Benefactive Reflexives

lcumberl at lcumberl at
Tue Nov 16 04:04:05 UTC 2004

Quoting Koontz John E <John.Koontz at Colorado.EDU>:

> A question that came up off the list leads me to post the following
> concerning certain Omaha-Ponca forms that have a reflexive form, but a
> benefactive reading (reflexively benefactive, of course).  I was wondering
> if these occurred elsewhere in Siouan, e.g., in Dakota?

In Assiniboine I have one clear context-free example of such a form:

kiknaN'ka    'to put away/save for oneself'  from e'knaNka 'put'

Your other example, 'to seek', is one'; the ki- form is oki'ne, but it has
straight suus meaning: 'to look for one's own'.

kag^a 'make' behaves exceptionally with regard to the KI morphemes. ki'c^ag^a
alternates with ki'c^ic^ag^a, both meaning 'make for someone'. To my knowledge,
ka'g^a is the only verb that has alternate forms for the benefactive. 'Make for
oneself' is, as in your example, reflexive: ic^?i'c^agha, which does *not* mean
'make oneself'

I have to say that describing the KI morphemes almost cost me my sanity - it's a
very slippery category.


> These are not benefactives in the usual Dakotan sense (a second dative in
> (k)ic^i) or the usual OP sense (just a standard dative or maybe an igi-
> form).  They are "reflexive forms with reflexively benefactive force."
> For example, une 'to seek' yields ukkine with the reading 'to seek
> something for oneself' as opposed to 'to seek oneself' (with a strictly
> reflexive reading), or gaghe 'to make' yields kkikkaghe 'to make something
> for oneself' as opposed to 'to make onself', or dhize 'to get' yields
> kkigdhize 'to get something for oneself' not 'to get oneself'.
> For the relevant stems the reflexive/reciprocal form has a "benefactively
> reflexive" or "reflexively benefactive" reading '*for* oneself' instead of
> a simple reflexive reading 'oneself'.
> I guess another difference is that the reading is 'for oneself' and not
> 'for someone (else)'.  For the latter purpose the forms are the simple
> datives (by memory) uine or giaghe (eppaghe, dhes^kaghe, giagha=i,
> iN(g?)agha=i) or gidhize (ebdhize, dhe(s^)nize, gidhiza=i, iNdhiza=i).
> This is probably a good point to recall that the morphology of the dative
> in Kaw and Osage and I think Quapaw is radically different from that in
> OP.  On the other hand, the morphology of the suus and reflexive is the
> same across Dhegiha.  I seem to remember benefactive reflexives in Osage.
> I assume they are everywhere in Dhegiha, just a bit obscure and easy to
> miss.
> I don't remember when I first noticed these in OP.  It was a while ago,
> but after my initial OP sketch was written.  I still remember the
> combination of "Aha!" and "Oops!"  The problem in the sketch is that I
> concentrated on form and only took function into account secondarily and
> negligently.  And, of course, I had only been looking at things a year or
> two.  I don't recall seeing "benefactive reflexives" mentioned anywhere
> else in the literature, either, but they definitely occur in OP.

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