Compiled by: Richard T. Carter, Willem de Reuse, Randolph Graczyk, A. Wesley Jones, John E. Koontz. Robert L. Rankin, David S. Rood, Patricia A. Shaw, and Paul Voorhis, at the Siouan Workshop held in the Summer of 1984 at the University of Colorado.
This dictionary is a work in progress. It will probably always be a work in progress. However, it represents a vast amount of time and effort by a large number of people, and all of us agree that it should be made available to other interested people now. While the original data set will be preserved in the form in which the editors, especially Rankin, left it and cannot be changed, there is a way for you to make additions by leaving comments and your thoughts via our commenting feature. Of course we also encourage you to mine it for information which should be double checked before it is utilized. The attached paper (Rankin et al. 1998) summarizes many of the conclusions about proto-Siouan to which the work on the dictionary has led us.
The project which culminates in this work dates to a workshop at the University of Colorado in 1984. A fairly thorough history, including comments on the continuously evolving technological tools, can be found in Rood and Koontz (2002). The primary compiler/analysts were Robert L. Rankin, Richard T. Carter, A. Wesley Jones, John E. Koontz and David S. Rood. Additional data were provided by Jimm Good Tracks, Kenneth Miner, Carolyn Quintero and Kathleen Shea. Since 2011, Iren Hartmann and the computer staff at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have been working to create this web-based version. The main programmers on the project were Robert Forkel and Hans-Jörg Bibiko. Financial support for the 1984 workshop came from NSF (BNS 8406236) and NEH (RD 20477-84). Financial support for the dictionary came from NEH (RT-21062-84; RT-21238-91). The second NEH grant included an offer to match funds we raised elsewhere, and such funds were received from the American Philosophical Society and the University of Colorado.
Because this has been a team effort, there are many inconsistencies. Because it has been developing for so many years, there are features that we no longer understand and abbreviations we no longer remember. Iren Hartmann and her colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have devoted many hours and considerable effort to cleaning out the inconsistencies and typing up loose ends, as well as to the design and functioning of the web site itself. The entire Siouanist community and the other linguists on the project owe Iren a huge debt of gratitude. Even so, there will be plenty of things for readers and users to comment on.
Below is a list of things to watch out for:
Please submit any comments, questions or bug reports (or corrections) to firstname.lastname@example.org and david.rood@Colorado.EDU
This system is no longer productive in any of the languages, but sometimes only one of these grades survives, and it may not be the same grade across the languages. The symbol *S therefore represents one of these sound-symbolic roots where we cannot be sure of the exact grade to reconstruct.
Family tree for languages used in this database; poorly attested languages (e.g. Woccon) are occasionally mentioned but not listed here:
The criteria for including a cognate set in the dictionary were that the set must be attested in two of the three major branches (Missouri Valley, Central Siouan, Ohio Valley). If we had allowed forms that were only attested in Central Siouan, there would have been hundreds of additional entries.
One problem in finding data to compare across Siouan languages is that a very large number of verbs occur with a small number (less than a dozen) of instrumental prefixes. To find the verb root, one has to subtract the prefix – and the languages may not agree on which prefix, if any, can be used with a given root, even if the roots are cognate. John Koontz devised a computer program for automating the subtraction of the prefixes, thus enabling us to find many cognates that would otherwise have been obscured behind the prefixes.
Once that was done, editor A. Wesley Jones discovered that the roots sometimes occurred as doublets, distinguished by one form with an additional consonant at the beginning or at the end, while a second form with a similar meaning would occur without that extra consonant. Jones’s (1990) paper describing this phenomenon can be downloaded below in the References section. One of his examples, from Lakota, is pa-túza ‘bend over’ compared with pa-ptúza ‘bend over’. He termed the “extra” consonant (the p- at the beginning of the second root, after the prefix) a “root extension” and speculated that these root extensions were the remains of a pre-Proto-Siouan layer of morphology. This proposal was not accepted by all the editors, but an analysis of many words into roots and root extensions is presented in the dictionary on the “languages” page under the “proto-Siouan” heading. A word like *sku(he) ‘peel’ will be analyzed as †ku s.h, meaning that the root was **ku, but in this form it has a pre-posed root extension “*s” and a post-posed root extension “*h”. Users of the dictionary should feel free to make use of this proposal if they wish.
Jones, A. Wesley. 1990. The case for root extensions in Proto-Siouan. In Ingemann, Frances, ed. 1990 Mid-America Linguistics Conference Papers, 505-517. Lawrence, Ks.: University of Kansas Department of Linguistics. [PDF]
Rankin, Robert L., Richard T. Carter and A. Wesley Jones. 1998. Proto-Siouan Phonology and Grammar. In Xingzhong Li, Luis Lopez and Tom Stroik, eds., Papers from the 1997 Mid-America Linguistics Conference, 366-375. Columbia: University of Missouri-Columbia. [PDF]
Rood, David S. and John E. Koontz. 2002. “The Comparative Siouan Dictionary Project”. In Frawley, William, Kenneth C. Hill and Pamela Monroe, eds. Making Dictionaries: Preserving Indigenous Languages of the Americas, 259-281. Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press. [PDF]