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Navajo or Navaho (; Navajo: or ) is a
Southern Athabaskan language
Southern Athabaskan language
of the
Na-Dené family
Na-Dené family
, through which it is related to languages spoken across the western areas of
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
. Navajo is spoken primarily in the
Southwestern United States The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural list of regions of the United States, region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacen ...
, especially on the
Navajo Nation The Navajo Nation ( nv, Naabeehó Bináhásdzo) is a territory covering about , occupying portions of northeastern , northwestern and a smaller portion covering southeastern , in the United States. This is the largest land area retained by a ...
. It is one of the most widely spoken
Native American language Over a thousand Indigenous languages An indigenous language or autochthonous language, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign la ...
s and is the most widely spoken north of the
Mexico–United States border The Mexico–United States border ( es, frontera México–Estados Unidos) is an Border, international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border ...
, with almost 170,000 Americans speaking Navajo at home as of 2011. The language has struggled to keep a healthy speaker base, although this problem has been alleviated to some extent by extensive education programs in the Navajo Nation. The language has a fairly large phoneme inventory; it includes several uncommon consonants that are not found in English. Its four basic vowels are distinguished for nasality,
length Length is a measure of distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be us ...
, and
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
. It has both
agglutinative The middle sign is in Hungarian, which agglutinates extensively. (The top and bottom signs are in Romanian and German, respectively, both inflecting languages.) The English translation is "Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Satu Mare County D ...
and fusional elements: it relies on affixes to modify verbs, and nouns are typically created from multiple morphemes, but in both cases these morphemes are fused irregularly and beyond easy recognition. Basic
word order In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
is
subject–object–verb In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for ...
, though it is highly flexible to pragmatic factors. Verbs are conjugated for
aspect Aspect or Aspects may refer to: Entertainment * ''Aspect magazine ASPECT Volume 9: Performance ''ASPECT'' was a biannual DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data stor ...
and mood, and given affixes for the person and number of both subjects and objects, as well as a host of other variables. The language's orthography, which was developed in the late 1930s after a series of prior attempts, is based on the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequ ...

Latin script
. Most Navajo vocabulary is Athabaskan in origin, as the language has been conservative with
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
since its early stages.


Nomenclature

The word ''Navajo'' is an
exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
: it comes from the
Tewa upright=1.25, Chaiwa, a Tewa girl with a butterfly whorl hairstyle, photographed by Edward S. Curtis in 1922 The Tewa are a linguistic group of Pueblo In the Southwestern United States, Pueblo (capitalized) refers to the Native tribes of ...
word , which combines the roots ('field') and ('valley') to mean 'large field'. It was borrowed into
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
to refer to an area of present-day northwestern
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, and later into English for the
Navajo The Navajo (; British English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a of the . At more than 399,494 enrolled tribal members , the is the largest federally recognized tribe in the U.S. (the being the second largest); the Navajo Nation has the larges ...

Navajo
tribe and their language. The alternative spelling ''Navaho'' is considered antiquated; even anthropologist Berard Haile spelled it with a "j" in accordance with contemporary usage despite his personal objections. The Navajo refer to themselves as the ('People'), with their language known as ('People's language') or .


Classification

Navajo is an
Athabaskan language Athabaskan (also spelled ''Athabascan'', ''Athapaskan'' or ''Athapascan'', and also known as Dene) is a large family of indigenous languages of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and al ...

Athabaskan language
; Navajo and Apache languages make up the southernmost branch of the family. Most of the other Athabaskan languages are located in Alaska, northwestern Canada, and along the North American Pacific coast. Most languages in the Athabaskan family have tones. However, this feature evolved independently in all subgroups;
Proto-Athabaskan Proto-Athabaskan is the reconstructed ancestor of the Athabaskan languages. Phonology The reconstruction of Proto-Athabaskan phonology is still under active debate. This section attempts to summarize the less controversial parts of the Proto-Atha ...
had no tones. In each case, tone evolved from
glottalic consonant A glottalic consonant is a consonant produced with some important contribution (movement or closure) of the glottis. Glottalic sounds may involve motion of the larynx upward or downward, as the initiator of an egressive or ingressive glottalic a ...
s at the ends of morphemes; however, the progression of these consonants into tones has not been consistent, with some related morphemes being pronounced with high tones in some Athabaskan languages and low tones in others. It has been posited that Navajo and
Chipewyan The Chipewyan (chi-pew-yan/tʃɪpə'waɪən or chip-ə-WHY-en, also called ''Denésoliné'' or ''Dënesųłı̨né'' or ''Dënë Sųłınë́'', meaning "the original/real people") are a Dene The Dene people () are an indigenous Indigenous ...
, which have no common ancestor more recent than Proto-Athabaskan and possess many pairs of corresponding but opposite tones, evolved from different dialects of Proto-Athabaskan that pronounced these glottalic consonants differently. Proto-Athabaskan diverged fully into separate languages circa 500 BC. Navajo is most closely related to
Western Apache The Western Apache live primarily in east central Arizona, in the United States. Most live within reservations. The Fort Apache Indian Reservation, San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Tonto Apache, and the Fort McDowe ...
, with which it shares a similar tonal scheme and more than 92 percent of its vocabulary. It is estimated that the
Apache The Apache () are a group of culturally related Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans ...

Apache
an linguistic groups separated and became established as distinct societies, of which the Navajo were one, somewhere between 1300 and 1525. As a member of the Western Apachean group, Navajo's closest relative is the
Mescalero-Chiricahua language Chiricahua (also known as Chiricahua Apache) is a Southern Athabaskan languages, Southern Athabaskan language spoken by the Chiricahua people in Oklahoma and New Mexico. It is related to Navajo language, Navajo and Western Apache language, Wester ...
. Navajo is generally considered
mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
with all other Apachean languages.


