indefinite/interrogative (2)

particle n/a


Proto-Siouan *-pa


Crow -paa in: sáapaa ‘what’ GG:66

Hidatsa -pá- in: ta•paʔ ‘what is it?’ [ʔ question marker] J , -pa- in: tá•patha• ‘trivial, inconsequential’ [-tha• ‘not’] J , -pa- in: ta•pato•k ‘what could it be?’ J



Dakota apá ‘some, a part, as of a mass of anything’ SRR:41b

Proto-Dhegiha *tópa

Omaha-Ponca dóba RR

Kanza/Kaw dóba ‘some’ RR

Osage dúba , †tópa ‘some’ LF:40a


Catawba hį•pa ‘somebody’ [it is the numeral “one” used as a pronoun] KS:207 , -pə in: tα´pə ‘something’ KS:208 , -pa ‘something’ KS:208 , -pa in: dopa ‘one, somebody’ KS:171 , -pa ‘somebody, someone, something’ KS:171 , -pa in: núpa ‘somebody, someone, something’ KS:171 , -pá ‘somebody’ KS:207 , -pá in: nĕpá ‘there’ KS:227 , -pá , -pá in: dĕpá , -pa , -pa in: yépa , -ba in: čęba

General comment

The variety of first syllables in Catawba constructions with indefinite sense suggests that -pa is indeed a suffix. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that “some” formations from *Ro show both suffixial -pa and suffixial -wa. See †ta• and †Ro.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources