A List of Chipewyan Stems

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A List of Chipewyan Stems Author(s): Fang-Kuei Li Source: International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 7, No. 3/4 (Jan., 1933), pp. 122-151 Published by: University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1262947 Accessed: 15-12-2015 03:19 UTC

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simultaneous buccal and glottal closure; the buccal explosion is then caused by the conThis list of stems is prepared from the traction of the muscles of the mouth and material gathered by the writer at Fort tongue to force the air out of the mouth, Chipewyan, Alberta, Canada in the summer and the glottal release immediately follows. of 19281. It consists of noun stems, verb x, 0, s, c and I are the voiceless fricatives stems, pronouns,postpositions, particles, and and 6, z, and I the voiced fricatives. It is suffixes, and comprises, therefore, all the to bey, noted that y is pronounced like the lexical elements of the language. It is without much frication, but it Eng. y, arranged according to the following alphaalways acts as the voiced correspondentof c, betic order: just as z is the voiced correspondent of s, ac, , e, f, e, a, i, i, o, 9, u, *k, ', m, b, d, t, t, y of x, etc., and seems therefore justifiably n, y (x), g (gy), k, k, 6 (0), d6, t0, tO, z (s), listed as such. dz, ts, ts, y (c), dj, to, tb, I (1), dl, tl, tl. g, gy, k, k, x, y are labialized before u and o. Before o a distinct w glide is heard Preliminary Remarks on Phonetics and noted, before u the labialization is Chipewyan has the following consonants: understood in the orthography. w is the Labials b (m) weakened form of yw. t d t n Dentals dj, tc, fc, and c are slightly palatalized x Gutturals g, gy k y (yw, k and sibilant. affricatives w) (xw) (gw) (kw (k(w) m occurs Interonly once in my material and is to ro 0 dentals d6 therefore quite an exceptional sound. z dz s-series s fts ts The vocalic system of Chipewyan is as c c-series tc tf dj y follows: I dl I Laterals tt tl Glottal Stop:' Breathing: W, h, -' Tongue-tip Vowels: INTRODUCTION

trill: r

b, d, g, d6, dz, dj and dl are the voiceless unaspirated stops and affricatives with a soft articulation, intermediate between the truly voiced b, d, etc, and the voiceless hard p, t, etc.

t and k are very strongly aspirated with a guttural spirantal glide [x]; tO,ts, tc, and tt are also aspirated but without the guttural spirantal glide. f, I' f0, , t, c, and ft are the so-called glottalized consonants, pronounced with a 1 The trip was financed by the Committee on Research in American Indian Languages, to whom the author wishes to express his sincere thanks.

Short: Long:

a a,




i i.


U U'1

Nasalized vowels: Short:







True Diphthongs: aic



ay .C

iy 9i'

ui' uy k4i'

1 u' is often recorded as zu as a distinct u rearticulation is sometimes heard. 2 After x-, y-, g-, gy-, k-, k-, the a of -ai' (and similarly of -ai) is probably a glide vowel between the back guttural consonants and the front vowel. Similarly after t-, which has a guttural spirantal glide, the a is also a glide vowel.

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Diphthongs of the type ai'1 are vowels followed by a whispered i, and in the type ay the final y has a good deal of friction. Pseudo-diphthongs: ai au

ei eu

ai ai


au a a

ai au

ui iu

ii i

ui ui


4u a

These are called pseudo-diphthongs because in most cases they can be shown to result from the coalescence of two vowels and can be just as well treated as two separate elements. In many cases the long vowels are also contractions of two or more elements. The Tones of Chipewyan. There are two registers or pitches in Chipewyan, the high register, which is represented by an acute accent over the vowel, and the low register, which is represented by a grave accent. There are also two inflectional tones, high to low and low to high, which are represented by the combination of the two accent marks, thus and v. They are usually the result of coalescence of two elements of different registers and occur only in long vowels and pseudo-diphthongs. A

Sandhi Rules Governing the Initial Consonants of the Stem. The initial consonant of the stem sometimes combines with the classifier ("third modal prefix" of Goddard) and forms a different consonant. As it is not always possible to find the true initial without the classifier, it is deemed convenient to list such stems as they actually occur and to consider such combinations of consonants as units. The rules given below will therefore help to find stems which may be thus listed, separated according to their different classifiers. 1 The final breathing may be replaced by any voiceless spirant, 0, s, or 1.

