Navajo Categories of Objects at Rest



Navajo culture partitions the domain of objects at rest into fifteen general categories based on the variables of size, shape, firmness, density, position, cohesiveness, animate or inanimate, and contained or non-contained. Each of the fifteen general categories are partitioned into fifteen additional categories based on the variables of plurality, grouping, and patterning, making a total of 225 basic categories in the cultural domain of objects at rest. Of these 225 cultural categories, 102 are a sub-set which have distinct mono-lexical markers and the remainder are unmarked. This analysis deals with the problem of the relationship between language and culture, and it concludes that sets of mono-lexical markers and cultural categories are often not congruent, and that componential analyses of sets of lexical items often fail to uncover the total set of cultural categories in a given domain.