níłchʼi

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Navajo[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From níchʼi (to blow, perfective) + -ł- (classifier), from -chʼi (perfective verb stem describing the movement of a current of air), from Proto-Athabaskan *tšʼʷəy ~ *tšʼʷi, from Pre-Proto-Athabaskan *kʼʷəy (wind blows). An air current is conceived as a moving thing, and the perfective form marking its arrival is the equivalent of the English present progressive “it is blowing.”

Noun[edit]

níłchʼi

  1. air, breeze, wind[1]
  2. gas
    níłchʼi łikoníflammable gas
  3. spirit, benevolent spirits
    Níłchʼi Diyiniithe Holy Spirit (Christianity)

Inflection[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ “The air or atmosphere in its entirety, including such air when in motion, conceived as having a holy quality and powers that are not acknowledged in Western culture.” — McNeley, James (1981) Holy Wind in Navajo Philosophy, Arizona: University of Arizona Press