History

The Apachean languages, of which Navajo is one, are thought to have arrived in the American Southwest from the north by 1500, probably passing through Alberta and Wyoming. Archaeological finds considered to be proto-Navajo have been located in the far northern New Mexico around the La Plata, Animas and Pine rivers, dating to around 1500. In 1936, linguist
Edward Sapir Edward Sapir (; January 26, 1884 – February 4, 1939) was an American Jewish anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, soc ...

Edward Sapir
showed how the arrival of the Navajo people in the new arid climate among the corn agriculturalists of the Pueblo area was reflected in their language by tracing the changing meanings of words from Proto-Athabaskan to Navajo. For example, the word *''dè:'', which in Proto-Athabaskan meant "horn" and "dipper made from animal horn", in Navajo came to mean "gourd" or "dipper made from gourd". Likewise, the Proto-Athabaskan word *''ɫ-yáxs'' "snow lies on the ground" in Navajo became ''sàs'' "corn lies on the ground". Similarly, the Navajo word for "corn" is ''nà:-dą:'', derived from two Proto-Athabaskan roots meaning "enemy" and "food", suggesting that the Navajo originally considered corn to be "food of the enemy" when they first arrived among the Pueblo people.


Navajo Code

During World War II, the United States of America government used a code based on the Navajo language to use as secret communication. These
code talker A code talker was a person employed by the military during wartime to use a little-known language as a means of secret communication. The term is now usually associated with United States service members during the world war A world war i ...
s would relay secret messages using the code. At the end of the war the code remained unbroken. The code worked by assigning Navajo words to common military phrases. The code proved for the most part effective for conveying secrecy, as the Navajo language was often not learned by spies attempting to break American codes.


Colonization and decline

Navajo lands were initially colonized by the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
in the early nineteenth century, shortly after this area was "annexed" as part of the Spanish colony of
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
. When the United States annexed these territories in 1848 following the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''U.S. intervention in Mexico''), was an armed conflict between the United States and Second Federal Republic of Mexico, Mexico from 1846 ...

Mexican–American War
, the English-speaking settlers allowed Navajo children to attend their schools. In some cases, the United States established separate schools for Navajo and other Native American children. In the late 19th century, it founded boarding schools, often operated by religious missionary groups. In efforts to acculturate the children, school authorities insisted that they learn to speak English and practice Christianity. Students routinely had their mouths washed out with lye soap as a punishment if they did speak Navajo. Consequently, when these students grew up and had children of their own, they often did not teach them Navajo, in order to prevent them from being punished. Robert W. Young and William Morgan (Navajo), who both worked for the Navajo Agency of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), also known as Indian Affairs (IA), is a United States federal government of the United States, federal agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, Department of the Interior. It is responsible for imp ...

Bureau of Indian Affairs
, developed and published a practical orthography in 1937. It helped spread education among Navajo speakers. In 1943 the men collaborated on ''The Navajo Language'', a dictionary organized by the roots of the language. In
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the United States military used speakers of Navajo as
code talker A code talker was a person employed by the military during wartime to use a little-known language as a means of secret communication. The term is now usually associated with United States service members during the world war A world war i ...
s—to transmit top-secret military messages over telephone and radio in a code based on Navajo. The language was considered ideal because of its grammar, which differs strongly from that of
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
and
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
, and because no published Navajo dictionaries existed at the time. Despite gaining new scholarly attention and being documented, the language declined in use. By the 1960s, indigenous languages of the United States had been declining in use for some time. Native American language use began to decline more quickly in this decade as paved roads were built and English-language radio was broadcast to tribal areas. Navajo was no exception, although its large speaker pool—larger than that of any other Native language in the United States—gave it more staying power than most. Adding to the language's decline, federal acts passed in the 1950s to increase educational opportunities for Navajo children had resulted in pervasive use of English in their schools.


Revitalization and current status

In 1968, U.S. President
Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson (; August 27, 1908January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was the 36th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the ...

Lyndon B. Johnson
signed the
Bilingual Education Act The Bilingual Education Act (BEA), also known as the Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1967, was the first United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), ...
, which provided funds for educating young students who are not native English speakers. The Act had mainly been intended for Spanish-speaking children—particularly
Mexican Americans Mexican Americans ( es, mexicano-estadounidenses or ) are Americans of Mexicans, Mexican ancestry. In 2019, Mexican Americans comprised 11.3% of the US population and 61.5% of all Hispanic and Latino Americans, Latino Americans. In 2019, 71% of ...

