R. Rankin rankin at
Mon Nov 22 21:19:04 UTC 2004

No, I think not for several reasons.  Cherokee doesn't participate very much in
the Southeast Sprachbund.  But the main problem is the affricate.  It's
apparently reconstructible in Iroquoian, so any other SE language that borrowed
it would have to have adopted [ts] as /t/, and that's extremely unlikely for
languages like Muskogean and Siouan, both of which had /c/ phonemes they could
have substituted but didn't.  Moreover, the Koasatis were likely in touch with
Cherokee at some point, but Biloxi and Ofo weren't as far as anyone can tell.
The next thing to check is how far the /tiskahomma/ 'redbird' term extends.  I
only have it in Koasati, but it would be worth looking for in Alabama and other
languages.  Also Atakapa, Chitimacha, Natchez, Tunica and what exists of the
Florida languages like Timucua.  The ultimate source of "wanderwoerter" is often
very hard to pin down.


> Is it not possible, however, that Koasati, Ofo, and Biloxi borrowed this term
from Iroquoian Cherokee?  Otherwise, where did K, O and B get their words, which
don't match other Siouan or Muskogean terms?  Borrowing would be especially
understandable (I think) between Cherokee, Koasati, and Ofo which were
geographically fairly close, although I'm not sure why Biloxi would have gotten
it when it didn't affect any of the Muskogean languages down south in that
region, and Biloxi is farther from Cherokee than the others.

More information about the Siouan mailing list