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18. Syntax—Main Clauses and Sentence-level

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

In this section we examine in detail the general claims made earlier that the unmarked position for NPs in Arapaho is postverbal and that the marked focus position for NPs is preverbal. We also show more generally that syntax in Arapaho is largely a question of pragmatics, with the marked syntactic position being the pragmatic focus position. Any focused constituent of the sentence can occupy this marked preverbal position. These general observations have been made for other Algonquian languages as well, including Massachusett (Goddard and Bragdon 1988:586, where they argue that word order often has a “discourse function”), Plains Cree (Wolfart 1996:394), and Nishnaabemwin (Valentine 2001:951-957).

We begin with an examination of main clause syntax, followed by a brief summary of syntax internal to subordinate clauses (much of which has been covered earlier, especially in chapter 17), followed by sentence-level syntax, including sentences with multiple clauses and cleft constructions.

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6. Derivation—Verb Medials and Concrete Finals

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

In this chapter, we discuss both medials and concrete finals. There are close parallels between these two morpheme classes. Many Arapaho concrete finals contain a lexical element and an abstract element that corresponds to the derivational suffixes described in chapter 5. The TA concrete final /xoh/ contains the element /xo/ ‘to convey s.o.’ and the causative /h/. The element /xo/ appears in other concrete finals such as AI /xotii/ ‘to convey s.t.’. Similarly, medials are lexical forms, which are often followed by abstract finals. Thus, complex Arapaho verb stems prototypically show an overall structure of LEXICAL INITIAL + LEXICAL “MIDDLE” + ABSTRACT FINAL.

Note, however, that the lexical element involved in a concrete final normally occurs in strict relationship with a single abstract final element—it does not freely combine with other verb finals. Thus, /xoh/ is effectively a single, fixed unit—a TA concrete final—and /xotii/ is similarly an AI concrete final (both are examples of what Valentine 2001:326 calls “binary” concrete finals). In contrast, medials freely combine with a wide range of other abstract finals, as well as with concrete finals, as for example the medial /et/ ‘ear’:

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21. Variation in Arapaho

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Extensive study of variation between Northern and Southern Arapaho has never been done, and given the state of Southern Arapaho today, it is largely too late to carry out such an investigation except by using existing published and recorded sources. Salzmann (1956a, 1963) remarks on a few differences, including phonological (Northern [s] is equivalent to Southern [ʃ]), prosodic (northerners are said to speak with a faster tempo), and lexical (he lists variant neologisms). In preparing this grammar, the two authors examined a number of Southern Arapaho texts in manuscript, and no notable differences were found in morphology, and of course Alonzo Moss Sr. has had the opportunity to hear Southern Arapaho on numerous occasions in his younger years. There were a few lexical items that Moss did not recognize in the manuscripts, but it is unclear whether these were specific to the southern dialect or whether they were simply items that have become obsolescent since the texts were recorded in the early 1900s. It would of course be surprising if there were not a few lexical differences, even within traditional vocabulary. It should also be noted that the Southern Arapaho apparently once spoke the Arapahoan language Nawathinehena (nowoo3iineheeno’) and switched to Arapaho proper during the nineteenth century (Goddard 2001:76), but no clear linguistic evidence of this language exists today.

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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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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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16. The Verb Phrase—Noun-Verb Agreement

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

In this chapter, we examine the ways in which different types of verb stems are used in Arapaho for functional communicative purposes, and the ways in which NP marking on the verb stem can be manipulated for the same purposes. Topics include proximate/obviative marking, alternation between different primary verb stems for reasons of NP saliency and emphasis, and derivation of secondary stems for the same reasons.

As seen in chapter 3, the person hierarchy in combination with the direction-of-action markers determines the shape of TA inflections. The grammatical categories of subject and object are certainly present, but they do not control the inflectional system. Similarly, the semantic roles of agent and patient, although clearly specified by the overall TA inflection, are not fundamental in the determination of which participant will be marked explicitly on the verb using a person marker. For example, a second person will always be marked finally on the verb due to the rules of the person hierarchy, whether the second person is subject, object, agent, or patient. The direction-of-action markers then indicate whether that person is subject or object:

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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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5. Derivation—Verb Finals

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Arapaho verb stems always consist of at least an initial root and a final element, the latter of which is usually abstract (in a few cases, certain verbs have a null abstract final). It is common for medial elements, and also concrete (lexical) finals, to occur as well, but discussion of these will be delayed until chapter 6. The combination of initial and final elements produces the verb stem. The initial roots contribute much of the lexical meaning to verb stems. Prototypically, they refer to either actions or states (/tew/ ‘to separate from a whole’, /be’/ ‘red’). The finals serve to indicate the stem class of the verb (AI, II, TA, TI). There are several different finals used to form each stem class, however, and the contrasting finals contribute important elements to the meaning of the stem itself, as well as licensing particular semantic categories of NPs that may serve as objects of the verb. The stems are thus best thought of as constructions whose meaning is the product of both lexical and non-lexical elements.