Mexican Americans
—but it applied to all recognized linguistic minorities. Many Native American tribes seized the chance to establish their own bilingual education programs. However, qualified teachers who were fluent in Native languages were scarce, and these programs were largely unsuccessful. However, data collected in 1980 showed that 85 percent of Navajo first-graders were bilingual, compared to 62 percent of Navajo of all ages—early evidence of a resurgence of use of their traditional language among younger people. In 1984, to counteract the language's historical decline, the
Navajo Nation Council The Navajo Nation Council ( nv, Béésh bąąh dah siʼání) is the legislative branch of the Navajo Nation government. The council meets four times per year, with additional special sessions, at the Navajo Nation Council Chamber, which is in Wind ...
decreed that the Navajo language would be available and comprehensive for students of all grade levels in schools of the
Navajo Nation The Navajo Nation ( nv, Naabeehó Bináhásdzo) is a territory covering about , occupying portions of northeastern , northwestern and a smaller portion covering southeastern , in the United States. This is the largest land area retained by a ...
. This effort was aided by the fact that, largely due to the work of Young and Morgan, Navajo is one of the best-documented Native American languages. In 1980 they published a monumental expansion of their work on the language, organized by word (first initial of vowel or consonant) in the pattern of English dictionaries, as requested by Navajo students. ''The Navajo Language: A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary'' also included a 400-page grammar, making it invaluable for both native speakers and students of the language. Particularly in its organization of verbs, it was oriented to Navajo speakers.James Kari and Jeff Leer, "Review: ''The Navajo Language: A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary'' by Robert W. Young; William Morgan
, ''International Journal of American Linguistics,'' Vol. 50, No. 1, Jan., 1984. Retrieved 2 October 2014
They expanded this work again in 1987, with several significant additions, and this edition continues to be used as an important text. The Native American language education movement has been met with adversity, such as by English-only campaigns in some areas in the late 1990s. However, Navajo-immersion programs have cropped up across the Navajo Nation. Statistical evidence shows that Navajo-immersion students generally do better on
standardized test A standardized test is a test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities Arts and entertainment * Test (2013 film), ''Test'' (2013 f ...
s than their counterparts educated only in English. Some educators have remarked that students who know their native languages feel a sense of pride and identity validation. Since 1989,
Diné College Diné College is a Public college, public Tribal colleges and universities, tribal Land-grant university, land-grant college in Tsaile, Arizona, serving the Navajo Nation. It offers associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and certificates. Campu ...
, a Navajo tribal
community college A community college is a type of educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, ...
, has offered an
associate degree An associate degree is an undergraduate degree awarded after a course of post-secondary study lasting two to three years. It is a level of qualification between a high school diploma, GED, and a Bachelor's degree. The first associate degrees we ...
in the subject of Navajo. This program includes language, literature, culture, medical terminology, and teaching courses and produces the highest number of Navajo teachers of any institution in the United States. About 600 students attend per semester. One major university that teaches classes in the Navajo language is
Arizona State University Arizona State University (ASU or Arizona State) is a public university, public research university in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Phoenix metropolitan area. Founded in 1885 by the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature, ASU is one of the List ...
. In 1992, Young and Morgan published another major work on Navajo: ''Analytical Lexicon of Navajo'', with the assistance of Sally Midgette (Navajo). This work is organized by
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large grou ...
, the basis of Athabaskan languages. A 1991 survey of 682 preschoolers on the Navajo Reservation
Head Start program Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a cabinet-level executive branch The executive is the branch of government exerc ...
found that 54 percent were monolingual English speakers, 28 percent were bilingual in English and Navajo, and 18 percent spoke only Navajo. This study noted that while the preschool staff knew both languages, they spoke English to the children most of the time. In addition, most of the children's parents spoke to the children in English more often than in Navajo. The study concluded that the preschoolers were in "almost total immersion in English". An
American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS) is a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, citizenship, educati ...
taken in 2011 found that 169,369 Americans spoke Navajo at home—0.3 percent of Americans whose primary home language was not English. Of primary Navajo speakers, 78.8 percent reported they spoke English "very well", a fairly high percentage overall but less than among other Americans speaking a different Native American language (85.4 percent). Navajo was the only Native American language afforded its own category in the survey; domestic Navajo speakers represented 46.4 percent of all domestic Native language speakers (only 195,407 Americans have a different home Native language). As of July 2014,
Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living language A language is a structured system of communicat ...
classes Navajo as "6b" (In Trouble), signifying that few, but some, parents teach the language to their offspring and that concerted efforts at revitalization could easily protect the language. Navajo had a high population for a language in this category. About half of all Navajo people live on Navajo Nation land, an area spanning parts of
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States, Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain States, Mountain states. It is th ...

Arizona
,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, and
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
; others are dispersed throughout the United States. Under tribal law, fluency in Navajo is mandatory for candidates to the office of the President of the Navajo Nation. Both original and translated media have been produced in Navajo. The first works tended to be religious texts translated by missionaries, including the Bible. From 1943 to about 1957, the Navajo Agency of the BIA published ''
Ádahooníłígíí ''Ádahooníłígíí'' ( nv, "occurrences in the area/current events") was a Navajo-language monthly newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a categor ...
'' ("Events"), the first newspaper in Navajo and the only one to be written entirely in Navajo. It was edited by Robert W. Young and William Morgan, Sr. (Navajo). They had collaborated on ''The Navajo Language'', a major language dictionary published that same year, and continued to work on studying and documenting the language in major works for the next few decades.Sharon Hargus, "Review: ''Analytical Lexicon of Navajo'' by Robert W. Young; William Morgan; Sally Midgette"
''Anthropological Linguistics'', Vol. 38, No. 2, Summer, 1996, JSTOR. Retrieved 2 October 2014
Today an AM radio station, , broadcasts in Navajo and English, with programming including music and
NFL The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
games; AM station KNDN broadcasts only in Navajo. When
Super Bowl XXX Super Bowl XXX was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, f ...
was broadcast in Navajo in 1996, it was the first time a
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
had been carried in a Native American language. In 2013, the 1977 film ''
Star Wars ''Star Wars'' is an American epic film, epic space opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the Star Wars (film), eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide popular culture, pop-culture Cultural impact of S ...
'' was translated into Navajo. It was the first major motion picture translated into any Native American language. On October 5, 2018, an early beta of a Navajo course was released on
Duolingo Duolingo ( ) is an American language-learning website and mobile app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam. The company uses the freemium model: the app and the website are accessible without charge, although Duolingo also o ...

Duolingo
.


Education

The Navajo Nation operates Tséhootsooí Diné Bi'ólta', a Navajo language immersion school for grades K-8 in
Fort Defiance, Arizona Fort Defiance ( nv, ) is a census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a Place (United States Census Bureau), concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used ...
. Located on the Arizona-New Mexico border in the southeastern quarter of the
Navajo Reservation The Navajo Nation ( nv, Naabeehó Bináhásdzo) is an American Indian territory covering about , occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomex ...
, the school strives to revitalize Navajo among children of the Window Rock Unified School District. Tséhootsooí Diné Bi'ólta' has thirteen Navajo language teachers who instruct only in the Navajo language, and no English, while five English language teachers instruct in the English language. Kindergarten and first grade are taught completely in the Navajo language, while English is incorporated into the program during third grade, when it is used for about 10% of instruction.


Phonology

Navajo has a fairly large consonant inventory. Its
stop consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of ev ...
s exist in three laryngeal forms: aspirated, unaspirated, and
ejective In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical p ...
—for example, , , and . Ejective consonants are those that are pronounced with a glottalic initiation. Navajo also has a simple used after vowels, and every word that would otherwise begin with a vowel is pronounced with an initial glottal stop. Consonant clusters are uncommon, aside from frequent placing or before
fricatives Fricatives are consonants manner of articulation, produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two Place of articulation, articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the bac ...
. The language has four vowel qualities: , , , and . Each exists in both oral and nasalized forms, and can be either short or long. Navajo also distinguishes for
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
between high and low, with the low tone typically regarded as the default. However, some linguists have suggested that Navajo does not possess true tones, but only a
pitch accent A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
system similar to that of
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
. In general, Navajo speech also has a slower speech tempo than English does.


Grammar


Typology

Navajo is difficult to classify in terms of broad
morphological typology Morphological typology is a way of classifying the languages of the world (see linguistic typology) that groups languages according to their common Morphology (linguistics), morphological structures. The field organizes languages on the basis of ...
: it relies heavily on
affix In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the met ...
es—mainly prefixes—like
agglutinative The middle sign is in Hungarian, which agglutinates extensively. (The top and bottom signs are in Romanian and German, respectively, both inflecting languages.) The English translation is "Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Satu Mare County D ...
languages, but these affixes are joined in unpredictable, overlapping ways that make them difficult to segment, a trait of fusional languages. In general, Navajo verbs contain more morphemes than nouns do (on average, 11 for verbs compared to 4–5 for nouns), but noun morphology is less transparent. Depending on the source, Navajo is either classified as a fusional agglutinative or even
polysynthetic In morphological typology, linguistic typology, polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i.e. languages in which word (linguistics), words are composed of many morphemes (word parts that have independent meaning but may or may not be ...
language, as it shows mechanisms from all three. In terms of basic
word order In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
, Navajo has been classified as a
subject–object–verb In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for ...
language. However, some speakers order the subject and object based on "noun ranking". In this system, nouns are ranked in three categories—humans, animals, and inanimate objects—and within these categories, nouns are ranked by strength, size, and intelligence. Whichever of the subject and object has a higher rank comes first. As a result, the agent of an action may be syntactically ambiguous. The highest rank position is held by humans and lightning. Other linguists such as Eloise Jelinek consider Navajo to be a discourse configurational language, in which word order is not fixed by syntactic rules, but determined by pragmatic factors in the communicative context.


