OP u- and udhu- Verbs

Rory M Larson rlarson at unlnotes.unl.edu
Sun Nov 14 22:05:23 UTC 2004

Thanks for demonstrating the u- pattern, John.  I think I've
been a little obtuse on this subject up until now, because
I've been following a paradigm that is either mistaken, or at
best a recent innovation.  I had thought we had it nailed
down with our speakers that 'them (anim.)' in u- verbs was
handled as u-wa'-[root].  I had supposed that u- verbs took
the accent on the second syllable and that u- nouns were
accented on the first syllable, simply as a mechanism for
distinguishing nouns from verbs.  I know the process of
*wa-o'- => *wo'- => OP u'- has been mentioned on the list
before, but somehow it never quite clicked.

Now I'd like to go through your list, parsing them out by
underlying morphology, and raise a few more questions on the

> ua'ne 'I seek it' 90:17.6

  *o-a'-[root]                  I -> 3sg

> udha'ne 'you seek him' 90:283.4

  *o-ra'-[root]                you -> 3sg

> una'=bi=ama 'he sought him' 90:265.18

  *o-[root]'                    3sg -> 3sg

> aNgu'na=i 'we seek him' 90:385.19

  *uNk-o'-[root]                we -> 3sg

> u'agittaN 'I put on my own (shoes)' 90:43.9

  *wa-o'-a-gi-[root]            I -> 3pl?

> ua'ttaN 'I am putting on (a shoe?  shoes?)' 90:45.6

  *o-a'-[root]                  I -> 3(sg?/pl.inanimate?)

> u'dhattaN=z^i 'you have not put them on (shoes)' 90:45.6

  *wa-o'-ra-[root]             you -> 3pl?

My question here is that I thought wa- as 'them' was
restricted to animates.  Two of these three cases seem
to show that shoes as 'them' take wa-.

> u'ne maNdhiN ama 'he was seeking them' 90:561.11

  *wa-o'-[root]                 3sg -> 3pl

> u'na=i 'they sought them' 90:419.18

  *wa-o'-[root]                 3pl -> 3pl

> aN'guna=i 'we hunted them' 90:434.2

  *uNk-wa'-o-[root]             we -> 3pl

This one is interesting because it suggests that the rule
of shifting accent forward in u- verbs to indicate an
underlying wa- has been generalized to the extent of
shifting it off the *wa-o- => u- syllable itself.  If
that weren't the case, the above example should have
come out *aNgu'na=i.

> u'z^iha 'sack' 90:17.10

  *wa-o'-[root]                 NOM(u- verb)

> u't?e 'death; means or cause or place of death' 90:23.6

  *wa-o'-[root]                 NOM(u- verb)

> u'?iN 'pack(s)'

  *wa-o'-[root]                 NOM(u-verb)

> u'nase '(a) surround; chasing (hunting) place' 90:44.1, 90:45.5

  *wa-o'-[root]                 NOM(u- verb)

> u's^kaN 'deed' 90:58.16

  *wa-o'-[root]                 NOM(u- verb)

> udhu'ahe 'I followed her' 90:199.18

  *i-o'-a-[root]                I -> 3sg

> udhu'dhahe 'you follow her' 90:194.6

  *i-o'-ra-[root]              you -> 3sg

> udhu'ha=bi=ama 'he followed them (elk)' 90:72.7

  *i-wa'-o-[root]               3sg -> 3pl.anim.

In this case, the accent does not move forward.

> udhu'ha=bi=ama 'she followed it (a trail)' 90:290.7

  *i-o'-[root]                  3sg -> 3sg.inan.

> aNdhaN'guhe=tta=i=the 'we will follow it (the trail)' 90:438.17

  *i-uNk'-o-[root]              we -> 3sg.inan.

> wiu'akkie" 'I spoke to him (?) [(?) in orig.] about it' 91:120.13

  *wa-i'-o-a-kki-[root]         I -> 3sg?.anim?

In this case, the accent moves back.

> wi'udhakkie 'you talked to them about it' 90:484.3

  *wa-i'-o-ra-kki-[root]       you -> 3pl.anim.

> wi'udhagina' 'you told them about their own' 90:764.1

  *wa-i'-o-ra-gi-[root]        you -> 3pl.anim.

> wi'uha=bi=ama 'he followed them (trails)' 90:149.8

  *wa-i'-o-[root]               3sg -> 3pl.inan.

Again, we seem to have a wa- for inanimate 'them'.

> wiu'ha=i 'they followed them' 90:440.1

  *wa-i'-o-[root]               3pl -> 3pl.anim.

Again, the accent moves back.

> wiaN'guha=i 'we followed them (trails)' 90:419.14

  *wa-i'-uNk-o-[root]           we -> 3pl.inan.

Again, a wa- for inanimate 'them'.

> aNdhaN'gudhihe aNgaN'dha=i 'we wish to follow you (in your deeds)'

  *i-uNk'-o-ri-[root] uNk-[root]'  we -> you

> aNwaN'ha 'we followed their trail' 90:440.16

  *o-uNk'-[root]                we -> 3sg.inan.

The 'we' affixed pronoun is inserted after the *o- rather
than before it.

> we'uhe aNmaN'dhiN=i 'following them we walked' 90:419.15

  *wa-i'-o-[root] uNk-[root]    we -> 3pl.anim.

The non-final verb in a verb chain is not inflected for
subject as it could be.  I suspect that the subject marker
is optional in this position.  If none is specified where
one could be, that verb is parsed as an adverb.

> udhu'haN=bi=ama 'he cooked together (turnips and paunch)' 90:256.14


> This is, of course, the non-reflexive underlying stem for 'pepper'.
> uhaN' 'to cook something' (cf. 90:21.13)


> > u'haN 'to cook things' (cf. 90:112.10)


> udhu'haN 'to cook one thing with another' (cf. 90:256.14)


> > wi'uhaN 'to cook things together' (not in the texts)


> ukki'haN 'to cook for oneself' (cf. 90:181.13)


Here's something I hadn't noticed before.  I had thought
of this kki- as a straight-up reflexive, such that the
above should mean 'to cook oneself'.  But I guess we do
the same thing in English too.  There is a difference
between "I'm going to kill myself" and "I'm going to
kill myself a bear".

> > u'kkihaN 'to cook things for oneself' (not in texts)


> udhu'kkihaN 'to cook together for oneself' (not in texts)


> > wi'ukkihaN 'to cook things together for oneself' (not in hte texts)


> In the context the analysis this last is more like 'something cooked
> together with other things for oneself', which, modulo the complicating
> benefactive reflexive, is just what Rory concluded.

Now this brings up a couple of other things I'm a little
vague on.  First, that i- there.  In many contexts, i-
means that the verb action is accomplished by means of
the foregoing.  In others, it seems the i- is some sort
dative pointer or something.  Here, you seem to be
interpreting it to mean 'together with'.  Just what
kind of salience does i- have, anyway?  Is it just one
morpheme, or multiple sound-alikes?

Second, that kki-.  The interpretation here is that
it is the reflexive affix, which Dorsey indicates with
an inverted or dotted 'k'.  But Dorsey distinguishes
another affix ki-, which he writes with upright 'k',
which seems to indicate reciprocal action: "they do
it to each other".  I used to suppose that this
reciprocal ki- was kHi-, until our speakers corrected
me: both reciprocal and reflexive were pronounced kki-.
With regard to 'pepper', I had been assuming that that
kki- was the reciprocal affix, not the reflexive, and
that that was the element that meant 'together with'.

Finally, once again, what about the salience of wa-,
'them'?  Is it for any plurality, as some of Dorsey's
examples would seem to show, or is it restricted to
animates, as I've been supposing?  Perhaps usage is
variant in modern Omaha?


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