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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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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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13. Usage—Conjunct Order

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

The conjunct order, as described briefly in chapter 2, occurs primarily in subordinate clauses that express things like the background to or consequence of the action in the main clause. In this chapter, information is presented on the various more specific uses of the conjunct order beyond the prototypical uses described earlier.

The simple conjunct verbs look exactly like the affirmative order verbs in Arapaho as far as their person and number inflectional suffixes. They are distinguished only by sets of preverbs that are limited to subordinate clauses. Many of these express temporal and/or aspectual distinctions. The primary Arapaho simple conjunct order preverbs of this type are:

All of these preverbs are used with adverbial subordinate clauses. Before presenting examples of these preverbs in clauses, we offer an overall analysis of their function, concentrating on /toh/, /tih/, and /ei’i/. The fundamental distinction between these preverbs is between /toh/ on the one hand and /tih/ and /ei’i/ on the other. The distinction is based on a judgment of the relevance of the given background event referred to by the conjunct verb for the action in the main clause, as suggested by the parenthetical remarks in the above list. /Toh/ marks maximal logical relevance or connectedness between the actions of the main and subordinate clauses and is used in cause-and-effect statements. On the other hand, /tih/ and /ei’i/ mark events that are less clearly related to or necessary for the events in the main clause where there is no clear causal connection. The distinction between /tih/ and /ei’i/ is that the former marks the imperfective aspect, whereas the latter marks the perfective aspect. Background actions occurring in the present tense seem to require /toh/ obligatorily (and thus to be relevant by default), whereas actions in the past can be marked by any of the three preverbs. Note that /tih/ often occurs with the imperfective marker /ii/, which seems initially strange given the analysis just presented of its aspectual meaning. When the imperfective marker is used, this gives one of two additional senses to the verb: a background habitual aspect or a background ongoing aspect. Examples of the different temporal/aspectual usages follow.

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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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14. The Noun Phrase

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

In the following section, we will examine the larger noun phrase, consisting of multiple words beyond the simple noun word. The additional forms common in noun phrases include independent adjectival modifiers, demonstratives, and pseudo-verbal presentational forms.

Prenoun-noun combinations show many similarities to preverb–verb stem combinations in Arapaho, and similarly, noun initial and final combinations resemble verb initial and final constructions. As seen in chapter 4, many common lexical items consist of these combinations.

However, it is also fairly common for these kinds of modifier + base noun constructions to be used even when they do not form fully lexicalized expressions. This seems to occur with common semantic pairings, and primarily with /ecex/ (‘little’), /eebet/ (‘big’), colors, and a few other prototypical adjectival modifers.

Adjective-type roots can also be expressed independently of the noun word when they are particularly salient. Contrast the following with examples 3–5 above:

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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10. Proclitics

Andrew Cowell University Press of Colorado ePub

Proclitics have been introduced in passing earlier. Note that the Arapaho person markers can be analyzed as anaphoric clitics. However, they can also be analyzed as part of the morphological word in Arapaho due to their unique behavior in taking e/o vowel harmony and their requirement of epenthetic /t/ prior to vowel-initial stems (similar to other grammatical preverbs that require epenthesis, such as /eti/ FUT). On the other hand, the proclitics covered here show neither of these features; they also can be attached to particles (including adverbials) as well as nouns and verbs; they always occur prior to the person markers when both are present; and they do not inhibit initial change when occurring with verbs (nor do they take initial change themselves). They thus are analyzed as not part of the morphological word but rather as proclitics. Here, we cover the most important of these proclitics, including their syntax, morphosyntax, and phonology.

The following list gives the most important proclitics (whose presence is indicated by use of ‘=’ rather than the hyphen in this grammar). When a proclitic interacts with verb stems to require a certain verbal order or mode, this is given in brackets. Many additional examples of these proclitics are given in the relevant sections on the various inflectional orders.

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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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