black > dark (1)

verb perceptual_visual_color


Proto-Siouan *isé•pE

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *sé•pe

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *sé•pe

Chiwere θé•we ‘black’ JDH

Missouria sa wa, Sa wa , †sewe

Hoocąk séep ‘be black’ KM:2811 , seep


Quapaw séwe ‘black’ RR

Proto-Southeastern *isé•pi ~ *isté•pi

Proto-Biloxi-Ofo *isé•pi

Biloxi sépi , †sépi ‘distant, dark color’ D&S:258b

Ofo ĭfthepí, ifthĕ´pi, ĭfthĭ´pi, iftĕ´pi , †ifthépi ‘black’ D&S:324a, JSS


Tutelo asépi, ‘sep’ , †asé•pi ‘black’ H, HW , asté•pih , †asé•pi ‘black’ MMI

General comment

Both Ofo and the Tutelo form collected by Mithun might argue for *st in Proto-Southeastern, but Biloxi and the earlier Tutelo recordings show no trace of the t. While we do not pretend to understand the mechanisms involved, we believe these developments are independent in the two languages, so that the similarity represents convergence. (Note that Ofo shows a similar intrusive t in other forms, cf. ‘brother (5) BrYo’, however Mithun’s Tutelo form may have been contaminated from Iroquoian, where words for ‘black’ contain an st cluster.)

Other languages

  • Yuchi ʔíspi LB
Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources