Navajo and English/Contrastive Grammar

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NAV-ENG Tests

Determiners

  • Navajo has no equivalent determiner to English's "the" or "a"
  • (nav) Jooł nikídílniihí tsáskʼeh biyaa íímááz. → (eng) The basketball rolled underneath the bed.
    (nav) Jooł<n> nikídílniihí<adj> tsáskʼeh<n> yaa<n><px3sg> íímááz<v><iv><perf><p3><sg> → (eng) Ball<n> basketball<adj> bed<n> under<pp> roll<v><iv><past><p3><sg>
  • (nav) Wóláchííʼ bighan binaa ałhéénílyeed. → (eng) Go around the ant mound.
    (nav) Wóláchííʼ<n> ghan<n><px3sg> naa<n><px3sg> ałhéénílyeed<v><iv><impf><p2><sg> → (eng) Ant<n> house<n><px3sg> around<pp> go<v>

Postpositions

  • Navajo has a wide array of postpositions, also applying possessive inflection on them
  • (nav) Jooł nikídílniihí tsáskʼeh biyaa íímááz. → (eng) The basketball rolled underneath the bed.
    (nav) Jooł<n> nikídílniihí<adj> tsáskʼeh<n> yaa<n><px3sg> íímááz<v><iv><perf><p3><sg> → (eng) Ball<n> basketball<adj> bed<n> under<pp> roll<v><iv><past><p3><sg>
  • (nav) Wóláchííʼ bighan binaa ałhéénílyeed. → (eng) Go around the ant mound.
    (nav) Wóláchííʼ<n> ghan<n><px3sg> naa<n><px3sg> ałhéénílyeed<v><iv><impf><p2><sg> → (eng) Ant<n> house<n><px3sg> around<pp> go<v>

Pronouns

  • Pronouns are often excluded in Navajo, appearing only as morphemes within the verb
  • (nav) Atooʼ łaʼ naa deeshkááł. → (eng) I will give you some stew.
    (nav) Atooʼ<n> łaʼ<det> naa<post> deeshkááł<v><tv><fut><p1><sg> → (eng) Stew<n> some<det> around<pp> give<v><tv><fut><p1><sg>
  • (nav) Wóláchííʼ bighan binaa ałhéénílyeed. → (eng) Go around the ant mound.
    (nav) Wóláchííʼ<n> ghan<n><px3sg> naa<n><px3sg> ałhéénílyeed<v><iv><impf><p2><sg> → (eng) Ant<n> house<n><px3sg> around<pp> go<v>

Verb placement

  • Verbs always appear at the end of the sentence in Navajo
  • (nav) Jooł nikídílniihí tsáskʼeh biyaa íímááz. → (eng) The basketball rolled underneath the bed.
    (nav) Jooł<n> nikídílniihí<adj> tsáskʼeh<n> yaa<n><px3sg> íímááz<v><iv><perf><p3><sg> → (eng) Ball<n> basketball<adj> bed<n> under<pp> roll<v><iv><past><p3><sg>
  • (nav) Wóláchííʼ bighan binaa ałhéénílyeed. → (eng) Go around the ant mound.
    (nav) Wóláchííʼ<n> ghan<n><px3sg> naa<n><px3sg> ałhéénílyeed<v><iv><impf><p2><sg> → (eng) Ant<n> house<n><px3sg> around<pp> go<v>

Verb mode

  • Unlike English's tenses, Navajo has a variety of modes to locate actions within time. A change in verb stem (and sometimes in the disjunct prefix) marks a different mode.
  • (nav) Atooʼ łaʼ naa deeshkááł. → (eng) I will give you some stew.
    (nav) Atooʼ<n> łaʼ<det> naa<post> deeshkááł<v><tv><fut><p1><sg> → (eng) Stew<n> some<det> around<pp> give<v><tv><fut><p1><sg>
  • (nav) Wóláchííʼ bighan binaa ałhéénílyeed. → (eng) Go around the ant mound.
    (nav) Wóláchííʼ<n> ghan<n><px3sg> naa<n><px3sg> ałhéénílyeed<v><iv><impf><p2><sg> → (eng) Ant<n> house<n><px3sg> around<pp> go<v>