[Spam:0005 SpamScore] affixes vs. enclitics (was: two, three, seven, eight)

R. Rankin rankin at ku.edu
Tue Nov 9 20:13:07 UTC 2004

> I suppose I should also have asked about Biloxi.  Is it known whether
> the initial /t/ there is pre- or post-aspirated, tense, or whatever?

I wrote a paper on this.  There are a few cases in the Biloxi dictionary where
Dorsey apparently did hear aspiration and actually wrote "kx" or the like.
There are maybe 6 or 8 such cases.  So those cases in which we can say we have
postaspiration.  Everywhere else he followed his usual transcription practice,
to wit:

1.  If he hears a stop as lenis, he writes the dot under it.  He "listens for"
lenisness and his dotted stops can probably be thought of as reliably

2.  If he hears an aspirate he normally writes a plain stop (and compares it to
English stops in the pronunciation key), BUT if he isn't sure which kind of stop
he heard, he writes the plain stop by default.  So dotted stops are reliable,
but plain ones -- not so much.  Nonetheless there is an excellent statistical
correlation between the Biloxi stops as recorded by Dorsey and the aspiration
contrast in other Siouan languages.

So the bottom line is:  We don't know exactly what the phonetic augment was in
the Biloxi stop series, but it was probably post aspiration as in both Ofo and

> However, even with the clarification, I'm not sure that I didn't really
> mean 'enclitic'.  In OP at least, we seem to have two or three common
> "endings" for nouns and stative verbs: -ga and -ge (both < -*ka ?);
> and -de < -*te.  They seem to be tightly bound on individual words,
> but in old compounds of such words these affixes seem to be dropped
> in preceding position.  I don't think this is just the result of
> abbreviated speech dropping syllables.

That's true, but those "root extensions", to use Wes Jones' term for them, are
still not enclitics, since they don't migrate from the end of the first element
in the compound to the end of the compound.  This doesn't come through with
examples like


because both siNde and snede end in -de.  Pick an example where the extension on
the first element is different from the one on the second, and you'll see that
the first suffix is just gone -- it doesn't migrate to the end of the compound.
I agree that in compounds of this sort, you get ROOTs not stems in the first


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