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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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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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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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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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