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Capitalization of derived terms[edit]

Please fix the capitalization of the derived terms as necessary. Are we going to capitalize subsequent words in multi-word element names at en:Wiktionary, the way they do at nv:WP? 16:19, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Capitalization is not needed. I would prefer to capitalize only where actually appropriate at nv:WP, but Seb likes to use capitalization as a way to set certain words apart from the regular text. I don’t think it is useful to do that, and it causes confusion with people thinking the capitalization is really orthographically necessary when it is not. Capitalization is a tool developed for English and German to help mark parts of speech that are not clear from spelling or affixes, and languages like Navajo have no need of it. Even language names do not need to be capitalized, because they are not proper nouns, just regular words. Navajo Christians like to capitalize certain religious words the way English does, such as You when it refers to God, and usually one or two words in a country or city name will be capitalized, but generally real Navajo words are not capitalized. —Stephen (Talk) 21:46, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Isn't this the noun form?[edit]

I was under the impression that the verb was łigai, whereas łigaii was łigai + -i to form the noun, "the color white; that which is white"? FWIW, Goossen lists łigai as the verb in his Diné Bizaad textbook. -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 18:46, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

This is one of the reasons that I so dislike the PoS headers. Some terms in almost every language are difficult to classify, and many terms in some languages are difficult. I think łigaii is a noun, but it’s not a certainty. As for -i, that isn’t a Navajo nominalizer, is. Since łigaii is low-tone, it would have to be with -ii. Or you could make a noun with łigaígíí.
The reason that I am hesitant about this word is that łigai means to be white, but yiigaii/yiiłgaii means to turn white (perfective stem). yiigaii is like yiigááh, except that -gaii is perfective and -gááh is imperfective. —Stephen (Talk) 04:49, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, some of us are currently struggling with how best to categorize Japanese POS, since they have categories they use in their own grammatical analysis that don't exist in English (thinking particularly of 形容動詞 (keiyō dōshi), "adjectival verbs"), which are in fact not verbs at all, so even the Japanese terminology is a bit wonky.
With that in mind though, I wonder if a rethink might be in order, vis-à-vis Navajo POS? Classing all things like łigai as verbs makes it hard to find those words used like adjectives. I recall when studying Chinese that the books we had in uni used the phrase "stative verb" as the label for these things. I suppose another option is to just use the English POS labels, and clarify the differences in an appendix. Do you have any strong opinions one way or the other?
I was also wondering about the advisability of creating simple NV-specific POS header-line templates, to help specify things like person, plurality, and mode for verb forms, for instance. What are your thoughts on that? (And I'm happy to move this discussion somewhere else if that would be more appropriate.) -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 06:44, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
We have similar problems with Russian and other languages. Russian recognizes an important part of speech that translates as a predicative. It is like an adjective but does not have the adjective declensions, and is only used as a predicate (frequently even includes the verb part of a predicate): I’m hot = мне (mne) жарко (žarko) (literally, [to me] [is hot]). But English Wiktionary does not recognize the predicative as a PoS, so we are being forced to call it an adjective.
I really like the way the Russian Wiktionary handles their headers. Their headers don’t get so specific as Noun or Verb, but only says Morphological and syntactic properties. Under that heading, it is easy to discuss the difficulties and vagaries of PoS, gender, etc., and the same headers work just as well for every word.
Traditional teaching says that Navajo has no adjectives. Most of what we think of as adjectives is handled in Navajo by verbs, but sometimes nouns or other particles. The only reason we have some Navajo pages with an adjective heading is this PoS difficulty. On those pages, the heading Adjective really just refers to the English definition. Different scholars go in different directions with Navajo PoS. Some only count three parts of speech: verbs, nouns, and particles. I think some only recognize verbs and particles. Trying to press Navajo into an English linguistic pattern is very hard, and not very rewarding.
Yes, we’ve thought of PoS header-line templates, but I think that’s too difficult. Navajo has many other properties besides just plurality, person, and mode. I think this would just be a more focussed effort to put Navajo into a European mould. It would be a lot better to take our cues from the Russians. —Stephen (Talk) 08:43, 22 September 2011 (UTC)