Biloxi, Ofo, and Tutelo-Saponi Language

David Kaufman dvklinguist2003 at
Sun Oct 11 21:18:38 UTC 2009


I think you have fallen victim to one of the pitfalls of working with the 1912 D-S Biloxi-Ofo dictionary - if you rely only on the English index (without tediously checking through all of the Biloxi entry and examining examples) you will more often than not end up with incorrect glosses and translations.

--The Biloxi have the words hakanaki for East, xunumi for North, nyuhuyewade for South, and ide for West.--

(h)akanaki is ((h)aka 'emerge' + naNki 'posit. sit'), the full form of which is ina (h)akanaNki 'sun emerges' (east).  I also have inahuye, which is ina 'sun' + hu 'come' + ye (CAUS), that is, the sun comes (east).  That xunumi 'north' should be xanami, borrowed from Muskogean falammi 'north' (D-S u-breve usually = unstressed a). (See my paper in the Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, 2006.)  That ide actually just means 'fall (of its own accord)' and in the Biloxi section D-S give the word itaduye (yes, under ide!), which, as best I can tell, means iN(na) 'sun' + ta(ho) + du (?) + ye (CAUS) = ~ 'sun falls' (west).  As for south, nyuhuyewade has me perplexed - take off the -wade, which just means 'toward' and you're left with nyuhuye, which appears to mean nyu(?) + hu 'come' + ye (CAUS), but I haven't been able to figure out yet what that nyu refers to.  So it seems to be 'something or other comes' but I don't know what that something coming is.

David Kaufman

--- On Sun, 10/11/09, Scott Collins <saponi360 at> wrote:

From: Scott Collins <saponi360 at>
Subject: Biloxi, Ofo, and Tutelo-Saponi Language
To: siouan at lists.Colorado.EDU
Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 8:35 AM

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 seperatly 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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