2 Chiwere questions

Saul Schwartz sschwart at PRINCETON.EDU
Thu Jul 25 15:34:53 UTC 2013

Update: Sky Campbell from the Otoe-Missouria tribal language department
helpfully suggested wiwąxesų for the title of the catechism, from iwąxe
'he/she asks', which makes much more sense than wiwúdhe. Thanks, Sky!

On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM, Saul Schwartz <sschwart at princeton.edu>wrote:

> Dear Siouanists,
> I was hoping you could help me with two Chiwere questions.
> First, I’m here at the Newberry Library in Chicago going through their
> Chiwere materials, and I’m trying to figure out the title of Hamilton and
> Irvin’s 1844 catechism, which in their orthography is WE-WV-HÆ-KJU.
> My best guess for this is Wiwúdhe Gasúⁿ. Wiwúdhe is listed in Jimm’s
> dictionary as meaning “extract or remove water from s.t.; draw out or
> squeeze out moisture from an obj.” Gasúⁿ has a few different meanings along
> the lines of “now; thus; finally,” etc. I can see a metaphorical connection
> between wiwúdhe and a catechism because using a catechism as a method of
> religious instruction through elicitation is a form of drawing out, though
> of religious teachings, not water. So could this be a metaphorical
> application/extension of wiwúdhe? Do other Siouan languages use a similar
> word for catechism?
> In case it helps, here’s a partial decoder ring to H&I’s orthography from
> their grammar:
> W = w as in ‘weep’
> E = e as in ‘me’
> V = I think this is a schwa sound. Here is H&I’s explanation: “<a>
> sometimes appears to have the short broad sound of <a> in . . . ‘what’ . .
> . but in such situations it so nearly resembles the sound of <a> in ‘far,’
> (the difference being about as great as it is in the sound this same letter
> has in the words ‘what,’ ‘fall’) that it is thought inexpedient to employ a
> distinct character to represent this sound. In the first printing done at
> the station, <v> was used to designate this sound.”
> H = h as in ‘hat.’ (But note that H&I have no symbol for the guttural /x/,
> and they sometimes use <h> in places that we write <x> today. For example,
> they published a collection of prayers titled WV-RO-HÆ, which we write
> Waróxi.)
> Æ = a as in ‘fate’
> K = k as in ‘keep.’ (But note that H&I’s orthography only has graphemes
> for the voiceless stop series /p/, /t/, /k/, and /ch/, and they don’t have
> separate graphemes for the voiced series or their voiceless unaspirated
> allophones.)
> J = sh as in ‘she’
> U = u as in ‘true’
> So, converted into modern orthography but preserving the ambiguous
> translations, we have something like: wiw(a/u)(h/x)e(k/g)shu.
> In any case, the fact that I’ve had this much trouble with the title
> doesn’t bode well for my plan to one day go through and decode the whole
> text...
> Second, I was wondering if the -gaxe part of the Chiwere word for book
> (wawágaxe) or writing (wagáxe) can be broken down into smaller morphemes.
> Jimm’s dictionary lists =gaxe as a verbal root meaning “scratch; fashion;
> carve; engrave with an instrument; create” and as an independent verb
> meaning “construct; build; make; create” cognate to the Omaha gáxe and Kaw
> gághe.
> Gáxe looks like it could be composed of gi + a + xe, with gi- being either
> the instrumental prefix “by pushing or striking” or the indirect object
> (“to/for”), the a- looks like the positional “on,” and Jimm’s dictionary
> identifies =xe as a verbal root that refers to “lifting a soft, flat
> object.” I have a feeling the Comparative Siouan Dictionary may have the
> answer, but this is my first time using it, and I’m having some trouble
> reading it, so to speak. It is suggesting that Chiwere gáxe is composed of
> two morphemes, proto-Siouan ká meaning ‘make marks’ and proto-Siouan xE
> meaning ‘surround’? So then is reading the gá in gáxe as gi + a mistaken?
> I’m pasting the relevant entries I could find below.
> GLOSS[ make marks †ka 0.x >mark, scratch
> PSI[ *ká•xE
> OTHREC[ M58 *káx (p.109)
> PCH[ *-ka•xE
> CR[ kaaxi, dúu- ‘scratch, make marks’ RG
> CR[ páakaaxi ‘scratch’ DEC-97
> HI[ ka•xE, ara- ‘scratch with toe’ J
> HI[ ka•xE, nú- ‘make single scratch, mark off, measure’ J
> HI[ ka•xE, pá- ‘make mark by dragging’ J
> MA[ kax, ra- ‘to eat corn from cob’ H-104
> MA[ írukaxka ‘willow rake’ H-106
> PMV[ *ká•ɣE
> PDA[ *káɣA
> LA[ káɣa ‘make’ C
> SV[ káɣa ‘make’
> ST[ gáʕa PAS
> PWC[ *ká•xE
> CH[ gáxe ‘make marks’ Marsh
> WI[ gáax ‘plan’ KM-311
> WI[ gáx, wa- ‘write; draw; owe’ KM-3251
> PDH[ *ká•ɣe
> OP[ gá•xe ‘make’ C, RR {ɣ}(?)
> KS[ gá•ɣe ‘make sth., do sth., pretend, cause’ RR
> OS[ ká•ɣe ‘make’ RR
> QU[ káɣe ‘make, cause’ RR
> QU[ wakákaɣe ‘picture’ (JOD), ‘movie’ RR
> CA[ kače ‘make’ KS < ka + caus. Sp.
> COM[ Since PSI ‘make, do’ appears to have been |*ʔų•|, which became an
> opaque element in numerous compounds, we suspect that this term originally
> meant ‘make marks’ (cf. MRS and Chiwere) and has been broadened in several
> languages to mean ‘make’. The CR, HI, and MA forms may actually belong with
> ‘scrape †ka ʔ.x >scratching noise, scraping noise, sweep’ q.v. All these
> terms may be related by sound symbolism in any event.
> GLOSS[ surround †xE
> PCH[ *xa
> CR[ huupaxáa ‘socks, men’s’ GG-49
> CR[ áaxaa ‘around’ GG-3
> HI[ í•xa ‘net’ J
> HI[ í•xaxihe ‘corral’ J
> HI[ íʔaxa ‘surround’ J
> HI[ hu•paxá ‘socks, stockings; lining of shoe’ J
> WI[ hasá ‘fasten’ Lk 16.6 KM-693 (?)
> BI[ †axí “axí” ‘they swarmed on’ R-172b (?)
> BI[ †ačá “atcá” ‘to kill many’ R-259b (?)
> OF[ †ą́sha “oⁿ´sxa” ‘hunt for game’ DS-328a (?)
> COM[ Cf. ‘surround, head off, intercept †nąse’.
> Any insight you could share would be much appreciated!
> Best,
> Saul
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