Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan

Konstantin Hmelnitski mosind at
Wed Oct 18 21:23:27 UTC 2000

Dear Bruce:

To eliminate the ambiguity of interrogative vs. indefinite in T-words I
would add to the discussion the following:

1. The choice of interrogative enclitics.

Tuwa u he?    -Is someone coming here? / Who's coming here?
Tuwa u sel?   "se'l marks a dubitative question, but it presupposes an
affirmative reply" (Rood&Taylor, Sketch of Lakhota...) -I guess somebody's
coming here, huh?
Tuwa u s'elel ? "s?ele'l marks a tag question" (R&T) - Somebody's coming
here, is he?

2. The usage of taku & tuwa with determiners waN, waNz^i, (k?)eya

I haven't found in Deloria's Dakota Texts, Buechel's Lakota Texts, and in an
available part of Bushotter's a question with taku/tuwa waN/waNz^i.
Yet I guess that many sentences can be rearranged to obtain a question with
indefinite use of T-words:

taku waNz^i makha-akaNl wakhaNyaN thi -
something on earth exists in a holy manner (BO 16:4)
? taku waNz^i makha-akaNl wakhaNyaN thi he? -does anything on earth exists
in a holy manner?

"Mayute s^ni yo , echiN mayaluta haNtaNhaNs^ taku waNz^i s^ica ayakhipha kte
lo," eye.
"Don't eat me, if you do, something terrible will happen to you!" , he said.
(BO 19:14)
? taku waNz^i s^ica akhipha kta he?  will anything bad happen him?

YuNkhaN uNgnahaNla taku waN oyuspa chaNke...
And at last suddenly he felt of something and (BO 19:15)
? taku waN oyuspa he?  did he felt of something?

Khos^kalaka kiN haNkas^itku naNis^ thaNkeku es^a taku waNz^i uN is^telyapi
If a young man is shamed by a failure in this respect on the part of a
female cross-cousin or a sister... (BO 111)
? taku waNz^i uN is^telyapi he? Is he ashamed because of anything?

3. Is adding of wa- to some other T-words eliminated the ambiguity too?
(watohaNl - sometime, watukte el - sometime in the past )

Toksa akhe.

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