Dhegiha Articles

Koontz John E John.Koontz at colorado.edu
Tue Oct 3 20:30:09 UTC 2000

This was a very nice contribution on Omaha-Ponca articles from Mark

28 Sept 2000
Hello Brother John and  Catherine:
Mucho thanks for your quick responses and all of the samples ...

Immediately after sending around the first class update I did try to jump in
with both feet with the discussion of a single verb and its conjugations in
class. I had elicited various forms of "thawa" (to count) from my Dad Joe
Gilpin before he passed away in 1996. I had my speakers take a look at his
versions, and then gave them to the class.

    bthawa (I am counting)
    nawa (you are counting)
    thawa  (he/she/it is counting)

Trying to put it into a useful sentence brought us back around to the
definite articles and questions about plurals.

One speaker had tangentally offered:

    shoNge ama thawa texi
    horse     pl      he is counting [with] difficulty

In which the speaker noted that a group of horses milling about would be
difficult to count. At the moment my speakers are still having difficulty
discussing about the akHa/ama articles. So I switched to something inanimate
since the students have mastered knife, fork, spoon, cup,  and bowl (always
thinking about feasting, enit?).  We grappled with the 4 inanimate definite
articles: tHe, kHe, thoN, and ge. From there we could cobble together
sentences that seemed acceptable to our speaker.

    uxpe tHe bthawa
    dish VERT I am counting
    I am counting a stack of dishes.

    niithatHoN kHe oNthawa
    cup             HOR we are counting
    We are counting a line of cups

At the moment, one speaker has suggested that saying the dish (single) is in
a stack (tHe) implies plurality.

When a student offered:

    tehe ge bthawa
    spoon scattered I am counting
    I am counting the scattered spoons

In this case the speaker interpreted  the action of counting as also
including the act of collecting. In other words, in order to count scattered
objects it would be necessary to collect them together. The speaker
acknowledged that there would be a separate word for "to collect" but did
not offer it.


Better get to class.

With sincere thanks!

More information about the Siouan mailing list