Yáʼátʼééh! I think this section is presenting four new words:
adinídíín · dííjį́ · nahałtin · éí
The word "shimasaní" has already been introduced in the Family skill.
This exercise is showing the use of "éí" with a relative, but others exercises are combining the other words in this section.
I am really focusing in the meaning of "éí", and it seems that it could be translated as "as for":
As for me, I have a grandmother.
As for today, it is sunny.
But I cannot assure if this structure is fine. :)
Éí means 'that (one)'. Most of the times it means nothing, just a separator between a first exposed segment and the rest of the sentence. This is very useful because Navajo has no noun morphology, so with the verb at the end of the sentence, all you get is a string of nouns which are very difficult to parse. Even prepositions (or postpositions) do not follow their noun. So a navajo sentence looks like that: Noun1 Noun2 Noun3 Noun4 Prep1 Prep2 Verb, and the rest is left for the hearer to guess...
Navajo society is matriarchal and anytime a word that denotes family (mother, brother, son, etc) is used it is a great honor and kindess. The Navajo culture has high regards for families. :)
THANK you ElderEbank for clarifying some of my biases! I look forward to my next trip to New Mexico, Arizona and/or Utah... This course helped me have a better appreciation of the Navajo pottery/culture.
Just curious, do grandmothers have an important role in the Navajo culture? And does it matter whether it is the maternal versus the paternal one?
Navajo kinship system is matriarichal so grandmothers (especially maternal grandmothers) are important. There is also a clan relation system that allows people to be related that otherwise have no biological relationship.
well, if there are different words for them, it is important. In English we divide brothers and sisters (though we have the word sibling) and grandmother and grandfathers. It is just a different kinship system
I was looking for the actual reason(s), if any, as to the distinctions in terms. My biased Hollywood based 'knowledge' tells me that North American Indians are patriarchal societies. I am trying to validate that 'knowledge' with the reality, that a course like this might help elucidate.
BTW, just because two terms are distinguishable (brother and sister) that does not imply that one is more important than the other and/or that either one is important in the family context (where the mother/father might have the "important" role).
Why do the hints include the maternal/paternal but the available answers only have grandmother? I have seen others where I answered just "grandmother" and it is marked wrong for not including the maternal/paternal aspect. Seems like DL should be consistent - always require it -OR- accept both with and without M/P qualifier.
Yáʼátʼééh! The translations in the hints are not mandatory variations. Please, send the report when the only use of "grandmother" / "grandma" / "grandfather" / "grandpa" is rejected, because the use of "maternal" / "paternal" in the translations is not mandatory.
I hope it helps. :)