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8. Derivation—Reduplication

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Reduplication is extremely common in Arapaho. It occurs as both an obligatory process and an optional one, depending on the circumstances, and produces a number of related semantic effects on the verb. Although primarily occurring on verb stems and preverbs, it also occurs with adverbial particles (which are largely derived from preverbs) and occasionally with pronouns (which are morphologically verbs).

Reduplication is produced by adding the derivational final /:n/ to the consonant (if present) and first vowel of the initial syllable of a preverb or verb stem, and then adding this element to the base preverb or verb stem. Abstractly, this takes the form:

(C)V1(V2) > (C)V1:n-(C)V1(V2)

Reduplication is applied prior to addition of /h/ in surface pronunciation for vowel-initial forms—in other words, the reduplicated form functions as a verb initial, not a preverb. The /n/ drops before following consonants, as always with this derivational final (see examples 6b, 9, 12, 24, 26, etc., below for examples with vowel-initial bases). Examples include:

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19. Discourse-level Features

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Arapaho has a rich set of discourse-level affixes and particles, which function in various pragmatic contexts. These particles serve to introduce new nominal or verbal elements (new referents, new actions, etc.) into a discourse, to reactivate these elements in the discourse, or to highlight them emphatically. Some of them are crucial in organizing the larger discourse, such as in extended narratives or speeches.

A number of different “presentational” or “additive” particles are used in Arapaho. They all serve to add new actions or actors to a situation, or to add to already-active actors or actions. They include the following:

Niixóó adds new actions; additional, new action by same actor(s): ‘he did X, Y, and Z too’; additional, same action but by an additional participant: ‘X did it, and then Y did it too’.

nii-3oo3o’ohoenei-t

IMPERF-REDUP.crush hand(AI)-3S

‘He meets them, takes their hands, and crushes their hands too.’[R:Strong Bear Shakes Hands]

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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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17. The Verb Phrase—Subordinate Clauses

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Relative clauses in Arapaho are complex because they involve the use of quite different constructions, depending on the stem class of the verb involved in the relative clause. When the verb is AI or II, the relative clauses look just like independent clauses morphologically, with the exception that they are often governed by a demonstrative such as hínee, hí’in, or núhu’:

Note that in traditional narratives where independent clauses are expressed with the special narrative past tense /e’ih/ and the non-affirmative order, the distinction between AI and II independent and relative clauses is much clearer, since relative clauses in the past tense occur with /nih/, not /e’ih/:

On the other hand, relative clauses based on TA and TI stems look radically different from regular TA and TI stems, both in the contemporary spoken language and in traditional narratives. These forms are different enough to merit their own special category, and we will designate them as “dependent participles.” Alternately, one might wish to call them “conjunct participles” based on the parallel between their function in Arapaho and the function of the conjunct participle in Proto-Algonquian and many modern Algonquian languages, but the Arapaho dependent participles are not in fact derived from the PA conjunct participle; they derive rather from the PA independent order and are a recent innovation in the language (see Cowell and Moss 2002a).

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2. Morphology—Inflection

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Although the inflection of noun stems is less complex than that of verb stems, they still show a rich variety of processes. Noun stems can be inflected for plural, obviative, vocative, and locative (using suffixes), as well as for possession (prefixed person markers, suffixed number markers). In addition, all nouns are either animate or inanimate gender. There are no specific inflections marking gender—it is a property of the noun stems themselves. But the gender of the noun determines the exact form of many inflectional markers. For this reason, we begin by discussing gender and then proceed to discuss the inflectional morphology.Animacy and inanimacy are fundamentally grammatical categories, but there is important semantic correspondence. For example, all humans, animals, birds, and other semantically animate objects are grammatically animate as well. In addition, all celestial objects (sun, moon, star, names of constellations) are animate, as are nouns for spirits, ghosts, and so forth. And conversely, most semantically inanimate objects are grammatically inanimate. In addition, virtually all nouns formed using verbal participles are inanimate. But there are a significant number of semantically inanimate objects that are nevertheless grammatically animate. Examples include:

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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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