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Siletz Dee-ni Language Volume Three

Complete Sound Chart

a

lat

(float)

lot

au

gau

(swan)

ouch

ay

duu-day

(none)

bite

b

ch'aa-bay-yu

(flower)

bow

ch

chvn

(stick)

chair

ch'

ch'ee-yash

(bird)

church

d

dii

(this)

dip

e

naa-xe

(two)

hen

g

gee-lish

(willow)

goat

gh

ghit-ts'ay

(blue jay)

ghost

h

hvm'-chi'

(goodbye)

hat

i

lhin'

(dog)

he

k

lhuk

(fish)

kiss

k'

k'wvt

(upon)

quick

kr'

kr'ii-k'i

(gravy)

concrete

l

lat

(float)

low

lh

lha'

(one)

lh

m

mvn'

(house)

music

n

nvn

(you)

no

oy

moyn-xu

(edge of)

boy

p

nii-pash

(cheeks)

pipe

s

si~s-xa

(ocean)

see

sh

shu'

(good)

shy

sr

k'aa~-sra

(crow)

shrew

t

tee-ne

(road)

table

tr'

tr'aa-ne'

(wife)

trip

ts'

ts'vn

(awl)

gets

u

duu

(no)

due

v

svlh

(hot)

up

w

k'wee

(over)

we

x

xvsh

(us)

y

yan'

(south)

Postpositions

In Athabaskan the postposition is almost always placed between the noun and the verb. For example:

‘Ee k’wvt daa-svs-da.
Ground upon I am sitting.
(noun) (pp) (verb)
English Athabaskan
About it ghee
Above k’wee
Against/toward tr’vn’
Along xaa-wan’
Amongst taa-ghe
Around naa-t’e
Away gee
Behind mii~-chin’
Beside waa-dvn
Between k’wee-shvt
Beyond yun’
Close nii-srvt, nii-srvn’
Deep tee-hvn’
Far ts’an’
From ‘vn’-t’i
From within mee-‘vn’-t’i  or  min’-‘vn’-t’i
High srii-na
In/at me’
In front nin’-‘vn’
Inside min’
Inside of min’-ne
Near xin’-dvn
Outside nii-shan’
Over it wvn-tvs
Over it k’wan’
Subsurface of tee-‘vn’
There (moving) xuu
There (stationary) hat
There (unknown) tvxvm’
Through mee-k’e
To ‘vn’
Underneath of yee-‘vn’
Upon k’wvt
Up stream naa-k’vt  or  gee-nii~-li~
Upward gee
With me shee-la
With him/her/it (familiar) mee-la
With him/her/it (unfamiliar) yee-la
With someone dee-la
With them xaa-mee-la
With it/that mvlh
With something yvlh
With you nee-la
With you all nu’-nee-la
With us nuu-xwee-la

Pronouns

English Athabaskan
someone, who dayn
someone, whom specifically dayn-du’
that person ghii-du’
those (unfamiliar) ghii-ne
him, her, it hii
him, her ,it (specifically) hii-du’
them, those (familiar) hii-ne
those things hii-t’i
us, we nee-yu
you nvn, nn
you (specifically) nvn-du’

me, I

shii
me (specifically) shii-du’
everybody, one xwii-t’i
them (distal) xuu-ne

Verbs

English Athabaskan
eat / eating / eats ch’aa~  or  yaa~
I am ch’ee-sha~
you are ch’aa~-ya~
he, she or it is ch’aa~ or yaa~
sit / sitting / sits daa-sda 
I am daa-svs-da
you are daa-sin-da
he, she or it is daa-sda
feel / feeling / feels dee-dvt-nish
I am dee-dvsht-nish
you are dee-dint-nish
he, she, or it is dee-dvt-nish
talk / talking / talks na’-‘a
I am na’sh-‘a
you are naa-ch’ii~-‘a
he, she, or it is na’-‘a
walk / walking / walks naa-gha
I am naa-sha
you are naa~-gha
he, she, or it is naa-gha
run / running / runs nalh-da
I am nashlh-da
you are nanlh-da
he, she, or it is nalh-da
like / liking / likes nay-talh
I nash-talh
you nan-talh
he, she, it nay-talh
go / going / goes tes-ya
I am tee-see-ya
you are tee-saa~-ya
he, she, or it is tes-ya
want / wanting / wants yulh-te
I ‘ushlh-te
you ‘vmlh-te
he, she, or it is yulh-te
know / knowing / knows yulh-ts’it
I ‘ushlh-ts’it
you ‘vmlh-ts’it
he, she, or it yulh-ts’it
work / working / works naa-dvtlh-nvsh
I am naa-dvshtlh-nvsh
you are naa-dintlh-nvsh
he, she, or it is naa-dvtlh-nvsh
make / making / makes yvlh-sri
I am ‘vshlh-sri       
you are ‘inlh-sri
he, she, or it is yvtlh-sri

