"Saone" [Mar 1956]

Clive Bloomfield cbloom at ozemail.com.au
Wed Aug 9 18:17:32 UTC 2006

Hello John, Thank you very much for that thorough & scholarly reply.  
Etymology (especially distinguishing the "folk" from the genuine  
variety) is somewhat of a quicksand, it seems! Clearly, in this case,  
it requires a much more profound & extensive knowledge of Siouan  
languages, than I possess, (or am ever likely to)! But I am afflicted  
with an inveterate curiosity, and can ask questions "till the cows  
come home", I'm afraid. In fact, I probably couched my question  
clumsily there : All I was wondering was, how come Dorsey  would rely  
on a Hunkpapa (Teton) informant for the etymology of a Lower  
Yanktonai band-name (SaN-ona), with a Yanktonai sub-dialect  
diminutive (-na) [if that is what it is] . I wondered also whether  
that could possibly indicate some connection with the Teton term  
"Saone", (which, as we know, included the Hunkpapas)? But I see that  
I also managed to garble what Dorsey actually wrote in his posthumous  
paper : "SaN-ona", Shot-at-some-white-object; this name originated  
from killing an albino buffalo; a Hunkpapa chief said that refugees  
or strangers from another tribe were so called." (BAE-B 15;  
[1893-94]; p.218). I know that this may indeed be spurious as you  
say, and proves nothing, and that my query is probably unanswerable,  
but I just thought J.O. Dorsey's statement seemed a little odd in  
that place! He doesn't mention the term "Saone" at all under his  
section on the "TitoNwaN" in the same paper (pp.218-221). Thanks  
again for the information. Regards, Clive Bloomfield.
On 08/08/2006, at 4:33 AM, Koontz John E wrote:

> On Sun, 6 Aug 2006, Clive Bloomfield wrote:
>> Question : I wonder whether the etymology of the name of the "SaN  
>> ona"
>> [saN ?ona] band of the Lower Yanktonai, as mentioned by J.O.  
>> Dorsey in
>> 1897 (quoted in my prev. post), regarding which he there says,
>> curiously, that a HUNKPAPA informant told him meant "little [-na]
>> whitish [saN-] shooter [-?o-]" , or someone who shot at something  
>> white
>> (albino buffalo?) and thereby incurred exile, might have been in  
>> any way
>> connected with "Saone"?  Regards, Clive Bloomfield.
> The term may well be connected, but the etymology may be more or less
> spurious, too.  Wouldn't the diminutive be =la in Teton?  And, I  
> think it
> is generally only =na in Santee after nasal vowels.  Elsewhere it  
> is =daN.
> If the form is =na(N)  here, then we'd have to assume saNuN=na(N).   
> I'm
> not sure what the diminutive is in Stoney and Assiniboine at the  
> moment,
> though I think it was been explained to me fairly recently by Linda
> Cumberland!
> I think there are maybe two problems with the post 1850 etymologies  
> of the
> form.  One is that the individuals asked were not familiar with  
> s^ahaN ~
> s^aaN 'Sioux' as a possible explanation; the other is that they were
> hearing the term for the first time from the questioner, who wasn't
> necessarily clear on how to pronounce it.
> One of the things that strikes me about the available literature on  
> Dakota
> divisions and band names in general, is how much of it depends on  
> Renville
> and one or two others and their theories of how things were to be
> analyzed.  Because the same views are expressed in a number of  
> different
> published sources, one has the impression they were widely  
> distributed,
> but on further consideration, it appears that the majority of the  
> accounts
> trace back to the same group of people.  And the number seven seems
> suspiciously frequent.

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