|Piipaash chuukwer / Xalychidoma chuukwer|
All claims and examples in this section come from Gordon (1986) unless otherwise noted.
Phonemes /f/ and /ŋ/ occur only in borrowed words, e.g. kafe "coffee" and naraŋk "orange",[bad example, as that could be assimilation w the ŋ] both borrowed from Spanish. [ŋ] also occurs as an allophone of /ɲ/.
Maricopa has a typical five-vowel system:
|High||i, iː||u, uː|
|Mid||e, eː||o, oː|
Vowel length is phonemic and all vowels may occur either short or long, giving ten phonemic vowels.
The following diphthongs (with the second member represented by a glide) occur. Basically, they glide from one vowel sound into another. Diphthongs also all occur long and short, for example /ej/ and /eːj/ are both found.
- /aj aːj ej eːj oj oːj uj uːj aw aːw ew eːw/,
as in /kwiduj/ and /maxaj/.
Stress and intonation
Stress within a word falls on the final root vowel, e.g. (roots distinguished with capitals):
- /XOT-k/ → [ˈxotɪk]
- /m-XOT-k/ → [məˈxotɪk]
- /XʷET-xot-m/ → [ˈxʷetxotɪm]
Declarative sentences exhibit falling intonation toward the end of the sentence.
Interrogative sentences exhibit rising intonation toward the end of the sentence.
Epenthesis of vowels to relieve consonant clusters is a major and complicated issue in Maricopa. It is not completely understood but some general statement can be made.
Epenthetic vowels can have the quality of any other vowel as well as some reduced vowel qualities. However the form is basically predictable from the local context:
- [ɪ]/[i] occur after palatal or alveolar consonants
- XX[clarification needed] before /ʔ/ the epenthetic[clarification needed]
- [ɪ]/[ə] occur elsewhere
Sequences of three non-syllabic consonants never surface without epenthesis. For sequences of two consonants epenthesis occurs in some cases but not always, depending on the consonants in question.
Nasals and liquids are least likely to accompany epenthesis, as they often syllabify instead, particularly in the following circumstances:
- An initial nasal before a homorganic stop optionally becomes syllabic.
- An initial liquid before a clitic boundary optionally becomes syllabic.
- In /nn/ sequences, the first n syllabifies. (However, in /mm/ sequences, epenthesis occurs instead, yielding [məm].)
In most other initial two-consonant cluster, epenthesis occurs, e.g.:
- /mxan-k/ → [məxanɪk]
- /ʔ-mxan-k/ → [ʔəmxanɪk]
Some final clusters are allowed, while others are broken up. Interestingly, the distinction seems to rest partially on the number of syllables in the word as well as the particular sequence of consonants, e.g.:
- /wiʂ-k/ → [wiʂk]
- /uːwiʂ-k/ → [uːwiʂɪk]
Assimilation and other phonological changes
Non-initial sequences of identical oral consonants other than /ʂ/ geminate, e.g.:
- /mðiːlʲ-lʲa/ → [mðiːlʲːa]
- /nak-k/ → [nakː]
The sequence /ʂʂ/ optionally surfaces as [tʂ]. Thus /ʔiːpaʂ-ʂ/ may surface either as [ʔiːpatʂ] or [ʔiːpaʂɪʂ].
When /t͡ʃ/ follows any segment except /ʂ/ and precedes any unstressed segment, it deaffricates to /ʂ/, e.g.: /t͡ʃmɲaː-k/ surfaces as [t͡ʃɪmɪɲaːk], but /m-t͡ʃmɲaː-k/ becomes [mɪʂɪmɪɲaːk].
Optionally for less conservative speakers, /t͡ʃ/ surfaces as /ʂ/ before any non-stressed segment other than /s/.
Unstressed high vowels optionally lower to the corresponding mid vowel.
[u] is inserted betwneen a rounded consonant and a round or labial consonant. A rounded consonant optionally delabializes before any other consonant.
/ɲ/ assimilates to [ŋ] before a velar or post-velar consonant. After a morpheme boundary, [ŋ] is preceded by [ɪ].
Between a back vowel and any following vowel, [w] is inserted, e.g.:
- /juː-uːm/ → [juːwuːm]
- /maː-uːm/ → [maːwuːm]
Between a front vowel and a back round vowel, /j/ is inserted, e.g.:
- /siː-uːm/ → [siːjuːm]
- /mɲe-uːm/ → [mɪɲejuːm]
- mat-v-sh 'or'or-m
- earth-DEMONSTRATIVE-SUBJECT round-REAL
- "The world (near) is round".
- 'iipaa-ny-sh qwaaq kyaa-m
- man-DEMONSTRATIVE-SUBJECT deer shoot-REAL
- "The man shot the deer".
- Grace-sh Bonnie-m uudav-k
- Grace-SUBJECT Bonnie-COMITATIVE be=with-REAL
- "Grace is with Bonnie".
- h'a-sh ha-s-ii v'aw-m
- tree-SUBJECT water-DEMONSTRATIVE-LOCATIVE stand-REAL
- "The tree is by the water (distant, out of sight)".
- 'iipaa-ny-sh Flagstaff-ly yem-k
- man-DEMONSTRATIVE-SUBJECT Flagstaff-LOCATIVE go-REAL
- "The man went to Flagstaff".
-k: General locative and directional ("to, from").
- Lynn-sh Yuma-k dii-k
- Lynn-SUBJECT Yuma-LOCATIVE come-REAL
- "Lynn came from Yuma".
- tdish mat ily-k-shvaw-k
- corn earth LOCATIVE-IMPERATIVE-put-REAL
- "Plant the corn in the ground".
- 'ii hat ny-m-'-aham-m
- wood dog DEMONSTRATIVE-INSTRUMENTAL-FIRSTPERSON-hit-REAL
- "I hit the dog with the stick".
Verbs are negated by adding the circumfix (w)aly-...-ma.
- chii-sh ha=han-ly aly-dik-ma-k
- fish-SUBJECT river-LOCATIVE NEGATIVE-lie-NEGATIVE-REAL
- "(There) aren't (any) fish in the river".
- "I didn't kill him".
- Heather-sh va aly-k-di-ma-k
- Heather-SUBJECT house NEGATIVE-LOCATIVE-come-NEGATIVE-REAL
- "Heather didn't come from the house".
- 'iipaa-sh waly-'-do-ma-k
- man-SUBJECT NEGATIVE-FIRSTPERSON-be-NEGATIVE-REAL
- "I am not a man".
- aly-'iipaa-ma-sh (duu-m)
- NEGATIVE-man-NEGATIVE-SUBJECT be-REAL
- "She is not a man".
- nyip '-ny-kwr'ak pakyer-ma-sh
- me FIRSTPERSON-POSSESSIVE-old.man cowboy-NEGATIVE-SUBJECT
- "My husband is not a cowboy".
- harav uusish-ma-sh hot-k
- liquour drink+NOMINATIVE-NEGATIVE-SUBJECT good-REAL
- "Not drinking liquor is good".
There are constructions where the placement of the negative morpheme is variable. In reflexives, for example, the reflexive morpheme mat- can precede or follow the first part of the negative circumfix.
- "I didn't hurt myself".
- "I didn't hurt myself".
Maricopa doesn't have a unique word for "never". To express this meaning, the language uses the verb aly-'aa-ma-k (NEGATIVE-hear-NEGATIVE-REAL) and the event which didn't occur as a subordinate clause.
- man-sh m-shmaa-m aly-m-'aa-ma-k
- you-SUBJECT SECONDPERSON-sleep-m NEGATIVE-SECONDPERSON-hear-NEGATIVE-REAL
- "You never sleep".
- Bonnie '-yuu-k waly-'aa-ma-k
- Bonnie FIRSTPERSON-see-SAMESUBJECT NEGATIVE-hear-NEGATIVE-REAL
- "I never see Bonnie".
There is a special verb kuvar, meaning "to be none", that expresses the meaning of "there isn't".
- mash-sh kuvar-k
- food-SUBJECT none-REAL
- "There is no food".
- man-sh shyaal m-kuvar-k
- you-SUBJECT money SECONDPERSON-none-REAL
- "You have no money".
Negative adverbs vary in scope depending on their position relative to the negative circumfix. For example, the adverb -haay "still, yet" is outside of the scope of the negation when the order of the morphemes is ma-haay. On the other hand, "still" is inside of the scope of the negation if the order of the morphemes is haay-ma.
- 'iikway dany aly-shveesh-ma-haay-k
- cow DEMONSTRATIVE NEGATIVE-milk+DUAL.SUBJECT-NEGATIVE-yet-REAL
- "They haven't milked the cow yet".
- 'ayuu waly-m-evsh-haay-ma-k
- something NEGATIVE-ASC-work+DUAL.SUBJECT-yet-NEGATIVE-REAL
- "They are not still working".
David Gil reports that the Maricopa have no equivalent for and, but that they are managing quite well. The various relevant relations are solved using different linguistic structures. However, whether the absence of a lexeme constitutes a lexical gap depends not on some theory but on the shared verbal habits of the people employing the relevant conceptualization. Accordingly, it is not valid to say that speakers of Maricopa are lacking the lexeme and. Rather, it is speakers of, for example, English who would experience the lack.
- mhay-ny-sh qwaaq tpuy-m
- boy-DEMONSTRATIVE-SUBJECT deer kill-REAL
- "The boy killed a deer".
- sny'ak-sh ashvar-k
- woman-SUBJECT sing-REAL
- "The/A woman sang". 
- Heather-sh Pam kwnho aay-m
- Heather-SUBJECT Pam basket give-REAL
- "Heather gave a basket to Pam". 
Possessive words precede nouns. There are inalienable nouns, for example clothing items, which must bear possessive markers.
- Bonnie s'aw ime
- Bonnie offspring leg
- "Bonnie's baby's leg". 
- "Your hat". 
- Bonnie avhay
- Bonnie dress
- "Bonnie's dress". 
- posh-v-sh ii'ily-k
- cat-DEMONSTRATIVE-SUBJECT be=infested-REAL
- "This cat (near, at hand) has fleas". 
- chyer vany-a shviily-sh hmaaly-m
- bird DEMONSTRATIVE-EPENTHETICVOWEL feather-SUBJECT white-REAL
- "That bird's feathers are white". 
The language doesn't have an independent adjective category: Intransitive verbs in their unmarked forms (with no nominalizing morphemes) can be used as attributive adjectives with an NP.  Furthermore, it appears that there is no difference between the attributive and the predicative form of adjectival forms.
- 'iipaa hmii sper-sh ny-wik-k
- man tall strong-SUBJECT THIRD/FIRSTPERSON-help-REAL
- "A tall, strong man helped me". 
- 'iipaa-ny-sh hmii-k
- man-DEMONSTRATIVE-SUBJECT tall-REAL
- "The man is tall". 
- Maricopa at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Maricopa". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- OPLP, 2012
- Gordon 1986, p. 37
- Gordon 1986, p. 41
- Gordon 1986, p. 43
- Gordon 1986, p. 45
- Gordon 1986, p. 46
- Gordon 1986, p. 50
- Gordon 1986, p. 72
- Gordon 1986, p. 73
- Gordon 1986, p. 74
- Gordon 1986, p. 81
- Gordon 1986, p. 142
- Gil (1991)
- Gordon 1986, p. 15
- Gordon 1986, pg. 42
- Gordon 1986, pg. 31
- Gordon 1986, pg. 51
- Gordon 1986, pg. 53
- Gil, David (1991). "Aristotle goes to Arizona, and finds a language without 'and'". In Zaefferer, D. Semantic universals and universal semantics. Berlin: Foris. pp. 96–130.
- Gordon, Lynn (1986). Maricopa Morphology and Syntax. Berkeley: University of California Press.