Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Does this derive in part from manzana? 01:57, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, from manzana. —Stephen (Talk) 08:52, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

How did "man" become "bila"? Did the same happen to "American"? 03:35, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

It is rare and unusual to begin a word with m, very few words words start with that sound. Actually, I can think of only one native word that begins with m, which is mąʼii and derivatives of it. The few other words are recent loanwords from English or Spanish. It was natural to turn initial m into b. Also, there was no consonant cluster like -ns-. Bilasáana was the best fit they could make. Bilagáana was formed the same way. Whenever words were adopted from Spanish or English, they usually had to undergo a major shift to fit the sound patterns of Navajo. Another example is Hwéeldi, from fuerte. —Stephen (Talk) 06:46, 7 August 2012 (UTC)