All posts by Manuel Fernandez

Colloquium: Joyce McDonough

Paradigmatic relations in Navajo morphology: learnability and the lexicon

Join us for a colloquium on Friday, March 6! Dr. Joyce McDonough from the University of Rochester will be presenting on “Paradigmatic relations in Navajo morphology: learnability and the lexicon” at 1pm in Humanities 134. ASL interpretation provided on request.

The Navajo ‘verb’ is a verbal complex constituting a complex ‘polysynthetic’ inflectional system that carries significant information. These verbal complexes reside dense neighborhoods of closely related forms that differ from each other in systematic and clearly learnable ways. Thus the relationship among these word forms must be reliable, and organized in ways that facilitate reliable patterns between a known word form and a related form. The goal of this research is to investigate the patterns that whole words participate in, to identify any constituent parts, and to provide a reliable description of the structure of verbal complex based on these patterns, and crucially not on decompositional morphemic analyses (i.e. templates), that may serves as a realistic working model of the organization of a native speaker’s lexicon.

Joyce McDonough is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Rochester in Rochester New York. She is a phonologist and phonetician working on the sound structure of Navajo and its sister Athabaskan languages to understand a speaker’s knowledge of word structure, based on the understanding that speech is the primary means of communication and learning.

Friday, March 6th, 2020

1:00 PM

Humanities Building Room 134

Diné Culture Night — November 20th, 2019

Knowledge Sharing 1: A brief introduction to Késhjééʼ (Navajo Shoe Game)

  • What does one need to play Késhjééʼ?
  • Rules and scorekeeping
  • Késhjééʼ on November 22, 2019

Students will be briefly introduced to the Navajo shoe game. We will review Navajo shoe game protocols, setup, and scorekeeping. This session will last 20 minutes.

Knowledge Sharing 2: Shoe game songs

  • Learn to sing two to four shoe game songs

This session will focus on the Késhjééʼ, the Navajo Shoe Game. The oral history of the shoe game will be shared with participants and the audience will learn the rules of the game and Késhjééʼ protocols. Participants will learn to sing shoe game songs before playing. Késhjééʼ is a Navajo game that is only played in the winter.

This is the sixth of seven Diné Culture Nights for Fall 2019.

Please choose a gallery!

Diné Culture Night — November 6th, 2019

Knowledge Sharing 1: Dził biyiin dóó tsodizin (Mountain Song and Prayer)

  • Introduction of mountain song and prayer
  • Cultural learning activities included

A Navajo mountain song and prayer will be introduced to students. Students will learn about the mountain song and prayer through storytelling, singing, and engagement. The activities are designed to engage students and to learn the mountain song/prayer. Students will make 3D mountains and the song lyrics will be applied to each mountain. Students will see how the Navajo mountain names are used in Navajo songs and prayers.

Knowledge Sharing 2: Winter stories and games

  • Diné constellations
  • String games

An ancient traditional practice, the Navajo string hames are connected to the Navajo constellations. Short stories will be shared and the names of the Diné constellations will be presented. We will play string games as an activity.

This is the fifth of seven Diné Culture Nights for Fall 2019.

Please choose a gallery!

Diné Culture Night — October 23th, 2019

Knowledge Sharing 1: Dr. Secatero’s model: Leadership Tree of Well-Being

  • Create a well-being model
  • Self-analysis
  • Create person model
  • Share model

This session will present a wellness model created by Dr. Shawn Secatero of the UNM College of Education. At this session, students will learn how to apply leadership practices using knowledge to connect to a more holistic understanding of student growth and well-being in Diné communities. Students will focus their well-being and create a model based on self-reflection.

Knowledge Sharing 2: Four Directions: Hakékʼeh hashchíín (one’s walking path)

  • Birth to old age and directions
  • Four parts of the day, seasons of the year
  • Four sacred minerals and mountains
  • Cultural learning activities included

As soon as we take our first breath in this world, our walking path begins. Life from birth to old age mirrors a division of four: the four directions, four parts of the day, and the four seasons of the year. This session will demonstrate how our life cycle reflects the Navajo philosophy of four.

This is the third of seven Diné Culture Nights for Fall 2019.

Please choose a gallery!

Diné Culture Night — October 16th, 2019

Knowledge Sharing 1: Teachings around the home

  • Roles and responsibilities of chʼíkęęh/chʼíkéí
  • Roles and responsibilities of tsíłkęęh/tsíłkéí

This session will focus on understanding the traditional concept of young men and women’s roles and responsibilities of self-value, respect, gratitude, caring for others, self-care, and self-sufficiency. Roles are socially defined as obligations and behaviors towards others such as mother, father, sister, brother, and extended family.

Knowledge Sharing 2: Navajo Hogan story and teachings

  • Nihimá hooghan yisdzáán baa haneʼ
  • Nihimá hooghan yisdzáán binaʼnitin
  • Culture learning activity included

The stories and teaching of the Navajo female Hogan provide a foundation for every individual’s emergence. It is connected to the development of the Diné human: from conception through the nine months of being in the womb to birth. These teachings and stories explain where we come from.

This is the fourth of seven Diné Culture Nights for Fall 2019.

Please choose a gallery!