User:Julien Daux

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Hello! I'm mostly here to update and systematize the Navajo entries, starting with verbs. Navajo being very matricial by nature, it is a timely opportunity to use computational power to represent and modelize the language. Navajo was in dire needs of it!

fr Cet utilisateur a pour langue maternelle le français.
en-4 This user speaks English at a near-native level.
he-3 משתמש זה מסוגל לתרום ברמה מתקדמת של עברית.‎
ja-2 この利用者はある程度日本語を話します。
nv-1 Díí choyoołʼįįhí Diné bizaad tʼáá áłtsʼíísígo bił bééhózin.
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Navajo lemmas changes

Words to add




The Matrix[edit]

Navajo verbs by prefixes

Started out as a project to matricially represent verbs by “template slots” so as to easily locate related verbs, it grew more to an overview "maintenance" page : you can see entries related by prefix, by prefix combinations, and then by aspect, by paradigm and by root.

I also added a section to show the entries I hadn't converted yet to the new templates ("Unclassified"). Additionally, there is a section for "wanted pages", pages being linked to but for which no page exits as of yet.

This page is generated by a python script I wrote, based on the pywikibot library.

Theme categories[edit]

  1. I noticed that verbs with prefix dzi- often go in relation with verbs with prefixes yíní- and yíníi (dzi- deletes from theme but meaning is preserved)
    • ajisht'óóh / dzidisht'óóh / jidizhnit'óóh vs yínísht'óóh / yíníit'óóh
    • ajishkaad / dzidishkaad vs yíníshkaad / yíníikaad
  2. Study also relationship between semelfactive and yíníi semelfactive. Can both coexist?
  3. nkídii- (fall on the ground) takes SEM / REP but should still be considered motion?
  4. relation between bé- (to peel, scrape off) and nihi- (to slice/tear to pieces)


Need to classify the classifiers!

Classifiers in verb etymology section are unadorned, being modestly presented as just "classifiers". There is room to improve that part. Classifiers should be further detailed as:

  • thematic: part of the root
  • factitive / causative : make someone do / become something
  • passive: be done
  • passive causative : be made to do
  • mediopassive: doing for self
  • reflexive: doing to oneself
  • reciprocal: do to each other

Ideally, we should also rework the "related terms" section to clearly show the articulation between each verbs, in terms of valence (classifier or thematized object), but also "aspect" (inchoative, transitional, terminative) etc... in the form of a transformational network.

Theme, Derivation, Valence and Inflection[edit]

Come up with a way to define verb entries as per their theme, derivational prefix compound, inflectional prefixes and valence modifier.

Also show perfective choosers and aspect choosers, if any.

Ex: haiłmáás

  • Derivation: ha- +MOM+(Ø/yi)+da-shift, up and out
  • Inflection: y-, 3rd person obj
  • Valence: -ł-, causative (valence increase)
  • Theme: -Ø-MAAZ, to roll (intrans)

Motion and classificatory verbs[edit]

Motion verbs share many similarity: classificatory stems depending on the object moving or being moved, combination of prefix, aspect and paradigm describing the manner of movement, various "family' of verbs whether they relate to handling, propelling or free movement of classes of objects; to walking, running, hopping, sitting, lying, standing... in the case of animate beings; to flying, floating, rolling, riding, driving... in case of locomotion by means of conveyance.

Only in draft stage for now.

See if there is a pattern:

  • classificatory move/fall have no yisdá- or CONT base ? But have nikí-, yanáá-, naa- (down), nʼdii- (breaks loose and falls).
  • classificatory propel have no CONT, PROG, but have nikí-, yanáá-, naa-, and yíníi-..? Should they rather be considered succesive themes?


