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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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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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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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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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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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