'All' and C + dh Clusters (RE: Osage 'eight')

Rankin, Robert L rankin at ku.edu
Wed Aug 23 21:11:05 UTC 2006

Wonder if gdhuba is found in Ponca too?  I haven't checked Dorsey 1890, but both might tell us something about the age and spread of the metathesis.   Bob


From: owner-siouan at lists.colorado.edu on behalf of Koontz John E
Sent: Wed 8/23/2006 3:56 PM
To: siouan at lists.colorado.edu
Subject: 'All' and C + dh Clusters (RE: Osage 'eight')

On Wed, 23 Aug 2006, Rankin, Robert L wrote:
> > Does Kaw reduce what in OP is gdh- to l-, as I believe happens with
> > Osage?  Could that -loba be equated to OP gdhu'ba, 'all', 'the whole
> > thing'?
> Yes, it does.  But 'all, whole' is /bloga/ in Kaw, so there's been some messing around with the initial cluster.

OP has bdhu'ga ~ gdhu'ba.  I believe the latter is a minority alternate
form involving metathesis.  Compare also xdhabe' ~ xa'bdhe (not xabdhe', I
think) 'tree'.  My impression is that speakers respond to both alternates
in each case and don't deprecate either form, but use only one themselves,
perhaps as a matter of family lect.  I don't think there is any
consistency in pattern, e.g., I seem to recall that my first consultant
said bdhu'ga (not sure) but xa'bdhe (sure).

I assume that the second alternative in each case was originally a faux
pas resulting from the difficulty of the clusters.

It's possible some sort of humor was also originally involved in these
transpositions or modifications, to judge from such English patterns as
"automagically," though I have no evidence for a humorous reading here.
We did have something like that in the case of changing terms for 'St.

Another OP form that has a modification of a C+dh cluster is gdhebaN
'ten', now universal for original gdhebdhaN.  The latter is actually
attested in the 1820s and matches, e.g., Osage lebraN or Dakotan
(wi)kc^emna < PS *kyepraN.

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