black (1)

verb perceptual_visual_color


Proto-Siouan *isá•pE

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *sápE

Proto-Dakota *sápA

Lakota sápA ‘black’ RTC, EJ , -sápA, yu- ‘blacken’ EB:649a, EJ

Dakota sápa ‘black’ WM:18b

Stoney θába ‘black’ PAS

Sioux Valley sápa ‘black’ PAS

Proto-Dhegiha *sá•pe

Omaha-Ponca sá•be ‘black’ RTC, RR

Kanza/Kaw sábe ‘black’ RR

Osage sápe ‘black’ RR

Quapaw sápe ‘black’ RR

Proto-Southeastern *isápi


Biloxi sŭpí, sûpi, sŭp , †sə́pi ‘black’ D&S:258b


Tutelo asùp , †asə́p ‘black’ N, H

General comment

Cf. ‘black (2)’, ‘black (3)’. The various forms of ‘black’ are assumed to derive from four or five proto-forms, related by both fricative symbolism and vocalic ablaut, with further complication due to contamination and analogy.

Most languages have two distinct reflexes; none has three, unless DH is taken to be a single language. Forms in OVS suggest that the basic root had an initial vowel. Accent in most of the languages also suggests that there was an initial syllable. Looking at all four forms together suggests that the initial vowel was *i, centralized to a in Tutelo. Evidence from the northern Siouan languages also suggests that one of the proto-forms may have contained a consonant cluster.

Other languages

  • Yuchi ʔíspi LB
  • Cf. PUA #50 *sakwa ‘blue’ (v. ‘black’) Miller.
Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources