Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan

Bruce Ingham bi1 at
Mon Oct 30 14:13:27 UTC 2000

Dear Ardis

Thank you for your reply.  I think the intonation factor will also firt
with the information I got recently for Jerome KillsSmall of the
modern language dept of the University of South Dakota at
Vermilion, which goes as follows:

Jerome's message
"The hypothetical expression for taku is takunl, or when, tohan in
the hypothetical usage is tohanl.

Have you seen something, takunl wanlaka he
Will he arrive sometime, tohanl hihunni kte he
are you going somewhere, tokiyal la he (Because the "l" is at the
tokiya(l) and the beginning of la they share the "l" sound making
only the
one "l" sound.  A sort of a contraction.)
have you seen someone, tuwe wanzi wanlaka he
have you seen anyone, tuwe wanzi wanlaka he
have you found something, takunl iyeyaya he
have you seen him somewhere, tukte ekta wanlaka he (sometimes
the "e" sound
is shared by tukte ekta, tuktekta)
you will see him sometime, watohanl ake wanlakin kte lo
(was kte yelo)
can you do it somehow, tokel ecanu oyakihi he"

What is interesting about this is that he extends the -l ending seen
in takunl to also apply to tohanl and to tokiyal also using tukte ekta
for anywhere.  I have not seen these used, but it does fit in logically
with the 'hypotheticalness of the tohanl form.  Tohanl is often in
grammar books said to refer to the future in contrast to tohan which
refers to the past.  This looks like another use for tohanl sharing
the 'hypothetical' feature.


Date sent:      	Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:07:48 -0400 (EDT)
From:           	Ardis R Eschenberg <are2 at>
To:             	Bruce Ingham <bi1 at>
Copies to:      	siouan at lists.Colorado.EDU
Subject:        	Re: Interrogative Indefinites in Siouan

Dr. Ingham,
Hi.  SOrry this has been delayed.  Van Valin and La Polla (1997), Syntax:
Structure, meaning, function, pp424-425, explains the difference between
indefinite and wh-readings as a difference in focus.  Basically, when the
sometimes wh-word is in the actual focus domain, it receives a wh-reading
while when it is not, it receives the indefinite reading.
To consider this on my own terms, looking at something/what, if I am
asking specifically about the something that you have, I want to know
'what' you have.
This analysis would jive with intonational marking, in that focus is
commonly marked intonationally.
BTW, I didn't mean to imply that 'shte' is needed to mark indefinites in
Omaha, only that quite commonly it is used for these when elders give
sentences for us.
Ardis Eschenberg

Dr. Bruce Ingham
Reader in Arabic Linguistic Studies

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