Lesson Four - Part Two
Changes in the Verb: Length



Notice that when a prefix is added, the Arapaho verb is shortened: long vowels become short, and short vowels are dropped. If you want, you can think of this the other way around as well: when a verb doesn't have a prefix, then short initial vowels become long, and long initial vowels have a special -en- or -on- added before them. It is probably easier to think of this process in the second way.


When the verb begins with a short vowel, the vowel is lengthened:


Play  be'éé- 'to be red' → bee'éé' 'it is red'
Play  hooyóó- 'to be yellow' →nííhooyóó' 'it is yellow'


When the verb begins with a long vowel, -en- (with -i- or -e-) or -on- (with -o-) is inserted between the initial consonant and the long vowel:


Play  néetéíhi- 'to be tired' → nenéetéíhinoo 'I am tired'
Play  ciisísee- 'to walk a long ways' → céniisíseenoo 'I have walked a long ways'
Play  hoowúsee- 'to walk downwards' → honoowúseenoo 'I am walking downwards'


When syllables have a vowel + h, either change is possible. Some speakers treat the h like a vowel, while others treat it like a consonant:


      cihc- 'transparent' (The word for jar translates to 'it is transparent.')
Play  ceníhcoo' 'jar' [h as vowel, thus -en- added]



Exercises for Lesson Four