Siouan and Iroquoian "buffalo"

Michael Mccafferty mmccaffe at
Wed Nov 10 13:28:47 UTC 2004

Isn't there also |-iyo-|? Or is that called a "verb root"?

On Tue, 9 Nov 2004, Wallace Chafe wrote:

> Dave,
> There are two Northern Iroquoian verb roots meaning "big". The most
> widespread one is -owaneN- (nasalized e) or something similar, which I
> believe shows up in all the languages. It refers not only to size but also
> to importance. Seneca has a second one, -steN-, that refers only to the
> size of physical objects and occurs only with incorporated noun roots. It
> may be limited to Seneca. It would be nice if the Cherokee t were a w, but
> I guess it isn't.
> Wally
> > I have another Iroquoian question: what are Seneca or Mohawk words for
> > "big"?  I ask because I notice Cherokee utana seems strikingly similar to
> > Siouan taN or ithoN, and I'm wondering if Cherokee could have borrowed it
> > from Siouan at some point.  There doesn't seem to be any Muskogean
> > influence here, since those words are quite different; my guess is that
> > Cherokee utana is just coincidentally similar, but wanted to know what
> > the other Iroquoian languages have to say....

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