Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan

Catherine Rudin CRudin at
Wed Oct 18 21:30:00 UTC 2000

John K. wrote:
I think this is the =shte (or s^te) I was referring to.  It should
contrast with =shti 'too', though the versions I recall from speech all
involved following aN, and so were =sht=aN.

    I'm pretty sure I have taped examples of iNdadaN=shte with no following
=aN, and it's definitely shte.

In fact, I think what I
remember was actually =daN=shte=aN, which came out something like =jshtaN
in the context.  I about wore out that part of the tape listening to it.
My recollection is that it was a construction analogous to 'whether one
or whether two'.  The =daN, is some sort of contingency marker that occurs
in various contexts, and may well also be the final of iNdadaN.

    Hmm... could this be the thing I transcribed dshtaN, which seemed to mean
something like "probably" or "likely"?  Often in combination with   evidential
(dshtaN=the), translated by speakers as "musta been".  Or is    this something

Incidentally, this reminds me to remind folks working on Omaha-Ponca to
look for a contrast of iNdadaN and edadaN...

    I've heard both iNdadaN and edadaN (and also, I think, iNbe' as well as
ebe' (but not e'be?) for "who").  But I'm afraid I always wrote iNdadaN and
ebe when transcribing... too hard to hear the difference, and not what I    was
interested in.  I can listen back to the tapes if need be.

Which brings up another question for me, which is, are the Nebraska Omaha
and Oklahoma Ponca practical classroom schemes the same?  I've forgotten.

    They're very similar but not quite identical...  I think Ponca but not
Omaha is writing doubled vowels for length, and Ponca uses aN while Omaha   uses
oN for the back nasal(s).  Are there other differences?  Maybe Kathy    and
Ardis (and/or Mark) could compare alphabets and post a summary.  It     does get
confusing using several almost-identical versions.


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