R. Rankin rankin at
Tue Nov 23 15:07:56 UTC 2004

I agree that some element of sound symbolism may be involved, especially with
the Iroquoian/Algonquian similarity with this term.  But it doesn't preclude
borrowing, and, in fact, probably renders diffusion more likely.  I'm not so
sure about the words with /t/ rather than /c/ and I'm not convinced by the
specific Alabama "explanation".  If it were accurate, why isn't the Ala. form

And I always thought Cardinals said "Gwitsi, gwitsi, gwitsi" . . . .        :-)


----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan H. Hartley" <ahartley at>
To: <siouan at>
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: bird.

> > The next thing to check is how far the /tiskahomma/ 'redbird' term extends.
> > only have it in Koasati, but it would be worth looking for in Alabama and
> > languages.
> Alabama tiskomma 'cardinal' (prob. onomatopoeic from the noise
> 'tististis' made by the bird, + homma 'red.' And cf. tiskila 'blue
> jay.') Sylvestine et al. s.v.
> Creek tasi [both vowels at normal pitch] 'blue jay' (Martin & Mauldin
> s.v.) No obvious cognate to tiskahomma.
> These all look (sound) onomatopoeic to me.
> Alan

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