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łi- (adjectival) + -Ø- (ni-modal 3rd person subject prefix) + -Ø- (classifier)-zhin (neuter imperfective stem of root -ZHĮ́Į́ʼ, “to be black”).

The łi- prefix appears to have originated historically from the -ł- classifier. When this prefix appears immediately in pre-stem position, it takes the shape of a -l- classifier.

Compare Dogrib dezǫ, Ahtna delzen (dark colored).



  1. it is black.
    Mósí łizhin — The (one or two) cat is black.
    Mósí daalzhin — The (three or more) cats are black.

Usage notes[edit]

This is a neuter verb. As such, it has only the imperfective stem.


Paradigm: Neuter imperfective (ni).

IMPERFECTIVE singular duoplural plural
1st person łinishzhin łiniijin dałiniijin
2nd person łinízhin łinohzhin dałinohzhin
3rd person łizhin daalzhin
4th person jilzhin dajilzhin

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Colors in Navajo · nidaashchʼąąʼígíí (layout · text)
     łigai      łibá
(dark gray: dinilzhin)
     łizhin      dibéłchíʼí, yishtłizh
(dark brown: dinilzhin)
             dinilchííʼ              łichííʼ; ?              łichxíʼí
(light orange: diniltsxo)
(light yellow: diniltso); dinilgai
             ?              dinooltłʼizh,
chʼilgo dootłʼizh
             {{{mint green}}}; {{{dark green}}}              dootłʼizhii; ?
             yágo dootłʼizh              dootłʼizh              ?; diłhiłgo dootłʼizh              ?; tsédídéehgo dootłʼizh