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The Navajo Language: A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary

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Overview

First published in 1980, this volume is the definitive dictionary and linguistic analysis of the Navajo language. In this revised edition, the entire grammatical section has been rewritten to include a wide range of linguistic information that will establish a foundation for future work in Navajo.

"[Robert Young and William Morgan] have made it possible to educate, communicate, inform, and entertain through the written Navajo language."—Navajo Tribal Council

"[The Navajo Language] is a unique contribution to American Indian linguistics and lexicography. [It is] a reference work of the highest quality, a book that is a rich resource for Navajo speakers, people learning to speak Navajo, and scholars interested in Navajo and Athabaskan linguistics."—International Journal of American Linguistics

Searchable electronic version of grammar and dictionary available in print format. Includes over 22,000 terms in English and Navajo, as well as paradigm and verb charts. Enhanced with clan charts, math, money, calendar, and time tools. Additionally, features scalable Navajo fonts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826310149
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1987
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 1069
  • Sales rank: 1,301,675
  • Product dimensions: 9.01 (w) x 11.44 (h) x 2.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert W. Young (1912-2007) was professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of New Mexico. He was a foremost Navajo language expert and author of several Navajo language books.

Navajo scholar William Morgan was honored in July 1996, along with Robert Young, by the Navajo Nation Council for their work on the Navajo language.

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    Navajo Language preserved and destroyed

    I would advise that anyone that actually buys their material actual takes time to really look at what they have written and cross reference the heck out of it. I have not actually used this product but believe it is based on the hard copy documentation these two authors developed together. I have found so much poorly documented information within their work it is scary which has now been mindlessly reprinted countless times to this day.

    Their material is used to make flash cards, subsequent dictionaries and various other materials with what now may be almost insurmountable errors. It is my hope that someday the Navajo People would rework this document along with others and more thoroughly evaluate every single entry and correct the blatant errors and absolutely poor listening and writing skills of these authors.

    I am going to give a few examples within this reference material that demonstrate the level of errors. It fails on some of the most basic cross references or consistencies that an individual would be hard pressed to successfully use it at all if they are not up to understanding that what they are reading could be wrong and needs to be cross referenced with other words within the same work to verify. If you are up to said task then this reference material may serve you well. One must understand that the Navajo Language is a very descriptive language.

    Please understand that you will have to know, or figure out the additional punctuation marks as the Navajo Font is not available in this forum and I do not have the reference material in front of me at the moment to verify my spelling of a language that was not documented in the past and has no alphabet of its own because of this. Let's take a look at the most basic word To' which means water and within their definition they show how it is used to indicate it can also me juice when ownership is attached to another word but, if you look under the word for "apple" you will be bilasaana bitoo' which is not the same and not even pronounced the same (typographical error or not?).

    Next, let us look at the word for "Tomato" which they have listed as Ch'il lichi'i(there should be a line through the "l"). Now, let's look at the work for "Albino (Person)" which is "Lichi'i"(remember there is a line through the "L") and look at the word loosely used for plant/food, "Ch'il" and you have a description of an item that should be, by description, a food that is almost clear in appearance of "unknown" origin. You see, Lichi'i is used to indicate unknown origin also, which is hard to comprehend for traditional English and American English speakers but we have a 4th person reference that English does not. Next look at the work for "Red", Lichii'(again, there is a line through the "L") and you find a description for the plant that would be more fitting of a "RED TOMATO".

    Now, we would hope that it was just the Navajo they were weak on but at the beginning of the book it describes how to work with the language and under Tl'oo'gi Ch'elwod they say it means He went outside but also states it means He went out the door without indicated this would be implied because those two English sentences don't even mean the same. There is "NO!" reference to a door and although a traditional Hoghan has only 1 exit, we had other type building by the time they wrote this. So

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