oak (1)

noun plant

Proto-Siouan-Catawba

Proto-Siouan

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *htá•ška hu

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *thá•ške hu

Chiwere thášku ‘burr oak’ GMsf

Hoocąk čaašgégu ‘oak’ KM:146 , caašgegu

Proto-Dhegiha *htáška hü

Omaha-Ponca ttáška hí ‘white oak’ RTC , ttáška MRG , tashka

Kanza/Kaw ttaška hü ‘burr oak’ RR , ttaská ‘hog acorns; acorns of burr oak’

Osage ṭáshka hi , †htáška hü ‘buckeye, white oak’ LF:138b , ṭashká çkiue , †htašká sküwe ‘sweet acorn’ LF:138b

Quapaw ttašká hi ‘burr oak’ JOD , ttašká ‘acorn’ JOD

Proto-Southeastern *ta•Ska hu• (?)

Proto-Biloxi-Ofo

Biloxi tcaxḳú , †čaxk-ú ‘oak’ D&S:261b , taxkudí, tcûtcáxkudí , †čaxk-ú D&S:261b

Proto-Tutelo-Saponi

Tutelo taskahūi; tāskahōi , †ta•ska-hu•i ‘oak’ HH, N

General comment

Cf. ‘basket’, ‘tree, bone, leg, stalk, stem, trunk’. This may be a southeastern Sprachbund form. Two possible etymologies: 1. ‘acorn + tree’ 2. ‘basket + tree’. The Biloxi word may be an independent borrowing. Only Kanza/Kaw and Osage have the meaning ‘acorn’ with this root, perhaps from a folk etymology? The wide usage of white oak splints for basketry in the southeast makes the second etymology plausible: note Catawba watká ‘white oak’, Seneca -(h/•)węʔka(æ) ‘basketry splint’.

The oak term appears to have been widely borrowed, so the fact that Tutelo has s instead of š or č may simply indicate that the word is a loan. There are a number of other instances in the data in which Tutelo appears to have s for Proto-Siouan however. Compare these other strongly resemblant southeastern forms: Yuchi yʔǫtʔaškʔa ‘post oak’ Crawford; Creek tcoska ‘white oak’ JRS; Alabama tcisha ‘post oak’ JRS; Hitchiti tciski ‘white oak’ JRS; Tunica čuhki ‘oak’ MRH.

Details Language Word Source