Lesson One - Part Two
Basic Conversation

 

 

The song below is a very old Tomahawk Society or Club Society Song, written down by Natalie Curtis in the early 1900s.

 

Neneeni-noo nonookuni3ee-noo I am White Horn
Neneeni-noo neyoooxet cowo'oot I am Whirlwind Passing By
Cee'eentoo-noo I am again alive.

 

Notice that the song is all about “I,” and notice also that nearly every word ends with -noo. Based on this pattern, you can figure out that when a person is talking about themself in Arapaho, the verb will end with -noo.

 

You can see that Arapaho words usually have at least two parts: a “general meaning,” and then an ending to make that meaning more specific. In the song, neneeni- means 'it is' and the final -noo makes the word mean “it is I” or just “I” for short. The verb nonookuni3ee- means “have a white horn,” so the ending makes the whole word mean “I have a white horn.”

 

In this section, we explain how to talk about things that include the meaning of “you” and “I.” Read the following questions and statements and try to look for patterns of how to use “you” and “I.”

 

Like in every section, you can listen to the Arapaho words by clicking on the audio button next to them.


Play  koohenéeteih Are you tired?
Play  nenéetéíhinoo I'm tired
Play  neihoownéeteih I'm not tired
Play  heinoownéeteih You're not tired
Play  nenéetéíhin You're tired
Play  koohééneih Are you tall?
Play  heenéíhinoo1 I'm tall
Play  neihoowóenéíh I'm not tall
     (neihoowóéneih) (same as above)
Play  heenéíhin You're tall
Play  heihoowóenéíh You're not tall
     (heihooweeneih) (same as above)

 

You can notice a few things about Arapaho from looking at the words above:

 

* Neneeteihi- means “tired” and heeneihi- means “tall.”

* You can say “I'm tired or tall” by adding -noo to the end.

* You can say “You're tired or tall” by adding -n to the end.

* You can say “not tired or tall” by putting neihoow- (me) or heihoow- (you) at the beginning.

* You can ask a question by putting koone- (me) or koohe- (you) at the beginning.

    (Some people say koonei- (me) and koohei- (you) instead.)

 


 

1. Another way of saying heenéíhinoo is heeníxonóehinoo, which is more specific. Native speakers may prefer saying it this way sometimes. Remember, there are many ways to say things in Arapaho. Always follow the way of the older people first. The ways explained here are intended to get you started.

 

Go on to Part Three of this Lesson