Order of verb affixes

Rory M Larson rlarson at unlnotes.unl.edu
Wed Nov 10 19:15:15 UTC 2004

Hi Bob,

Sorry about upsetting your server.  I have no idea why either.
Maybe it doesn't like Lotus Notes?

Thanks for your feedback, though actually I'm having trouble
understanding what you are saying at a couple of critical points.

> Just a couple of observations on your 'boil with' or 'pepper' stems.  I
> wonder if the u-/o- of *ohaN 'boil' is the locative prefix?  It's
> entirely possible that it is/was but that it's become lexicalized with
> its root, of course.  Etymologically it certainly had the /o/, but *o >
> u throughout in Omaha, of course, and in initial position in IO.  So the
> question might be IS u- a prefix here, or WAS u- a prefix here -- but
> not any longer.

I don't know about IO, but to the best of my knowledge pretty
much all verbs that begin with u- in OP are formed from the
locative prefix u- < *o-, meaning 'in', 'into' or 'in the context'
of something, plus the root.  All affixed pronouns are attached to
the root except for 'we', aN(g)-, which goes to the front of the u-,
turning the whole prefix into ugu-, with the aNg- < *uNk- denasalized.
Otherwise, the initial u- is unaffected except for being nasalized by
a following nasal vowel across an epenthetic [w].  Thus, for uhaN',
'boil' or 'cook', we have:

  uhaN'     < u-haN      s/he cooks it

  ua'haN    < u-a-haN    I cook it

  udha'haN  < u-dha-haN  you cook it

  ugu'haN   < aNg-u-haN  we cook it

  aNwaN'haN < u-aN-haN   s/he cooks me

  udhi'haN  < u-dhi-haN  s/he cooks you

  uwi'haN   < u-wi-haN   I cook you

  uwa'haN   < u-wa-haN   s/he cooks us/them (animate)
    (This one is homophonic with ua'haN.)

This pattern seems to be very regular with OP u- verbs,
and I assume this u- is always the locative prefix.  So
u-haN' presumably means/meant "cook in (a kettle, paunch
or something)".

But maybe the form has been lexicalized in IO, so that
inflection always comes at the front.  Does anyone know
if this is the case with IO u- < *o- verbs?

> Beyond that, in Dakotan the locative prefixes are mavericks in that they
> can occur at various points in the prefix string deriving new lexemes
> with each "move".  This is covered in the paper on the Word in Siouan
> from the Dixon/Aikhenvald volume that John, John, Randy and I
> coauthored.

So Dakotan is variable in affix order, hmm?  In general, I
don't think that OP is.  But maybe IO is also variable?

> In my experience there's no variability between [wi] and [we].  [we] is
> always a contraction of /wa- + i-/, 'noun formative plus instrumental'.
> I think that's what you're saying here. . . .

I think so.  I guess we may be getting confused between
the morpheme [we-] < [wa-] + [i-], and the question of how
to pronounce that morpheme when it precedes u- < *o-.
So when I come across a verb written wiu- in OP, that is
morphologically the same thing as [we-] + [u-], correct?



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