Navajo Grammar Basic, Diné bizaad
Navajo Grammar Basic. The basic structure is Subject-Object-Postposition-Verb. Navajo is a heavy verb language. Lets start at the end of the sentence!! The verb is always at the end. Remember, the Verb contains literally everything, i.e. tense&subject&action. In most cases, a noun is the object which begins the Navajo sentence. When a postposition is needed, it combines a personal prefix sh, n, b, nih, y (me, you, it/him/her, and us/you plural respectively) with an appending postposition -ił, -aa, -ikʼi, -ee, -itsʼą́ą́, ichʼi (with, about, on, by means of, away from, towards, respectively). Based on the shown (prefixes)X (appending postposition) there is an array of combinations: Sh (-ił, -aa, -ikʼi, -ee, -itsʼą́ą́, ichʼįʼ) with me, about me, on me, by means of me, away from me, towards me; N (-ił, -aa, -ikʼi, -ee, -itsʼą́ą́, ichʼįʼ) with you, about you, on you, by means of you, away from you, towards you; B (-ił, -aa, -ikʼi, -ee, -itsʼą́ą́, ichʼįʼ) with it/him/her, about it/him/her, on it/him/her, by means of it/him/her, away from it/him/her, towards it/him/her; Nih (-ił, -aa, -ikʼi, -ee, -itsʼą́ą́, ichʼįʼ) with us/you two, about us/you two, on us/you two, by means of us/you two, away from us/you two, towards us/you two.
The POSTPOSITION joins the OBJECT and VERB - this is the basic grammar. Diné bizaad shił yáʼátʼééh: [shił yáʼátʼééh] with me, it is good = it is good with me. Translation: I like the Navajo Language (Diné bizaad). Dibé baa áhólyá: [baa áhólyá] about it/them, you take care of = you take care of or about it/them. Translation: You take care of the sheep (Dibé)!
B - Prefixed Pronoun for He/She/It. I love Navajo for this reason, and many more!!! In other languages you find clictics for him/her/it. B covers all three - him/her/it. [Bił yáʼátʼééh] Based on the topic you have three options: He likes it, She likes it, It likes it. English forces you to use he, she, or it. For us, this still works in todayʼs world. Also, we donʼt have masculine or feminine articles. There no distinction. Our language is spiritual too. Baa shił hoozhoo! :)
I find that most Navajos are ashamed to admit they donʼt know how the language comes together to make a simple sentence. :( I hope people learn it. Once you wrap your head around the grammar it's less intimidating. The structure I just outlined above is difficult for most people to grasp right away. Navajo grammar is simply structured and it's a beautiful language.
- -iką́ should be -íká
- b- stands for 'they' too
- nih- doesnʼt stand for 'they' but for 'you (plural)', in addition to 'we'.
Thank you very much for you explanations! So you are a native Navajo speaker?
As far as learning the language goes, the best guide is "Conversational Navajo: With Workbook" with Workbook Spiral-bound – December, 1995 by Garth A.Wilson (Author). https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29613892 get an understanding of the basic grammar link above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_3hnHAwLPo&t this is the best video I've seen on youtube on postposition and covers subject/object https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxO7lCvOhlU&t=12s pronunciation