1. See deezʼá for a starter, with categories for type of object (SSO, SFO, NCM...), and cross-cutting categories for type of motion (handle, propel, positional, extensional). [[Category:Navajo motion verbs: extensionals]] [[Category:Navajo classificatory verbs: SFO]]

2. What about secondary classificatory roots like :

  • -ʼÁʼ : SSO extends (pole,ladder, bluff, line of a polygon, buildings, trees)
  • -BAAL : FFO hangs, waves, careens.
  • -CHʼĄ́Ą́L : sth moves suspended, or to carry sth suspended, by a cord, a string, a handle.
  • -DEEL :in addition to movement of SFO,also movement of body catching a ball, of pairs of objects, migration / emerging of plurality of animals (band, clan, tribe, herd,)
  • -DO : amorphous / gaseous substance floats, drifts, wafts, as air, clouds, a balloon, but also, a disease, a shadow,... the stiff body of a lying man...
  • -GEED : handle SSO, stick, dig, shovel.
  • -GHAZ : scratch, but also: toss sand, snow, bucket of scrub water, must, pinyons,...
  • -JID : carry on one's back, heavy stuffs (LPB)
  • -JIL: SFO moves, pierces, sticks out, protrudes, perforates
  • diidiłjeeh : lie/lay AnO, SSO, SFO
  • -KAAD : root for "propel PlOb / OC", and "PlOb / OC moves" , but also "FFO is at rest" and "keep FFO at rest" ? (skirt, rug, ocean, vegetation bed) : sikaad / séłkaad ? The usual root for these is TSOOZ.
  • -KʼAAZH :shiłk'aazh : lie in a heap, like a heap of stones
  • -NAʼ : root for "FFO moves" (sheet, shirt, paper, sack + content), but also : sheet of liquid flowing over a surface (waterfall, diarrhea, leak) , crawl (moving flat), spread / catch a disease, peels off (paint, skin)...
  • -NÓÓD : swift movement of elongated objects : licking tongue, lizard, fish, train... Also: spread of fire or oil
  • -TIʼ : cover with a FFO (as a blanket)
  • -TʼIʼ : SFO extends (wire, line, rope, line of people, also: time,space, institution, activity )
  • -TSI : act with rigid sticklike object, poke spear, stick, to stick thermometer in mouth, ...
  • -TSʼEEʼ : objects lying in parallel position : rails, pôles, pencils, bars, jets of water
  • -YIZ : sliding movement of boulders, herd or crowd..
  • -ZĄ́ : movement of horde, crowd, army, or swarm of bees, birds, animals).
  • -ZAS :movements of scattering, sprinkling of granular matter as sans, seeds, salt, or drops of liquid as blood, water .
  • -ZAAL : 1. rapid fall of a light object through the air (feather, cloud, snow, leaves, sparks,...). 2. Person or vehicle dashes, rushes, darts.
  • -ZHÓÓD : movement of bulky objects that one drags : Boulder,...
  • -ZHOOZH : 1. movement of PlO2,, rocks, sand, dust, by streaming, sliding or dribbling, like landslide, avalanche,... 2. movement of SSO, boards, logs, poles, legs... to assume juxtaposition, parallel position one to another

Roots and stems derivation[edit]

Navajo roots and stems derivation (appendix)

One of the key complexities of Navajo is variability of the roots across modes (Imperfective, Perfective, Future, Iterative, Optative) and aspects (Momentaneous, Conclusive, Continuative, Conative, Semelfactive, Repetitive, Diversative, and many many more...). It looks a random cast of endings, vowel, length, tone and nasality changes across the board.

This essay tries to shed some light on the underlying reasoning behind this variability, the focus being more synchronic-statistical-computational than diachronic-historical-crosslinguistic, while using historical clues is not outruled.

The roots and stems matrix allows you to see how similarly some roots can behave, and some general patterns can emerge out of it: what vowels are allowed in certain syllable structure? Is there a relation between perfective and imperfective regarding tone and length? Are optative forms predictable based on knowledge of other modes?


  1. The matrix is manually fed for now regarding the stems and the features (labial, d-suffix, nasal suffix, coda type), but the hypothesese are automated (rhyme, iterative and optative comparison to other modes). I'll try to add more hypotheses to test from, and also to automate the feeding of the stems directly from the root entries in the Navajo Wiktionary (also part of my reshaping effort).