Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research 19.1 (Spring 2009): 142. © 2009 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The Arapaho Language is divided into five primary analytical areas on phonology, inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, usage, complex clauses, and syntax. Under these headings an additional 21 subfields and numerous grammatical rules are also provided. One feature that makes this book particularly beneficial is its extensive use of narrative texts, historical accounts, and life experiences of several individuals as examples for discussing how grammatical rules work within the language, which also provides helpful examples of the subtleties, complexity, and flexibility used by Arapaho speakers that differ from other Algonquian languages.

Although it is clear that this book is written primarily for a linguistic audience, the quantity of Arapaho examples also makes it a useful resource for people other than linguists wanting to learn speech aspects of the language. While linguists will find discussions that delve into language complexity, vowel rule combinations, and language pitch accents interesting study, nonlinguistic interests are also served by numerous and useful phrases provided throughout for those drawn to learning Arapaho. It is in this regard that I offer the following observations.