ERIC Number: ED402790
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
The Derivation of Meaning in the Navajo Verb.
Young, Robert W.
Lexical derivation in the Navajo verb system is described, with examples. Derivation involves four broad processes: (1) straightforward use of verbal roots and adverbial-derivational prefixes, with their base meanings; (2) extension of base root meaning, often by metaphor, to permit application to disparate concepts; (3) figurative use of adverbial-derivational prefixes and prefix compounds; and (4) idiom. Derivational prefixes and their patterns of occurrence are outlined, and patterns signifying extension of meaning of verbal roots are delineated for a number of verbs. It is noted that most of the noun lexicon is derived from verbs, and that some of the stem nouns the ancestral Navajos brought with them from the Northland five centuries ago have undergone changed meaning in the new geographical/ecological environment of the Southwest. Borrowing from English has become more common. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A