An introduction to Dena'ina grammer: The Kenai dialect by Alan Boraas.

By Alan Boraas.

In accordance with reference fabric via: James Kari, Ph.D., Peter Kalifornsky, and Joan Tenenbaum, Ph.D.

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Why, for what reason? why, how come, for what reason, what’s it for? Page 53 Verbs PART V: VERBS Introduction As with other Athabascan languages, the Dena’ina verb is among the most grammatically complex structures known in linguistics. A change in a prefix in one position can initiate a change in other positions—the rules are predictable but complex (see the Model of Verb Formation section). Moreover, the Dena’ina verb is not only a verb in the English sense of the term, indicating action or state of being, but contains a great deal of additional information such as who is involved in the speech event (pronouns) and a system to classifiy nouns as belonging to certain conceptual categories.

Gheli good hdit’ahdi, hdit’ahsht’a finally, unexpectedly, by suprise hdit’ahdi shegh ninyu you came to me by surprise heł’i, qeł’i secretly qeł’i the qenash he is whispering hench’da maybe hench’da yaqech’ it may possibly happen tunił that way ighi well, then ighi! q’udigu neł Well! I will talk to you htgheshnash now iqech’di in that way jitq’u with difficulty, barely kiyi usdet in addition to k’eniqu in bride service for k’idet Naked lach’ gheli q’u completely, entirely, with all his might lach’u laghu jitq’u q’angheshduk I barely made it k’idet nughebał he is swimming naked truth, truly, it is true, certain lach’u beł qilan he is certain a guess, surmise, it could be (similar to shi laghu am I the one Page 47 Adverbs, Independent ‘lay’ I wonder if, but can be used with all pronouns, lay refers only to the speaker, I wonder łichen nuisance, bothersome łichen ełan nahden Sideways nda’ich what, how nih, nihdi etcetera, and so forth ghun k’i nch’u nih t’desne’ that one never says anything at all nił’i equally nił’idagheltal they are equally wide nił’u separating, taking apart nił’u ni’ilyu it was butchered niłghena one after another, constantly niłghena sht’a qenax he talks repeatedly niłghu level surface, flat, evenly spaced ełnen niłghu t’ełuq I leveled the earth niłk’ech’ zigzag, back and forth niłk’ech’ łuhshełdaniłtuk’ he ran zigzag niłk’uch’ various, different, assorted niłk’uch quht’ana there are different qilan people niłq’a, niłq’ach’ both sides, both directions, double end nuht’e blind qech’ (see yaqech’) since, thus qenadu, qenatq’u silent, quiet qenteh out in the village, among houses, visiting qenteh nugheyuł he is going about visiting (lit.

An inflectional prefix or suffix does not change the nature or category of the word. In English adding “s” to the noun “car” changes it from singular to plural but it is still a noun meaning automobile, or adding “–ing” to “walk” changes it from present tense, “I walk…” to a present participle, “I am walking,”—it still means to move on foot. A derivational prefix or suffix significantly changes the meaning or part of speech of the word. For example changing the suffix of the English “excitement” (excite+ment) to –able makes “excitable” (excit+able) changing the word from a noun to an adjective and is, by definition, derivational.

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