female, woman



Proto-Siouan *wi-he or: *wįhe

Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *wía < *wihV J

Crow bi• ‘female animal’ L , bía GG:28, RGG:88 , bíhka GG:29, RGG:2

Hidatsa wía ‘female’ J , wíhka J , míhka

Pre-Mandan *wį•he

Mandan wį́•he ‘woman’ RTC

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *wi-ą ~ *-wį

Proto-Dakota *wį́yą

Lakota wį́yą ‘woman’ RTC

Dakota wį́yą SRR:577

Assiniboine wį́yą [Sask.] PAS

Sioux Valley wíyą PAS

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *hįną́-ke ~ *-wį

Chiwere hįną́ge ‘woman’ [as a suffix in names] GM , -mį RR

Hoocąk hįnų́k, hinų́k ‘woman, queen (playing cards); daughter’ [in compound for ‘wife’, part of proper name marker for females (> -wįga)] KM:973 , hinųk , -wį , -wį

Proto-Dhegiha *wį-ka ~ *-wį

Omaha-Ponca -wį ‘female (suffix)’ F&LF:177 , míga ‘female’ MAS:76

Kanza/Kaw ´-mį ‘female (suffix)’ RR

Osage migá , †mįká ‘female’ LF:90b , -wį , †mįká ‘woman’ LF:91a , -wiⁿ , †mįká

Quapaw -mį ‘female’ RR

Proto-Southeastern *mįhą•

Proto-Biloxi-Ofo *ihą́•

Biloxi yáñki, yañkí, yáñḳi , †iąki D&S:177b

Ofo iyą́•ki ‘female’ JSS , iyā´ñki ‘woman’ D&S:325a , iyą́ , iyáⁿ


Tutelo mihañi, mihañ , †mihą́• ‘woman’ N , mahēi , †mihą́• ‘man (!)’ H , mịhą́̄(i)stik’ , †mihą́• ‘man’ ES , mihā´ⁿ , †mihą́• LJF , miiheã , †mi•hę ‘woman’ FGS:46


Catawba ya• ‘woman’ FS, KS , įya• ‘woman’ MAS, KS:253 , į́•ya ‘woman’ SS, KS:253

General comment

Cf. 1st, 2nd daughter. There seem to be two patterns here, a primary, exemplified in Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan and Tutelo, and a secondary, represented in the other, geographically more central, languages. The older form, with the more diverse distribution and doublets in Tutelo, would appear to have been *wihe or possibly *wįhe (Catawba, if cognate, suggests the latter). The secondary form adds , meaning unknown, as a postclitic. It became fused to whatever stage of development had occurred in the subgroups. The root extension -h(e) is typically lost in MVS languages, and in these cases the resultant form is from *wi-ą. Chiwere, Hoocąk, Dakota, Ofo glides are probably epenthetic. The numerous entries in Riggs, (kin) terms for females that begin with non-nasalized wi-, along with the nasality variation throughout MVS suggest that the initial syllable was not originally nasalized, and that nasalization spread from the second syllable, phonologically where possible, analogically elsewhere, perhaps at different times. The Catawba suggests that initial w- in this set may be a reflex of *wi- ‘animate’.

Other languages

  • Yuchi: wæ̨tʔæ LB
Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources