Benefactive Reflexives

Koontz John E John.Koontz at
Tue Nov 16 17:09:09 UTC 2004

On Tue, 16 Nov 2004, R. Rankin wrote:
> What is 'to seek oneself' in Omaha, then?

Search me!

Maybe both readings are possible, depending on context.

> > 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.
> Kansa has the benefactive in /gu"/ in contrast to dative/possessive /gi/.
> Is there something I'm missing here, or is the 'reflexive possessive' and the
> 'reflexive benefactive' the same?  Reflexive possessive (suus) was my first
> guess at Catherine's form.

The reflexive and suus (and dative) are entirely different in form and
meaning.  The reflexive simply has a self-benefactive sense with certain

The reflexive (with or without a benefactive reading) has the marker kki ~
kkiK (with syncopating stems), e.g., une > ukkine 'to seek something for
oneself' or dhize > kkigdhize 'to fetch something for oneself'.

The suus (only one reading I'm aware of) has the marker gi ~ giK (with
syncopating stems), e.g., une > ugine 'to seek one's own' or dhize >
gigdhize 'to fetch one's own'.

> And I also wonder if we have plumbed the full set of possible causative forms
> with the various KI's.

Omaha-Ponca has =...dhe 'simple causative', =...khidhe 'dative causative',
=...kkidhe 'reflexive causative', =...gidhe 'suus causative'.  I think
that the first two tend to apply to intransitive and transitive stems,
respectively, but I'm not positive it works out that simply.  The
reflexive and suus forms have the expected meanings.  I don't know if
there are any reflexive causatives with benefactive readings.

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