sitting, be; sitting positional

verb physical_somatic_posture

Proto-Siouan-Catawba *wų

Proto-Siouan *rą́•-kE < **wų́•-ke

Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *rá•kE , *ráhku < **ruk-ka

Crow da•čí ‘remain voluntarily’ GG:40 , dahkú ‘stay, live at’ GG:41 , awá•chi ‘sit’ GG:107

Hidatsa rá•kE ‘be siting, be there (sitting)’ [beside wáhku, háhku, pl. á•hku] J , ráhku ‘continue, stay, remain’ J , awá•kE ‘sit down’ J , wá•kE ‘lie, be reclining, stay’ J


Mandan rąk ‘in a sitting position, hanging’ H:164 , rą́ke ‘be alive, sit, hang from’ H:165 , rąkóʔš ‘he’s sitting’ RTC , á•kąrąk ‘sit on something, ride horseback’ RTC

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *rą́kE

Proto-Dakota *yąkA´

Lakota yąká ‘be sitting, exist’ [+ ablaut] RTC

Dakota yaŋ-ká , †yąká ‘be, exist’ SRR:610a

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *ną́ke

Chiwere ną́ŋe ‘be sitting’ GM , mį•ną́ ‘sit’ RR

Hoocąk mįįną́k ‘sit’ KM:2091 , mįįnąk

Proto-Dhegiha *rą

Omaha-Ponca ðą ‘sitting object, definite article’ RR

Kanza/Kaw ‘sitting object, definite article’ RR

Quapaw ‘the singular sitting inanimate’ JOD

Proto-Southeastern *ną́k-

Proto-Biloxi-Ofo *ną́ki

Biloxi na´ñḳi , †ną́ki ‘sitting object, curving object’ D&S:233b

Ofo nô´ñḳi , †ną́ki ‘be sitting, live in a place, stay’ D&S:327a


Tutelo mahan’ñ´ka , †maha_ną́ka ‘sit down’ [pronouns infix] H , nañka , †nąka ‘stay, remain’ H , nañ´ḳe , †ną́ke ‘put down’ DSF


Catawba ‘sit’ KS

General comment

DH has doublets from Proto-Siouan *rą-ke (1) the above definite articles and (2) positional auxiliaries based on *rį- with vowel mutation. Cf. ‘be lying’. We propose a single Proto-Siouan-Catawba root *wų•- ‘stay, be in a place’ that gave rise to doublets in Proto-Siouan, *wą•- ‘lie’ and rą•- ‘sit’ via the independently documented dissimilation of *wų to wą ~ rų ~ rą (cf. ‘ask’, ‘lie’, ‘sing’, ‘song’). This has the advantage of explaining three things via a known process: (1) the fact that Catawba wą(ʔ) means ‘sit’, not ‘lie’, (2) the fact that Dakotan ‘sit’ is conjugated in the first and second persons like a W-stem, and (3) the fact that Hidatsa ‘sit down’ and ‘lie’ differ only by a transitivizing prefix. In addition, while Crow and Hidatsa reflect earlier *wa in these forms, they reflect a co-existent *ru in the positional forms in -hku. These are from *ruk + ka > *ruhka > *rahku by the usual Crow/Hidatsa rightward vowel exchange. It is interesting to note that Mandan and Biloxi have ‘hanging’ as a possible gloss for this root. We doubt that such a shift is convergent, and suspect that this is an old positional meaning. On this point, we note that ‘be hanging’ is the fourth ‘positional’ in Muskogean languages, although it isn’t derivationally related to ‘sit’.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources