muskrat, prairie dog (1)

noun animal_rodent

Proto-Siouan-Catawba

Proto-Siouan *sįtpe

Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *cihpa

Crow čihpá ‘prairie dog’ RG

Hidatsa cíhpa ‘prairie dog’ AWJ

Pre-Mandan

Mandan šopkáʔ ‘groundhog, prairie dog’ RTC

Proto-Mississipi-Valley

Proto-Dakota *sįt-pé

Lakota sįkpxé ‘muskrat’ EJ , sįkpé ‘muskrat’ RTC

Dakota siŋtpé , †sįtpé ‘muskrat’ SRR:435a

Stoney sųkpe [Sask.] PAS , sopte [Alta.] PAS , sųpte RV

General comment

A phonetically similar term is reconstructible in Algonquian which may have provided a morphologically opaque loanword. The Algonquian analogs include: Miami sakwa, Shawnee hoθaškwa ‘muskrat’; PA *waʔšaškwa Aubin:2143. A loan based on forms like this might have been reinterpreted by Dakotan speakers as a compound of sįt- ‘tail’ and phe ‘sharp’, but Stoney forms would reflect a certain lack of uniformity in the spread of the folk etymology. An Omaha form, sįsnéde wágiðe ‘muskrat’ (JOD1890:168), does not seem to be truly cognate but also refers to the animal’s long tail. Mandan *kp > pk normally, so Algonquian could still be the source, but Hollow (p. 232) analyzes the term as being derived from šop ‘whistle’. This could represent a different folk reanalysis. Crow and Hidatsa match the Lakota form. The Lakota form with aspiration definitely represents reanalysis as ‘tail’ + ‘sharp’.

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