> -_-

1. -d + '2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

123 I23



NOS. 3-4 3-4 NOS.

-n +- n> -d-d + y> -g-, -gy-d + 6 > -dr-, occasionally > -d-d + db > -d- (rarely) -d + z> -dz-d + y> -dj-d + > -d -d- drops out before all other consonants > -1- in a few instances -1 + n- +- y> -I- (rarely) -1 + >-I-1 + n> -1- (rarely) > --t + -y-, -6-, -z-, -y- after 1- classifier become -x-, -0

-, -c-

Morphological Notes. The following notes are prepared only to explain the arrangements of stems and to clarify certain terms and certain distinctions among stems which are almost identical in meaning from the point of view of mere English translations. Certain noun stems often differ in form in the possessed form, that is, with a pronominal possessive prefix, and the non-possessed form. The difference consists usually of a change of tone or the addition of a suffix -e or the change of the initial voiceless spirant to the voiced form. But not all nouns undergo such changes and some, like names of body-parts or kinship terms, must always be possessed. For this reason two forms, first the non-possessed and then the possessed, are given to such nouns as admit the existence of both forms and are found to exhibit a difference. The different forms of a verb stem are given in the following order: the imperfective, the perfective, the future, the customary (or repetitive), and the progressive. After the meaning of the verb stems are given in brackets zero, 1, 1, and d, which refer to the classifiers("third modalprefixes"of Goddard). As a verb stem may modify its meaning by taking different classifiers, several meanings are sometimes given to a stem, each with its own classifier. But if the classifier combines

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with the initial of the stem and gives a sandhi form, the stem will be separately listed under the sandhi form; the reader will then be referred to the original stem if it occurs. Stems with y, 5, z, y, 1 initials (that is to say, when they have zero or I classifier) are understood to change their voiced initials to the unvoiced forms if they take the I classifier, and will not be separately listed. Similarly, stems with x, 0, 8, c, I initials are understood to change their initials to the voiced forms if they take the zero or I classifier. An important difference has to be observed between the neuter and the active voice of a verb, which often exhibit different stem forms and are thus listed separately in the list. Such a difference can be best illustrated by such pairs of verbs as "to sit (to be in a sitting position)" and "to sit down (involving an activity on the part of the subject)"; "to lie (position)" and "to lie down (action)"; "to stand (position)" and "to come to a stand (action)". For example: Oldci "you are sitting; remain seated!" y?idd "I had sat (not sitting any longer)" Oi0tz "I am lying" yi ti "I had lain (no longer lying)" 0?'y~ "I am standing" yi'yi

"I had stood"

nzddi' "you are sitting down; sit down!" ni-ddc "I have sat down (still sitting)" nestSi' "I am lying down" ni.-t "I have lain down (still lying)" hiyi "he is coming to a stand" hiyi "he has come to a stand"

From such verbs, when the meaning allows, causatives or transitives can be formed, thus, 0iltt "I have it (a living being) lying there", yiltf "I had it lying there (no longer there)" (neuter causative); and n1ttai' "you put it down, bring it", nltt' "you have put it down, brought it" (active transitive). The neuter causative follows the neuter paradigm and the active transitive the active paradigm. Similar to the distinction of the active and




the neuter voice, we have in verbs of adjectival nature the distinction of inchoative and static forms, such as "to be yellow (static, descriptive)" and "to become yellow (inchoative)"; "to be black" and "to become black", "to be big" and "to become big", etc. For example: destOiu "I am becoming yellow" destOu "I have become yellow" dssdz4l "I am becomdelzbn "black, it is black" ing black" desdzi1 "I have become black" tdrltcd "waves are betdditcd "there are big waves" coming big" tarltcad "waves have tddeyitcd "there had become big" been big waves" hudidgnsdjq2"Iamasham- hiurEsdjd2 "I become ashamed" ed (in the state of shame)" hitudeysdjd2 "I have become ashamed"

deltOoy "yellow, it is yellow"

Similarly, causatives can be formed from either type, thus, dfltOu "make it yellow!", diltO0 "I have made it yellow" (inchoative causative); dfits3 "blacken it!", dUsi3 "I have blackened it" (inchoative causative); nsude'nilcq "I make you ashamed, keep you in that state" (static causative) and neudenecd3"I am making you ashamed" (inchoative causative). Often a causative does not possess a special form, but is formed by means of the periphratsic expression 'adsl "I make it so", 'asld "I made it so", etc. We have also to distinguish between the continuative forms and the momentaneous forms, which are also differently conjugated and appear separately in our list. The continuative forms refer to an activity which lasts a certain length of time and the momentaneous forms refer to a more rapid action or transition from one state to another. The continuative forms are in most cases characterized by a nd- prefix. Thus, "to own a round, solid object" belongs to the con1 See Sandhirules, 6. 2 See Sandhirules, 7. 3 See Sandhi rules, 15.

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NOS. 3-4 NOS. 3-4


tinuative form and "to handle (pick up, put down, etc.) a round, solid object" to the momentaneous form; "to dream (to lie down)" belongs to the continuative form and "to go to sleep (- to lie down)" to the momentaneous form; "to stay" belongs to the continuative form and "to die, to wake up" (from the same stem with different prefixes) to the momentaneous form. For example: Momentaneous

Continuative nds'd "I own it (a round solid object)" ndywds'ad "I shall own it (a round solid object)" ndnelte "you own it (a living being)" ndywdste "I shall own it (a living being)" ndsti "I am dreaming"


"I pick it up"

nzirs'dl "I shall pick it up" nirjitai'

"you pick it


1. n~dai' ni.ke didt'Oi 2. ndcsOr ndider

3. o0.ti, Oitez

125 I25

"you are sitting down; sit down" "we (two) are sitting down" "you (plural) sit down!" "I am staying" "we (two) are staying" "we (plural) are staying" "I am lying" "we (two or more) are lying"

Similarly, the verb stem may have a reference to the object in regard to number. Thus, "to kill one person" requires a different stem from that of "to kill several persons"; "to throw one thing", "to make one thing" requires different stems from those of "to throw several things" and "to make several things". The dual number, however, does not seem to exist for the object. For example:



"I shall pick it

up" nEst'ic

"I lie down, go to sleep" ndOz.tl "I have dreamt" ni.-t "I have lain down, slept" ndsOsr "I am staying" leyanesOir "I am dying" teydni'lr "I died" ndyS-6ar "I have stayed" ndde "they are staying" t'ssni'de "we are waking up" t'ssnidet "we woke up" ndyide "they have stayed"

The category of number in the verb refers to the subject as well as to the object. As a rule the verb stem, like the noun stem, is indifferent to number. But certain stems have an intrinsic number idea in themselves and they can only be used in the singular, in the dual, or in the plural. Thus, in going through the paradigms of a verb we often find suppletive stems. Such stems are of three types; stems which can only be used in the singular, requiring a different stem each for the dual and for the plural; stems which can be used both in the singular and, with plural prefixes, in the dual, requiring only a special stem for the plural; and stems which can be used in the singular only, requiring a special stem for both the dual and the plural. For example:

leydnaiOar"I killed him" tyadn'ld' "I killed them" hunizcal "I have thrown (a stone) at it" hunildel "I have thrown (several pieces) at it" sd Oiltsi "I made a watch" k'd y-'ya "I made arrows"

Interesting are the forms hMydni1Oarand tyanilde, cf. leydni.68r "I died" and leydnide "we (plural) died". This seems to indicate how the number category of the subject can be thus by means of a causative formation transferred to the object. There are quite a number of stems in Chipewyan which contain in themselves the idea of singularity, duality, or plurality, and therefore, in these stems at least, the number idea, unlike the Indo-European categories of number, is inherent in the stem and is more of a lexicographic matter than a morphological one. The suffixes and postposed particles are probably different in degree, not in kind. Postposed particles are often pronounced separated from the preceding word by the informant and are therefore often recorded as separate words, while the suffixes adhere more closely to the preceding word and seem not to have such a well-defined force as the postposed particles.

