town (1)




Proto-Mississipi-Valley *htą́wą

Proto-Dakota *thųwą

Lakota othų́wąhe ‘town’ RTC, EJ , -thųwą ‘clan name suffix’ EJ

Dakota o-toŋ´-we , †othų́we SRR:389

Sioux Valley o-tų́we ‘to live, dwell’ PAS , tųwą


Hoocąk Tomah ‘Wisconsin town (?)’

Proto-Dhegiha *htą́wą (?)

Omaha-Ponca ttǫwǫ ‘town’ RTC , ttą́wą ‘town’ JOD

Kanza/Kaw ttą́mą ‘town’ RR

Osage ṭoⁿ´woⁿ , †htą́wą ‘town, city’ LF:156

Quapaw ttǫ́, ttǫ́wą ‘town’ RR



Biloxi taⁿ, taⁿyaⁿ´, taáⁿ , †tąyą́ ‘town, village’ D&S:271a

General comment

Given its use in clan/band name compounds in Dakotan, this may well be an old term, albeit a widely diffused one, in and outside of Siouan. The term may not be reconstructible in any of the major Siouan subgroups. It is possible that it diffused into the later subgroups like Dakota or DH in time to be reconstructible there if the correspondence sets match. Note that this term apparently had the sequence *-wą at a time when most of the languages which assimilate the sequence to had already done so, thus creating wą/mą contrasts. This is a widespread form with look-alikes in several language families in the eastern part of North America. Cf. Arikara ituúnu Parks; Choctaw: tomaha ~ tamaha (RR); Mobilian: tamaha (JMC-93); Chitimacha: namu Swadesh. Cf. ‘town (1)’. Cf. ‘see (1)’ for a similar form which also argues for rounding assimilation in Dakotan.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources