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Proto-Athabaskan ‎(progressive suffix), from Na-Dené *ɬ (progressive suffix); cognate with Proto-Yeniseian *l ‎(progressive suffix), Eyak *ɬ (progressive suffix), and Tlingit *n (progressive suffix). The same or a similar classifier prefix is found in all of the Athabaskan languages, as well as the more distantly related Eyak, Tlingit, and the Central Siberian Yeniseian languages (e.g., Ket, formerly Yenisei Ostyak).



  1. The -ł- classifier or valence-change prefix, a causative-transitivizing prefix of active verbs that modifies the transitivity or valence and grammatical voice of a verb. It often transitivizes an intransitive -Ø- (unmarked) verb:
    yibéézhit’s boiling (yi-Ø-béézh).
    yiłbéézhhe’s boiling it (yi-ł-béézh).
    naʼniyęęshsomething flows about in a meandering fashion (naʼni-Ø-yęęsh).
    naʼniłhęęsh — he’s making it flow about in a meandering fashion (naʼni-ł-yęęsh).
    siʼą́a roundish object lies in position (-Ø-ʼą́).
    łʼą́ — I keep a roundish object in position (-ł-ʼą́).

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