Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan

Bruce Ingham bi1 at
Wed Oct 18 11:51:46 UTC 2000

Dear Siouanists
I am sorry for disturbing you by my previous message which was meant
 for David.  However to make up for that I wonder if any one can
help me on a question re the above, which I tried to find out when I
first became interested in Lakota and am still not satisfied about,
which is that, if indefinite items such as taku 'something', tohan
'sometime', tuktel 'somewhere', tokiya 'some direction', tuwa
'someone' can also serve as the question words  'what', 'when',
'where', 'where to'  and 'who', how then do we question an
indefinite?  ie how do we say 'have you seen something', 'will he
arrive sometime', 'are you going somewhere' and 'have you seen
	With taku we have a form takunl which can be used in this
way to mean 'anything' , but what about tuwa, tuktel, tokiya and
tohan and of course tokeske 'how' and others.  I have seen it
suggested that this can be achieved by following them by cha so
that tuwa cha wanlaka he could mean 'did you see anyone'.
However many examples occur in texts where this just means 'who
did you see?'.
	Has anyone any answer to this or comments about other
Siouan languages.  I know that in some Far Eastern languages
which also have the Interrogative-indefinite type of word the
difference between 'who did you see' and 'did you see anyone'  is
achieved only by intonation and I can see how that could occur
also for Lakhota.
	 I have seen tohanhci for 'ever' as in tohanhci ekta yai he
'have you ever been there?' and tokiyetu cha for 'anywhere' as in
tokiyetu ca he wanlaka he 'have you seen him anywhere?', but they
seem to be rarely used.  It mystifies me as they would seem to be
the sort of construction that in seven years of study of a language
you would see a lot of examples of.  But in fact you do not see
them often.
Hope you can help

Dr. Bruce Ingham
Reader in Arabic Linguistic Studies

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