PMV *(wa)the 'skirt'

Koontz John E John.Koontz at
Sun Aug 27 01:26:55 UTC 2006

Mentioning matches of Dakotan #h- and OP #th- reminded me of one of my
favorite lost causes.

OP has wathe' 'dress' < *wathe, which has good cognates elsewhere in
Siouan, but not in Dakotan.  This was also one of the first words in which
th was noticed to contrast with tt, as it was obvious different from
Watte' 'the Elkhorn River'.

A few possible matches in Dakotan:

hepi'ya 'the side or flank of a hill'
hepi'yela 'on the grade of a hill'

Here I assume he < *the, + =pi PLURAL/NOMINALIZER + -A THEME-VOWEL.  The y
between pi and A is epenthetic.  The -(y)A ablauts as in s^ahiya ~
s^ahiye=la, etc.  I assume the figure involved is 'the skirt(s) or
skirting' of the hill = 'the slope or grade', cf. also English

wahe'=c^e=tu 'about ~ wahe'=c^e=l 'about that time'
wahe'=haN 'betimes, in good time'
wahe'=haN=l 'about at that time'

I assume this means 'skirting' (or 'wrapping') the occasion, cf., English
'to skirt the issue'.

Just a couple of outre ideas - a comparativist or at least non-Dakotanist
approach to Dakotan etymology, if you will.

John E. Koontz

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