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

Koontz John E John.Koontz at colorado.edu
Sun Aug 27 00:43:09 UTC 2006

On Wed, 23 Aug 2006, Bob Rankin & Rory M Larson wrote:
> 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
> That thought occurred to me too.  Maybe Kathy or Tom could weigh in here?
> Re Dorsey 1890, I can say that gdhu'ba does not occur in the first 10
> stories, but that bdhu'ga does.

I wonder about that, too.  For example, it seems that gdhe'baN 'ten' is
now universal for earlier gdhe'bdhaN, attested in Say's vocabulary from
before 1823.  But was gdhebaN a variant at that time?  Was it restricted
to Ponca?  Or to particular villages or families?

I looked in Dorsey's texts, and gdhu'ba appears 90:197.19, 648.4, 648.5.
These examples are attributed to S^aN'geska 'White Horse', a member of the
Omaha Wolf Clan - I'm not sure which one this is! - who is described as
understanding Kaw as well as Omaha.  He is noted as a member of the
chief's party, or a conservative.  In 199.4, 199.18 the same man produces

It also appears 90:335.18, 337.4, 337.8, 338.3, 338.7, 338.17, 339.5,
345.11, 345.14, 347.12, 403.14, 406.8, 411.18, 412.3, 412.10, 412.11,
468.9 (all attributed to AN'phaNttaNga, or John Big Elk, who would have to
be a member of We'z^iNs^te 'Willful; Angry' know usually as the Elk Clan).
He is noted a member of the citizen's party, or a progressive.  JBE
produces bdhu'ga 338.12, 349.17.

Also 504.5 (Waz^i'[*g]a Gahi'ga 'Bird Chief', a member of the
Waz^iN'ga=dhatt=a'z^i 'They Do Not Touch Birds' or Bird division of
Dha'ttada 'Lefthand Side', described as an old man whose letter is a good
specimen of the oratorical style.  He is writing to a Ponca man.  In 504.7
504.9 he produces bdhu'ga.

These are exhaustive citations of gdhu'ba, but not of forms produced by
the three speakers in question.

It appears that speakers favor one form or the other - many other
consultants clearly use bdhu'ga only - but, if they use gdhu'ba they still
use bdhu'ga in varying proportions.

Note that these texts date to the 1870s.

It's possible that cases of bdhu'ga in a text by a person also using
gdhu'ba are due to editorial correction or error.  The editor might be
Dorsey or it might be one of his consulting editors, e.g., Francis
LaFlesche and George Miller, or it might also be due to one of his
translators, e.g., ??? Sanssouci (Saunsoci in modern spellling).

Another possibility is that there is nuanced difference of meaning between
bdhu'ga and gdhu'ba, and some speakers prefer one nuance over the other,
though in this case it seems likely that gdhu'ba would occur more widely.

I couldn't find any cases of xabdhe instead of xdhabe' for 'tree'.  Only
xdhabe' is found.  No instances of wabdha'gase or wagdha'base per se, but
waba'gdheze 'book; writing; letter' does occur, upwards of 100 times.  I
assume the etymology is something like 'made striped or, as the case may
be, spotted by pushing'.  I think ba- is also used in cases where pushing
per se is not really evidenced, but the tool used is oblong.  I don't see
any cases of wabdha'geze or waga'bdheze, etc.

More information about the Siouan mailing list