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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2001, Vol. 32, No. 4, Pages 678-693
(doi: 10.1162/002438901753373041)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Navajo Verb Stem Position and the Bipartite Structure of the Navajo Conjunct Sector
Article PDF (86.4 KB)
Abstract

The Navajo verb stem appears at the rightmost edge of the verb word. In numerous cases it forms a lexical constituent with a preverb, occurring at the leftmost edge of the surface verb word, much in the manner of Dutch and German verb-particle arrangements in verb-second finite clauses. In Navajo the initial and final positions are separated by eight morpheme order “slots” recognized in the Athabaskan literature (and described in detail for Navajo in Young and Morgan 1987). A phonological solution to this and a number of other deep-surface disparities is explored here, based on the insights of earlier works on the Navajo verb, including Speas 1984, 1990, McDonough 1996, 2000, and Rice 1989, 2000.