*kye-tą́he ~ *kye-tų́he
*kyetą́ ~ *kyetų́
‘Black Hawk (name)’
‘smallest variety of hawk’
Ofo tutá ‘hawk’ (DS-331b) looks related, but is from ‘eat’ instead.
Variability between *ą and *ų in MVS is not uncommon, the two
having merged at least partially in DH. This noun is interesting for other
reasons however. It appears to be composed of three elements *kye-,
specific meaning unknown (but cf. *kyą- ‘Buteo’), which is segmentable
only by comparing Mandan with the rest, *-tą́/ų́, the second part the root,
and *-he, a very common final syllable and probable Proto-Siouan suffix.
Root-initial t should be aspirated if its position as second syllable
initial goes back to Proto-Siouan, but it is not, so initial k- may well be the
reflex of an additional syllable. Nor is the second syllable vowel
lengthened. There are several unanswered questions here.