Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan (fwd)

Koontz John E John.Koontz at
Wed Oct 18 19:26:07 UTC 2000

It looks like I managed to route this to Bruce instead of Siouan.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 07:51:49 -0600 (MDT)
From: Koontz John E <koontz at>
To: Bruce Ingham <bi1 at>
Subject: Re: Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan

On Wed, 18 Oct 2000, Bruce Ingham wrote:
> 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
> someone'?
> 	 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.

In Lakota, of course, I'm out of my depth with such questions, but the
situation in Omaha-Ponca is somewhat similar and makes me think of the
enclitic s^te (and variants) usually rendered as -soever by Dorsey.  I
will see if I can find a suitable example in the texts and report back.

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