Biloxi, Ofo, and Tutelo-Saponi Language

Rankin, Robert L rankin at
Sun Oct 11 16:28:45 UTC 2009

That's pretty "iffy".  Theoretically it might be possible to proceed if the word had good cognates in Biloxi and Ofo AND cognates in Mississippi Valley Siouan.  This latter would assure us that the word at least existed in a predictable form before the split between Virginia Siouan and Biloxi-Ofo.  Tutelo could then be assumed to have had the word originally even if it was lost later.  To try all of this one would also need to understand the grammars of the languages.  For instance, the Biloxi term for South is obviously poly-morphemic and cries out for analysis.  And what does /eke topi/ really mean?  Is /topi/ somehow related to to:pa 'four'?  What's /eke/?

As for specific directions, it might pay to look at how all the other Siouan languages do it.  In MVS the N/S terms are related to 'upstream' and 'downstream'.  The E/W terms may relate to where the sun rises and sets -- that sort of thing.  It's not possible to do these things in a vacuum by just looking up words in Dorsey and Swanton alone, I'm afraid.


-----Original Message-----
Biloxi, Ofo, and Tutelo-Saponi; these languages have been classed together before. Is it possible to recontruct words that may be missing or unknown from one of these languages as a substitute for the other?
For instance in Tutelo-Saponi I can find no words for the four directions separatly such as North, South, East, West. There is a word that represents the four directions together mon eke topi. The Biloxi have the words hakanaki for East, xunumi for North, nyuhuyewade for South, and ide for West. The Ofo only have two; ano for North and atoki for South. 
I hope this is correct if not please let me know. I am using the Dorsey and Swanton sources on the Biloxi and Ofo languages and the Hale and Oliverio sources on the Tutelo and Saponi languages. 

Scott P. Collins

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