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New Video on Déyá, Dį́nį́yá, Deeyá

Dear Learners,

I made a new video explaining the usages of the verbs "déyá, dį́nį́yá, deeyá, etc." I hope it helps and please feel free to leave a comment or question.

I hope it is very helpful and useful.


Thank you,


October 16, 2018



Yáʼátʼééh! It is very useful indeed.

Some questions:

1) Is there a pronunciation rule with the verb Dį́nį́yá? It seems that the word has a stress in the first vowel, but I am guessing if it is only for the nasal words, or if it is only with the vowel į followed by n + į́. Or perhaps, is it the second į́ that is less pronounced here?

2) Well, I have also problems with the writing and reading characters, but this is a problem with my tablet computer. When I use a desktop computer, I can read them well, but I am not using the Navajo keyboard on Windows. Can you please explain how to type the words, at least in the desktop computer?

For example, in my tablet, I try to type the verbs: Déyá, Díṉį́yá, Deeyá, and I cannot see the second verb well. I only see D + í + į́ + y + á. And I am typing every character with its respective tone and nasal marks, but suddenly the n disappears. I have another problem with the word / hólǫ́ /, and I can read it well in the desktop computer. In the tablet, I can see only three letters, h + ó + l (with a high tone mark), so I think the problem here is I cannot see the / ǫ́ /, then I am guessing this is a problem writing the nasal vowels.

I am using the Multiling Keyboard on Android, and it is also an old version. I can also use the web page in Windows 10.

Please, keep doing these very useful resources. Thanks in advance. :)


I use Multiling also. Please refer to this http://www.languagegeek.com/dene/dine/dine_bizaad.html and DO NOT use any other Navajo keyboard. That is why you are having issues with viewing the diacritical marks, disappearance of vowels, etc.

I use keyboards for all of my devices in order to write in Navajo. For instance on my android devices, my iPod, Windows PCs, etc.

I think what many people do not realize is Navajo has tone on top of stress. And that is alongside the other things that perhaps, make it a very difficult language to pronounce (i.e. tones, glottal stops, unfamiliar sounds, etc.)

Derek, the native speaker


Dį́nį́yá in many other Navajo resources (dictionaries, textbooks, Bible,...) is usually spelt díníyá. Derek seems to adopt a convention whereby vowels flanking an "n" on both sides will get a nasal hook. Now, this is considered normal phonotactical nasal spreading without any morphological meaning so that's why most orthographies decided not to note it (just like English aspiration in "pin" but not in "spin") . Also, depending of the speaker, nasal spread more or less pronounced.

So now, the "rule" is that "ni" syllable is often just pronounced as a syllabic "n", with low or high ("ń") tone. Díníyá is thus often pronounced in fast speech as díńyá. Furthermore, ń can also become pretty weak and it ends up fully nazalizing and lengthening the preceding vowel : dį́į́yá.


I write it as dį́nį́yá to help learners see where to nasalize as they won't know where to do such. As for [n] becoming weak and sounding as dį́į́yá, I have never heard anyone omit [n]. So that isn't said.

But for it being a syllabic n, yes! (:


I agree, I probably went one step too far with dį́į́yá, but I've already seen yį́į́shyé for yinishyé (with a wrong tone...), maybe due to other phonological factors (easier in front of a "sh" than in front of a "y"), or maybe ní here is a marker of second person so is less easy to delete.


Both very helpful and useful!

If I may make a request, in a future video I would like to know the names of the different diacritical marks and what they are used to represent.


I appreciate your efforts and videos to help us wanting to learn Navajo. Thank you so much!


How do you change your language to Navajo? And how many forms are there of "to go". Thanks a lot


Navajo verb conjugation is incredibly complex. I think it's the hardest (but possibly the most rewarding) part of the language. Learning it couldn't be much harder than, say, mastering organic chemistry.


There are reportedly thousands of forms of "to go" according to some linguists.

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