Athabaskan language studies: essays in honor of Robert W. by Eloise Jelinek

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By Eloise Jelinek

Many major figures within the box of Athabaskan languages contributed to this quantity, and their diversity of themes suits Robert Young's pursuits. 4 papers care for northern Athabaskan languages, which younger studied within the Thirties. the remainder essays specialize in points of Navajo language and tradition; younger has really good during this sector for over fifty years in collaboration together with his mentor, William Morgan, Sr. numerous essays current distinct research of verb and sentence constitution in Navajo, are stories of Navajo literacy, one other examines Navajo philosophy, and one bargains the 1st learn of ways little ones examine the complexities of the Navajo verb. someone attracted to Navajo experiences or Athabaskan languages will locate those essays important.

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This is the question then. What is behind the asymmetry of the transitivity alternation? What factor is it that permits the alternation in the case of the verbs of (4-7), Page 8 (11), and (14), and what factor blocks it in the case of the verbs of (8-10), (12), and (15)? We believe that the answer lies in the basic argument structure configurations of (1). The difference between the two classes of verbs depends on the basic configurations they realizealternating verbs realize one structure, non-alternating verbs realize another.

That it is a great pleasure is due both to the work of these scholars and to the remarkable properties of the Navajo language. In the course of the years, by way of confirming my already firm belief in the superb coverage of these grammar-cum-dictionary volumes, I have tried to discover aspects of Navajo lexical structure and verbal morphology which are entirely "new," heretofore unrecorded and hence altogether lacking in Young and Morgan. I am not able to engage in this activity very systematically, because I am able to return to the study of Navajo only very occasionally.

Setting aside verbs which ate basically transitive, intransitive verbs lacking a simple Page 6 transitive counterpart are probably as numerous as those that do. The intransitive verbs upon which the causatives of (8-10) are based represent this latter type. Some additional examples are cited in (12): The verbs of (12) are selected from among non-alternating intransitives having the zero-classifier. Many intransitive verbs which carry overt classifiers, l- * as well as -l- and -d-. It is not known whether this, in and of itself, inhibits those verbs from participating in the transitivity alternation.

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