Verbs

In Navajo, verbs are the main elements of their sentences, imparting a large amount of information. The verb is based on a
stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some other structure ** Stipe (mycology), the stem supporting the c ...
, which is made of a
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large grou ...
to identify the action and the semblance of a suffix to convey
mode Mode ( la, modus meaning "manner, tune, measure, due measure, rhythm, melody") may refer to: Language * Grammatical mode In linguistics, grammatical mood is a Grammar, grammatical feature of verbs, used for signalling Modality (natural langua ...
and
aspect Aspect or Aspects may refer to: Entertainment * ''Aspect magazine ASPECT Volume 9: Performance ''ASPECT'' was a biannual DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data stor ...
; however, this suffix is fused beyond separability. The stem is given somewhat more transparent prefixes to indicate, in this order, the following information: postpositional object, postposition, adverb-state, iterativity,
number A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduct ...
,
direct object In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
,
deicticIn linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include pho ...
information, another adverb-state, mode and aspect, subject, classifier (see later on),
mirativity Mirativity, initially proposed by Scott DeLancey Scott DeLancey (born 1949) is an American linguist from the University of Oregon The University of Oregon (UO, U of O or Oregon) is a public In public relations and communication science, p ...
and two-tier
evidentiality In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the met ...
. Some of these prefixes may be null; for example, there is only a plural marker (''da/daa'') and no readily identifiable marker for the other grammatical numbers. Navajo does not distinguish strict tense ''per se''; instead, an action's position in time is conveyed through mode, aspect, but also via time adverbials or context. Each verb has an inherent aspect and can be conjugated in up to seven modes. These forms are as follows: Modes: * Imperfective – an incomplete action; can be used in past, present, or future time frames * Perfective – a complete action; usually signifying the
past tense The past tense is a grammatical tense In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the ...
but also applied to future states (e.g. "he will have gone") * Usitative – a usual or typical action * Iterative – a recurrent or repetitive action; often used interchangeably with the usitative * Progressive – ongoing action; unlike the imperfective, the focus is more on the progression across space or time than incompleteness * Future – a prospective action, analogous to the
future tense In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
* Optative – a potential or desired action, similar to the
subjunctive mood The subjunctive is a grammatical mood In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, ...
of Indo-European languages Aspects: * Momentaneous – an action that takes place at a specific point in time * Continuative – an action that covers an indefinite timeframe, without a specific beginning, goal, or even temporal direction * Durative – similar to the continuative, but not covering locomotion verbs * Conclusive – similar to the durative, but emphasizing the completed nature of the action when in the perfective mode * Repetitive – an action that is repeated in some way, dependent on the sub-aspect and sub-sub-aspect type used * Semelfactive – an action that is distinguished from a connected group or series of actions * Distributive – an action that occurs among a group of targets or locations * Diversative – an action that occurs "here and there", among an unspecified group of targets or locations * Reversative – an action involving change in physical or metaphorical direction * Conative – an action the subject attempts to perform * Transitional – an action involving transition from one status or form to another * Cursive – an action of moving in a straight line in space or time For any verb, the usitative and repetitive modes share the same stem, as do the progressive and future modes; these modes are distinguished with prefixes. However, pairs of modes other than these may also share the same stem, as illustrated in the following example, where the verb "to play" is conjugated into each of the five mode paradigms: * Imperfective: ''-né'' – is playing, was playing, will be playing * Perfective: ''-neʼ'' – played, had played, will have played * Progressive/future: ''-neeł'' – is playing along / will play, will be playing * Usitative/repetitive: ''-neeh'' – usually plays, frequently plays, repeatedly plays * Optative: ''-neʼ'' – would play, may play The basic set of subject prefixes for the imperfective mode, as well as the actual conjugation of the verb into these person and number categories, are as follows. The remaining piece of these conjugated verbs—the prefix ''na-''—is called an "outer" or "disjunct" prefix. It is the marker of the Continuative aspect (to play about). Navajo distinguishes between the first, second, third, and fourth persons in the singular, dual, and plural numbers. The fourth person is similar to the third person, but is generally used for indefinite, theoretical actors rather than defined ones. Despite the potential for extreme verb complexity, only the mode/aspect, subject, classifier, and stem are absolutely necessary. Furthermore, Navajo negates clauses by surrounding the verb with the circum
clitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
''doo= ... =da'' (e.g. ''mósí doo nitsaa da'' 'the cat is not big'). ''Dooda'', as a single word, corresponds to English ''no''. Classificatory verbs are a set of verbal roots distinguishing eleven shapes and three classes of motion for each shape. The motion classes are: * handle: movement of an object by continuing physical contact throughout the movement (take, bring, carry, lower, attach,...) * propel: movement of an object by propulsion (throw, toss, drop,...) * free flight: movement of a subject of its own without causative agent (fly, fall,...) The shapes are listed here with their standard names and their corresponding ''handle'' root. * Solid Roundish Objects (-ą́): apple, coin,... * Load, Pack, Burden (-yį́): furniture, large body of water... * Non-Compact Matter (-ł-jool): hay, wig,... * Slender Flexible Object (-lá): rope, belt, but also dual objects like gloves,.. * Slender Stiff Object (-tą́): stick, pen,... * Flat Flexible Object (-ł-tsooz): sheet, paper,... * Mushy Matter (-tłééʼ): butter, mud, frog,... * Plural Objects 1 (-nil): severality of objects * Plural Objects 2 (-jaaʼ): profusion of small objects like seeds,... * Open Container (-ką́): water in a bottle, seeds in a box, snow in a truck,... * Animate Object (-ł-tį́): person, doll,... For example, Navajo has no single verb that corresponds to the English 'give'. To say 'give me some hay', the Navajo verb ''níłjool'' (Non-Compact Matter) must be used, while for 'give me a cigarette' the verb ''nítįįh'' (Slender Stiff Object) must be used. Navajo also contains a separate system of classifiers that generally marks for
voice The human voice consists of sound Voice production, made by a human being using the vocal tract, including Speech, talking, singing, Laughter, laughing, crying, screaming, shouting, humming or yelling. The human voice frequency is specifically a ...
. There are four classifiers: ''Ø-'', '''', '''', and '''', placed between the personal prefixes and the verbal stem. The ''ł-'' classifier indicates causation (transitivity increase), e.g. ''yibéézh'' (''yi-Ø-béézh'') 'it's boiling' vs. ''yiłbéézh'' (''yi-ł-béézh'') 'he's boiling it'. The ''d-'' and ''l-'' classifiers indicate passive voice (transitivity reduction), e.g. ''yizéés'' (''yi-Ø-zéés'') 'he's singing it' vs. ''yidéés'' (''yi-d-zéés'') 'it's being sung' . The ''d-'' classifier is used to detransitivize verbs with ''Ø-'', while ''l-'' is used for verbs with ''ł-''.


Nouns

Nouns are not required to form a complete Navajo sentence. Besides the extensive information that can be communicated with a verb, Navajo speakers may alternate between the third and fourth person to distinguish between two already specified actors, similarly to how speakers of languages with
grammatical gender In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
may repeatedly use pronouns. Most nouns are not inflected for number, and plurality is usually encoded directly in the verb through the use of various prefixes or aspects, though this is by no means mandatory. In the following example, the verb on the right is used with the plural prefix ''da-'' and switches to the distributive aspect.
Some verbal roots encode number in their lexical definition (see classificatory verbs above). When available, the use of the correct verbal root is mandatory:
Number marking on nouns occurs only for terms of kinship and age-sex groupings. Other prefixes that can be added to nouns include possessive markers (e.g. ''chidí'' 'car' – ''shichidí'' 'my car') and a few adjectival enclitics. Generally, an upper limit for prefixes on a noun is about four or five. Nouns are also not marked for
case Case or CASE may refer to: Containers * Case (goods), a package of related merchandise * Case, the metallic enclosure component in modern firearm cartridge (firearms), cartridges * Bookcase, a piece of furniture used to store books * Briefcase or ...
, this traditionally being covered by word order.


Other parts of speech

Other parts of speech in Navajo are also relatively immutable, and tend to be short. These parts of speech include question particles, demonstrative adjectives,
relative pronoun A relative pronoun is a pronoun In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lan ...
s,
interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling or reaction. It is a diverse category, encompassing many different parts of speech, such as exclamations ''(ouch!'', ''wow!''), curses ...
s,
conjunctions ''Conjunctions'' is a biannual American literature, American literary journal based at Bard College. It was founded in 1981 and is currently edited by Bradford Morrow. Morrow received the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing in 2007. The jou ...
, and
adverb An adverb is a word or an expression that modifies a verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being ...

adverb
s (both unique ones and those based on verbs). The Navajo numeral system is
decimal The decimal numeral system A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is t ...
, and some example numbers follow. 1 – ''tʼááłáʼí''
2 – ''naaki''
3 – ''tááʼ''
4 – ''dį́į́ʼ''
5 – ''ashdlaʼ'' 6 – ''hastą́ą́''
7 – ''tsostsʼid''
8 – ''tseebíí''
9 – ''náhástʼéí''
10 – ''neeznáá'' 11 – ''łaʼtsʼáadah''
12 – ''naakitsʼáadah''
13 – ''tááʼtsʼáadah''
14 – ''dį́į́ʼtsʼáadah''
15 – ''ashdlaʼáadah'' 16 – ''hastą́ʼáadah''
17 – ''tsostsʼidtsáadah''
20 – ''naadiin''
300 – ''táadi neeznádiin''
4,567 – ''dį́į́di mííl dóó baʼaan ashdladi neeznádiin dóó baʼaan hastą́diin dóó baʼaan tsostsʼid'' Navajo does not contain a single part of speech analogous to
adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
s; rather, some verbs describe static qualitative attributes (e.g. '' nitsaa'' 'he/she/it is large'), and demonstrative adjectives (e.g. '' díí'' 'this/these') are their own part of speech. However, these verbs, known as "neuter verbs", are distinguished by only having the imperfective mode, as they describe continuous states of being.


Vocabulary

The vast majority of Navajo vocabulary is of Athabaskan origin. However, the vocabulary size is still fairly small; one estimate counted 6,245 noun bases and 9,000 verb bases, with most of these nouns being derived from verbs. Prior to the
European colonization of the Americas Although the Norse had explored and colonized northeastern North America c. 1000 CE, the later and more well-known wave of European colonization of the Americas took place in the Americas The Americas (also collectively called Americ ...
, Navajo did not borrow much from other languages, including from other Athabaskan and even
Apachean The Apache () are a group of culturally related Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans i ...

Apachean
languages. The Athabaskan family is fairly diverse in both
phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lan ...

phonology
and
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is a major consid ...
due to its languages' prolonged relative isolation. Even the
Pueblo peoples The Puebloans or Pueblo peoples, are Native Americans in the Southwestern United States The southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States tha ...
, with whom the Navajo interacted with for centuries and borrowed cultural customs, have lent few words to the Navajo language. After Spain and Mexico took over Navajo lands, the language did not incorporate many
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
words, either. This resistance to word absorption extended to English, at least until the mid-twentieth century. Around this point, the Navajo language began importing some, though still not many, English words, mainly by young schoolchildren exposed to English. Navajo has expanded its vocabulary to include Western technological and cultural terms through
calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...

calque
s and Navajo descriptive terms. For example, the phrase for English ''
tank A tank is an armored fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tr ...

tank
'' is '' chidí naa'naʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh bikááʼ dah naaznilígíí'' 'vehicle that crawls around, by means of which big explosions are made, and that one sits on at an elevation'. This language purism also extends to proper nouns, such as the names of U.S. states (e.g. ''Hoozdo'' 'Arizona' and ''Yootó'' 'New Mexico'; see also ''hahoodzo'' 'state') and languages (''naakaii'' 'Spanish'). Only one Navajo word has been fully absorbed into the English language: ''
hogan A hogan ( or ; from Navajo The Navajo (; English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a Native American people of the Southwestern United States. At more than 300,000 enrolled tribal members , the Navajo Nation is the largest federally recogni ...

hogan
'' (from Navajo ''hooghan'') – a term referring to the traditional houses. Another word with limited English recognition is '' chindi'' (an evil spirit of the deceased). The
taxonomic Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
name '' Uta'' may be of Navajo origin. It has been speculated that English-speaking settlers were reluctant to take on more Navajo loanwords compared to many other Native American languages, including the
Hopi language Hopi (Hopi: ) is a Uto-Aztecan language Uto-Aztecan, Uto-Aztekan or (rarely) Uto-Nahuatl is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity ( ...
, because the Navajo were among the most violent resisters to colonialism.


Orthography

Early attempts at a Navajo orthography were made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One such attempt was based on the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...

