Grammar Guide

Part C: The Sentence Expanded

2. Adverbial Elements
Many Denes¶øiné sentences begin with a sequence marker. This is usually the one word kú eyer ¿ú . This word is used more frequently than any other in the language and is used extensively in story telling.

Kú eyer ¿ú deneyu nahéja ‘So the man started back again’
Kú eyer ¿ú bér hoghq shétü ‘So he ate the meat’
Ku eyer ¿ú, seems to mean ‘so, and, next’, etc

Many sentences incorporate a time element such as tthüdziné hoæe ‘yesterday’, húødç ‘then’, æab® ‘tomorrow’, ¿aøç ‘still’, æan® ‘just now’, æaødqné ‘already’, etc. These will probably occur in one of three orders.

In the formal style used in story telling, the time element is frequently found occurring ahead of the subject.

Kú eyerú øü nághiøní ‘So then I bought a dog’
Tthüdziné hoæe eyer æodhere eghálana hoæénü ‘The boss was working there yesterday’

In conversation style the time element is frequently found occurring after the subject.

Deneyu æabü dé hegha ha ‘The man will go tomorrow’
deneyu ¿aøç lidi horél¿ü ‘The man wants more tea’ (still wants tea)

Sometimes the time element is removed to the end of the sentence. This is sometimes done when more than one adverbial element occurs. Sometimes it seems to be done arbitrarily.

Tthüdziné hoæe deneyu eyer nádher ni. ‘The man was staying there yesterday’
tthüdziné hoæe bqhocvazé habaya ni. ‘He ran away from his mother

The place element is also present in many sentences. This is indicated by such words as eyer ‘there’, ejq ‘here’, yuwé- ‘there’, and by post-positional constructions such as beæe ‘on’, hotßén ‘towards’, begá ‘near’, etc.

The place element often occurs following the subject, or the time element, if the time element is in the conversation position between the subject and object.

Deneyu eyer nádher. ‘The man is staying there’
Deneyu ¿aøç erit´ís tili hoæe dat´áréda. ‘The man is still resting on the box’

Just as the time element is sometimes removed to the end of the sentence, so it is with the place element.

Chelekwaze ¿aøç nu hosþén ghekel ‘The boy is still paddling to the island’
Deneyu ejq yéøtsü ‘The man made it here’

A number of other adverbial ideas also occur such as manner, accompaniment, benefit, etc. These are indicated by such words as hçt´édhé ‘very much’,‘in a hurry’, üghä, tßéthüyö ‘quietly’, and by post-positional constructions such as þá ‘with’, hél ‘along with’, hoghq ‘about’, etc. These may occur following the place element.

Eyer dechen hoþá yeøtsü ‘He made it there with wood’
Deneyu üghä yeøtsü ‘The man made it in a hurry’

These also can be removed to the end of the sentence.

Deneyu setßü tthpø hoþá kon nadáretthéø

‘The man is chopping firewood with my axe’

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre