Siouan stops

Koontz John E John.Koontz at
Tue Nov 16 17:59:14 UTC 2004

On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 lcumberl at wrote:
> Dakotan languages do, but in Assiniboine there is a broadly applied rule
> that voices simple stops intervocalically across both syllable and word
> boundaries so that the simple stops (and the affricate) surface as
> voiced at least 90% of the time.

Bob's answered this in general terms and referred David to the archives
for the recent discussion of underdotting in Biloxi.  Underdotting (or
overdotting or under-x-ing or inverting of the letter) is a common scheme
in earlier orthographies for explicitly marking "unaspirated stops," in
which case the aspirated stops are left unmarked.  Sometimes a given
source will do a little of both, leaving a residuum of ambiguous cases in
the middle, though usually most of these are one or the other depending on
the language.

In Dhegiha - ignoring ejectives - there is a three-way contrast k : kk :
kH, for example.  Omaha-Ponca consistently voices the simple stops,
yielding g : kk : kH which in standard Siouanist usage is written g : kk :
kh, while the popular orthographies both opt for g : k : kH.  (H for
raised h.)  Kaw goes pretty much the OP route, but kH is kX (velarized
aspiration).  Osage doesn't voice and the surface forms are more like k :
hk : kX, with the added fillip that kX is is palatalized to kS^ before
front vowels.

It's been a while and I'm not sure how it is in Quapaw.  I think it has
some voicing, but maybe less than OP or Kaw.  Maybe it has the
intervocalic voicing that Linda described for Assiniboine.  I think t and
p in initial position are usually *R and *W, but I would have to check.

I suspect IO is a lot like Assiniboine, as it too is apparently aspirated
vs. unaspirated usually written as voicless vs. voiced, but with a fair
number of the voiceless graphs indicating unaspirated stops that one would
expect to be voiced.

Winnebago has managed to switch completely to voiceless vs. voiced, though
with some surprising realignments.  The voiced "stops" are w j^ and g, and
represent the original syllable initial unaspirated stops.

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