 

Verb Prefixes & Suffixes

Verb Tenses and Aspects

Examples:

he talks: na’-‘a
he talked: na’s-‘an’

Prefixes in the Present Tense

he almost talks stin’-na’-‘a
he is already talking dan’-na’-‘a
he is about to talk hvm’-na’-‘a
oh how!, he talks ‘aa-na’-‘a
he talks a lot ‘a’lh-t’ii-na’-‘a
he is still talking ‘a’-na’-‘a

 Prefixes in the Past Tense

he already talked dan’ na’s-‘an’
he almost talked stin’ na’s-‘an’
he almost didn’t talk stin’-duu na’s-‘an’

 Suffixes in the Present Tense

if he talks na’-‘aa-de’
he might talk na’-‘aa-daa-wa
while/when he talks na’-‘aa-dvn
let him talk na’-‘aa-le’
he used to talk na’-‘aa-nvm
he talks a lot na’-‘aa-sri~
he is going to talk na’-‘aa-te

Suffixes in the Past Tense

if he talked na’s-‘an’-te
he might have talked na’s-‘an’-daa-wa
while he talked na’s-‘an’-dvn
he had talked na’s-‘an’-lan’
he talked a lot na’s-‘an’-sri~

 

Verb Suffix Personifier, “er”

he is a talker na’-‘aa-ne

Articles

A Lha’-t’i
And then Hat-chu
Finally Xwvtlh-dan’
In the early days Tr’vm-dan’-dvn
Long Ago Dan’-t’ii-ghii~-li~
Once upon a time Lhaa-‘ii-dee-ne’  or  Lhaa-‘ii-dvn
Sure enough Lh’vn-chu
The / That Ghii
Then Hat-dvn  or  Hat-sri~
This  or  These Ch’ii  or  Dii

 

Adjectives

Adjectives are words used to modify nouns. In Athabaskan the adjective is placed after the noun. For example:

Ghii lhin’-chu lhshvn.
The horse black.
(article)  (noun) (adj)

 

English Athabaskan
angry day-mee-svlh

bad

duu-wa
beautiful, she/it is shaa~-k’vt
big nn-chwa  or  -chu (a suffix)
black lhshvn
blue lhvt-lhshvn
broken k’wintlh-srvt
broken apart k’we’-nvt-ch’vlh
brown ‘ee-k’ay-‘vn-te  or  dvlh-‘ee-ye’
chipped ch’a~lh-chvlh
chubby ch’aa~-lhk’a
clean na’-ghvtlh-t’e
crooked stee
crunchy dvtlh-k’vms
dirty srvn
dry lhts’ay
dull duu-dee-mi~
fat lhk’aa
good shu’  or  shvm
good looking shu’ ‘utlh-‘i~
gray dvtlh-k’ee-ye’  or  dvl-ki
green lhvt-lhts’u
happy sri’-lhxvn
heavy nn-das
hot svlh
light (weight) duu-nn-das
long/tall nes
loud chu’-‘vtlh-‘a~
mean duu-wan-t’e
narrow daa-dii-stvm
orange (color) dvtlh-xwee-ne’
pink lhsrik-lhki
plugged da’-ghvt-si’
purple lhvt-lhsrik
polished k’wee-natlh-su
poorly duu-shu’  or  duu-shvm
poor one/thing day-sri
pretty/cute ts’in-t’e
raw duu-sti
red lhsrik
ripe stii
rough surface ch’vt-k’a’
rough water/ocean mii-ne’
round t’vsr-wvlh
sharp dii-mi~
shattered sha’-k’wee-sli~
short t’a’-k’i
skinny xaa~-lhts’ay
small ‘ii~-sdvm  or  yaa~-sdvm
small(class of) mii~-sdvm
smooth surface mii~-sdvm
squeaky ch’aa-k’we’sr
strong na’lh-ni
tangled taa-ghvt-ts’a’
tepid dii-stit-yee-svlh  or  chaa~-svlh
thick bvtlh-dan’
thin nn-dee-ta~
true lh’vn
ugly ch’ii~-srvn
unplugged tr’e’-nvt-si’
weak duu-na’lh-ni
wet srvlh
wide nn-telh
white lhkii
yellow lhts’uu

 

Adverbs

These are words that modify a verb. In Athabaskan adverbs are always placed in front of the verb. For example:

Ghii lhin’-chu xuu xan’ nalh-da.
The horse there fast running.
(article)  (noun) (pp) (adverb) (verb)

 

English Athabaskan
About to hvm’
A lot lhan
Already dan’
Badly duu-wa
Barely dii-stit
Better shu’-t’i
Carefully shu’-‘aa-dvn-t’i
Contiually/always wa~s-‘aa-t’i  or  dii-hii-chu
Correctly/good shu’
Eventually ‘alh-duu-sri
Exactly shvm-wa
Extremely lhtin’
Gracefully shu’-‘aa-xu
Haphazardly/poorly duu-shu’
Later ch’aa~-da’
Meanly day-mee-svlh-xu
Nearly stin’
Never duu-dee-dvn
Oh how ‘aa
Separately shdvn
Seldom dee-‘aa~-du
Slowly duu-xan’  or  duu-xan’-xu
Slyly xuu-natlh-ts’vs-xu
Steadily shu’-xu
Still ‘a’
That’s good shvm-t’i
Quickly/fast xan’

 

Interrogatives

These words are used to ask questions. In Athabaskan they are placed at the beginning of a sentence. For example:

Daa-‘ee-la    haa~ dee-dint-nish?
How is it huh you are feeling?
(inter)  (verb)

 

English Athabaskan
How daa-‘e
How big day ‘a~lh-chu
How far day ‘a~lh-ts’a
How is it daa-‘ee-la
How many/much daa-wii-la
What day
What for day-mvn  or  day-wvn
What is it day-la
What is the matter day-‘ee-srdu’  or  day-srdu’
When dee-dvn
When is it dee-dvn-la
Where dvt
Where is it dvt-la
Which day-yii
Which is it day-yii-la
Who dayn
Whom dayn-la
Why day-‘ee-wvn  or  day-wee-ni

 

Simple Sentence Structure

Syntax means the order in which words appear in a sentence. Every Language has its own syntax. The basic sentence structure in Athabaskan is:  Noun Verb  or  Noun Predicate. A Predicate is an adjective that serves as the verb in a sentence. Using the Articles “the” or “that” is optional.

The horse runs/is running.

Ghii lhin’-chu nalh-da.
The horse runs.
(article) (noun) (verb)

A predicate functions as a verb. This happens when an adjective is the verb.

The man is tall.

Ghii dis-ne nes.
The man tall.
(article) (noun) (adj/pred)

Sentence Composition

The following is a list of basic sentence components. In the following Lessons they will appear below the words they identify in bold type and parenthesis.

Noun (noun)– a noun is a word that is used to name a person, place or thing. They are words like man, bird, valley, mountain, water or foods.

Verb (verb)– Verbs are words that express action. They are words like run, walk, talk and eat.

Postpositions (pp)– postpositions are words like along, against, between, in, near or with.

Interrogatives (inter)– these words are used to ask questions. They are words like how, what, where or why.

Adverbs (adv)– these are words that modify a verb. They are words like already, barely, exactly, never and seldom.

Adjectives (adj)– these are words used to modify nouns. They are words like big, little, tall, short, black and white.

Pronouns (pnoun)– these are words like him, her, us or  everyone.

Negation (neg)– the negative word in Athabaskan is “duu”.

It means no or not. Example:

nothing or none Duu-de
no good Duu-shu’
garbage Duu-wat-ch’a

The other word for negation is “lhaa”, it means don’t or stop.

Simple Sentences

Day-la          ch’aa~-ya~?

What   are    you eating?

(inter)             (verb)

Saa-bee-li     ch’ee-sha~.            

   Bread       I am eating.              

  (noun)         (verb)

Dee-lhat      ch’ee-sha~.

Mussels      I am eating.

(noun)          (verb)

    Ghii      see     k’wvt   daa-svs-da.

    The      rock    upon   I am sitting.

 (article) (noun)  (pp)      (verb)

   ‘Ee       k’wvt    daa-svs-da.

Ground    on      I am sitting.

 (noun)   (pp)        (verb)

Daa-‘ee-la  haa~  dee-dint-nish?

   How       huh     you feeling?

  (inter)                    (verb)

    Shu’    dee-dvsht-nish.

   Good     I am feeling.

   (adv)        (verb)

   Duu-wa     dee-dvt-nish.

     Bad         he is feeling.

    (adv)           (verb)

Hii-du’    ghee      na’sh-‘a.

Him/Her  about   I am talking.

(Pnoun)  (pp)        (verb)

Duu-wa       na’-‘a.

     Bad       he is talking.

    (adv)         (verb)

Duu-wa         lhaa    naa-ch’ii~-‘a.

   Bad           don’t      you talk.

  (adv)         (neg)       (verb)

   Xaa-wan’        naa-gha.

Along there     it is walking.

     (pp)               (verb)

  K’let        naa-gha.

 Night      he walks.

(noun)      (verb)

Huu-chan    xuu       naa~-gha.

Blessings    there    as you go. (walk)

 (noun)       (pp)         (verb)

Nan-ts’vn   ‘vn’      nashlh-da.

Mountain    to      I am running.

  (noun)    (pp)        (verb)

  K’let        naa-gha.

 Night      he walks.

(noun)      (verb)

Huu-chan    xuu       naa~-gha.

Blessings    there    as you go. (walk)

 (noun)       (pp)         (verb)

San-chvn-tuu-‘i’     nash-talh.

   Acorn soup           I like.

     (noun)               (verb)

Dee-lhat     nan-talh?

Mussels     you like?

(noun)         (verb)

Huu-chan            sh-‘aa-me’       nay-talh.

Good weather    my grandfather    he likes.

    (noun)                 (noun)            (verb)

Ch’ii    svs     Sv-let-si   ‘vn’      tee-see-ya.                 

 This    day       Siletz      to       I am going.

 (art) (noun)   (noun)   (pp)        (verb)

Dee-dvn-la   Yuu-ch’in  ‘vn’   tee-saa~-ya?

When is it     Eugene     to   you are going?

  (inter)         (noun)    (pp)      (verb)

Ghii       mvn’    ‘vn’       tes-ya.

The     house     to    she is going.

(art)    (noun)  (pp)     (verb)

Gaa-be   lhtaa     ‘ushlh-te.

Coffee   some       I want.

(noun)   (adj)       (verb)

  Lhuk      ‘vmlh-te?

Salmon   you want?

(noun)      (verb)

   Ts’vt     dii-hii-chu   yulh-te.

  Money    always    she wants.

  (noun)    (adv)        (verb)

Nuu-wee-ya’   yulh-ts’it.

 Our words    she knows.

   (noun)           (verb)

Nn-shee-ne’     ‘ushlh-ts’it.

Your songs         I know.

   (noun)             (verb)

Dii-hii-chu    shu’        naa-dvtlh-nvsh.

     Always      good       she is working.

      (adv)       (adv)            (verb)

 Ch’ii     svs       staa      ghee    naa-dintlh-nvsh.

 This     day      food     about    you are working.

 (art)  (noun)  (noun)   (pp)            (verb)

Ch’aa-mv    shu’          ‘inlh-sri.

Medicine    good    you are making.

 (noun)      (adv)          (verb)

Saa-bee-li        ‘vshlh-sri.

  Bread          I am making.

  (noun)             (verb)  

Song Lessons

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