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The verb is the most elaborate and expressive part of the Dena'ina language. One way to better understand verbs is through the study of verb paradigms: groups of related verb forms which vary by a single parameters, such as subject, aspect, or object. For example, the following is an example of a subject paradigm for the Dena'ina verb 'to be' in the imperfective aspect.
|first person singular
|second person singular
|third person singular
|'he, she, it is'
|first person plural
|second person plural
|'you guys are'
|third person plural
This paradigm demonstrates some interesting rules of pronunciation which distinguish Nondalton and Kenai dialects. In Kenai, the first person singular sh- and the second person plural eh- are not pronounced when they precede a stem-initial l-. Instead, the stem-initial voiced l- changes to voiceless ł-. In shorthand we could write this as:
Kenai stem-initial l- devoicing rule: sh/h + lCV --> łCV (where C = consonant, V= vowel)