaho, both morphologically and socially. Additional details on the social issues in particular can be found in Cowell 2007. Morphologically, Arapaho has not only direct and indirect imperative forms, as described in chapter 2, but also two command/request forms, which we will call “future” and “suggestive” imperatives, that use non-affirmative order verb inflections but are restricted to use only with second person addressees and thus function as imperatives.

Arapaho has a number of invariable imperative particles. These include:

Most of these can be—indeed, usually are—used as independent, complete sentences. A few (kookoh, honóoyóó) seem to be used only in conjunction with other imperatives:

These lexical imperative forms seem for the most part to carry special moral injunctions, as in ‘wait (and think about the rules of Arapaho life)!’. There are equivalent, regular verbs for saying ‘wait!’ (/AI cowouuwutii/, /cowouubeihi/, TA /toyoohow/) or ‘watch out!’ (TA /oonoyoohow/, TI /oonoyoohoot/), and these are often heard, but they are value-neutral. In addition, lexical imperatives tend to be used alone as complete clauses, whereas imperative forms of regular verbs often are used in complex clauses involving complements, subordination, and so forth.

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1. Phonology

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Arapaho has twelve consonants, four vowels (with contrastive length), and three diphthongs (also showing contrastive length). Arapaho also has a complex pitch accent system, with a related system of vowel syncope. The pitch accent system involves underlying accent on morphemes, intermorphemic shift in pitch accent at the word level, and grammatical shifts in pitch accent related to inflectional and derivational forms such as plurals, locatives, iteratives, and participles. Finally, Arapaho has two forms of vowel harmony, with non-parallel effects and distribution.The twelve consonants, with their standard Arapaho orthographic correspondents (which will be used in this book), are:The phoneme /b/ has a voiceless allophone /p/ preconsonantally and finally. The phonemes /c/, /k/, and /t/ are normally unaspirated but are aspirated preconsonantally and finally. Aspiration of syllable-initial consonants occurs prior to syllable-final /h/ when the intervening vowel is short, as in the grammatical prefixes cih- and tih-. In this same environment, /b/ is not only aspirated but also sometimes devoiced virtually to /p/, as in héétbih’ínkúútiinoo ‘I will turn out the lights’. (Salzmann 1956a provides more detailed phonetic analyses of the behavior of the consonant phonemes.)

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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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