Navajo color words starting with łi- are stative (neuter) verbs, if I've got this right, and they do indeed take the distributive da-. Do they also take pronominal infixes, producing words like łishgai "I'm white" (as in, covered in paint or something, not bilagáana) or łinitso "you're yellow"?
What about color words that don't start with łi-, like niłhin or dootłʼizh?
Lastly, I've seen both łichíʼí and łichííʼ -- is that a dialectical difference, or a contextual change? NV WP has both, but only lists the former on the w:nv:Nidaashchʼąąʼígíí page. -- TIA, Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 18:22, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
- I’m not as good with conjugations as Seb az86556. He’s much better with that, and I can understand what I read better than trying to write. That said, I believe that łi-, though it originates from the classifier -ł-, functions as a conjunct thematic prefix in these verbs. In the ni-imperfective, they have forms like łinishgai, łinígai, łigai, jiłgai, ałgai, hałgai; duals: łiniigai, łinohgai; plurals: dałiniigai, dałinohgai, daalgai, dajilgai. With yiigááh (to turn white) and yiilgááh (to be whitened) in the y-imperfective, you get forms like yiishgááh, yiigááh, jiigááh, iigááh, hoogááh, yiilgááh, biʼdiilgááh (he’s being whitened); dual yiigááh, woohgááh, and so on.
- Or łinishzhin, łinízhin (I, you are black); łinishtso, łinítso (I, you are yellow); łinishchííʼ, łiníchííʼ (I, you are red); łinishkʼaii, łiníkʼaii (I, you are fat); łinishkon, łiníkon (I, you are flammable); łiniyin, łiníyin (I, you are oily); łinishkan, łiníkan (I, you are sweet).
- When there are other prefixes, as in some other colors, forms are different, as they are with any verb that has various and sundry prefixes.
- łichííʼ is the verb form, łichíʼí is nominalized. —Stephen (Talk) 00:54, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
- Thank you very much. Thinking about the łi- prefix then, as a prefix, it seems to express more the older Athabaskan / Yeniseian progressive sense (ongoing state) rather than the causative / transitive sense of the modern classifier infix -ł-. Interesting. So in terms of transitive vs. intransitive / passive, does yiigááh (to turn white) -> yiilgááh (to be whitened) then also imply yiiłgááh (to turn something white)? And are -gai and -gááh different modes of the same root? But then if both are imperfective, is some other phonetic shift happening here?
- I'm curious too if you'd be opposed to the creation of entries for verb stems, like -gai, -gááh, etc.? I can imagine quite a bit of utility in such a page, giving a basic meaning gloss and listing all basic 3rd-person-singular verbs that use that stem with mention of the prefixes and infixes used, and listing related stems or stem forms.
- And lastly, do you have any specific references you'd recommend? I've currently just got Goossen's Diné Bizaad beginner's textbook and Faltz's The Navajo Verb as a more in-depth reference. I'm in Seattle, not exactly close to the Dinétah, so I have to get by with books or audiovisual materials, or help from others online -- but I certainly do not want to become a pest with all my questions. :) -- Many thanks again, Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 17:04, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
- yiigááh can be made transitive by adding the transitive classifier and object pronouns. -gááh (intransitive), -łgááh (transitive): yiyiiłgááh = he/she is whitening it.
- atʼééd aghaaʼ yiyiiłgááh = the girl is whitening the wool.
- yiyiishį́į́h = he’s blackening it (-ł-zhį́į́h > -shį́į́h); dayiishį́į́h = they’re blackening it; náyiishį́į́h = he’s reblackening it; but, yiishjį́į́h = I’m turning black (intransitive).
- I’m not sure what the relationship between -gai and -gááh is. It’s probably a regular derivation of some sort, but there are many, many kinds.
- I think the creation of entries for verb stems is a great idea. We also need many more prefix entries.
- Anything written by Robert W. Young is excellent. I have always wanted his "Analytical Lexicon of Navajo", but I haven’t managed to get my hands on one yet. Young’s "The Navajo Verb System" is quite good, but very technical and (in my opinion) not well indexed. "Navajo/English Dictionary of Verbs" by Alyse Neundorf is said to be excellent, but I have not seen it. —Stephen (Talk) 00:43, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
- Brilliant, thank you! I've ordered Neundorf's Dictionary of Verbs and Young's Navajo Verb System; I looked for his Analytical Lexicon but could only find a few copies for sale, used, starting from $175 -- which is a bit beyond the budget at the moment. One copy in new condition is going for over $700! I do hope U of NM, or whoever has the rights now, sees fit to reprinting it. -- Thank you, Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 15:28, 12 September 2011 (UTC)