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LIST -a (pp)l for -aze nephew; niece; son-in-law (used by man) -are elder sister -are yaze granddaughter, daughter-inlaw -4 mother -q4ly' aunt, step-mother -e a possessive suffix used with nouns -edt (pp) without -edtsf to some place without knowing where -el (pp) with; in company with -i a relative suffix meaning "the one that which..., the place which..., where..., time when..., how..., etc." -ixd a postposed particle denoting future purpose, or simple future a suffix denoting future intention (used -\ with future forms) -u or -hu a gerundive suffix -,tnay'd elder brother

-4nday yaze grandson

-'d female bird -'a, -'d, -'d, -'di' to fool (zero); to be mistaken about (1); cf. -t& "to be fooled" -'d, -'d, -'d, -'di' to command (t) to send one off on an errand -'a, -'a, -' (t), with prefix te-; cf. preceding stem -'a to have extension (neuter) (zero); caus. (1) -'a, -'d, -'d, -'di to extend, stretch, direct (active) (zero), (l); of. preceding stem - , -'a, -'d

to be (referring to the mind or

mental state) (zero), (1); probably related to preceding stem to handle, to own a round solid -'a, -'a, -' object (continuative forms) (zero); cf. -'di' "to handle a round solid object" -'di', -'a, -'dl,a-'di, -' to handle a round solid object (zero); to find, search for (1) -'di' snow-shoe

-'di 'Pl'di "valley" 1

pp stands for postposition.


-'dis -'dis, -'dis



to sneeze (I)

to bite (zero), cf. -'dt

-'dii, -'di, -'dii, -'ait

"to chew"; to chew or bite a stick (t) 'axe capable, rich, excellent -'6d-e hip -'ds,


, -s, 'dis




several persons crawl like animals (1) -'ds, -'az, -'as two persons go (zero) -'at, -'a , -'ad to appease (I) -'ad, -'dl, -'di to chew (continuative forms); cf. -'dil "to bite" -'ar, -'r, -'ar, -'ay to throw, handle violently cloth-like object (zero) -'ar, -'ar, -'dr, -'ay to untie a knot, a bundle (zero) -'dr to make a flapping noise (as of cloth, paper, wings, etc.) (I)

-', -'a, -'a, -'i' to reach, to be full (I) -'M,-'a, -'a a round solid object lies (neuter)

zero); causative (1); cf. -'di' "to handle a round solid object" -' (pp) off on one side, at a distance from -'azf (pp) beyond, further off -'ane (pp) away to one side, further on den, hole -'ay 'a,~u still, yet '"EIce separate, each -(6)'8 uncle, father-in-law 'eyer there 'eyi he, that one 'edMn? he, himself

-'eO,-'83, -'0O,- i0, -'0

to make a kick at

(zero), to move something by kicking (1), to move one's own foot (1) 'esdi- useless, no good 'el beaver dam 'l spruce-boughwith needles; 'dlgare"spruce needle" -'"l- ne'dl "swampy place, muskeg" -e, -'iu, -'ui several persons float ... ,-'Ul, zero), swim (1); cf. -'ut "several persons are hanging" -'an, -'an, -'an to be on one's guard (I) -'an, -'an to forbid (zero); cf. -t'n "to be forbidden" -'n, -, -' to examine (I); cf. -'[ "to see" 'i coat, dress

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3NOS.NOS 3-4

'O, -'0, -'iO to kick (tr.) (zero); cf. -'eO"to make a kick at" -'

soft, not strong (zero)

-', -l, ...,

-' (-t)

to do, make (1)

-'Z to wait (1) to mock, imitate (1) -', -', -' to steal (zero) -, -'i, -t,

- , -,

-', -', -', -', -'t to hide (tr.) (1); to hide (intr.), to move stealthily (1); probably related to preceding stem to look at, to notice (1) -', - )', -' ..., -, -', -t? to see (zero)l -', -,

