Chemehuevi language

This is an Uto-Aztecan language, the The Chemehuevi language at first glance into Press’ grammar looks to be a complex mess. This language is beautiful, yet complicated with its agglutinative system. The verbs were something else, saying a sentence like “They made themselves run” would have a syntax like <reflexive-to run-causative-plural> but it can become much deeper as root forms of verbs have their exceptions and tons of different kinds of suffixes. The pronoun system is one of the most complex I have ever come across, while one could use the independent pronouns, which might be easier at first, when using the joined forms with nouns, it goes something like this, all forms have a singular, dual, and form for several nouns being possessed, the first person form has inclusive and exclusive forms, the second person forms have subject, and object forms, BUT the dual and several forms are the same, and the third person form has positional aspect (here, visible and invisible) AND forms of these for animate and inanimate nouns, but in the inanimate forms, the singular, dual and several forms use the same inflection. I was trying to keep the original video under five minutes but with languages like this or Wukchumni, with their fairly complex agglutinative grammars, it is hard to not get too far into these grammars and provide too much detail to viewers/readers. I hope you all enjoyed this, if you speak Chemehuevi, or some other dialect of Southern Paiute, comment down below if you can understand Northern Paiute, or other Uto-Aztecan languages.

The picture is a table of the pronominal/pronoun system of Chemehuevi.


See an unlisted video down below that I took down due to a native speaker’s doubt about the information. The information in the video came from Margaret L. Press’ book on the language in the early 70s. The language appears to have changed very fast between the 70s and today, resulting in a simplified form of the language.

The video will be available here on the website, the only discrepancies are that there are only 3 native speakers alive, as of January 2020, and that the representation of “i” in the video could be either an /i/ or an /ɨ/. The Chemehuevi today write the /ɨ/ as a /ü/, but the lips are not rounded when pronouncing this sound, at least in its older form in Press’ grammar, you can find that at <chemehuevilanguage.org>.

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