salt (2)

noun physical_substance



Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *awaxó•ta

Crow awaxó•sa ‘salt’ GG:14, RGG:13

Hidatsa awaxó•ta ‘salt’ [lit. ‘gray earth’] J

Proto-Southeastern *amą-šikú-e


Ofo amạskū´wĕ , †aməskú•we ‘salt’ D&S:320b, JSS


Tutelo matcigoⁿyóⁿ , †mačikǫ́yǫ ‘salt’ , matsịgǫ́yǫ , †mačikǫ́yǫ ‘salt’ ES

General comment

This is one of those interesting conundra. Proto-Siouan speakers must have had a word for ‘salt’. However in the subgroups, Crow/Hidatsa and OVS have ‘earth, ground, land’ in common but the adjective is different; OVS and MVS (Cf. ‘salt (1)’) have ‘sweet (1)’, the adj., in common, but the noun is different. This particular term is actually not reconstructible. Many of the terms for ‘salt’ in Siouan and sundry southeastern languages incorporate one of about four roots, sometimes compounding them. The compounds were often made up of the predictable items: ‘sweet, gray, water, earth’ with ‘sweet’ and ‘water’ predominating. Such terms seem to be fairly widely diffused.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources