Abstract: We offer an ethnopoetic interpretation of an expressive feature– insertion of a velar fricative after the stem-initial consonant–that aids in indicating a “lack of control” in a poem written in Navajo by the poet Rex Lee Jim. We focus on how this expressive device is used to indicate an affective stance; the affinity in sound between the optional consonant cluster –chx– in this poem and the chx– found in the Navajo verb stem –chxǫ’ ‘ugly, disorderly’ is crucial in understanding the expressive work of the velar fricative. That such expressive features have sometimes been neglected in the linguistic representation of Navajo is also of interest.
Anthropological Linguistics – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 30, 2011