The sign language of the North American Plains Indians was in use from Manitoba in Canada in the northern Plains to New Mexico in the south, and it was used to overcome language barriers between individuals or groups of the various tribes.
A very short ghost story as told by an Omaha, transcribed in Omaha with English gloss. A natural English translation is given at the bottom.
A Ponca story told by the Omaha Indian Frank La Flèsche to James Owen Dorsey, published in 1890. The text is transcribed in Ponca using the Omaha-Ponca notation, interleaved with Dorsey’s English gloss. There is also a natural English translation of the story provided.
hépe ADJ, N ‘a small amount, ca. half a container; piece, part, some, a bit’ tóa ADJ, PRON ‘any’ / ‘some’ / marker of the head in a relative clause hó᷈õpa wĩ ‘some day, some[…]
Ghost story told by an Omaha to James Owen Dorsey, published in 1890. Original text in Omaha-Ponca, gloss and natural English translation.
Quantifiers (all, some, many, none, every, etc.) play an essential role in semantics. In Chomskyan Universal Grammar theory quantifiers are considered archetypical language elements the notion of which is hard-wired into the brain and thus[…]
Siouan languages and most of all the Degiha-branch languages feature a rich classificatory system based on positional markers. Different stages of grammaticalization can be observed within this system. The positional stative verbs ‘be sitting, be standing, be lying’ are inherently continuative by semantics and are predestined for an aspectual function.
This article (part 2 of 2) describes the process of grammaticalization of the Omaha-Ponca (Siouan, North American) morpheme ama in terms of RRG, including examples employing it in its various stages of grammaticalization.
The three main syntactic functions of the Omaha-Ponca morpheme ama (auxiliary, article, evidential) in their various uses and their semantics and functional variants are analysed under the hypothesis of grammaticalization in different stages. This is part 1 of 2 parts of the article.
All information on the Osage vowel and consonantal systems stems from Quintero’s Osage Grammar (Quintero 2004: 16-42). The Osage vowel system front central back unrounded rounded nasal unrounded rounded unrounded rounded nasal high i (u)[…]
Lakota is a paramount example for a split-intransitive language (or active-stative language) distinguishing between active and stative verbs.
Active-stative languages differ from accusative and ergative languages; they distinguish two basic types of verbs: stative verbs, i.e. verbs expressing states (being sick), and active verbs, i.e. verbs expressing actions (running). In active-stative languages, or[…]
During the great migration of the Degiha tribes, after the Omaha and Ponca separated from the Osage and the Kansa, they continued north to the sacred pipestone quarries, where they encountered resistance by the Dakota and finally had to relocate to the Plains.
A map depicting the geographic distribution of North American Indian language families / languages at the time of European contact.
An historic summary and basic linguistic information on the language of the Osage (wažáže ‘the water people’) people, including language examples.
Orally transmitted history of the great Degiha tribes migration to their later homelands in the Great Plains (Omaha, Ponca, Osage, Kansa, Quapaw) and accounts by Europeans from the 16th and 17th century on.
In Osage, the distinction between standing, sitting, lying and moving objects is fundamental. This positional configuration is inherent to objects, such that for example a dish will always ‘sit’ on the table surface. Speakers must always use speech elements consistently with the according inherent positional properties of an object. Several elements including aspect auxiliaries, positional articles, postpositions are employed in this system.