Browsing UAF Graduate School by Author "Eggleston, Keri M."
575 Tlingit verbs: a study of Tlingit verb paradigmsEggleston, Keri M. (2013-05)The Tlingit language, indigenous to Southeast Alaska and neighboring parts of British Columbia and the Yukon territory, is related to the Athabascan languages and the recently extinct language Eyak. Like Athabascan and Eyak, Tlingit verbal morphology is highly complex. The conjugation of Tlingit verbs is unpredictable in certain respects, making the documentation of verb forms from native speakers critical, due to the highly endangered state of the language, and because this has never before been documented for Tlingit. The objectives of the research presented here are twofold: 1) to document complete paradigms for 575 verbs, and; 2) to create a reference for second language learners and teachers of Tlingit. For each of the verbs included in the research, twelve modes were systematically documented through consultation with a group of native speakers. The newly documented forms were compiled into a database using Toolbox software and additionally organized into a user-friendly online database, hosted on the Goldbelt Heritage Foundation website. Based on the documented forms, descriptions of each of the twelve modes were written, with second language students and teachers as the target audience. The descriptions of each mode include information pertaining to the semantics, morphology, and verb stem variation, and are intended to assist second language learners in mastering the difficult task of conjugating Tlingit verbs. Another critical item included for each verb entry is the verb theme, which illustrates all of its component parts including thematic prefix, conjugation prefix, classifier, and stem. The accompanying detailed description of each element of the verb theme serves as a grammatical sketch of the Tlingit verb for language learners. An additional result of the research is a set of nine prefix combination charts. Because the Tlingit verb has many prefix positions, there are a number of regular contractions that take place in conjugating a verb. The prefix combination charts illustrate the regular contractions that take place between the thematic prefixes, conjugation prefixes, aspect prefixes, subject prefixes, and classifiers, to name a few. These charts show language learners how to switch between subject prefixes for a given verb.