Noun Stem Tangent (Re: 'snake' and 'god' terms.)
Koontz John E
John.Koontz at colorado.edu
Sun Aug 27 01:59:06 UTC 2006
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006, David Kaufman wrote:
> Wow, interesting! The Biloxi words for 'root' are apparently tudi and
> udi (not sure if there's some semantic difference between the two),
> which I suppose could also possibly incorporate that -ti- root (although
> I'm not sure why t would change to d).
Me either, which is why I feel pretty confident in suggesting this:
I tend to suspect that these forms involve -(d)i in which -(d)i is the
stem-forming vowel, and -d- is *-r- epenthetically inserted between it and
tu- or u-. The gloss here for udi is 'stalk or trunk of a plant' and it
is cognate with PS *hu 'stem, stalk, long bone', cf. OP hi 'stem, stalk',
wahi 'bone'. So, the form is probably u-d-i < *hu-r-e.
I'm sorry I'm such a Johnny-One-Note on this -(d)i thing (cf. also the
Dakotan cognate -(y)A in 'slope of a hill' and 'Cheyenne' earlier today).
It's actually the Richard-One-Note thing, since the idea, at least in
regard to Biloxi is Dick Carter's.
Languages like Biloxi or Mandan where this final vowel formant sticks
around after vowel-final stems and conditions an epenthetic glide are very
helpful, since there is strong tendency in Siouan for this formant to be
lost after vowel-final stems.
The formant does remain widely after consonant final stems, producing the
famous intricacies of Dakotan s^uNka ~ -s^uNke ~ s^unk or siNte' ~ siNl
and the sometimes nightmarish complexities in reconstructing the final
vowel of CVC(V) a stems.
And then there are the languages - well, just Winnebago - where the
glide-vowel becomes a morpheme in its own right. I think this explains
Winnebago =ra 'the' and perhaps also a more obscure =re that I don't fully
understand. I think it might mark object nominalizations or object
relativizations, but I'm not sure. Or maybe it's a ghost. But I'm pretty
sure about =ra < *-r-a.
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