Latin alphabet
, particularly the English variety, with some additional letters and diacritics. Anthropologists were frustrated by Navajo's having several sounds that are not found in English and lack of other sounds that are. Finally, the current Navajo orthography was developed between 1935 and 1940 by Young and Morgan. An apostrophe (ʼ) is used to mark ejective consonants (e.g. ''chʼ'', ''tłʼ'') as well as mid-word or final glottal stops. However, initial glottal stops are usually not marked. The
voiceless glottal fricative The voiceless glottal fricative, sometimes called voiceless glottal transition, and sometimes called the aspirate, is a type of sound used in some Speech communication, spoken languages that patterns like a fricative or approximant consonant ''ph ...

voiceless glottal fricative
() is normally written as ''h'', but appears as ''x'' after the consonants ''s'', ''z'', and digraphs ending in ''h'' to avoid phonological ambiguity. The
voiced velar fricative The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound that is used in various spoken Spoken is the past participle form of "to speak". Spoken may also refer to: *Spoken (band), a Christian rock group from Arkansas *''Spoken (album)'', an a ...

voiced velar fricative
is written as ''y'' before ''i'' and ''e'' (where it is palatalized ), as ''w'' before ''o'' (where it is labialized ), and as ''gh'' before ''a''. Navajo represents nasalized vowels with an
ogonek 100px, Ogonek The ( Polish: , "little tail", the diminutive of ; lt, nosinė, "nasal") is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The t ...

ogonek
( ˛ ), sometimes described as a reverse
cedilla A cedilla ( ; from Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (di ...

cedilla
; and represents the
voiceless alveolar lateral fricative The voiceless In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguisti ...

voiceless alveolar lateral fricative
() with a barred ''L'' (capital ''Ł'', lowercase ''ł''). The ogonek is placed centrally under a vowel, but it was imported from
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
and
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
, which do not use it under certain vowels such as ''o'' or any vowels with accent marks. For example, in proper Navajo writing, the ogonek below lowercase ''a'' is written centered below the letter, whereas fonts for ''a'' with ogonek intended for Polish and Lithuanian such as those used in common Web browsers render the ogonek connected to the bottom right of the letter. no Unicode font has been developed to properly accommodate Navajo typography. Google is working to correct this oversight with
Noto fonts Noto is a font family A typeface is the design of lettering that can include variations, such as extra bold, bold, regular, light, italic, condensed, extended, etc. Each of these variations of the typeface is a font. There are list of typefa ...
. The first Navajo-capable
typewriter A typewriter is a mechanical Mechanical may refer to: Machine * Mechanical system A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular ...

typewriter
was developed in preparation for a Navajo newspaper and dictionary created in the 1940s. The advent of early computers in the 1960s necessitated special fonts to input Navajo text, and the first Navajo font was created in the 1970s. Navajo
virtual keyboard A virtual keyboard is a software component that allows the input of characters without the need for physical keys. The interaction with the virtual keyboard happens mostly via a touchscreen interface, but can also take place in a different form ...

virtual keyboard
s were made available for
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch; the t ...

iOS
devices in November 2012 and
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
devices in August 2013.


Sample text

This is the first paragraph of a Navajo short story. Navajo original: English translation: Some crazy boys decided to make some wine to sell, so they each planted grapevines and, working hard on them, they raised them to maturity. Then, having made wine, they each filled a goatskin with it. They agreed that at no time would they give each other a drink of it, and they then set out for town lugging the goatskins on their backs (...)


See also

*
Indigenous languages of the Americas Over a thousand Indigenous languages An indigenous language or autochthonous language, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign la ...
*
Southern Athabaskan languages Southern Athabaskan (also Apachean) is a subfamily of Athabaskan languages Athabaskan (also spelled ''Athabascan'', ''Athapaskan'' or ''Athapascan'', and also known as Dene) is a large family of indigenous languages of North America ...

Southern Athabaskan languages
*


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading


Educational

* Blair, Robert W.; Simmons, Leon; & Witherspoon, Gary. (1969). ''Navaho Basic Course''.
Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ...
Printing Services. * * Goossen, Irvy W. (1967). ''Navajo made easier: A course in conversational Navajo''. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Press. * Goossen, Irvy W. (1995). ''Diné bizaad: Speak, read, write Navajo''. Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf. * Goossen, Irvy W. (1997). ''Diné bizaad: Sprechen, Lesen und Schreiben Sie Navajo''. Loder, P. B. (transl.). Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf. * Haile, Berard. (1941–1948). ''Learning Navaho'', (Vols. 1–4). St. Michaels, AZ: St. Michael's Mission. * Platero, Paul R. (1986). ''Diné bizaad bee naadzo: A conversational Navajo text for secondary schools, colleges and adults''. Farmington, NM: Navajo Preparatory School. * Platero, Paul R.; Legah, Lorene; & Platero, Linda S. (1985). ''Diné bizaad bee naʼadzo: A Navajo language literacy and grammar text''. Farmington, NM: Navajo Language Institute. * , & Schick, Eleanor. (1995). ''Navajo ABC: A Diné alphabet book''. New York: Macmillan Books for Young Readers. * Witherspoon, Gary. (1985). ''Diné Bizaad Bóhooʼaah for secondary schools, colleges, and adults''. Farmington, NM: Navajo Language Institute. * Witherspoon, Gary. (1986). ''Diné Bizaad Bóhooʼaah I: A conversational Navajo text for secondary schools, colleges and adults''. Farmington, NM: Navajo Language Institute. * Wilson, Alan. (1969). ''Breakthrough Navajo: An introductory course''. Gallup, NM: The
University of New Mexico The University of New Mexico (UNM; es, Universidad de Nuevo México) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An or ...

