Language contact

Anthony Grant Granta at
Mon Aug 21 17:50:47 UTC 2006

Carolyn et al:

John K deserves big thanks from me for searching out an impressive number of borrowings into OP.  I forget whether the name of the pawnee Iruska society is connected with a similar-sounding Dhegiha society (yes, I know it's been the subject of correspondence on here before and I should consult the archives...) but that may be an example too.

The Osage form for "Spanish" has parallels in Quapaw and also in Caddo /hispayun/ (I think) and in Chitimacha /hespani/.    

I don't know if any Osage people also spoke Comanche, but it was known to some Kiowas and Plains Apaches (and there's a Comanche loan in Karankawa of the Texas coast).  This is notable because Comanche presence in the southern Plains was an 18th-century innovation, so that it wasn't a long-established language which served as a lingua franca, but a relatively new one.  Caddo served as a lingua franca too.


>>> "Carolyn Quintero" <cqcqcq1 at> 08/21/06 6:32 pm >>>
I agree with the borrowing mentioned by Anthony of 'school'. A borrowing
from Pawnee, this word may have entered Osage at different times in
different forms, with and without aspiration in /ht/ and /hp/, and with a
long vowel /aa/ and a short vowel /a/; at any rate it seems to be losing or
have lost the preaspiration in ht and hp. The Pawnee form was:  taapuska
'school'.  As in the case of laaNdhe (grande), this borrowed form coexists
with other Osage expressions for 'school'.  

I would like to add another that just occurred to me:

ís^padhoN  ADJ N var. ís^padho,  íNs^padhoN  adj  'Spanish; Mexican; French'
As a noun: 'Spaniard, a Spanish person; any native Spanish-speaking person,
especially a Mexican; a French person'  Also as a noun:  'Spanish language,
the - ; the French language'  [Spanish 'español' - ]

Carolyn Quintero

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-siouan at 
[mailto:owner-siouan at] On Behalf Of Anthony Grant
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 10:05 AM
To: siouan at 
Subject: re: Language contact

Hi Ivan - welcome to the list!

I'm delighted that someone else here is interested in language

John Koontz told me a number of items that have been borrowed into
Dhegiha.  Several have already bveen mentioned but kkukkumiN (I think)
'cucumber' is another, probably from French concombre.  There are some
which may come from Native languages, such as ttappuska 'teacher', which
is also found in Pawnee (the direction of transmission is not certain). 
 A form meaning 'British' from French les anglais, has gone the rounds
of Dakotan, Chiwere and Dhegiha languages in addition to Ojibwe. /aho/,
which is used as  agreeting in at least some Dhegiha varieties, is also
found in Kiowa and Comanche according to Armagost and
Wistrand-Robinson's Comance Dictionary.  And then there are tribal
names, which may be transparent in some languages but not in all, and
which tend to be the single most borrowable item in Native North
American languages.  Siouan languages in general are not big borrowers. 

The really interesting one from my point of view is 'big', because the
original Dhegiha form coexisted with it in Osage at least two centuries
ago, as it's recorded in what is probably the first published Osage
vocabulary, by John Bradbury.  Relexification of this kind (borrowing a
term which replaces a pre-existing term for a concept) is rather unusual
on the Great Plains.  


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