Edward Sapir > Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech > Subject Index > Page 73
Edward Sapir (1884–1939).  Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.  1921.

Page 73
these rules are far from absolute. We have already seen that Hebrew prefixes its pronominal elements in certain cases, suffixes them in others. In Chimariko, an Indian language of California, the position of the pronominal affixes depends on the verb; they are prefixed for certain verbs, suffixed for others.
  It will not be necessary to give many further examples of prefixing and suffixing. One of each category will suffice to illustrate their formative possibilities. The idea expressed in English by the sentence I came to give it to her is rendered in Chinook 7 by i-n-i-a-l-u-d-am. This word—and it is a thoroughly unified word with a clear-cut accent on the first a—consists of a radical element, -d- “to give,” six functionally distinct, if phonetically frail, prefixed elements, and a suffix. Of the prefixes, i- indicates recently past time; n-, the pronominal subject “I”; -i-, the pronominal object “it”; 8 -a-, the second pronominal object “her”; -l-, a prepositional element indicating that the preceding pronominal prefix is to be understood as an indirect object (-her-to-, i.e., “to her”); and -u-, an element that it is not easy to define satisfactorily but which, on the whole, indicates movement away from the speaker. The suffixed -am modifies the verbal content in a local sense; it adds to the notion conveyed by the radical element that of “arriving” or “going (or coming) for that particular purpose.” It is obvious that in Chinook, as in Hupa, the greater part of the grammatical machinery resides in the prefixes rather than in the suffixes.
  A reverse case, one in which the grammatically significant elements cluster, as in Latin, at the end of the word
Note 7.  Wishram dialect. [back]
Note 8.  Really “him,” but Chinook, like Latin or French, possesses grammatical gender. An object may be referred to as “he,” “she,” or “it,” according to the characteristic form of its noun. [back]


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