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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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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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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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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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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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