south > downstream

adverb physical_spatial_region



Proto-Mississipi-Valley *(o)-káɣ-(pa)

Proto-Dakota *-okaɣ-

Lakota íyok̇aġa , †íyokaɣa ‘south’ EB:257a , iṫók̇aġa , †itókaɣa ‘south’ EB:241b , iṫók̇aḣwapa , †itókaxwapa ‘towards the south’ EB:241b

Dakota ókaġa , †ókaɣa ‘the south; southwards, downstream’ SRR:359b

Proto-Dhegiha *o-káxpa

Kanza/Kaw ogáxpa ‘Quapaw’ RR

Osage okáxpa ‘Quapaw’ RR , †káxpa ‘the east, where the sun rises’ LF:49a

Quapaw káxpa ‘south, wind or quarter’ JOD , okáxpa idé ‘south, wind or quarter’ JOD, RR

General comment

The distribution of meanings of this set suggests that it does refer to the south. It is often translated ‘downstream’ in both Dakota and DH, particularly Quapaw, but, while this may be its meaning, the translation more likely derives from a combination of (a) the fact that the Mississippi flows south and, (b) the fact that ‘tree branch, creek, stream’ is kaxá, and folk etymology has connected it with okáxpa. A second folk etymology has affected the semantics of the word in Osage, where kax-pa has been reanalyzed as ka- ‘by striking’ and -xpa ‘fall’, cf. o-xpá-ðe, ka-xpa ‘cause to fall, strike down’. Identification of the term with the rising/setting (falling) of the sun may have caused the meaning to be reinterpreted along an east-west axis (v. discussion LF-49a and cf.

-xpa ‘fall, go down’). Cf. ‘towards (2)’ for the suffix here.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources