Navajo language

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Navajo
Diné bizaad
Native to United States
Region Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado
Native speakers
169,359  (2011)[1]
Na-Dené
Language codes
ISO 639-1 nv
ISO 639-2 nav
ISO 639-3 nav
Glottolog nava1243[2]
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The Navajo Nation, where the language is mostly spoken
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Navajo or Navaho (/ˈnɑːvəh/; Navajo: Diné bizaad IPA: [di˩ne˥bi˩zaː˩d] or Naabeehó bizaad) is a language of the Athabaskan branch of the Na-Dené family, by which it is related to languages spoken across the western areas of North America. Navajo is spoken primarily in the Southwestern United States, especially in the Navajo Nation political area. It is one of the most widely spoken Native American languages and is the most widely spoken north of the U.S.–Mexico border, with almost 170,000 Americans speaking Navajo at home as of 2011. The language has struggled to keep a healthy speaker base, although this problem has been alleviated to some extent by pervasive education programs in the Navajo Nation.

The language has a fairly large phoneme inventory; it includes several uncommon consonants that are not found in English. Its four basic vowels are distinguished for nasality, length, and tone. The language's orthography, which was developed in the late 1930s after a series of unsuccessful attempts, is based on the Latin script. Most Navajo vocabulary is Athabaskan in origin, as the language has been conservative with loanwords since its early stages.

Basic word order is subject–object–verb, though it is highly flexible to pragmatic factors. It has both agglutinative and fusional elements: it relies on affixes to modify verbs, and nouns are typically created from multiple morphemes, but in both cases these morphemes are fused irregularly and beyond easy recognition. Verbs are conjugated for aspect and mood, and given affixes for the person and number of both subjects and objects, as well as a host of other variables.

History

Examples of written Navajo on public signs. Clockwise from top left: Student Services Building, Diné College; cougar exhibit, Navajo Nation Zoo; shopping center near Navajo, New Mexico; notice of reserved parking, Window Rock

Prior to European colonization

The word Navajo is an exonym: it comes from the Tewa word Navahu, which combines the roots nava ("field") and hu ("valley") to mean "large field". It was borrowed into Spanish to refer to an area of present-day northwestern New Mexico, and later into English for the Navajo tribe and their language.[3] The alternate spelling Navaho is considered antiquated; even anthropologist Berard Haile spelled it with a "j" in accordance with contemporary usage despite his personal objections.[4] The Navajo refer to themselves as the Diné ("people"), with their language known as Diné bizaad ("people's language").[5]

Most languages in the Athabaskan family have tone. However, this feature evolved independently in all subgroups; Proto-Athabaskan had no tones.[6] In each case, tone evolved from glottalic consonants at the ends of morphemes; however, the progression of these consonants into tones has not been consistent, with some related morphemes being pronounced with high tones in some Athabaskan languages and low tones in others. It has been posited that Navajo and Chipewyan, which have no common ancestor more recent than Proto-Athabaskan and possess many pairs of corresponding but opposite tones, evolved from different dialects of Proto-Athabaskan that pronounced these glottalic consonants differently.[7] Proto-Athabaskan diverged fully into separate languages circa 500 BC.[8]

Navajo is most closely related to Western Apache, with which it shares a similar tonal scheme[9] and more than 92 percent of its vocabulary. It is estimated that the Apacheean linguistic groups separated and became established as distinct societies, of which the Navajo were one, somewhere between 1300 and 1525.[10] As a member of the Western Apachean group, Navajo's next closest relatives are Mescalero and Chiricahua.[11] Navajo is generally considered mutually intelligible with all other Apachean languages.[12]

Colonization and decline

General Clayton B. Vogel's recommendation letter for Navajo to be used by code talkers during World War II

The Navajo's land was initially colonized by the Spaniards in the early nineteenth century, shortly becoming part of the Spanish colony of Mexico. When the United States acquired these territories in 1848,[13] the English-speaking settlers allowed Navajo children to attend their schools and even built separate schools for them in some cases. However, these children were not allowed to speak their own language in school due to a belief that this would keep them from functioning in English-speaking society; students routinely had their mouths washed out with lye soap as a punishment. Consequently, when these students grew up and had children of their own, they often did not teach them Navajo to prevent the children from being punished as well.[14]

In World War II, the United States government hired speakers of Navajo to be code talkers – to transmit top-secret military messages over telephone and radio in a code based on Navajo. The language was considered ideal because of its grammar, which differs strongly from that of German and Japanese, and because no published Navajo dictionaries existed at the time. The government's efforts succeeded; Navajo is the only spoken military code used by the United States that was never deciphered during its associated war.[15]

The development of an orthography in the late 1930s helped spread education among Navajos.[16] However, the language was still dwindling in use: by the 1960s, indigenous languages of the United States had been declining in use for some time. Despite the 1960s' cultural climate of tolerance and acceptance for minority ethnic groups and cultures, Native American language use began to decline more quickly in this decade as paved roads were built and English-language radio was broadcast to tribal areas. Navajo was no exception, although its large speaker pool—larger than that of any other Native language in the United States—made it better off than most.[17] Adding to the language's decline, federal acts passed in the 1950s to increase educational opportunities for Navajo children had resulted in pervasive use of English in their schools.[18]

Revitalization and current status

In 1968, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Bilingual Education Act, which provided funds for educating young students who are not native English speakers. The Act had mainly been intended for Spanish-speaking children—particularly Mexican Americans—but it applied to all recognized linguistic minorities, and many Native American tribes seized the chance to establish their own bilingual education programs. However, qualified teachers who were fluent in Native languages were scarce, and these programs were largely unsuccessful.[17]

Data collected in 1980, however, showed that 85 percent of Navajo first-graders were bilingual, compared to only 62 percent of Navajos of all ages – early evidence of a resurgence.[19] In 1984, to further counteract the language's historical decline, the Navajo Tribal Council decreed that the Navajo language would be available and comprehensive for students of all grade levels in schools of the Navajo Nation.[17] Still, a 1991 survey of 682 preschoolers in the Navajo Reservation Head Start program found that 54 percent were monolingual English speakers, 28 percent were bilingual in English and Navajo, and 18 percent spoke only Navajo. This study noted that while the preschool staff knew both languages, they spoke English to the children most of the time. In addition, most of the children's parents spoke to the children in English more often than in Navajo. The study concluded that the preschoolers were in "almost total immersion in English".[20]

The Native American language education movement has been met with adversity, such as by English-only campaigns in the late 1990s, but Navajo-immersion programs have cropped up across the Navajo Nation. Statistical evidence shows that Navajo-immersion students generally do better on standardized tests than their counterparts educated only in English, and some educators have remarked that students who know their native languages feel a sense of pride and identity validation.[21] Since 1989, Diné College, a Navajo tribal community college, has offered an associate's degree in the subject of Navajo.[22] This program includes language, literature, culture, medical terminology, and teaching courses; includes about 600 students per semester; and is the most prolific producer of Navajo teachers in the United States.[23] One major university that teaches classes in the Navajo language is Arizona State University.[24]

An American Community Survey taken in 2011 found that 169,369 Americans spoke Navajo at home – 0.3 percent of Americans whose primary home language was not English. Of primary Navajo speakers, 78.8 percent reported they spoke English "very well", a fairly high percentage overall but less than among Americans speaking a different Native American language (85.4 percent). Navajo was the only Native American language afforded its own category in the survey; as the dominant home language of only 195,407 Americans was a different Native one, domestic Navajo speakers represented 46.4 percent of all domestic Native language speakers.[1] As of July 2014, Ethnologue classes Navajo as "6b" (In Trouble), signifying that few, but some, parents teach the language to their offspring and that concerted efforts at revitalization could easily protect the language. Navajo had a high population for a language in this category.[25] About half of all Navajo people live in the Navajo Nation, an area spanning parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah; others are dispersed throughout the United States.[13]

Both original and translated media have been produced in Navajo. An AM radio station, KTNN, broadcasts in Navajo and English, with programming including music and NFL games;[26] AM station KNDN broadcasts only in Navajo.[27] When Super Bowl XXX was broadcast in Navajo in 1996, it was the first time a Super Bowl had been carried in a Native American language.[28] In 2013, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) was translated into Navajo, making it the first major motion picture translated into any Native American language.[29][30]

Phonology

Main article: Navajo phonology

Navajo has a fairly large consonant inventory. Its stop consonants exist in three laryngeal forms: aspirated, unaspirated, and ejective – for example, /tʃʰ/, //, and /tʃʼ/ (all close to the "ch" sound in English).[31] Ejective consonants are pronounced glottally; Navajo also has a simple glottal stop used after vowels,[32] and every word that would otherwise begin with a vowel is pronounced with an initial glottal stop.[33] Consonant clusters are uncommon, aside from frequent placing /d/ or /t/ before fricatives.[34]

The language has four basic vowels: /a/, /e/, /i/, and /o/.[34] Each exists in both oral and nasalized forms, and can be either short or long.[35] Navajo also distinguishes for tone between high and low, with the low tone typically regarded as the default. However, some linguists have suggested that Navajo does not possess true tones, but only a pitch accent system similar to that of Japanese.[36] In general, Navajo speech has a slower cadence than English does.[32]

Consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Palato-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
plain lateral fricated plain labial plain labial
Obstruent Stop unaspirated p t ts k ʔ
aspirated tɬʰ tsʰ tʃʰ (kʷʰ)
ejective tɬʼ tsʼ tʃʼ
Continuant fortis ɬ s ʃ x () (h) ()
lenis l z ʒ ɣ (ɣʷ)
Sonorant Nasal plain m n
glottalized () ()
Glide plain j (w)
glottalized () ()
Vowels
Front Back
oral nasal oral nasal
High i ~ ɪ ĩ
Mid e o õ
Low ɑ ɑ̃

Vocabulary

The vast majority of Navajo vocabulary is of Athabaskan origin. Prior to the European colonization of the Americas, Navajo did not borrow much from other languages, including from other Athabaskan and even Apachean languages; the Athabaskan family is fairly diverse in both phonology and morphology due to its languages' prolonged relative isolation.[37] Even the Pueblo peoples, with whom the Navajo interacted with for centuries and borrowed cultural customs from, have lent few words to the Navajo language. After Spain and Mexico took over Navajo lands, the language did not incorporate many Spanish words, either.[38] This resistance to word absorption extended to English, at least until the mid-twentieth century. Around this point, the Navajo language began importing some, though still not many, English words, mainly by young schoolchildren exposed to English.[18]

Navajo has expanded its vocabulary to include Western technological and cultural terms through calques and Navajo descriptive terms. For example, the phrase for tank is chidi naa na'i bee 'eldǫǫh tsoh, bikaa' dah naazniligii ("vehicle that crawls around, by means of which big explosions are made, and that one sits on at an elevation"). Some concepts, such as mobile phones, have no standard Navajo translation, instead being expressed by ad hoc coinages.[27]

Only one Navajo word has been fully absorbed into the English language: hogan (from Navajo hooghan) – a term referring to the Navajo's traditional houses.[39] Others with limited English recognition include chindi (an evil spirit of the deceased),[40] and Kayenta (a place name, from tééʼndééh, "game pit where wild animals fall into deep water").[41] The taxonomic genus name Uta may be of Navajo origin.[42] It has been speculated that English-speaking settlers were reluctant to take on more Navajo loanwords compared to many other Native American languages, including the language of the nearby Hopi tribe, because the Navajo were among the most violent resisters to colonialism.[43]

Grammar

Main article: Navajo grammar
A bilingual (English and Navajo) plaque commemorating the designation of the Navajo Nation Council Chamber as a National Historic Landmark

Typology

Navajo is difficult to classify in terms of broad morphological typology: it relies heavily on affixes—mainly prefixes—like agglutinative languages,[44] but these affixes are joined in unpredictable, overlapping ways that make them difficult to segment, a trait of fusional languages.[45] In general, Navajo verbs contain more morphemes than do nouns (on average, 11 for verbs compared to 4–5 for nouns), but noun morphology is less transparent.[46] Navajo is sometimes classified as a fusional language[45][47] and sometimes as agglutinative or even polysynthetic.[14][48]

In terms of basic word order, Navajo has been classified as a subject–object–verb language.[49][50] However, some speakers order the subject and object based on "noun ranking". In this system, nouns are ranked in three categories—humans, animals, and inanimate objects—and within these categories, nouns are ranked by strength, size, and intelligence. Whichever of the subject and object has a higher rank comes first. As a result, the agent of an action may be syntactically ambiguous.[51] Other linguists such as Eloise Jelinek consider Navajo to be a discourse configurational language, in which word order is not fixed by syntactic rules, but determined by pragmatic factors in the communicative context.[52]

Verbs

In Navajo, verbs are the main elements of their sentences, imparting a large amount of information. The verb is based on a stem, which is made of a root to identify the action and the semblance of a suffix to convey mode and aspect; however, this suffix is fused beyond separability.[53] The stem is given somewhat more transparent prefixes to indicate, in this order, the following information: postpositional object, postposition, adverb-state, iterativity, number, direct object, deictic information, another adverb-state, mode and aspect, subject, and classifier. Some of these prefixes may be null; for example, there is only a plural marker (da/daa) and no readily identifiable marker for the other grammatical numbers.[54]

Navajo does not distinguish strict tense per se; instead, an action's position in time is conveyed through mode and aspect. Each verb has a mode and an aspect,[55] and these forms are as follows:

For any verb, the usitative and repetitive modes share the same stem, as do the progressive and future modes; these modes are distinguished with prefixes. However, pairs of modes other than these may also share the same stem,[66] as illustrated in the following example, where the verb "to play" is conjugated into each of the five mode paradigms:

  • Imperfective: – is playing, was playing, will be playing
  • Perfective: ne’ – played, had played, will have played
  • Progressive/future: neeł – is playing / will play/be playing
  • Usitative/repetitive: neeh – usually plays, frequently plays, repetitively plays
  • Optative: ne’ – would play

The basic set of subject prefixes for the imperfective mode, as well as the actual conjugation of the verb into these person and number categories, are as follows.[67]

Navajo distinguishes between the first, second, third, and fourth persons in the singular, dual, and plural numbers.[68] The fourth person is similar to the third person, but is generally used for indefinite, theoretical actors rather than defined ones.[69] Despite the potential for extreme verb complexity, only the mode/aspect, subject, classifier, and stem are absolutely necessary.[54] Furthermore, Navajo negates clauses simply by framing the verb with doo and da (e.g. mósí doo nitsaa da – "the cat is not big"). Dooda, as a single word, signifies the interjection "no".[70]

Nouns

Nouns are not required to form a complete Navajo sentence. Besides the extensive information that can be communicated with a verb, Navajo speakers may alternate between the third and fourth person to distinguish between two already specified actors, similarly to how speakers of languages with grammatical gender may repeatedly use pronouns. They may also use paralinguistic techniques to convey noun information, such as speaking in a consistently nasal voice to represent coyotes (as they are portrayed in Navajo folklore).[71] Because so much information is conveyed in the verb, nouns are relatively immutable; for example, they are not inflected for number.[70]

Other parts of speech

Other parts of speech in Navajo are also relatively immutable, and tend to be short. These parts of speech include question particles, demonstrative adjectives, relative pronouns, interjections, conjunctions,[72] and adverbs (both unique ones and those based on verbs).[73] The Navajo numeral system is decimal, and some example numbers follow.[74]

Navajo does not contain a single part of speech analogous to adjectives; rather, some verbs describe static qualitative attributes (e.g. nitsaa – he/she/it is large), and demonstrative adjectives (e.g. díí – this, these) are their own part of speech. However, these verbs, known as "neuter verbs", are distinguished by only having the imperfective mode, as they describe continuous states of being.[75]

Orthography

Standard ASCII (top) and Unicode (bottom) keyboards for Navajo

Early attempts at a Navajo orthography were made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One such attempt was based on the Latin alphabet, particularly the English variety, with some Arabic letters. Anthropologists were frustrated by Navajo's having several sounds that are not found in English and lack of other sounds that are.[76] Finally, the current Navajo orthography was developed between 1935 and 1940.[16] The first Navajo-capable typewriter was developed in preparation for a Navajo newspaper and dictionary created in the 1940s. The advent of early computers in the 1960s necessitated special fonts to input Navajo text, and the first Navajo font was created in the 1970s.[77] Navajo virtual keyboards were made available for iOS devices in November 2012 and Android devices in August 2013.[78]

An apostrophe (') is used to mark ejective consonants (e.g. ch', ')[79] as well as mid-word or final glottal stops. However, initial glottal stops are usually not marked.[33] The voiceless glottal fricative (/h/) is normally written as h, but appears as x after the consonants s, z, and digraphs ending in h to avoid phonological ambiguity.[79][80] The voiced velar fricative is written as y before i and e (where it is palatalized /ʝ/), as w before o (where it is labialized /ɣʷ/), and as gh before a.[81]

Navajo represents nasalized vowels with an ogonek ( ˛ ), sometimes described as a reverse cedilla; and represents the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (/ɬ/) with a barred L (capital Ł, lowercase ł). The ogonek and the barred L were imported from Polish, while the use of an acute accent for vowels with a high tone was taken from French.[77]

Sample text

This is the first paragraph of a Navajo short story.[82]

Navajo original: Ashiiké tʼóó diigis léiʼ tółikaní łaʼ ádiilnííł dóó nihaa nahidoonih níigo yee hodeezʼą́ jiní. Áko tʼáá ałʼąą chʼil naʼatłʼoʼii kʼiidiilá dóó hááhgóóshį́į́ yinaalnishgo tʼáá áłah chʼil naʼatłʼoʼii néineestʼą́ jiní. Áádóó tółikaní áyiilaago tʼáá bíhígíí tʼáá ałʼąą tłʼízíkágí yiiʼ haidééłbįįd jiní. "Háadida díí tółikaní yígíí doo łaʼ ahaʼdiidził da," níigo ahaʼdeetʼą́ jiníʼ. Áádóó baa nahidoonih biniiyé kintahgóó dah yidiiłjid jiníʼ ...

English translation: Some crazy boys decided to make some wine to sell, so they each planted grapevines and, working hard on them, they raised them to maturity. Then, having made wine, they each filled a goatskin with it. They agreed that at no time would they give each other a drink of it, and they then set out for town lugging the goatskins on their backs ...

See also


Notes

  1. ^ a b Ryan, Camille (August 2013). "Language Use" (PDF). Census.gov. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Navajo". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Navajo". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bahr 2004, p. xxxv
  5. ^ Minahan 2013, p. 260
  6. ^ Hargus & Rice 2005, p. 139
  7. ^ Hargus & Rice 2005, p. 138
  8. ^ Johansen & Ritzker 2007, p. 333
  9. ^ Hargus & Rice 2005, p. 209
  10. ^ Levy 1998, p. 25
  11. ^ Johansen & Ritzker 2007, p. 334
  12. ^ Koenig 2005, p. 9
  13. ^ a b Minahan 2013, p. 261
  14. ^ a b Johansen & Ritzker 2007, p. 421
  15. ^ Fox, Margalit (June 5, 2014). "Chester Nez, 93, Dies; Navajo Words Washed From Mouth Helped Win War". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Minahan 2013, p. 262
  17. ^ a b c Johansen & Ritzker 2007, p. 422
  18. ^ a b Kroskrity & Field 2009, p. 38
  19. ^ Koenig 2005, p. 8
  20. ^ Platero & Hinton 2001, pp. 87–97
  21. ^ Johansen & Ritzker 2007, pp. 423–424
  22. ^ Young & Elinek 1996, p. 376
  23. ^ Young & Elinek 1996, pp. 377–385
  24. ^ Arizona State University News (May 3, 2014). "Learning Navajo Helps Students Connect to Their Culture". Indian Country (Today Media Network). Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Navajo in the Language Cloud". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Raiders vs Lions to be Broadcast in Navajo". Raiders.com. December 14, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b Kane, Jenny (January 28, 2013). "Watching the ancient Navajo language develop in a modern culture". Carlsbad Current-Argus. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Super Bowl carried in Navajo language". The Post and Courier (Evening Post Publishing Company): p. 3B. January 19, 1996. 
  29. ^ Trudeau, Christine (June 20, 2013). "Translated Into Navajo, 'Star Wars' Will Be". NPR. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  30. ^ Silversmith, Shondiin (July 4, 2013). "Navajo Star Wars a crowd pleaser". Navajo Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  31. ^ McDonough 2003, p. 3
  32. ^ a b Kozak 2013, p. 162
  33. ^ a b Faltz 1998, p. 3
  34. ^ a b McDonough 2003, p. 5
  35. ^ McDonough 2003, pp. 6–7
  36. ^ Yip 2002, p. 239
  37. ^ Wurm, Mühlhäusler & Tyron 1996, p. 1134
  38. ^ Kroskrity & Field 2009, p. 39
  39. ^ Harper, Douglas. "hogan". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  40. ^ Cutler 2000, p. 165
  41. ^ Cutler 2000, p. 177
  42. ^ Cutler 2000, p. 211
  43. ^ Cutler 2000, p. 110
  44. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 841
  45. ^ a b Mithun 2001, p. 323
  46. ^ Bowerman & Levinson 2001, p. 239
  47. ^ Sloane 2001, p. 442
  48. ^ Bowerman & Levinson 2001, p. 238
  49. ^ "Datapoint Navajo / Order of Subject, Object and Verb". WALS. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  50. ^ Tomlin, Russell S. (2014). "Basic Word Order: Functional Principles". Routledge Library Editions Linguistics B: Grammar: 115. 
  51. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, pp. 902–903
  52. ^ Fernald & Platero 2000, pp. 252–287
  53. ^ Eddington, David; Lachler, Jordan. "A Computational Analysis of Navajo Verb Stems" (PDF). Brigham Young University. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  54. ^ a b McDonough 2003, pp. 21–22
  55. ^ a b c d Young & Morgan 1992, p. 868
  56. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 863
  57. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 864
  58. ^ a b Young & Morgan 1992, p. 865
  59. ^ a b c Young & Morgan 1992, p. 866
  60. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 869
  61. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, pp. 869–870
  62. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 870
  63. ^ a b Young & Morgan 1992, p. 871
  64. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 872
  65. ^ a b c Young & Morgan 1992, p. 873
  66. ^ Faltz 1998, p. 18
  67. ^ Faltz 1998, pp. 21–22
  68. ^ Faltz 1998, p. 21
  69. ^ Akmajian, Stephen; Anderson (January 1970). "On the use of the fourth person in Navajo, or Navajo made harder". International Journal of American Linguistics 36 (1): 1–8. 
  70. ^ a b Young & Morgan 1992, p. 882
  71. ^ Kozak 2013, p. 161
  72. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, pp. 934–943
  73. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, pp. 944–945
  74. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, pp. 932–933
  75. ^ Young & Morgan 1992, p. 934
  76. ^ Bahr 2004, pp. 33–34
  77. ^ a b Spolsky 2009, p. 86
  78. ^ ICTMN Staff (September 12, 2013). "Navajo Keyboard Now Available on Android Devices!". Indian Country (Today Media Network). Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  79. ^ a b Faltz 1998, p. 5
  80. ^ McDonough 2003, p. 85
  81. ^ McDonough 2003, p. 160
  82. ^ Young & Morgan 1987, pp. 205a–205b

References

Further reading

Educational

  • Blair, Robert W.; Simmons, Leon; & Witherspoon, Gary. (1969). Navaho Basic Course. Brigham Young University Printing Services.
  • "E-books for children with narration in Navajo". Unite for Literacy library. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  • Goossen, Irvy W. (1967). Navajo made easier: A course in conversational Navajo. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Press.
  • Goossen, Irvy W. (1995). Diné bizaad: Speak, read, write Navajo. Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf. ISBN 0-9644189-1-6
  • Goossen, Irvy W. (1997). Diné bizaad: Sprechen, Lesen und Schreiben Sie Navajo. Loder, P. B. (transl.). Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf.
  • Haile, Berard. (1941–1948). Learning Navaho, (Vols. 1–4). St. Michaels, AZ: St. Michael's Mission.
  • Platero, Paul R. (1986). Diné bizaad bee naadzo: A conversational Navajo text for secondary schools, colleges and adults. Farmington, NM: Navajo Preparatory School.
  • Platero, Paul R.; Legah, Lorene; & Platero, Linda S. (1985). Diné bizaad bee naʼadzo: A Navajo language literacy and grammar text. Farmington, NM: Navajo Language Institute.
  • Tapahonso, Luci, & Schick, Eleanor. (1995). Navajo ABC: A Diné alphabet book. New York: Macmillan Books for Young Readers. ISBN 0-689-80316-8
  • Witherspoon, Gary. (1985). Diné Bizaad Bóhooʼaah for secondary schools, colleges, and adults. Farmington, NM: Navajo Language Institute.
  • Witherspoon, Gary. (1986). Diné Bizaad Bóhooʼaah I: A conversational Navajo text for secondary schools, colleges and adults. Farmington, NM: Navajo Language Institute.
  • Wilson, Alan. (1969). Breakthrough Navajo: An introductory course. Gallup, NM: The University of New Mexico, Gallup Branch.
  • Wilson, Alan. (1970). Laughter, the Navajo way. Gallup, NM: The University of New Mexico at Gallup.
  • Wilson, Alan. (1978). Speak Navajo: An intermediate text in communication. Gallup, NM: University of New Mexico, Gallup Branch.
  • Wilson, Garth A. (1995). Conversational Navajo workbook: An introductory course for non-native speakers. Blanding, UT: Conversational Navajo Publications. ISBN 0-938717-54-5.
  • Yazzie, Sheldon A. (2005). Navajo for Beginners and Elementary Students. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Press.
  • Yazzie, Evangeline Parsons, and Margaret Speas (2008). Diné Bizaad Bínáhoo'aah: Rediscovering the Navajo Language. Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf, Inc. ISBN 978-1-893354-73-9

Linguistics and other reference

  • Frishberg, Nancy. (1972). Navajo object markers and the great chain of being. In J. Kimball (Ed.), Syntax and semantics (Vol. 1, p. 259–266). New York: Seminar Press.
  • Hale, Kenneth L. (1973). A note on subject–object inversion in Navajo. In B. B. Kachru, R. B. Lees, Y. Malkiel, A. Pietrangeli, & S. Saporta (Eds.), Issues in linguistics: Papers in honor of Henry and Renée Kahane (p. 300–309). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Hardy, Frank. (1979). Navajo Aspectual Verb Stem Variation. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
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