University of New Mexico
, Gallup Branch. * Wilson, Alan. (1970). ''Laughter, the Navajo way''. Gallup, NM: The University of New Mexico at Gallup. * Wilson, Alan. (1978). ''Speak Navajo: An intermediate text in communication''. Gallup, NM: University of New Mexico, Gallup Branch. * Wilson, Garth A. (1995). ''Conversational Navajo workbook: An introductory course for non-native speakers.'' Blanding, UT: Conversational Navajo Publications. . * Yazzie, Sheldon A. (2005). ''Navajo for Beginners and Elementary Students''. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Press. * Yazzie, Evangeline Parsons, and Margaret Speas (2008). ''Diné Bizaad Bínáhoo'aah: Rediscovering the Navajo Language''. Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf, Inc.


Linguistics and other reference

* Frishberg, Nancy. (1972). Navajo object markers and the great chain of being. In J. Kimball (Ed.), ''Syntax and semantics'' (Vol. 1, p. 259–266). New York: Seminar Press. * Hale, Kenneth L. (1973). A note on subject–object inversion in Navajo. In B. B. Kachru, R. B. Lees, Y. Malkiel, A. Pietrangeli, & S. Saporta (Eds.), ''Issues in linguistics: Papers in honor of Henry and Renée Kahane'' (p. 300–309). Urbana: University of Illinois Press. * Hardy, Frank. (1979)
''Navajo Aspectual Verb Stem Variation''
Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. * Hoijer, Harry. (1945). ''Navaho phonology''. University of New Mexico publications in anthropology, (No. 1). * * * * * * * Hoijer, Harry. (1970). ''A Navajo lexicon''. University of California Publications in Linguistics (No. 78). Berkeley: University of California Press. * * Kari, James. (1976). Navajo verb prefix phonology. Garland Publishing Co. * Reichard, Gladys A. (1951). ''Navaho grammar''. Publications of the American Ethnological Society (Vol. 21). New York: J. J. Augustin. * * , & Hoijer, Harry. (1942). ''Navaho texts''. William Dwight Whitney series, Linguistic Society of America. * Sapir, Edward, & Hoijer, Harry. (1967). ''Phonology and morphology of the Navaho language''. Berkeley:
University of California Press University of California Press, otherwise known as UC Press, is a publishing house Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, t ...
. * Speas, Margaret. (1990). ''Phrase structure in natural language''. Kluwer Academic Publishers. * * Wall, C. Leon, & Morgan, William. (1994). ''Navajo-English dictionary''. New York: Hippocrene Books. . (Originally published 958by U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Branch of Education, Bureau of Indian Affairs). * * * Webster, Anthony K. (2009). ''Explorations in Navajo Poetry and Poetics''. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. * * Witherspoon, Gary. (1977). ''Language and Art in the Navajo Universe''. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press The University of Michigan Press is part of University of Michigan Library#Michigan Publishing, Michigan Publishing at the University of Michigan Library. It publishes 170 new titles each year in the humanities and social sciences. Titles from the ...
. ; * Young, Robert W. (2000). ''The Navajo Verb System: An Overview''. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. (hb); (pbk)


External links

* Wiktionary: Appendix: Navajo alphabet
Hózhǫ́ Náhásdlį́į́ʼ – Language of the Holy People (Navajo web site with flash and audio, helps with learning Navajo)
gomyson.com
Navajo Swadesh vocabulary list of basic words
(from Wiktionary'
Swadesh-list appendix


(sound files from
Peter Ladefoged Peter Nielsen Ladefoged ( , ; 17 September 1925 – 24 January 2006) was a British linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken ...
). ucla.edu
Navajo Language & Bilingual Links
(from San Juan school district). sanjuan.k12.ut.us
Navajo Language Academy
navajolanguageacademy.org

jan.ucc.nau.edu

jan.ucc.nau.edu

languagegeek.com
Navajo fonts
dinecollege.edu

library.thinkquest.org

ou.edu
How to count in Navajo
languagesandnumbers.com *
Digital Public Library of America The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a US project aimed at providing public access to digital holdings in order to create a large-scale public digital library. It officially launched on April 18, 2013, after 2.5 years of development. O ...

Navajo-language items
various dates.
iPad keyboard app

Android keyboard app

Android dictionary app


Linguistics


Navajo reflections of a general theory of lexical argument structure
( Ken Hale & Paul Platero), museunacional.ufrj.br
Remarks on the syntax of the Navajo verb part I: Preliminary observations on the structure of the verb
(Ken Hale), museunacional.ufrj.br
The Navajo Prolongative and Lexical Structure
(Carlota Smith), cc.utexas.edu
A Computational Analysis of Navajo Verb Stems
(David Eddington & Jordan Lachler), linguistics.byu.edu
Grammaticization of Tense in Navajo: The Evolution of ''nt'éé''
(Chee, Ashworth, Buescher & Kubacki), linguistics.ucsb.edu
A methodology for the investigation of speaker's knowledge of structure in Athabaskan
(Joyce McDonough & Rachel Sussman), urresearch.rochester.edu
How to use Young and Morgan's ''The Navajo Language''
(Joyce McDonough), bcs.rochester.edu
Time in Navajo: Direct and Indirect Interpretation
(Carlota S. Smith, Ellavina T. Perkins, Theodore B. Fernald), cc.utexas.edu
OLAC Resources in and about the Navajo language
{{DEFAULTSORT:Navajo Language Agglutinative languages Fusional languages Polysynthetic languages Native American language revitalization Indigenous languages of Arizona Indigenous languages of New Mexico Indigenous languages of the Southwestern United States Subject–object–verb languages Tonal languages Pueblo linguistic area