Language contact

Rankin, Robert L rankin at
Mon Aug 21 16:05:45 UTC 2006

Hi Ivan,
The number of loans we've spotted is quite small.  There's 'pig' as Bryan noted.  'Horse' is /hkawa/, Kansa /kkawaye/, Spanish caballo.   'Big, large' is /laNdhe/, Kansa, /loNye/, both earlier */gdhaNdhe/ from Spanish grande.  The form with the /g/ intact is preserved in a lake name in SE Colorado.  'Firewater' for distilled spirits is probably a loan-translation or calque from Algonquian languages spoken farther east, or possibly a translation of Spanish aguardiente.  
Rory Larson, here on the list, has a nice MA thesis from U. of Nebr. on adapatation of modern vocabulary in Omaha that might be helpful.  
There is evidence of contact with Comanche, certainly, since Comanche for 'black bear' is pretty clearly borrowed from Osage /wasape/.
The Quapaws had closer contact with the French and with the Mobilian Jargon.  They have /skadi/ 'money' from Choctaw or Chickasaw /skali/  <  Fr. escalin 'shilling'.  They also have /ppikayoN/ from picayune.
Do let us know if you locate others.
Bob Rankin


> For instance, the Osage used the sign language with other tribes, and some also spoke French. But did they use any trade jargon or pidgin? Did they also speak Comanche, a Lingua Franca of the southern Plains? Were some colonial words (from French, English, Spanish) integrated in their language?

Can we find in Osage (and other Dhegiha languages) words borrowed from non-Siouan languages?

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