Rory M Larson rlarson at unlnotes.unl.edu
Sun Aug 27 19:24:13 UTC 2006

Could we try to put our assumptions on the table regarding the direction of
loan words?  If I'm understanding correctly, it seems to be agreed that the
word for 'squash' reconstructs phonologically throughout (eastern?)
Algonquian as *eemehkwaan-.  Siouan, on the other hand, does not
reconstruct so easily, though similarities are apparent with each other and
with the Algonquian term.

Model 1.  The term originates in proto-Algonquian and is adopted variously
by different Siouan daughter languages, which means that the term will not
be consistent within Siouan.

Model 2.  The term originates from wherever as an international term and
spreads variously to different languages in eastern North America.  Siouan
is already differentiated into its daughter languages; Algonquian is not.
Thus, proto-Algonquian, proto-Dakotan, proto-Dhegihan, proto-Chiwere, etc.,
might be contemporaries, each adopting a technical term that comes from one
of the Siouan daughter languages or, perhaps more likely, Muskogean or some
other southeastern language.

Either of these models suggests that proto-Siouan is earlier than
proto-Algonquian, and that the spread of the term between the two language
groups takes place after the divergence of proto-Siouan.  The proper level
of comparison for internal consistency would be the Siouan daughter
branches with each other and Algonquian, not all of Siouan with Algonquian.

To choose what language group the term originated from, we should probably
look for corresponding verb roots that really make solid sense for deriving
the noun (not fanciful constructions that might have been chosen to chime
with a foreign term).

In this light, exactly what is the reason for supposing that the 'squash'
term passed from Algonquian to Siouan (or vice versa)?

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