Lesson Three

Model Sentences

Gíist uu táanaang?
Who is smoking the fish?

Díi git íihlangaas uu táanaang.
My son is the one smoking the fish.


Question Words

Function Words
focus marker

Personal Nouns
díi gung
my father (of a male)
díi xáat
my father (of a female)
díi git íihlangaas
my son (lit. my male child)
díi git jáadaas
my daughter (lit. my female child)

Intransitive-A Verbs
smoking fish
coming in, entering (sg.)
coming in, entering (pl.)


1)  The focus marker «uu» is a very frequent and important word in Haida.  The role of «uu» is to focus the listener's attention on a particular part of the sentence.  Everything that comes before «uu» in the sentence is said to be the focus of the sentence.  Compare the difference between these two sentences:
Díi gung k'ajúugang.
My father is singing.
Díi gung uu k'ajúugang.
My father is the one singing.
The first sentence is a simple statement of fact.  The second puts «díi gung» "my father" in focus, drawing the listener's attention to that part of the sentence.

The focus marker is particular common in questions and answers.  With questions, it is the question word itself that is in focus. 
In the reply, the part that actually answers the question will be in focus, followed by the rest of the sentence.

For example, in our model sentences, the question word «gíist» "who?" is in focus in the question.  In the answer, the focus of the sentence is «díi git íihlangaas» "my son", since that is the part that directly answers the question word.

This brings us to our new sentence pattern for this lesson.  Basically, what we have is the regular pattern 1A, except that the focus marker has been added, and the subject has been moved out in front.  We call this Pattern 1A + Subject Focus (or 1A-SF, for short), as shown below.

Sentence Pattern 1A + Subject Focus
Focus Marker
Noun Phrase
Intransitive-A Verb

Here are some more examples of Pattern 1A-SF.

Focus Marker

Díi git
  My child is the one singing.
Díi gung
  My father (of a male) is the one smoking fish.
Nang íihlangaas
  The man is the one coming in.
  Charlie is the one seining.

2)  In Haida, there are two ways of saying "my father": «díi gung» and «díi xáat».  The first is used by males to refer to their fathers, while the second is used by females.

3)  Many verbs in English actually correspond to two different verbs in Haida, depending on how many people are carrying out the action.  For example, for the action of "coming in, entering" the verb «kats'áang» is used if there is only one person coming in.  If two or more people are entering, then the verb «ists'áang» is used.  

So, for example, note the difference between these two sentences:
Hl kats'áang.
I am coming in.
T'aláng ists'áang.
We are coming in.
Although most verbs in Haida can be used equally well no matter how many people are doing the action, there are also quite a few of the "verb pairs", with one of the verbs being used for actions carried out by a single individual, and the other verb being used for the same action carried out by two or more people.  In the Vocabulary section of these lessons, verbs of the first type will be indicated by the abbreviation (sg.) for "singular", and verbs of the second type will be indicated with (pl.) for "plural".  Any verb which doesn't have one of these abbrevations after it can be used in either way.

Using What You Know

Complete each of the following exercises before moving on to Lesson Three.

Drill Type
Exercise 3-A
Vocabulary Match
Choose the English translation that best matches the Haida word.
Exercise 3-B
Vocabulary Match
Choose the Haida translation that best matches the English word.
Exercise 3-C
Sentence Match
Choose the English translation that best matches the Haida sentence.
Exercise 3-D
Sentence Match
Choose the Haida translation that best matches the English sentence.
Exercise 3-E
Fill in the Blank
Provide the missing word to compete the Haida sentence.
Exercise 3-F
Provide the English translation of the Haida sentence.
Exercise 3-G
Provide the Haida translation of the English sentence.

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Last Updated: 15 April 2004

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