-2,', -'t,


to look (as to look around,

look ahead, etc.) (zero) -'ln&, -'n, -'nei to have pity on some one (zero), with prefix "'stu-, or 'est-; cf.-t'ine "to be pitiable" '6ywE eddy -'o', -'oy, -'oi', -'6i', -'6t water rushes, whirls as if it is boiling (I); cf. preceding stem -'us there is a whispering noise (I) -'us,








preceding stem -'u, -'41 several objects hang (intr.) (1); cf. -'el "several persons float" -'ut ho'uZiu "remarkable, conspicuous" -'u (pp) on this side of; short of reaching the goal -'uzt (pp) behind, less and less -ma to stink (zero) -ba hoba "twilight" -ba to be grey (1); cf. preceding stem -ba (pp) waiting for, for -bazi (pp) in line with, in the direction of -ba, -bay, -ba to go to war (zero) 1 y8s'' "I have seen" contains the perfect prefix

ye-, but at the same time the imperfectpronominal subjective prefix -s-. This is an exceptional case becausethis stem has apparentlyneither -1-nor -dclassifier. The imperfect paradigm of this verb usually takes over the forms of the precedingstem, thus: nes'l, "I see it, look at it", ni'l "you look at it; see it! look at it!" ygnE'l "he sees it, looks at it." This is evidently a case of suppletiveverb; cf. the paradigms given by Legoff in his "Grammaire de la Langue Montagnaise" and also the FranciscanFathers' "A Vocabularyof the Navaho Language,"p. 169, under "see" 2.


2 I27

-bd, -bd, -ba to go to war (zero) (continuative forms) -bda, -bdl, -bad, -blt to hang and spread out (blanket, sail, tent, etc.) (1) -bdl- nbadle "tent, tepee"; 'ekebdal "web"; cf. preceding stem -bar, -bdr-e sleeve -ba 'ebqtdzayd "mushroom" badn-, -bane a war party; a group of people travelling together -bdn-e edge, boundary; (pp) around -bayq (pp) at the edge of; cf. ban-e "edge" and -yj "at" -b,ya, front part of the body from the chest down, the stomach -bqaye fork of the legs -baO to be round-shaped (zero) -bq6 to be round like a loop (zero) -bdO, -bq6, -bUO, -btiO to roll (a wheel, barrel, etc.) (t) -ba6, -ba6, -ba6 to roll (tr.) 1; (intr.) (zero) (continuative forms) bad6ldi French, white people; explained by the informant to be from a longer form bel ni h66ldi "with whom the earth is", cf. the explanations given by Legoff and Petitot. All explanations questionable. -beO to be round (referring to the full-moon) (zero) -bestld corner of the mouth -bez to be pale (1), also 'btays hodelbez "he is very pale" -bez, -bez, -bez to cook meat (t) -bde,-bet, -bet to hang (singular only) (intr.) (zero); (tr.) (1) -be y to bend (tr. or intr.) (1); -bgr, -b,-ber, cf. -bar "to bend easily, to be pliable" beO load on a dog-train -be6- tuiolbe6e "river bank" bes knife bet sleep -bel, -bel, -bel to shake (e. g. one's head) (1) -ban water is high (t); cf. -b\ "water rises" -bSr to bend easily, be pliable (zero); cf. -ber "to bend" bar, -bar stomach, meat; cf. sebiye "in my stomach"

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I I28




-bt to swim (one or two -b, -bi,-bd, -bi, persons only) (zero) -biy~ nqbiy ' "otter"

-bis to make the noise of an unknown language (I) -bit, -bil, -blt to swing (something hanging

down, a hammock, etc.) (1); mediopassive (I) -b' hobb "leading, as an example to" b't water rises (1); cf. -b", -ban, ...,..., is "water -ban high b'bitasoutsideof thehouse, tent; cf. tas4"back" btl snare, tabit "fish net" -da-, -da lip, beak -da (pp) against (wind, current,etc.); ydcd. "below the river, at a certain place down the river" ddst west, from down river ddsf moving against; up the river -ddzc to the west of, dz4dize hoddzf "afternoon" -dc- (pp) up, above y4dast from above, downwards ddsf up to, up in the air yda4ya above, at a certain place above ydcydc upwards, up the river, up the hill (with a gradual slope) ddtis dew y4ddsd9zf from the side above 'eddyad a narrow place in the lake where the caribous are accustomed to cross and where people sit a little way above (referring to the current) to wait for them



-dc, -da, -da to come back to life (