Dorsey Texts

Koontz John E John.Koontz at
Mon Nov 15 19:20:18 UTC 2004

On Sun, 14 Nov 2004, Koontz John E wrote:
> I've been meaning to say that I recently keyed in the missing couple of
> texts from the front of Dorsey 1890 (in SA format).

To clarify this mysterious offer, the whole set of Dorsey texts, 1890 and
1891, were keyed as text files by the Siouan Archives Project (Rood &
Taylor and many students) at the U of Colorado during the 1970s.

The material was prepared in a notation I loosely referred to as Siouan
Archives (SA) format which allowed encoding the arbitrary notation of old
and new publications on Siouan Languages using the resources of a small
6-bit character set and punch cards, UmaN'haN becomes +UMA$N*HA$N, for
example.  The first two Dorsey 1890 texts were selected by David Rood as a
sample to pass to a programmer who was going to create some retrieval
software.  He never did, and the decks were lost.  (Just to clarify, the
programmer was *not* me, even though it sounds like there might have been
some sort of kinship of spirit.)

When I first got interested in the Omaha and Ponca langauge David gave me
access to the remainder of the file and explained why the first couple of
texts were missing.  I thought, "Heck, I should just type those in again."
A small section of the road to hell is paved with my good intentions, as
everyone knows.  Anyway, finally, 20 years later, I have keyed in those
two texts.  Now, on to the second thing on my list.

My hat is off to the original SA team.  I nearly went crazy typing those
two texts in, even though I was using a text editor, not a cranky key
punch with no display device and only limited correction mechanisms.  I
also allowed myself to use lowercase and real question marks, exclamation
marks, etc., instead of the special SA codes for them.  I had to use SA
notation otherwise both for reasons of consistency and in order to
properly encode some things like breves that SA notation handles, though
more modern schemes aimed at modern Siouanist usage do not.

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