Osage 'eight'

Koontz John E John.Koontz at colorado.edu
Wed Aug 23 21:12:06 UTC 2006

On Wed, 23 Aug 2006, Rory M Larson wrote:
> Hmm.  Well, maybe it's a peculiarity of (modern?) Omaha.  I thought of
> another word that does this too, after sending off the last note.  The word
> for 'paper'/'book' alternates between wabdha'gase and wagdha'base.  Not
> much hope of that one being very old, I suppose.  Come to think of it, I
> don't recall the gdhVbV forms existing even in Dorsey.

Ah, nice one, Rory!  I'm not sure what the etymology is here, or which
form is original.

This reminds me that I've seen some somewhat similar things in Dakotan.
For example, some of the gm-words seem to be modifications of bl- or
gl-words.  I don't recall the specific examples.  Anyway, the sources of
gm are otherwise obscure to me.

I also seem to recall some oddities reported by Shaw or Carter in their
discussions of reduplications.

Anyway, speech errors and/or playing with sounds for effect definitely
occurs in Siouan languages as often as elsewhere.  Incredibly munged forms
in fast speech also occur.  I can think of a few examples of those which
cost me many hours of anguished analysis.  It's just harder to see such
things and deal with them, accepting them for what they are, when one is
struggling hard with the basics.  If the goal is discovering an underlying
perfect form and regular rules for diverging from it, it seems unfair that
the speakers should produce arbitrary or accidental alternate forms with
unselfconscious or even deliberate abandon.

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