Navajo Linguistics Problems example

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Navajo Linguistics Problems

Problem 1: Navajo numbers

a) The numbers ‘ła’ts’áadah’ (‘eleven’) is produced by conjugating number ‘ła’ (‘one’) with the additive suffix ‘ts’áadah’ which means teens in Navajo.

The number ‘naakits’áadah’ (‘twelve’) follows the same pattern with ‘naaki’ (‘two’) as the first morpheme.


‘fourteen’ ‘dííts’áadah’ ‘díí’ - ‘ts’áadah’

‘nineteen’ ‘náhást’éíts’áadah’ ‘náhást’éí’ - ‘ts’áadah’

c) It means ‘thirty’ where ‘táá’ means ‘three’ and ‘diin’ is the morpheme for tens. It follows the same producing pattern as number ‘twenty’ from the table.

d) Tens are produced by conjugating numbers from ‘two’ through ‘nine’ with the multiplicative suffix ‘diin’ which means tens in Navajo. The number ‘naadiin’ and ‘táádiin’ are examples where ‘naa(ki)’ means ‘two’ and ‘táá’ – ‘three’.

e) There are three morphemes in the word ‘naadiintáá’: ‘naa(ki)’ means ‘two’, ‘diin’ means tens, and ‘táá’ means ‘three’. Thus, it is translated as ‘twenty-three’.


‘forty’ is ‘díídiin’, ‘two’ is ‘naaki’ so ‘firty-two’ is ‘díídiinnaaki’.

The compound numbers such as 21-29 and 41-49 are formed by adding the unit digit to the tens digit.


‘naakidi neeznádiin’ 200 ‘naaki’ (‘two’) - ‘di’ - ‘neeznádiin’ (‘hundred’)

‘tseebíí neeznádiin ła’ts’áadah’

811 ‘tseebíí’ (‘eight’) - ‘neeznádiin’ (‘100’) - ‘ła’ts’áadah’ (‘11’)

The hundreds are formed by adding the multiplicative enclitic ‘di’ to the matching digit from ‘one’ through ‘nine’, then a space and the word ‘hundred’.

Problem 2: Navajo verbs


‘roll’ ‘maas’

‘I’ ‘has’, ‘hash’

‘up out’ the vowels in the verbs appear with the acute accent (such as ‘máás’)

‘stretch neck’ ‘ǫǫd’

‘you-singular’ ‘hani’

‘creep on all fours’ ‘dlóósh’

‘he/she/it’ ‘hat’, ‘ha’

‘take it (belt)’ ‘lé’

b) Two possible forms of ‘I’ are ‘has’ and ‘hash’. The use might depend on the letter following the pronoun. The particular consonant or vowel might require …

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