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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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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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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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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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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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