Gloss of Hopi lyrics?

john john at
Sun Apr 7 10:17:34 UTC 2013


Hi Johanna, 

To tell the truth, if you get a Hopi-English
dictionary and you're willing to invest some time, not even so much, you

can get a pretty good idea of the meaning by just doing the analysis
yourself (you're a linguist, after all), and a 

gloss is easy in terms of identifying the morphemes. Hopi morphology is
simple and 

transparent and Hopi syntax isn't hard at all. The real
problem in Hopi is that there are a good number of very 

discourse particles whose function is to put it mildly difficult to
figure out (I would say that I've never 

seen a language where this is
such a problem), and to be honest I doubt you will be able to get a very
good idea 

of their meaning in context no matter what you
do--non-native speaking linguists won't understand their 

usage and
native speakers won't be able to explain it. 

Good luck, 


05.04.2013 21:29, Johanna Rubba wrote: 

> Hello, all,
> I'm a little
embarrassed to make this request, as it seems a little shallow, but I am
hoping to find a linguist of Hopi who can give me a morpheme-by-morpheme
gloss and idiomatic translation of some Hopi lyrics to a short song, the
Three Prophecies, from the film Koyaanisqatsi.
> It was very
difficult to find a transliteration of the lyrics (I wound up getting
them from a producer in the UK!). Translations into English are all over
the web, but I don't know how trustworthy they are.
> I would like to
have this for personal reasons, as I find the song very meaningful, but
I might also use it in my linguistics classes. Songs "humanize" these
"exotic" languages for my students, and it's also often easier to hear
the sounds when the vowels are lengthened on long notes.
> Please
write to me individually, and I'll send you the transliteration.
> Johanna
> Dr. Johanna Rubba, Professor, Linguistics 
Linguistics Minor Advisor
> English Department
> Cal Poly State
University, San Luis Obispo
> Tel. 805.756.2184
> Dept. Tel
> E-mail: jrubba at
> URL:
> "Justice is what love
looks like in public."
> - Cornel West


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