Arapaho - Inanimate Verbs - Negatives and Questions


To make verbs negative, add hoow- to the beginning.

To make verbs into questions, add koo- to the beginning.


Example #1: (hyphens have been added to make things clearer. They are not used in ordinary writing)

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tóóyo3óó’                    it is cold (weather)

hoow-tóyo3oo it is not cold

koo-tóyo3oo                is it cold?



bee’éé’             it is red

hoow-be’éé                  it is not red

koo-be’éé                    is it red?


Arapaho verbs always change when hoow- and koo- are added.


Notice that the verb changed a little bit when hoow- and koo- were added. First the stop (‘) at the end is dropped. Also, the first vowel of the verb is shortened. When the first vowel is already short, that vowel and the -n- which will always follow it are dropped. This happens with all Arapaho verbs. Example #2:


honoosóó                    (or honoosóóti') it is raining

hoow-oosóót                 (or hoow-oosóó) it is not raining

koo-hoosóót                 (or koo-hoosóó) is it raining?


Some Arapaho verbs make additional changes when hoow- and koo- are added.


Notice in example #2 that some other things changed with the verb as well. There are several changes that only occur with certain types of verbs. For example, when a verb begins with h-, then the h- disappears after hoow-. Another example is:


heesítee                       it is hot

hoow-(é)esítee                  it is not hot

koo-hesítee                  is it hot?


One additional change of this type is the following:


benéecí                       it is snowing

hoow-bééc                   it is not snowing

koo-bééc                     is it snowing?


When the ending of the verb is a short vowel plus the stop (‘), then both of these are dropped. Compare to example #1, where the long vowel isn’t dropped.

Exercize #1: make a negative sentence and a question sentence with each of the following verbs (remember, in Arapaho, a “sentence” is often just one single verb):


beniicé                        it is summer

beníí’owúúni’                is is spring

heeséíse                      it is windy

kooní’oosóó’                it is sprinkling rain

nííhooyóó                    it is yellow

ceenééteeyóó              it is blue or green

woo’óteeyóó’               it is black

nonoocóó                    it is white

cee’éé’             it is round or spherical

see’éé’             it is flat


Exercize #2: correct the following sentences. Here’s an example:


sentence:  cee’éé’   núhu’  wo3ónohoe

corrected sentence:  hoowce’éé   núhu’ wo3ónohoe.  see’éé’   núhu’.


1.  Woo’óteeyóó’   wo3ónohoe (paper)

2.  Ceenééteeyóó’   bóoó (road)

3.  See’éé’   núhu’  ce’éiinox (bag).

4.  Nííhooyóó’   hóno’ (sky).

5.  Nonoocóó’   bee’íce’éé’ (apple).

            [Extra credit questions. The word “apple” in Arapaho has two parts. What does each

                        part mean? What would a “nííhooníce’éé’” be?]

6.  Beniicéí’i (‘when its summer’),   beneecí’.

7.  Beniicéí’i,   tóóyo3óó’.