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Sketch of Lakhota, a Siouan Language. Pt.II

DAVID S. ROOD AND ALLAN R. TAYLOR

Handbook of North American Indians, Vol.17 (Languages), pp.440-482.

Copyright 1996 by Smithsonian Institution. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

9. Verbs
9.1. Sentence and Affix Types
9.1.1. Impersonal Verbs
9.1.2. Stative Verbs
9.1.3. Stative transitive Verbs
9.1.4. Active intransitive Verbs
9.1.5. Active transitive Verbs
9.1.6. Verbs Requiring Three Complements
9.2. Verbal Derivation
9.2.1. Complex Stem Formation
9.2.2. Class-changing Processes
9.2.2.1. Causatives
9.2.2.2. Inceptives
9.2.2.3. Deactivization or Stativization
9.3. Verb Inflection
9.3.1. Stative Affixes
9.3.2. Object Affixes
9.3.3. Active Subject Affixes
9.3.4. Two-affix Combinations
9.3.5. Irregular Verbs
9.3.6. Reflexive Verbs
9.3.7. Reciprocal Verbs
9.3.8. Reflexive Possessive, Dative, and Benefactive Verbs
9.3.8.1. Reflexive Possessive
9.3.8.2. Dative
9.3.8.3. Benefactive
10. Enclitics
11. Selected Vocabulary

9. Verbs

Because it is the only obligatory element in the sentence, the verb is the most important kind of word in Lakhota. It is also the most complex. Analyzing verbs requires taking into account three different kinds of information: in what kinds of sentences a given verb may occur, what affixes or other markings a given verb may have, and how a verb may be expanded or changed in its basic meaning.

9.1. Sentence and Affix Types

Part of the meaning of every Lakhota verb is a specification of the number of “participants” (the technical term is “arguments”), or things to which nominals or pronominal affixes can refer, in the event the verb describes. Simple sentences can, depending on the verbal category, imply zero, one, two, or three participants.

Verbs that imply one participant are in turn divided into two groups, depending somewhat on what they mean. If the verb describes an activity over which its participant has control, or which the participant can carry out willfully, it will select an affix from the set that marks the subject (technically, “agent”) of a two-participant sentence. But if the situation described by the verb involves no will or control on the part of its participant, then that participant will be marked as if it were the object (technically: “patient”) of a two-argument verb. These semantic definitions are not perfectly reliable, and occasionally a verb takes affixes that seem to belong logically to the other category. For example, ni' ‘to be alive, not dead’ takes agent forms, while kiN'za ‘squeak, as a mouse does’ takes patient forms. See Legendre and Rood (1992) for a detailed discussion of these two classes.

Verbs thus fall into several classes according to their participant types: impersonal (no participants), stative (one objectlike participant), active intransitive (one subjectlike participant), transitive (two participants), and ditransitive (three participants). There is also a sixth class with very few members that ‘takes two objectlike participants: this class is called “stative transitive.” These verbs are so rare that “stative” will be used consistently for the one-participant statives in what follows, and “transitive” for “active transitive.”

9.1.1. Impersonal Verbs

Impersonal verbs do not take any personal affixes. Most of them are limited semantically to expressions of natural states such as the weather or the time of day. Examples include:
ANpe'tu kiN le' osni'.It’s cold today.’
Mahe'l o?i'yokpaze.It was very dark inside.’
Ic^a'mna h^c^e s^ni.‘It’s not snowing much.’
HaNhe'pi.It is night.

There is also a small number of impersonal verbal expressions that refer to speaker-perceived states such as obligations, necessity, apparentness, and the like. Here are examples with the verbs phi'c^a, iye'c^hec^a, s?ele'c^hec^a, and he'c^ha:
Ec^huN'phi'c^as^ni.
dofeasiblenot
It can not be done, it is not feasible.’
Wic^hiN'c^alakiNkhu'z^aiye'c^hec^a.
little.girlthesickseem
It seems that the dog has eaten the meat.’
S^uN'kakiNthalo'kiNyu'tes?ele'c^hec^a.
dogthemeattheeatseem
It seems that the dog has eaten the meat.’
Phez^u'taetaN'iya'c^uktehe'c^ha.
medicinesomeyou.takepotentialbe.necessary
‘You must take some medicine’.

These verbs can all be used with stative personal affixes, but with somewhat different meanings. For example, with personal affixes he'c^ha means ‘to be such a one’ and phi'c^a means ‘to be glad’.

9.1.2. Stative Verbs

Stative verbs ordinarily describe states or conditions. They are most reliably identified not by their meaning, but by the personal affixes they take. ‘I’ and ‘you’ with stative verbs are always expressed by ma and ni respectively. (Further details of affixation are given in 9.3.)

Examples of stative verbs are khu'z^A ‘nauseated’ (makhu'z^e ‘I am nauseated’), i'-puza ‘thirsty’ (i'-mapu'za ‘I am thirsty’), was^te' ‘good’ (niwa's^te ‘you are good’), and zi' ‘yellow; pale’ (nizi' ‘you are pale’).

Almost all nouns can also be used as stative verbs identifying the noun, although the verb he'c^ha ‘to be such a one’ can also provide this meaning:
Wima'c^has^a.
Wic^ha's^a hema'c^ha.
‘I am a man.’
Nila'khota he?
Lakho'ta heni'c^ha he?
‘Are you an Indian?’
He' c^haN'.‘That is a tree.’
Hena' s^uN'ka pi.‘Those are dogs.’

9.1.3. Stative transitive Verbs

Some transitive verbs (see 9.1.) permit two patients in their semantics. Most common among of them is itha'wa ‘own’ (see 8.4.1.), with which one can say Nimi'thawa ‘you are mine’. Other examples are iye'nimac^hec^a ‘you look like me’ and iyo'nimakiphi ‘l find you congenial’. Additional examples are given in Boas and Deloria (1941:77).

9.1.4. Active intransitive Verbs

Active intransitive verbs are, like stative verbs, restricted to sentences with one participant; but these verbs take the affixes wa ‘I’ and ya ‘you’ (or variants thereof, see 9.3.), instead of ma and ni. Semantically, most of these verbs describe actions that the subject can perform. Examples include hi' ‘arrive’ (wahi' ‘I have arrived’), wac^hi' ‘dance’ (wawa'c^hi ‘I dance’), oki'hi ‘be able’ (oya'kihi ‘you can’), and na'z^iN ‘stand’ (naya'z^iN ‘you stand’).

9.1.5. Active transitive Verbs

Active transitive verbs require two participants in their sentences, an agent (subject) and a patient (object). Consequently they also permit two affixes to occur with them (inflectional details are given in 9.3.). Examples include waNyaN'kA ‘see’, aphA' ‘hit’, slolyA' ‘know’, iye'yA ‘find’, and kte' ‘kill’.

Many Lakhota transitive verbs correspond to English verbs that are optionally transitive. For example, in English people say ‘we are eating now’ or ‘we are eating meat’; the first sentence uses ‘eat’ intransitively, the second uses it transitively. Very few Lakhota verbs have this option. Two that do are s^ka'tA ‘play’ or ‘play a game’ and haNble' ‘dream’ or ‘dream about’. A Lakhota transitive verb that is used as an intransitive verb ordinarily requires the prefix wa-, which attributes an indefinite or implied object to the verb: nah^?uN' ‘to hear’, wana'h^?uN ‘to listen; to obey’; manu' ‘to steal an object’, wama'nu ‘to steal things’. In some cases this wa- is concealed by sound changes: yu'tA ‘to eat’, but wo'tA ‘to eat a meal’; iwaN'yaNkA ‘to examine, look at’; wi'waNyaNkA ‘to examine things; to make a judgment.’

9.1.6. Verbs Requiring Three Complements

Finally, there are a few Lakhota verbs that require three participants in their sentences. Verbs of this kind are k?u' ‘to give something to someone’ and la' ‘to ask someone for something’.

Actually, most transitive and active and some stative verbs permit an indirect object (8.) in their sentence, but in this case the form of the verb itself is changed to show that a third participant has been added (9.3.8.).

9.2. Verbal Derivation

9.2.1. Complex Stem Formation

Lakhota speakers freely form compound verb stems for special meanings. Usually this is accomplished by prefixing a noun, an adverb, or another verb to the basic root. Thus from waya'wa ‘to read; to attend school’ and gli' ‘to arrive home, coming’ is derived waya'wa-gli' ‘to have come home from school’; with iglu's^tAN ‘to finish for oneself is formed waya'wa-iglu's^tAN ‘to have finished school’, and so on. Some other examples include:

s^uNn^?a'kaNyaNkA (s^uN'ka ‘horse’, akaN' ‘on’, yaNkA' ‘sit’) ‘to ride horseback’

loc^hiN' (lo ‘food’, not used as a free form today, and c^hiN' ‘want’) ‘to be hungry’

waks^i'yuz^az^a (waks^i'c^a ‘dishes’, yuz^a'z^a ‘to wash’) ‘to wash dishes’

i'-puza (i' ‘mouth’, pu'zA ‘be dry’) ‘to be thirsty’

In addition to these more or less obvious compounds, complex stems are often formed with prefixes. The first set of these prefixes sometimes, but not always, has adverbial meanings: i- ‘with, instrumental’, o- ‘inside’, a- ‘on the surface of: because of’, khi- ‘at the middle’.

Examples of these prefixes are:

iya'tkAN (yatkAN' ‘to drink’) ‘to drink with, to use for drinking’

otho' (tho' ‘to be blue or green’) ‘to be bruised’

ona'phA (naphA' ‘to run away, to flee’) ‘to flee into’

apa'h^pa (pah^pa' ‘to push over’) ‘to push over onto’

ale'z^A (le'z^A ‘to urinate’) ‘to urinate on’

ac^haN'tes^ic^A ‘to be sad because of’ (c^haNte's^ic^A ‘to be sad’)

khic^a'ksA {kaksA' ‘sever by striking’) ‘to break in the middle by striking’

khiwa'psakA (wapsa'kA ‘to sever a string’) ‘to cut a string in two’

The meaning that has been added by the prefix is not always easy to specify. Compare, for example, oma'ni ‘to travel’ and ma'ni ‘to walk’: ayu's^tAN ‘to leave alone’ and yus^tAN' ‘to finish’.

In a few cases, verbs exist only with the prefix; an equivalent form without the prefix cannot be found. An example of this is ali' ‘to climb on, to step on’.

Another set of prefixes has clear instrumental meaning. Seven of these are used very frequently; an eighth appears rarely. The instrumental prefixes often appear together with one of the adverbial prefixes just discussed.

In some cases the prefixes are added to verbs that are also used without the instrumental prefixes. In other cases (probably in most), an equivalent verb without the prefix is not used. The prefixes, with examples, are given beginning with the rather rare prefix pu-:
pu- ‘by generalized pressure’
puspA' ‘to glue, to seal’
opu'g^i ‘to stuff soft material into an opening’
ka-‘by means of a blow’
kac^he'yA ‘to cause to cry by striking’
kable'c^A ‘to shatter by hitting’
kah^lo'kA ‘to chop a hole in something’

ka is also used in verbs that refer to action of wind, or other more or less spontaneous actions:
kaz^o' ‘to fart’
kag^aN' ‘to blow open’.
na-‘by foot action’
nat?A' ‘to kill by stepping on’
nable'c^A ‘to shatter something with the foot’
nah^lo'kA ‘to kick a hole in something’.

na- is used in verbs that refer to action accomplished by heat. It is also used when the action occurs by spontaneous inner force:
nas^li' ‘to ooze out’
nagmu' ‘to curl up, to twist (drying material)’
nas^a' ‘to blush’.
pa-‘by pushing or by pressure with the hands or the body’
pa?i'le ‘to ignite by pushing, as a flashlight’
pable'c^A ‘to shatter by sitting on’
pah^lo'kA ‘to pierce the ears’
wa-‘by cutting with a blade’
waz^a'z^a ‘to notch, to make forked by cutting or sawing’
wable'c^A ‘to shatter by attempting to cut’
wah^lo'kA ‘to make a miscut while skinning’
wo-‘by piercing with a pointed object’
woh^la' ‘to make something sound (ring) by shooting it’
woble'c^A ‘to break into pieces by striking with a pestle or by shooting’

wo- is also used in verbs that refer to action by blowing:
wo?i'le ‘to make a fire blaze by blowing on it’.
ya-‘by means of the mouth or the teeth; by speaking’
yah^ta'kA ‘to bite’
yable'c^A ‘to shatter by biting’
yah^lo'kA ‘to gnaw a hole’
yas^i'c^A ‘to malign’ (‘bad mouth’)
yu-‘by means of the hands’
yug^aN' ‘to open up’ (as a door or window)
yuble'c^A ‘to shatter with the hand’
yuh^lo'kA ‘to make a hole with the hand’

yu- is also used in verbs that have a general causative meaning (9.2.2.1).

9.2.2. Class-changing Processes

The verbs that fit into the categories in 9.1. may either belong there inherently or be brought into that category by a derivational process. Thus, for instance, stative and intransitive verbs may be made transitive (‘be sick’ changes to ‘make sick’ or ‘sing’ changes to ‘cause to sing’ or ‘let sing’). The indefinite object prefix wa (9.1.4.) could be listed here, too, as a device-for changing transitive verbs into active intransitives.

9.2.2.1. Causatives

Lakhota stative and intransitive verbs are made transitive by means of a causative construction. Transitive verbs may also be made causative, in which case they become ditransitive verbs. There are three causative constructions:

1) Stative verbs that describe size or shape (so that the change being caused is one of degree, not of kind) and verbs of value judgment are made causative with the instrumental prefix yu (9.2.1.):
c^i'k?ala ‘small’yuc^i'k?ala ‘reduce in size’
haN'ska ‘long’yuhaN'ska ‘lengthen’
taNyaN' ‘well’yutaN'yaN ‘make right, fix up’
was^te' ‘good’yuwa's^te ‘improve, correct’.

2a) Stative verbs that refer to other kinds of conditions are made causative by using the suffixed auxiliary -yA; -yA is an active verb. Examples:
g^u' ‘be burned’g^uyA' ‘to scorch’
sa'pA ‘to be black’sabyA' ‘to blacken’.

An interesting illustration of the meaning differences between (1) and (2a) is the root ska' ‘be white’, which accepts both causatives: yuska' means ‘to clean; to make whiter’, while skayA' means ‘to paint white; to whiten’.

Many of the verbs that take -yA' for the general causative also take instrumental prefixes for special kinds of causative meaning; in these cases -yA is not used. Thus, from khu'z^A ‘to be nauseated’ can be derived yukhu'z^A ‘to harass someone until he becomes sick’ and yakhu'z^A ‘to talk someone into being sick’.

2b) Active and transitive verbs may also be made causative with -yA if the causation was accidental or unintentional or indirect:

c^hiN' ‘want’, c^hiNyA' ‘to cause to want’ (for example, to cause someone to want food by eating in front of him)

mag^a'z^u ‘to rain’, mag^a'z^uyA ‘to cause to rain’ (for example, by doing something unusual; a lazy person suddenly beginning to work hard is said to make it rain)

yuha' ‘to have’, yuha'yA ‘to cause someone to have (perhaps by leaving it behind at his house)’

c^he'yA ‘to cry’, c^he'yeyA ‘to cause to cry (by telling a sad story, perhaps)’.

Some verbs with the causative auxiliary -yA have no currently used non-causative. Such are slolyA' ‘to know’ and iye'yA ‘to find’.

3) When the causation is intentional, or when there is no desire to stop the action, active verbs are made causative by use of the active auxiliary verb -khiyA. English translations are more often ‘let’ than ‘make’:

c^he'yekhiyA ‘to let cry (without trying to stop)’

yuha'khiyA ‘to let have (carry); to have carry’

o'kiyekhiyA ‘to let help’.

If a transitive verb is used with -khiyA, the main verb as well as the auxiliary may take affixes (the main verb takes object affixes only):
o'makiyec^hi'c^hiyiNkte
help.me.I.let.youpotential
‘I will let you help me’.
o'nic^iyewakhi'ye
help.you.I.let.you
‘I let him help you’.

9.2.2.2. Inceptives

Moving into the state designated by a stative verb is indicated in two different ways. Either ki- is prefixed to the verb, or the auxiliary verb a'yA is used. Probably a'yA is the verb ‘to bring’, since other verbs of bringing and taking also occasionally mean ‘begin to’, but in this construction it functions like a stative verb. In fact although the meaning shift for this construction seems to be from stative to active intransitive, the formal affixation pattern for both the derived and underived constructions remains that of stative verbs. Examples are:
kisku'yA‘to become sweet’
c^he'pa a'yA‘to get fat’.

In some cases a verb can be used with both, but with different meanings:
kithaN'ka‘to grow old’
thaN'ka a'yA‘to get big’.

In most instances, ki- imparts a meaning of inevitable change into the state mentioned by the verb, change over which the referent has no control.

9.2.2.3. Deactivization or Stativization

There is no obvious formal process whereby active verbs may be shifted to the stative category. (In English this is done by the use of passive participles: break->be broken, find->be found, etc.) Such notions are expressed in Lakhota by using the third-person plural subject form (marked by pi after the verb) of an active transitive verb: ‘they broke it’, ‘they found him’, etc.

However, there is some syntactic evidence that pi in this construction is genuinely a passive marker rather than the subject pluralizer. With verbs like ‘seem’, most linguists agree that the subject of ‘seem’ and the subject of its complement have to be the same. Thus in ‘She seemed to hit him’ and ‘She seemed to have been hit’, "she" is the subject of both verbs in both sentences even when, logically, “she” is the recipient or patient of the second one. If this is so, then in the Lakhota sentence ama'pha pi s?ele'mac^hec^a ‘I seem to have been hit’, ma rather than pi must represent the subject of ama'pha pi. Obviously, this analysis relies on a very specific notion of  “subject.” This notion has not yet been well explored for Lakhota.

9.3. Verb Inflection

Lakhota verbs may be inflected to indicate the person and number of subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, and possessors of objects. Inflection involves the addition of affixes to the verb. Note that “affix” is used here as a cover term for prefix, suffix, and infix; an infix is an element inserted into a stem. Many of the inflectional morphemes in Lakhota are either prefixed or infixed, depending on the verb. Sometimes the infixing is only apparent, as when the inflection follows a derivational prefix such as na- ‘by means of the foot’. Thus a sequence like na-wa'-t?e ‘I killed it with my foot’ (from nat?e' ‘to die or kill by means of foot action’) technically consists of two prefixes and a root. However, there are many cases where the inflectional morpheme is inserted into an otherwise (synchronically) unanalyzable stem, such as ma'ni ‘to walk’ (mawa'ni ‘I walk’), or ophe'thuN ‘to buy’ (ophe'wathuN ‘I buy/bought it’), or wic^ha's^a ‘man’ (wima'c^has^a ‘I am a man’). In accord with Lakhota grammatical tradition and (most) native-speaker intuition, all the inserted inflectional elements are here called “infixes,” and both these infixes and all the prefixes are called “affixes.”

In addition to affixes, all verbal paradigms make use of the enclitic pi to mark a plural argument. An enclitic is like a suffix, except that it is a separate word.

The discussion of verb inflection can be divided into 10 subtopics: stative affixes, object affixes, active subject affixes, two-affix constructions, irregular paradigms, reflexives, reciprocal constructions, reflexive possessive, dative constructions, and benefactive constructions.

9.3.1. Stative Affixes

The basic paradigm has positions for three persons and three numbers, although the dual is available only for the first-person inclusive subject (‘you and I’, but not ‘he and I’). It is tempting to analyze the uN(k) without pi (the dual) as “inclusive singular” and thus make pi a consistent marker of the plural. This analysis must be rejected because pi is added to all objects (not stative subjects), both dual and plural, and pi neutralizes the inclusive/exclusive distinction.

In the third person, plural is marked for animate nouns only; inanimate plurals are marked by reduplication of the verb stem (see 4.3.2.8.). When the plural refers to human beings there is yet another distinction: distributive versus collective. “Distributive plurals” focus on plurality as a collection of separate individuals, while “collective plurals” focus on persons whose identities are fused into a group. An English noun with just these kinds of meanings is the word “family.” When the verb used with family is singular (My family is waiting for me), the noun is collective in meaning. When the verb is plural (My family are all living in California now), the meaning is distributive. Many Lakhota verbs do not have collective forms; when such forms do not exist, the distributive plural forms are used instead. The collective sense is not necessarily lost in such cases, since a noun with collective meaning (or a quantifier such as oya's?iN ‘all of a collective human group’) may also be present in the sentence.

Here are the personal affixes used in the inflection of stative verbs.
SingularDualPlural
1. ma-uN(k)-uN(k)-...pi
2. ni-ni-...pi
3. 0-0-...pi distributive
wic^ha- collective

0 means that there is no affix for that person.

uN(k) is written in this way to indicate that uN is used if any consonant but /?/ follows the affix, while uNk appears if a vowel or /?/ follows.

There are three patterns for the placement of these affixes in the verb: all affixes are prefixed: all affixes are infixed: uNk is prefixed and the others are infixed. Here are sample paradigms of each type:
haN'skA ‘be long or tall’ (prefix type)
SingularDualPlural
1. mahaN'ske
  ‘I am tall’
uNhaN'ske
‘you and I are tall’
uNhaN'ska pi
‘we are tall’
2. nihaN'ske
 
‘you are tall’
nihaN'ska pi
‘you are tall’
3. haN'ske
 
‘he is tall’
haN'ska pi ‘they are tall’ (distributive)
wic^ha'haNske ‘they are tall’ (collective)

 

i'-puza ‘be thirsty’ (infix type)
SingularDualPlural
1. i'-mapu'za
  ‘I am thirsty’
i'-?uNpu'za
‘you and I are thirsty’
i'-?uNpu'za pi
‘we are thirsty’
2. i'-nipu'za
 
‘you are thirsty’
i'-nipu'za pi
‘you are thirsty’
3. i'puza
 
‘he is thirsty’
i'-puza pi
‘they are thirsty’

 
uNspe' ‘to know how to’ (mixed type)
SingularDualPlural
1. uNma'spe
  ‘I know how to’
uNkuN'spe
‘you and know how to’
uNkuN'spe pi
‘we know how to’
2. uNni'spe
 
‘you know how to’
uNni'spe pi
‘you know how to’
3. uNspe'
 
‘he knows how to’
uNspe' pi
‘they know how to’

The stative paradigm is completely regular: there are no further subtypes within this conjugation. In particular, verbs such as yaNkA' ‘to sit,’ of which the first-person form is maNke', are not stative. See the description of active nasal stems in 9.3.3., and note that when an object affix appears on this verb in the construction described at the end of 8.5.3., the form is mayaN'ke.

One further remark about the use of the stative verb inflection is in order. Stative verb affixes are regularly used to identify the possessor of an inalienably possessed noun (8.4.1.) that is the subject of a stative verb:
Nata'(kiN)maya'zaN
headtheI.hurt
My head hurts.’
Nape'(kiN)mas^paN'
handtheI.burn
‘I burned my hand.’
PhehiN'(kiN)nisa'bsapa
hairtheyou.black
You have black hair.’

9.3.2. Object Affixes

The paradigm for transitive objects (assuming a third-person singular subject) is almost like that for stative verb subjects, but there are two differences: first, there is no collective versus distributive distinction: the collective affix of the stative paradigm is used for all animate plural objects. Second, there is no separate form for the dual; pi is used with uN(k) whenever it marks the object. Here are the object affixes:
SingularPlural
1. ma     uN(k)...pi
2. nini...pi
3. 0wic^ha

The placement of these affixes follows the same three patterns observed with the stative verbs: uN(k) may be prefixed while the others are infixed, or all may follow the same pattern. Here are three paradigms:
khi'zA ‘to attack; begin a fight with’
(prefix type)
Singular    Plural
1. makhi'ze
‘he attacked me’
uNkhi'za pi
‘he attacked us’
2. nic^hi'ze
‘he attacked you’
nic^hi'za pi
‘he attacked you’
3. khi'ze
‘he attacked him
wic^ha'khize
‘he attacked them’
slolyA' (infix type)
Singular    Plural
1. slolma'ye
‘he knows me’
slol?uN'yaN pi
‘he knows us’
2. slolni'ye
‘he knows you’
slolni'yaN pi
‘he knows you’
3. slolye'
‘he knows him
slolwi'c^haye
‘he knows them’
aphA' ‘to hit’ (mixed type)
Singular     Plural
1. ama'phe
‘he hit me’
uNka'pha pi
‘he hit us’
2. ani'phe
‘he hit you’
ani'pha pi
‘he hit you’
3. aphe'
‘he hit him’
awi'c^haphe
‘he hit them’

9.3.3. Active Subject Affixes

The active subject affixes come in three slightly different paradigms, all of which have the same positional arrangements (prefix, infix, mixed). The three paradigms differ only in the form of the affixes used for ‘I’ and ‘you’. The remainder of the subject affixes are as in the stative paradigm except that motion verbs have a rather than wic^ha' as the affix of the collective plural. Note that uN(k) may mark either subject or object; its correct meaning has to be read from another affix or from the context. In y-stems, the y- changes to /l/ after first-person singular b- and disappears after l- in the second person. Actually, both y-stem and nasal-stem affixes are probably to be derived from the wa- and ya- of regular verbs by a series of phonological rules involving loss of the vowel of the affix and subsequent consonant assimilations. For detailed discussion, see Carter (1974:130-154) and Koontz (1983).

Here is a chart of the three sets or active subject affixes:
1. Regular2. Y-stem3. Nasal Stem
Singular1. wa
2. ya
3. 0
b
l
0
m
n
0
Dual1. uN(k)uN(k)uN(k)
Plural1. uN(k)...pi
2. ya...pi
uN(k)...pi
ya...pi
uN(k)...pi
ya...pi
Distributive3. 0...pi0...pi0...pi
Collectivea / wic^haa / wic^haa / wic^ha

The inflectional paradigm that is used for each active verb is partially predictable. For example, the affixes of paradigm 2 (y-stem) are used most often with verbs that have /y/ followed by an oral vowel at the point where the affix is added: the affixes of paradigm 3 (nasal stem) are used most often with verbs that have /y/ or /?/, followed by a nasalized vowel at the point where the affix is added. There are a few exceptions to these general rules.

Given below are paradigms of verbs with active affixes. No attempt is made to illustrate the prefix-infix-mixed types, since the variations are exactly the same as for the stative or object affix paradigm types.

Examples of Paradigm I (regular)
hi' ‘arrive coming’
SingularDualPlural
1. wahi'
‘I came’
uNhi'
‘you and I came’
uNhi' pi
‘we came’
2. yahi'
‘you came’
yahi' pi
‘you came’
3. hi'
‘he came’
hi' pi
‘they came’ (distributive)
ahi'
‘they came’ (collective)

slolyA' ‘know’ (looks like y-stem, inflected regularly)
SingularDualPlural
1. slolwa'ye
‘I know’
slol?uN'ye
‘you and I know him’
slol?uN'yaN pi
‘we know him’
2. slolya'ye
‘you know him’
slolya'ya pi
‘you know him’
3. slolye'
‘he knows him’
slolya' pi
‘they know him’

 
?uN' ‘be (exist); stay’
(looks like nasal stem; inflected regularly)
SingularDualPlural
1. wa?uN'
‘I am’
uNk?uN'
‘you and I are’
uNk?uN' pi
‘we are’
2. ya?uN'
‘you are’
ya?uN' pi
‘you are’
3. uN'
‘he is’
uN' pi
‘they are’

Examples of Paradigm 2 (y-stem)
yuha' ‘have’
SingularDualPlural
1. bluha'
‘I have it’
uNyu'ha
‘you and I have it’
uNyu'ha pi
‘we have it’
2. luha'
‘you have it’
luha' pi
‘you have it’
3. yuha'
‘he has it’
yuha' pi
‘they have it’

 
waNyaN'kA ‘to see’
(looks like nasal stem; inflected like a y-stem)
SingularDualPlural
1. waNbla'ke
‘I have it’
waN?uN'yaNke
‘you and I have it’
waN?uN'yaNka pi
‘we have it’
2. waNla'ke
‘you have it’
waNla'ka pi
‘you have it’
3. waNyaN'ke
‘he has it’
waNyaN'ka pi
‘they have it’

Note that /aN/ is changed to /a/ following  /l/ in the ‘I’ and ‘you’ forms.

Examples of Paradigm 3 (nasal stem)
?uN' ‘to use; to wear’
SingularDualPlural
1. mu'
‘I used it’
uNk?uN'
‘you and I used it’
uNk?uN' pi
‘we used it’
2. nu'
‘you used it’
nu' pi
‘you used it’
3. uN'
‘he used it’
uN' pi
‘they used it’

Note that some of the forms of this verb are identical to some forms of ?uN' ‘exist’.
ec^ha'?uN ‘to do’
SingularDualPlural
1. ec^ha'mu
‘I did it’
ec^huN'k?uN
‘you and I did it’
ec^huN'k?uN pi
‘we did it’
2. ec^ha'nu
‘you did it’
ec^ha'nu pi
‘you did it’
3. ec^huN'
‘he did it’
ec^huN' pi
‘they did it’

Note that most forms of this verb have the loss of /a?/ described in 4.3.1.3.
yaNkA' ‘to be seated’
SingularDualPlural
1. make'
‘I am seated’
uNyaN'ke
‘you and I are seated’
uNyaN'ka pi
‘we are seated’
2. nake'
‘you are seated’
naka' pi
‘you are seated’
3. yaNke'
‘he is seated’
yaNka' pi
‘they are seated’ (distributive)
wic^ha'yaNke
‘they are seated’ (collective)

Verbs of motion utilize a collective prefix a different from that of other intransitive verbs. If the verb begins with i, the prefix a coalesces with the initial i of the stem to yield e':

a'ye ‘they went (collective)’; compare ya' pi ‘they went (distributive)’

e'yaye ‘they (collective) started out, going’; compare iya'ya pi (distributive)  compare iya'ya pi (distributive)

e'naz^iN ‘they (collective) went and stood’; compare ina'z^iN pi (distributive)

9.3.4. Two-affix Combinations

Transitive verbs take two affixes whenever the subject and object are grammatical persons marked by affixes. The same is true of stative transitive verbs (9.1.3.). When two affixes are present, the usual order is first the object affix, then the subject affix. Another description of the order of sequence in the affixes would be (third person) (second person) (first person). This would eliminate rule 3 below, but not rule 1 in all cases. Similarly, describing the order as (third) (first) (second) would eliminate rule 1. but not rule 3. The object-subject description seems better, since there are other ways in which uN(k) is exceptional (e.g., prefixing to verbs where other affixes infix).

The combinations of affixes that appear are usually as given in the object and subject paradigms outlined in 9.3.2. and 9.3.3., but there are some additional complexities that cannot be predicted from a simple blending of the two sets. The complexities involve the affixes, some verb stems, and the enclitic pluralizer pi.

With respect to the affix combinations, the following rules apply:

1) uN(k) precedes all affixes but wic^ha

2) The combination of ‘I’ subject and ‘you’ object is represented in transitive verbs by a single affix: c^hi.

3) In the stative transitive verbs, ni always precedes ma, regardless of the grammatical functions of the affixes. The meaning of verbal forms of this kind is therefore ambiguous.

4) y-stem or nasal stem transitive verbs with ‘you’ subject and ‘me’ or ‘us’ object have yal or yan, respectively, for ‘you’.

Verbs that require uN(k) prefixed, but the others inserted, present a problem, since uN(k) must follow wic^ha, and inserted affix. In the speech of some persons this apparent contradiction is resolved by inserting both in the proper order, but repeating the entire verb stem after uN(k). An example can be given using the verb oyu'spA ‘to arrest': owi'c^huNkoyuspa pi ‘we arrested them’. Note that wic^ha is inserted after o, as required for this verb, and at the same time uN(k) precedes o as is also required by this particular verb. However, many persons simply insert both affixes, ignoring the apparent contradiction of not having uN(k) before o. In the speech of these persons, the correct form is owi'c^huNyuspa pi.

Pluralization can appear only once in each verbal form. Hence, either affix, or both simultaneously, may be pluralized by pi. Many verbal forms containing pi and affixes that may be either singular or plural are thus ambiguous, and only the context can indicate which participants are actually plural. For example uNko'yuspa pi can mean ‘we arrested him’, ‘he arrested us’, or ‘they arrested us’. iye'?uNyaN pi kte can mean either ‘you (sing.) will find us’or ‘you (pl.) will find us’.

The combinations of affixes that occur in transitive verbs are shown in table 5

SubjectObject
meyou sg.him, her, it, them (inanimate)usyou pl.them (animate)
Ic^hi0-wa
0-b
0-m
c^hi...piwic^ha-wa
wic^ha-b
wic^ha-m
you sg.ma-ya
ma-yal
ma-yan
0-ya
0-l
0-n
uN-ya...pi
uN-yal...pi
uNyan...pi
wic^ha-ya
wic^ha-l
wic^ha-n
he, she, itma-0ni-00-0uN(k)-0...pini-0...piwic^ha-0
we twouN(k)wic^ha-?uN(k)...pi
we pl..uN-ni-...piuN(k)...piuN-ni...piwic^ha?uN(k)...pi
you pl..ma-ya..pi
ma-yal..pi
ma-yan..pi
 

 

0-ya..pi
0-l...pi
0-n ...pi
uN-ya...pi
uN-yal...pi
uN-yan...pi
 

 

wic^ha-ya...pi
wic^ha-l...pi
wic^ha-n...pi
they animatema-0...pini-0...pi0-0...piuN(k)-0...pini-0...piwic^ha-0...pi

NOTE: First-person b- and m- and second-person (ya)l- and (ya)n- occur with y-stem and nasal-stem verbs, respectively. See 9.3. for further explanation.

9.3.5. Irregular Verbs

There are some verbs that have irregularities of one or another kind in their inflection. Among the most frequent are the verbs eyA' ‘to say’ and its derivatives, the verb yu'tA ‘to eat’, and various motion verbs, especially yA' and verbs based on it.

The transitive verb eyA' ‘to say’ is conjugated as follows: note the stress shift in the third-person singular:
SingularDualPlural
1. ephe'uNke'yeuNke'ya pi
2. ehe'eha' pi
3. e'yeeya' pi

A derivative of eyA', eya'yalaka ‘to tell lies’, is inflected doubly, with the same irregularities in both places: epha'phalaka, etc.

The transitive verb yu'tA ‘to eat’ has these forms:
SingularDualPlural
1. wa'teuNyu'teuNyu'ta pi
2. ya'teya'ta pi
3. yu'teyu'ta pi

The verb yA' ‘to be going’ normally conjugates according to active Paradigm 2 (9.3.3.): ble', le', ye', uNye', uNyaN' pi, la' pi, ya' pi. However, whenever the syntax of the sentence demands that the final vowel be iN (see 4.3.2.6.), the personal affixes are nasalized. Observe the difference between the second-person singular and plural forms of the potential paradigm: in the singular the vowel is iN, but in the plural it is a:
SingularDualPlural
1. mni' kteuNyiN' kteuNyaN' pi kte
2. ni' ktela' pi kte
3. yiN' kteya' pi kte

The verb iya'yA ‘to set out’ has two sets of subject affixes in the ‘I’ and ‘you’ forms: ibla'ble, ila'le, iya'ye, uNki'yaye, uNki'yaya pi, ila'la pi, iya'ya pi. When this verb is potential, the first affix is as just given, but the second is as in the potential inflection of yA' alone: ibla'mni kte, ila'ni kte, but ila'la pi kte. Many Oglalas in the 1990s prefer ibla'bliN kte, ila'liN kte, even though this introduces an unexpected (and unparalleled) /l/ before a nasal vowel.

Another verb that has double inflection is ?iN'yaNkA ‘to run’:
SingularDualPlural
1. wa?iN'mnake
‘I ran’
uNk?iN'yaNke
‘you and I ran’
uNk?iN'yaNka pi
‘we ran’
2. ya?iN'nake
‘you ran’
ya?iN'naka pi
‘you all ran’
3. iN'yaNke
‘he ran’
iN'yaNka pi
‘they ran’

Two other motion verbs have two different stem forms, one used when there is no personal affix, the other when there is a personal affix. The two are khiglA' ‘to set out to go home’ and glic^u' ‘to set out to come home’. This is the stem form for the third-person forms; the other stems are respectively -khiyaglA and -gliyac^u (some speakers say -gliyaku). Compare the following:
Khigle'.‘He set out to go home.’
Wakhi'yagle.‘I set out to go home.’
Glic^u' pi.‘They (distributive) set out to come home.’
Agli'yac^u.‘They (collective) set out to come home.’

9.3.6. Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive verbs are those in which the subject and the object refer to the same person: I cut myself is an English example.

Lakhota reflexive verbs have the affix ic^?i added to the transitive verb: ic^?i'kte ‘to kill oneself’ (cf. kte' ‘to kill’), o'?ic^?ic^iyA ‘to help oneself’ (cf. o'kiyA ‘to help’).

The personal affixes are those of the stative paradigm (9.3.1.). There are no collective plural reflexive forms. See Legendre and Rood (1992) for discussion of the abstract syntax of these forms.

Whenever ic^?i precedes the instrumental prefixes ya, yu, ka, or pa (9.2.1.), the reflexive and instrumental affixes fuse to igla, iglu, igla, and ikpa respectively.

Here are sample paradigms of ic^?i'kte ‘to kill oneself’ and iglu'z^az^a ‘to wash oneself’:
SingularDualPlural
1. mic^?i'kte
‘I ran’
uNki'c^?ikte
‘you and I ran’
uNki'c^?ikte pi
‘we ran’
2. nic^?i'kte
‘you ran’
nic^?i'kte pi
‘you all ran’
3. ic^?i'kte
‘he ran’
ic^?i'kte pi
‘they ran’
1. miglu'z^az^a
‘I washed myself’
uNki'gluz^az^a
‘you and I ran’
uNki'gluz^az^a pi
‘we washed ourselves’
2. niglu'z^az^a
‘you washed yourself’
niglu'z^az^a pi
‘you washed yourselves’
3. iglu'z^az^a
‘he washed himself’
iglu'z^az^a pi
‘they washed themselves’

There is a second reflexive paradigm (not well studied) in which the initial i- of the affix is doubled, without an inserted [?]. Its meaning is approximately that the action was not completely under the control of the subject. Compare: nami'c^?ih^take ‘I kicked myself’ with nami'ic^?ih^take ‘I could have kicked myself (for something I did)’, or sabmi'c^?iye ‘I blackened myself’ with sabmi'ic^?iye ‘I blackened myself for a reason such as mourning.’

9.3.7. Reciprocal Verbs

The concept ‘each other’ is expressed by the affix -kic^hi- (or a variant of this affix) added to transitive verbs. Only dual and plural forms are used, of course. The reciprocal paradigm has these forms:
DualPlural
1. uNki'c^hiuNki'c^hi...pi
2.ye'c^hi...pi
3.kic^hi'...pi

Whenever these are attached to a stem beginning with ki or khi, that syllable of the verb stem is dropped. Examples of reciprocal verb forms are:
Was^te'?uNkic^hilake.‘You and I love each other’
(was^te'lakA)
UNki'c^hiza pi‘We fought with each other’.
(khi'zA)
WaNye'c^hiyaNka pi he?‘Did you see each other?’
(waNyaN'kA)
O'kic^hiya pi.‘They helped each other.’
(o'kiyA)

See 4.3.2.3. for a comment on the nasalization of -yaN- ‘see’.

9.3.8. Reflexive Possessive, Dative, and Benefactive Verbs

The next three sections of this sketch deal with very complex and highly idiosyncratic features of Lakhota verb inflection. It should be noted that this area of Lakhota grammar is not nearly so well explored as some other areas. Both the morphology and semantics of the paradigms to be discussed are unpredictable and often irregular, and they often vary from community to community and even from speaker to speaker within a community. It is very possible that many unexpected phenomena remain to be discovered here.

The semantic concepts expressed are: reflexive possession (the object of the verb belongs to the subject of the verb), dative (an indirect object, a person other than the subject and object of the verb is affected by the verbal action), and benefactive (one person performs the verbal action for another's benefit or in his place).

The morphological representations of these three are intertwined and often very confusing. The difficulty comes from two facts: the morphemes representing all three concepts have the basic form ki; and some instances of ki lose the /k/ or the /i/ in certain contexts, and some cause a following /k/ to change to /c^/ while others do not. Part of the unpredictability appears to result from homonym avoidance: when words from two of the paradigms could be expected to be alike in form, one is often different through some kind of irregularity.

Carter (1974) is able to explain much, but not all, of this complexity by positing in some forms another morpheme with the shape i. This does not explain everything, and it is too abstract an argument for the description here.

When the /i/ of ki is lost before /y/, /k/, or /p/, the resulting clusters are, in the first two cases, /gl/, or in the third, /kp/; the specific places where this happens will be discussed below. When the /k/ is lost, the personal affixes coalesce with the remaining /i/ to give we ‘I’, ye ‘you (agent)’, mi ‘me’, ni ‘you (patient)’, and c^hi ‘I to/for you’. These coalesced affixes always take the stress when they are the first element in the word.

9.3.8.1. Reflexive Possessive

The fact that the object of the verb is possessed by the subject is shown in Lakhota by adding ki after the subject affix.

ki is reduced to /k/ alone before a y-stem verb (9.3.3.), and ky becomes /gl/. Ill is also lost from ki before verbs beginning with /p/. When ki is used before the instrumental prefix ka (9.2.1.), the reflexive possessive affix and the instrumental prefix fuse to /gla/.

In the illustrative paradigms that follow, only the singular and dual forms are given. The corresponding plural words can be formed by adding pi to the second and third singular and the dual.

iye'yA ‘to find’

This verb illustrates the behavior of the causative auxiliary (9.2.2.) -yA; before it the possessive ki loses neither k nor i.
SingularDual
1. iye'wakiye
‘I found mine’
iye'?uNkiye
‘you and I found ours’
2. iye'yakiye
‘you found yours’
3. iye'kiye
‘he found his own’

kte' ‘to kill’

This verb follows the most regular rules: ki loses k after personal affixes.
SingularDual
1. we'kte
'I killed mine’
uNki'kte
‘you and I killed ours’
2. ye'kte
‘you killed yours’
3. kikte'
‘he killed his own’

yuha' ‘to have’

In this verb, ki is reduced to k, which fuses with y to form gl.
SingularDual
1. waglu'ha
'I have mine’
uNglu'ha
‘you and I have ours’
2. yaglu'ha
‘you have yours’
3. gluha'
‘he has his own’

kable'c^a ‘to shatter’

This verb works like yuha' but illustrates the ka- prefix.
SingularDual
1. wagla'blec^a
'I shattered mine’
uNgla'blec^a
‘you and I shattered ours’
2. yagla'blec^a
‘you shattered yours’
3. glable'c^a
‘he shattered his own’

pazo' ‘show; point’

This verb is a verb with initial /p/.
SingularDual
1. wakpa'zo
'I showed mine’
uNkpa'zo
‘you and I showed ours’
2. yakpa'zo
‘you showed yours’
3. kpazo'
‘he showed his own’

ic^u' ‘take’.

This verb requires an extra k after the regular ki.
SingularDual
1. iwe'kc^u
'I took mine’
uNki'kikc^u
‘you and I took ours’
2. iye'kc^u
‘you took yours’
3. iki'kc^u
‘he took his own’

a'yA ‘to take along’

This verb illustrates the verbs of bringing and taking, which prefix glo- to form possessives; regular active affixes are then used:
SingularDual
1. waglo'?aye
‘I am taking mine along’
uNglo'?aye
‘you and I are taking ours along’
2. yaglo'?aye
‘you are taking yours along’
3. glo?a'ye
‘he is taking his along’

There are other irregularities in the reflexive possessive that have not been illustrated. Some of these are described by Boas and Deloria (1941:86-102), but note that some of the details they give are not valid for Brule and Oglala speakers in the 1990s.

9.3.8.2. Dative

The dative has one form but, from an English speaker’s point of view, two meanings: the form can mean that the action was done to an object possessed by someone else (‘I took his’, ‘he ate mine’) or that it was done to or for someone else by accident or without his knowledge or permission. This second meaning is sometimes expressed by ‘on’ in colloquial English (‘He ate it up on me’: or ‘His wife emptied the bank account on him.’). Boas and Deloria (1941) and Carter (1974) refer to this as the ‘first dative.’

The regular affix for these forms is again ki, but this ki never loses either the k or the i, nor does it cause a following k of the verb root to change to c^, although ks in other prefixes do change.

In verbs of bringing and taking, ka is used instead of ki, and a ki (but an irregular one!) can then also be prefixed (see examples below). Before the causative -yA, khi is used instead of ki. In the sample paradigms that follow, only singular and dual forms are given. As usual, the plural forms differ only by the presence of pi.
ic^u' ‘take’
This verb is regular; the affixes are inserted between i and c^.
mine
it on me
yours
it on you
his
it on him
ours
it on us
theirs
it on them
I--ic^hi'c^ic^uiwa'kic^u--iwi'c^hawakic^u
youima'yakic^u--iya'kic^uuNki'yakic^u piiwi'c^hayakic^u
heima'kic^uini'c^ic^uiki'c^uuNki'kic^u piiwi'c^hakic^u
we--uNki'nic^ic^uuNki'c^ic^u--iwi'c^huNkic^u

pazo'
‘show’
This verb is also regular; compare with the possessive paradigm above.
mine
it on me
yours
it on you
his
it on him
ours
it on us
theirs
it on them
I--c^hic^i'pazowaki'pazo--wic^ha'wakipazo
youmaya'kipazo--yaki'pazouNya'kipazo piwic^ha'yakipazo
hemaki'pazonic^i'pazokipa'zouNki'pazo piwic^ha'kipazo
we--uNni'c^ipazouNki'pazo--wic^huN'kipazo

ahi'
‘to arrive bringing’
This verb illustrated the pattern common to all ‘bring’ and ‘take’verbs.
mine
it on me
yours
it on you
his
it on him
ours
it on us
theirs
it on them
I--c^hic^a'hiwaka'hi--wic^ha'wakahi
youmaya'kahi--yaka'hiuNya'kahi piwic^ha'yakahi
hemaka'hinic^a'hikahi'uNka'hi piwic^ha'kahi
we--uNni'c^ahiuNka'hi--wic^huN'kahi

ahi'
‘to arrive, bringing’
This illustrates the alternate paradigm with ki + ka
mine
it on me
yours
it on you
his
it on him
ours
it on us
theirs
it on them
I--c^hi'c^a?ahiwe'c^a?ahi--wic^ha'wec^a?ahi
youmi'c^a?ahi--ye'c^a?ahi--wic^ha'yec^a?ahi
hemaka'hini'c^a?ahiki'c^a?ahiuNki'c^a?ahi piwic^ha'kic^a?ahi
we--uNni'c^a?ahiuNki'c^a?ahi--wic^huN'kic^a?ahi

iye'yA
‘to find’
This verb illustrates the dative of the causative; compare the possessive causative paradigm given above with the third-person object forms here.
mine
it on me
yours
it on you
his
it on him
ours
it on us
theirs
it on them
I--iye'c^hic^hiyeiye'wakhiye--iye'wic^hawakhiye
youiye'mayakhiye--iye'yakhiyeiye'?uNyakhiya piiye'wic^hayakhiye
heiye'makhiyeiye'nic^hiyeiye'khiyeiye'?uNkhiya piiyewic^hakhiye
we--iye'?uNnic^hiyeiye?uNkhiye--iye'wic^huNkhiye

9.3.8.3. Benefactive

Benefactive verbal forms imply that the action was undertaken for someone purposefully and with his knowledge and permission. Boas and Deloria (1941) call this the ‘second dative.’ The regular benefactive has ki twice: the first behaves like the reflexive possessive (especially in that k is lost after ‘I’ and ‘you’ affixes), the second like the dative, except that when the first ki is actually present as the first syllable of the word, it is stressed. For example, note ki'c^ikte ‘He killed it for her’.

Note that in the forms for ‘I—you’ (c^hi) and ‘he—you’ (ni) the difference between the dative and the benefactive is expressed solely by the stress position: c^hic^i'kte ‘I killed yours, I killed it on you’ but c^hi'c^ikte ‘I killed it for you’.

The benefactive affixes also occur regularly with intransitive and stative verbs. Observe omi'c^imani ‘He travels for me’ from oma'ni ‘to travel’, and mi'c^iskuye ‘mine is sweet; it’s too sweet for me’ from sku'yA ‘to be sweet’.

Before -yA (the causative auxiliary) kic^i becomes kic^ic^hi, and the first k disappears after ‘I’ and ‘you’ affixes. ‘Bringing’ and ‘taking’ verbs affix kic^i to ka to give the meaning ‘bring/take for someone with his permission’.

These forms are very regular (compared, at least, to the reflexive possessives and datives), so only three paradigms are given: a normal one, a ‘bring’ verb, and a causative.
yus^taN' ‘to finish’
for mefor youfor himfor usfor them
I--c^hi'c^iyus^taNwe'c^iyus^taN--wic^ha'wec^iyus^taN
youmiye'c^ilus^taN--ye'c^iyus^taNuNye'c^ilus^taN piwic^ha'yec^iyus^taN
hemi'c^iyus^taNni'c^iyus^taNki'c^iyus^taNuNki'c^iyus^taN piwic^ha'kic^iyus^taN
we--uNni'c^iyus^taNuNki'c^iyus^taN--wic^huN'kic^iyus^taN

agli'
‘to arrive home, bringing’
for mefor youfor himfor us
I--ac^hi'c^ic^agliawe'c^ic^agli--awi'c^awec^ic^agli
youami'yec^ic^agli--aye'c^ic^agliuNka'yec^ilus^taN piawi'c^ayec^ic^agli
heami'c^ic^agliani'c^ic^agliaki'c^ic^agliuNka'kic^ic^agli piawi'c^akic^ic^agli
we--uNka'nic^ic^agliuNa'kic^ic^agli--awi'c^uNkic^ic^agli

iye'yA
‘to find’
for mefor youfor himfor usfor them
I--iye'c^hic^ic^hiyeiye'wec^ic^hiye--iye'wic^hawakhiye
youiye'miyec^ic^hiye--iye'yec^ic^hiyeiye'?uNyec^ic^hiya piiye'wic^hayakhiye
heiye'mic^ic^hiyeiye'nic^ic^hiyeiye'kic^ic^hiyeiye'?uNkic^ic^hiya piiyewic^hakhiye
we--iye'?uNnic^ic^hiyeiye?uNkic^ic^hiyeiye'?uNkic^ic^hiyeiye'wic^huNkhiye

Some speakers can use a few verbs with both the benefactive and the possessive together, but in this case it is the beneficiary, not the object, that is owned. Thus imi'c^igluha ‘she is keeping it for me and I belong to her (i.e., I am her relative)’; however, most verbs do not follow this pattern.

There are no reciprocal benefactives, but the reflexive can occur with the benefactives. For verbs that do not lose the i of ki when they form the possessive, and for some others, there is no difference between the reflexive direct object form and the reflexive benefactive. Thus from ole' ‘to look for’ comes omi'c^?ile ‘I’m looking for myself’ or ‘I’m looking for it for myself’. But in most verbs where the ki of the possessive loses the i, the reflexive benefactive is formed by adding the reflexive (ic^?i, etc.) morpheme to the possessive verb form: mi'c^?igluha ‘I am keeping it for myself’, or uNki'?ic^?ikc^u he'c^i ‘let's take it for ourselves (dual)’; but iglu's^taN pi ‘they finished it for themselves’ has no benefactive morpheme at all.

Some speakers can inflect verbs for both direct and benefactive objects, but others reject these forms as meaningless. (Neither Buechel 1939 nor Boas and Deloria 1941 mention these paradigms.) The more complex pattern seems to begin with the benefactive form, into which are inserted the transitive affixes appropriate to the nonbenefactive verb. Thus, ‘I'm looking for them for you’ (verb stem ole') goes from oc^hi'c^ile to owi'c^hawac^hic^ile. Other speakers use a paraphrase: owi'c^hale maya's^i c^ha oc^hi'c^ile ‘you told me to look for them so I’m looking for it for you’.

10. Enclitics

Except in those instances when a conjunction stands last in the sentence (section 6), postverbal elements belong to the class here called enclitics. These words express aspect, tense, modality, and, in one case, number.

In other descriptions of Lakhota, enclitics have been variously treated as suffixes, adverbs, or auxiliaries, and indeed the decision to treat the most common of them as enclitics rather than suffixes is based on semantics and on native-speaker intuition rather than on phonological criteria. Speakers recognize these words as independent, isolable, and as meaningful. But one-syllable enclitics are frequently not stressed, so they do sound as if they are suffixed to the verb.

There are several dozen of these words (Taylor 1974). Recall that vowel ablaut, in those elements that have final vowel ablaut, is determined by the following enclitic (4.2.6.).

There is a strict order in which enclitics occur, but the 12 position classes defined by this order have few definable semantic correlations. Table 6 includes the enclitics defined and discussed here; others would appear in position 12 on the chart and would have similar kinds of meanings. Determination of the exact meanings of the enclitics is difficult in some cases, particularly those that express speaker attitude. While their general meaning is clear, individual meanings may vary from speaker to speaker and from situation to situation.
123456789101112
haNpilakAktAs^nis?ayo, ye
yetho', nitho',
iNtho',
ye, na
se'c^A
nac^he'c^A
ke'yA
ke'yapi
lah^
la'h^c^A
la'h^c^akA
he
huNwo'
so, se
se'l
s?ele'l
yelakha'
he'c^i
kiN
ye'
yelo'
ks^t
ks^to'
k?uN
yewaN',
yemaN'
h^c^A
iNc^he'ye
huNs^e'
c^he'
ni'
s^ni'
kiNlo'
ka
kac^ha'
s^khA'
tkha'

The enclitics are defined and discussed according to the position classes in table 6. Vowel ablaut specifications refer to the effect that the particular enclitic has on a preceding A-final element (4.2.6.).

Some of the words described here are clearly a compound of two or more simple enclitics, but such compounds will be regarded as units in the discussion.

1. hAN; a-ablaut. Judging from other Siouan languages and Sioux dialects, this is likely the stative verb ‘be erect, be upright’, but this verb is rare in Lakhota, and in any event semantically distant from the element here described as an enclitic. hAN indicates that the verbal action or state was continuous at the time under consideration. Compare the following two sentences:

Ta'ku to'khanu haN he? ‘What were you doing?’

Ta'ku to'khanu he? ‘What did you do?’

2. pi; a-ablaut. pi marks animate plural subjects (9.3.) and pluralizes non-third-person objects (9.3.2.). Numerous examples have already been given.

3. la; e-ablaut. la denotes the speakers affection or feeling of endearment with respect to other persons affected by the verbal action or state. The example of la is from a folktale:

MisuN', he' wo's^katela kiN uNspe'makhiya pi la ye! Mi's^-eya' was^ka'te la kte!

‘Little brothers, won’t you please teach me that little game: I do so want to play it too!’

4. kA; a-ablaut. kA attenuates the verbal meaning, ‘rather’ or ‘somewhat’ are good English translations of this enclitic:

He' pte-blo'ka kiN oc^hiN's^ic^a ke.

‘That bull is acting kind of mad.’

kA can also be used ironically:

He' was^te' ke yelo'.

‘He certainly is a nice guy!’ (Meaning: ‘He is certainly not a nice person.’)

5. ktA; iN-ablaut. ktA marks a statement as not yet true at the time under discussion. It corresponds to the English future, subjunctive, or, in a sentence about the past, to the future anterior. ktA is never used in sentences that are commands.

Mni' kte. ‘I will go.’

YiN' kta ehaN'taNhaNs^ s^i'c^iN kte. ‘It will be bad if he goes.'

YiN' kta ke'ye. ‘He said he would go.’

6. s^ni; e-ablaut. s^ni negates the verb with which it occurs.

Oya'te kiN mni' kiN yatkaN' pi oki'hi pi s^ni. ‘The people could not drink the water.’

7. s?a; e-ablaut. s?a marks an oft-repeated action; it is frequently accompanied by the adverb o'hiniyaN ‘always’.

Lakho'ta kiN ehaN'ni zuya'ya pi s?a. ‘The Indians often used to go on war parties.’

8. All these enclitics mark commands of various kinds. Several are used by only one sex and not by the other; this explains their rather large number.

Neutral commands are expressed by yo (men) and ye (women). (These become wo and we respectively when the immediately preceding word ends in /u/, /uN/, or /o/.) yo and ye have a-ablaut.

Na' khaN'ta eya', waNz^i' ic^u' wo! ‘Here are some plums, take one!’

Yetho' (men) and nitho' or iNtho' (women) indicate a familiar request: there is a connotation that the requested action will be of short duration and easy to accomplish. These enclitics call for iN-ablaut.

Tho'hiNyaNkiN yetho'. ‘Just wait a minute!’

The enclitics ye (men and women) and na (women) express a combined command-request, ye has iN-ablaut, na has a-ablaut:

O'makiyiN ye, wanu'ni ye.Please help me. I’m lost’.

Mni' huN'h^ mak?u' na!Please give me some water.’

Besides these command enclitics, some of the enclitics in position 12 are used in sentences that have the nature of both statements (or questions) and commands. These will be described together with the other enclitics in position 12.

9. se'c^A, e-ablaut; nac^he'c^A, a-ablaut. These enclitics indicate that the statement is a conjecture by the speaker. Lakhota speakers translating into English sentences containing these enclitics ordinarily include expressions such as probably, I guess, I suppose, and the like.

Ekta'wapha kiN mag^a'z^u kte se'c^e.
‘It will probably rain later on today.’

Iyu'ha owi'c^hayuspa pi kta nac^he'c^e.
I suppose they’ll catch them all.’

10. ke'yA and ke'ya pi are the third-person singular and plural respectively of the verb ke'yA ‘to say that’. Preceding A-words show a-ablaut. When used as enclitics, these words indicate that the speaker is quoting someone else. Such sentences always refer to events or states about which the speaker has no direct, personal knowledge. Hence, ke'yA and ke'ya pi appear very frequently in historical narratives. The absence of ke'ye or ke'ya pi implies that the speaker has personal knowledge about the event or state he is reporting, unless the context is clearly one of reported information.

C^haNkhe' thiblo'ku kiN waNgla'ka ke'ye.
‘And then she beheld her elder brother, it is said.’

11. Enclitics in this position all indicate that the speaker is not emotionally neutral to what he is reporting. Feelings indicated include mild yearning, mild discomfort, amusement, and probably others as well. lah^ is a sentence closing form, whereas la'h^c^A and la'h^c^akA can be followed by enclitics in position 12. Preceding A-words show e-ablaut.

Mni-pi'g^a waNz^i' wac^hiN' lah^! Gee, I sure would like a beer!’

WaN li'la olu'luta lah^!Gosh it sure is sultry!’

Iya'yekiya pi la'h^c^ake!Boy, did they ever take off!’

12. Several enclitics mark various kinds of questions. he; huNwo'; a-ablaut. he marks a direct question. Although both men and women use he, men use huNwo' (pronounced [hNwNo] in rapid speech) in relatively formal situations. Most questions, even those containing an interrogative word end in he or huNwo'.

TohaN'l ya?u' kta he? ‘When will you come?

Was^i'c^u kiN Paha'-sa'pa kiN ic^u' pi s^ni huNwo'?
‘Did not the White man take the Black Hills?

so, se; e-ablaut. So (men) and se(women) mark a dubitative question. There is no presupposition that the person questioned knows the answer:

To's^khe was^i'c^uya he' eya' pi so? ‘I wonder how you say that in English?’

se'l; a-ablaut. se‘l also marks a dubitative question, but it presupposes an affirmative reply:

Be'bela kiN wana' yuha' pi se'l?

‘I guess they've had their baby by now, huh?'

s?ele'l; a-ablaut. s?ele'l marks a tag question.

NahaN'h^c^i was^?a'ke s^ni s?ele'l?
‘He isn’t very strong yet, is he?

yelakha'; e-ablaut.

yelakha' marks a sarcastic rhetorical question:

C^hiNc^a' kiN he waka's^take yelakha'.

Oh, so I’m the one who made the kid cry!

Two enclitics from position class 12 are used to make deferential suggestions. They share the properties of a rhetorical question and a command.

he'c^i: a-ablaut. he'c^i is used when the speaker induces himself as a participant in the proposed action:

Wana' uNyaN' pi he'c^i.

Let’s go now!’ ‘Should we go now?’

Thalo' etaN' awa'?u he'c^i.

Should I bring some meat?’ ‘How would it be if I brought some meat?’

kiN; e-ablaut. kiN is used when the speaker does not include himself:

Ogna' blo' etaN' aya'?u kiN.

Maybe you could bring some potatoes.’ ‘Would you like to bring some potatoes?’

Several enclitics in position 12 are used to mark sentences that are assertions rather than simple statements. Sentences containing these enclitics often correspond to emphatic statements in English, but many Lakhota examples do not seem to be particularly emphatic. The assertion may be a (generally recognized) fact, or it may be a personal opinion.


ye; e-ablaut. ye marks the mild assertion of a generally recognized fact:

Osni' ye, thima' gla' pi yo!

‘It’s cold, go back inside!’


yelo' (men), yele' (obsolescent, women) (yelo' becomes welo' when the immediately preceding vowel is /u/, /uN/ or /o/)and ks^t (men), kis^to' (women; kis^to' is usually pronounced ks^to' in rapid speech) are comparable. ks^t is stronger than yelo', kis^to' alone is used by most women to correspond to both yelo' and ks^t used by men. All require e-ablaut of a preceding A-word.

HaN' hena'?uNs c^hebc^he'pa pi yelo'.

‘Yes, each of the two is fat.’

Ag^u'yapi-blu' etaN' wac^hiN' kte kis^to'.

‘I’ll need some flour.’

Hi...ya', he misuN'kala ks^t.

‘No - he is too my younger brother!’


k?uN: e-ablaut. k?uN marks a strongly asserted fact; it is often used to make it clear that the reference is to past lime or completed action, k?uN is pronounced [uN] in rapid speech.

Li'la hu'-masta'ka c^ha he'c^hamu wac^hiN' s^ni k?uN.

‘I’m very tired and I do not want to do that!’

Hoks^i'la kiN iye'ya pi k?uN.

‘The boys did leave.’


kiN; e-ablaut. kiN is also used to mark a strong assertion. It can have scolding or sarcastic overtones.

To'ks^a, ec^ha'mu kte kiN. ‘Just a minute. I’ll do it!’

ks^t and kis^to' are probably built on this kiN.

Asserted opinions are marked by several enclitics that vary from mild to very strong, waN (men) and ma (women) mark a mild opinion; yewaN' and yema' are stronger, waN and ma require a-ablaut, yewaN' and yema' require e-ablaut.

WaN, he' heye' k?uN he'c^hetu se'c^a waN.

‘Hey, what he said there seems to be right, by gosh!’

S^i'yi, ka?ic^his^niyaN e'gnake yema'!

Mercy me, he went and put it wrong!’

h^c^A; e-ablaut. h^c^A is widely used in Lakhota to strengthen the force of an accompanying word. It is thus much more free than most enclitics in terms of its sequential relations with other words. As a sentence-final enclitic, h^c^A marks an emphatic statement.

Compare these examples of the two related uses of h^c^A (word emphasizer versus sentence emphasizer):

Osni' h^c^e s^ni. ‘It is not very cold.’

Osni' s^ni h^c^e.Heh! It's not really cold!’

iNc^he'ye; e-ablaut. iNc^he'ye asserts an opinion but presupposes that the interlocutor will agree:

Wino'na s^uN'ka kiN wo'k?u s^ni iNc^he'ye.

‘Winona didn’t feed the dog, right?’

Two (possibly archaic) enclitics mark assertions that the speaker believes to be true, but for which formal proof is lacking. These are huNs^e' and c^he'; both require a-ablaut. The examples are from Buechel (1939).

EhaN'k?uN mah^pi'yata WakhaN'-ThaN'ka-thi' kiN le' thiyo'pa huNs^e'.

Verily this is no other than the house of God and the gate of heaven!’

Ta'ku wo'wah^tani wani'l taNye'h^c^i wo'?ec^huN ihuN'nikiya pi kta c^he', eya'pi c^he'.

I believe that they will finish everything blamelessly and well, as they say they will.’

ni'; a-ablaut. A strong wish that something might come-about is expressed by ni':

Hu-maka'weg^e s^ni ni'.

I hope I don’t break my leg!’

WakhaN'-ThaN'ka uN's^imala ni'!

May God have mercy on me!’

Probably based on this ni' is s^ni' (note the stress), which expresses a similar strong desire, s^ni' requires e-ablaut.

He' s^uN'ka kiN he' kte' s^ni'.

I wish he would kill that dog!’ ‘He really ought to kill that dog!’

kiNlo'; e-ablaut. a strong warning is expressed by kiNlo':

Niya'h^take kiNlo'!Hey, watch out, he’ll bite you!’

Two enclitics are used to mark emphatic negative sentences. These are ka and kac^ha'. Both require e-ablaut of preceding A-words.

Tase' he'c^hamu wac^hiN' ka!

Of course I do not want to do that!’

Wo'was^i-ec^huN' kac^ha'

‘He certainly does not work!’

kac^ha' usually has sarcastic or deprecating connotations. A better translation for the last example would be ‘Don't tell me he works!’

s^khA'; a-ablaut. s^khA' is used to indicate that the statement is received knowledge, something about which the speaker has no direct, personal knowledge. As such, it appears frequently in historical and especially mythological narratives. Its meaning is ‘purportedly, supposedly, allegedly’.

Ikto'mi ka'khena tokhe' ec^ha'c^ha oma'ni-ya' haN s^khe'.

‘Iktomi (Trickster) was walking around aimlessly over there (they say).’

tkha'; a-ablaut. tkha' is frequently shortened to kha'. The enclitic appears to have several somewhat similar meanings, but the principal use is in conditional statements.

Ma'za-ska' etaN' awa'?u kta tkha'.

‘I should have brought some money.’

C^haN' waN bluha' k?e's^ siNte'-h^la kiN waka't?a tkha'.

‘If I had (had had) a stick I would kill (would have killed) the rattle snake.’

LehaN'yela mat?a' tkha'.

‘I almost died.’ (‘I would have died if...’)

Wic^ha'h^c^ala kiN he is^na'la thi' he tkha'.

‘That old man was living alone until recently.’


11. Selected Vocabulary

The symbols A and AN at the ends of verbs in this list represent a vowel that changes, depending on grammatical context (4.3.2.6.).

airplane kiNye'khiyapi ‘they make them fly (in them)’

alive ni'

animal wama'khas^kaNs^kaN ‘those moving about on the earth’

ankle is^ka'hu

ant thaz^u's^ka

antelope thatho'kala ‘antelope; domestic goat’

anus uNze' ‘anus; buttock’

apple thaspaN'

Arapaho Mah^pi'yatho' ‘Blue-sky (Indian)’ (This is apparently a reference to tattoos.)

Arikara Phala'ni ‘Arikara, Ree’

arm isto'

arrow wahiN'kpe

artichoke phaNg^i' (Jerusalem artichoke; domestic turnip)

ash tree pse'h^tiN

ashes c^hah^o'ta

Assiniboine Ho'he

aunt thuNwiN' ‘father’s sister’ (The mother’s sister is called ‘mother’.)

aurora borealis wana'g^iwac^hi'pi ‘spirit dance’

automobile iye'c^hiNkiNyaNke ‘runs by itself’

awl See needle

axe nazuN'spe; ic^a'kse ‘instrument for chopping’

baby hoks^i'c^ala
    be'bela
(this is probably a loanword from French be'be')

back hiNye'te ‘upper back’
    c^huwi' ‘back below shoulder blades’

bacon was^iN' ‘bacon; animal fat’

bad s^i'c^A

badger h^oka'

ball tha'pa

bathe nuwAN' ‘to swim, to bathe’

be e' ‘be a particular one (of animate things only)’;
    haN' ‘be upright (of inanimate things only)’;
    he'c^ha ‘be such a one, be of such a kind’;
    hiye'yA ‘be located here and there (of inanimate things only)’;
    uN' ‘be, exist (of animate things only); be located somewhere (of all things)’;
    yukhAN' ‘have, be (of intimate possessions only)’;
    ni'c^A ‘not to have, not to be (of intimate possessions only)’

beads ps^itho'

beadwork waks^u'pi ‘decoration’

beans omni'c^a

bear matho'

beautiful See good

beaver c^ha'pa

bed oyuN'ke

bee theh^muN'g^azizi'la ‘little yellow banded fly’

beer mnipi'g^a

bell h^la'h^la

belly thezi'

bent s^ko'pA

big thaN'ka

bighorn sheep See mountain sheep

bird ziNtka'la

bite yah^ta'kA

bitter pha'

black sa'pA

blackbird wa'h^pathaN'ka

Blackfeet Sioux Siha'sapa

Black person Ha'sapa ‘black skin’

blood we'

blue tho' ‘blue; green’

boil pi'g^A ‘to be boiling’; pih^yA' ‘to cause to boil’

bone hohu' ,

book wo'wapi ‘book; letter; flag’

bow ita'zipa

boy hoks^i'la

brain nasu'la

brave ohi'tikA

bread ag^u'yapi

break kawe'g^A

breast aze' ‘female breast’

breechcloth c^hegna'ke ‘penis cover’

bring ahi' ‘to bring here’; a?u' ‘to be bringing here’; ahi'yu ‘to leave to bring here’; agli' ‘to bring home here’; aku' ‘to be bringing home here’; agli'yac^u ‘to leave to bring home here’

brother c^hiye' ‘older brother of a man’; thiblo' ‘older brother of a woman’; suNka'la ‘younger brother of man or woman’

brown g^i'

Brule Sioux Sic^haN'g^u' ‘burned thigh’

buffalo cow pte'

buffalo berry mas^tiN'c^aphute' ‘rabbit lip’

buffalo bull thathaN'ka

bug wablu's^ka

burn ile' bum, blaze up; s^paN' ‘be burned, to be cooked (food), to be ripe (fruit)’

bush hu'

butcher pha'tA

butterfly kimi'mila

buttock See anus

buy ophe'thuN

buzzard hec^a'

cactus uNkc^e'la

cafe owo'tethi'pi ‘eating house’

calf of leg huc^ho'g^iN

carry on back k?iN' ‘carry; pack’

cat igmu'la

catch oyu'spA

chair c^haN?a'kaNyaNka'pi ‘wood to sit on’

cherry See chokecherry

chest makhu'

Cheyenne S^ahi'yela

chicken khokhe'yah^?aNla; khokho'yah^?aNla ‘chicken, rooster’

chief ithaN'c^haN

child wakhaN'yez^a

Chippewa see Ojibwa

chokecherry c^haNpha'

church owa'c^hekiye ‘prayer places’; thi'piwakhaN' ‘holy house’

claw s^ake' ‘claw (of animal or bird); fingernail (of human)’

cloth mnih^u'ha

cloud See sky

coat See shirt

coffee wakha'lyapi

cold c^huwi'ta ‘to feel cold (internal sensation; used of animate things only)’;
    sni' ‘to feel cold (external sensation; used of inanimate things only)’;
    osni' (used of atmosphere and weather)

come gli' ‘arrive at home here’; glic^u' ‘leave for home here’; hi' ‘arrive here’; hiyu' ‘leave for here’; ku' ‘be on the way home here’; u' ‘be on the way here’

converse wo'glakA ‘converse, talk’

cook s^paNyAN' ‘to cause to be burned; be cooked’; see burn

corn wagmi'za

cottonwood wa'g^ac^haN' ‘brittle wood’

count See read

cow ptegle's^ka, pteble's^ka ‘spotted buffalo’; ptewa'niyaNpi ‘pet buffalo’

cowbird wa'h^pah^o'ta

coyote s^uNn^ma'nitu ‘wilderness dog’; maya'slec^a

cradleboard iyo'k?iNpa

crane phehaN'

crazy witko'

Cree S^ahi'ya

creek wakpa'la

cricket psipsi'c^ala ‘little hopper’

crippled hus^te'

crow khaNg^i'

Crow KhaNg^i'wic^ha's^a ‘Crow person’; Psa'loka (borrowed from Crow)

cry c^he'yA

cup wi'yatke ‘instrument for drinking’

cut waksa'ksA

dance wac^hi' ‘to dance’; wac^hi'pi ‘a dance’

day aNpe'tu                

daughter c^huNks^i'

deer tha'h^c^a

die t?A' ‘be dead’

digging stick wi'wopta ‘instrument for digging’

dish waks^i'c^a

do ec^ha'?uN, ec^huN'

dog s^uN'ka

donkey suN'suNla ‘donkey; mule’

door thiyo'pa

dragonfly thuswe'c^a

dream ihaN'blA

dress c^huwi'gnaka ‘back cover’

dried meat pa'pa

drink yatkAN'

drum c^haN'c^heg^a ‘wooden kettle’

dry sa'ka

duck mag^a', mag^a'ksic^a

eagle waNbli'

ear nu'g^e ‘human ear’; nakpa' ‘animal ear’

earring owiN'

earth makha' ‘earth, dirt’

east wiyo'hiNyaNpata ‘where the sun comes up’

eat yu'tA

eat up thebyA'

egg wi'tka ‘egg; testicle’

eight s^aglo'g^aN

elk heh^a'ka ‘branched horns’

elm p?e'c^haN

enemy tho'ka

fall (season) ptaNye'tu

fall down hiNh^pa'yA

fat c^he'pA ‘to be fat’; see also bacon

father ate' (term of address); ate'waye kiN ‘the one I have for father’

feather wi'yaka

female wiN'yela

field See garden

fingernail See claw

fire phe'ta

firefly uNze'blinkblink ‘blinking arse’ (jocose)

fish hog^aN'

five za'ptaN

flag wo'wapi

flea psic^a'la; ha'la

flower wana'h^c^a

fly theh^mu'g^a, thoh^mu'g^a, thah^mug^a ‘housefly; horsefly ’; kiNyaN' ‘to fly’

fog p?o'

food wo'yute

foot si'

forehead ithu'hu

four to'pa, to'b

fox thokha'la, s^uNg^i'la

frog gnas^ka'

gall bladder phizi'

garden wo'z^upi ‘garden, field’

gasoline See grease

gas station wi'gli?oi'naz^iN ‘gasoline stopping place’

girl wic^hiN'c^ala; See also woman

give k?u'

give back kic^hu'

go yA'; be on the way there; glA' be on the way home there; i' arrive there; khi' arrive at home there; iya'yA leave for there; khiglA' leave for home there

goat tha'h^c^a s^uN'kala ‘dog deer’

good was^te' ‘good; beautiful’

goose mag^a's^apa ‘dirty duck’

government (U.S.) thuNka's^ila ‘grandfather’

grandchild thako'z^a

grandfather thuNka's^ila

grandmother uNc^i' (maternal), khuN's^i (paternal)

grape c^huNwi'yapehe ‘(it) wraps around a tree"

grass phez^i'

grasshopper gnugnu's^ka; phez^i'hophop ‘grasshopper’ (jocose) (note that /p/ is not replaced by /b/)

gray h^o'ta

grease wi'gli ‘grease; gasoline, oil’

green See blue

grind yukpaN'

Gros Ventre See Hidatsa

guts s^upe'

hail wasu'

hair phehiN' ‘head hair’

hairpipe breastplate wawo'slatawana'p?iN ‘hairpipe necklace’

hand nape'

hard suta'

hat wapho's^taN

have yuha' (used only of alienable things); see also be

hawk c^hetaN'

head nata', pha'

hear nah^?uN'

heart c^haNte'

heavy tke'

heron hokha'

Hidatsa H^ewa'ktokta ‘Hidatsa, Gros Ventre’

high waNka'tuya

hill paha'

hit aphA'

horns he'

horse s^uN'kawakhaN' ‘wonderful dog’
    draft horse s^uNn^wo'was^i ‘working horse’
    mare s^uNn^wiN'yela ‘female horse’
    saddle horse s^uNk?a'kaNyaNkapi ‘horse they sit on’
    stallion s^uNn^khi'yuh^a ‘breeding horse’

hospital okhu'z^ethi'pi ‘sick house’

hot kha'tA

house c^haN'thipi ‘wooden lodge’

Hunkpapa Sioux HuN'kpapha ‘Hunkpapa, Standing Rock Sioux’

husband hiNgna'

ice c^ha'g^a

Indian Lakho'ta ‘Sioux Indian; American Indian’

iron see metal

jail oka's^kethi'pi ‘detention house’

jerkey waka'blapi ‘what has been pounded flat’

jump psi'c^A

June berry wi'pazuNtka. wi'pazuNtkaN, wi'pazukha

kettle c^he'g^a

kick nah^ta'kA

kidney az^uN'tka

kill kte'

knee c^haNkpe'

knife mi'la

know slolyA'

lake ble'

land makho'c^he

laugh ih^a' ‘laugh; smile’

leaf wah^pe'

leather theh^pi'

left-handed c^hatka'

leg hu'

legging huNska'

lie (recline) yuNkA'

lie down h^pa'yA

light in weight kap?o'z^A

lightning wakiN'yaNtuNwaN'pi ‘The Thunderers are blinking’

like was^te'lakA ‘to like’; s?e ‘like. as, as though’

lip, lower iha'
   upper phute'

little c^i'k?ala, c^i'stila, c^i'sc^ila

live thi'

liver phi'

lizard agle's^ka

lodge thi'pi

lodge cover a'kah^pe

lodge pole thus^u'

look for ole'

louse heya'

love theh^i'la

Lower Brule Sioux Khulwi'c^has^a ‘Lower person’

lung c^hag^u'

magpie halha'ta; uNkc^e'kih^a ‘buries his dung’

make ka'g^A

male bloka'

man wic^ha's^a
    young man khos^ka'laka
    old man wic^ha'h^c^ala

Mandan Miwa'tani

mare See horse

meadowlark thas^i'yagnupa'

meat thalo'

medicine phez^u'ta ‘herbal roots’

metal (iron) ma'za

Mexican spayo'la (This is probably a loanword from. French espagnol)

milk asaN'pi

Milky Way wana'g^ithac^haN'ku ‘ghost road’

mink i'khusaN

Minneconjou Sioux Mnikho'woz^u ‘those who plant by water’, Mnikho'waNz^u

mirror mi'yoglas?iN

moccasin haNm?i'kc^eka ‘ordinary shoe’

money ma'zaska' ‘silver’ ‘white metal’

moon wi' ‘luminary’; haNhe'piwi' ‘night luminary’

mosquito c^haphuN'ka

mother ina' (term of address); ina'waye kiN ‘the one I have for mother’

mountain h^e'

mountain lion igmu'thaN'ka ‘big cat’

mountain sheep he'c^hiNs^kayapi ‘they make spoons from their horns’

mouse ithuN'kala

mouth i'

movie wo'wapis^kaNs^kaN ‘moving picture’

mule See donkey

muskrat siNkphe', siNkphe'la

mustache phutiN'hiN ‘upper lip hair’

narrow oc^i'k?a

navel c^hekpa'

necklace wana'p?iN

needle thahiN's^pa ‘needle, awl’

new (young) the'c^a ‘new; young"

night haNhe'pi

nine napc^iN'yuNka

north wazi'yata

northern lights See aurora borealis

nose phasu'

nostril phah^la'te

Oglala Sioux Ogla'la ‘Oglala Sioux, Pine Ridge Sioux’

oil See grease

Ojibwa H^ah^a'thuNwaN ‘those who live at the falls’

old kaN' ‘old, worn out’

one waN'c^i (used in counting); waNz^i' (used in specifying an amount)

onion ps^iN'

otter ptaN'

owl hiNhaN'

pack wak?iN' ‘backpack’

paint See write

pants See trousers

parfleche bag wo'kpaN

pemmican wasna'

penis c^he'; susu' ‘testicle(s); male genitals’

people oya'te ‘people; tribe’

pepper yamnu'mnug^api, yamnu'mnuz^api (This term originally referred to the berries of the hackberry tree.)

picture ito'wapi

pig khukhu's^e

pigeon wakiN'yela

pine wazi'

Pine Ridge Sioux See Oglala Sioux

pipe c^haNnu'pa

pipestem c^haNnu'pasiNte' ‘pipe tail’

play s^ka'tA

plum khaN'ta

porcupine phahiN' ‘sharp hair’

potato blo'

prairie chicken s^iyo'

prairie dog pispi'za ‘squeaking, barking’

puppy s^uNh^pa'la

quillwork wo'ska

quill owiN'z^a

rabbit mas^tiN'c^a, mas^tiN'c^ala

racoon wic^hi'tegleg^a ‘striped face’

rain mag^a'z^u

rainbow wi'gmuNke ‘snare, trap’

rattle wagmu'ha

rattlesnake siNte'h^la ‘rattle tail’

rawhide thaha'lo

read yawa' ‘read; count’

red s^a'

relative ota'kuye

rib thuc^hu'hu

rice ps^iN'

rifle ma'zawakhaN' ‘wonderful metal’

ripe See cook

river wakpa'

root hu'ta

rope wi'khaN

Rosebud Sioux See Brule Sioux

run iN'yaNkA

sack wo'z^uha

saddle c^haN'wak?iN ‘wooden back rack’

salt mnisku'ya ‘sweet water’

Sans Arc Sioux Ita'zibc^ho ‘those without bows"

Santee Sioux IsaN'yethi

say eyA'

school owa'yawa ‘reading place’

see waNyaN'kA

seven s^ako'wiN

sew kaye'g^A

sharp (edge) phe'

sharp (point) phe'stola

shawl s^ina'

sheep he'c^hiNs^kayapi ‘they make spoons from their horns’ ‘bighorn sheep, mountain sheep’; ptiN'c^ala ‘domestic sheep’

shield waha'c^haNka

shin hublo'

shirt (coat) o'gle

shoe haN'pa

shoot khute'

short pte'c^ela

Shoshone Su'suni

shoulder ablo'

sick khu'z^A ‘to be nauseous’; yazaN' ‘to hurt’

sinew khaN'

sing lowaN'

sister thaNke' ‘older sister of a man’; c^huwe' ‘older sister of a woman’; thaNks^i' ‘younger sister of a man’; thaNka' ‘younger sister of a woman’

sit yaNkA'

sit down i'yotakA

six s^a'kpe

skinny thama'hec^a

skunk maka'

sky mah^pi'ya ‘sky; cloud’

sleep is^tiN'mA ‘to be asleep’

sleepy h^wa'

smoke s^o'ta; uN'pA ‘to smoke tobacco’

snake zuze'c^a

snow wa' ‘fallen snow’; ic^a'mna ‘falling snow’

socks huNya'khuN

soda pop kapho'papi ‘bursting, popping’

soft phaNs^phaN'z^a

son c^hiNks^i'

soup wahaN'pi

south ito'kag^ata

speak iyA'

spear wahu'kheza

spider iNkto'; iNkto'mi

spoon c^hiNs^ka'

spring (season) we'tu

spring of water wiwi'la

squash wagmu' ‘squash; gourd’

squirrel zic^a'

stand ogna'ke ‘stand, chest’; na'z^iN ‘be standing’

stand up ina'z^iN

Standing Rock Sioux See Hunkpapa Sioux

star wic^ha'h^pi

stone iN'yaN; ih^?e'

store mas?o'phiye ‘cashbox’

stove oc^he'thi

sugar c^haNhaN'pi ‘tree juice’

summer bloke'tu

sun wi' ‘luminary’; aN'pawi' ‘day luminary’

sunflower wah^c^a'zi' ‘yellow flower’

swallow is^ta'nic^athaN'ka ‘cliff or barn swallow’; napc^A' ‘to swallow; to internalize knowledge’

sweet sku'yA

swim See bathe

table wa'glotapi

tail siNte'

talk See converse

take a?i' ‘to take or convey there’; akhi' ‘to take or convey home there’; a'yA ‘to be taking or conveying there’; aglA' ‘to be taking or conveying home there’; e'yayA ‘to leave to take or convey there’; akhi'yaglA ‘to leave to take or convey home there’

take ic^u' ‘take, get’

tall haN'skA ‘tall; long’

tea wah^pe' ‘leaves’; wah^pe'khalya'pi ‘leaf beverage’

telephone mas?a'pha

ten wikc^e'mna

tepee See lodge

testicle itka'; see also egg

Teton Sioux Thi'thuNwaN

thick s^o'kA

thigh (side) sic^haN'
    (front) s^u'te

thin zizi'pa

three ya'mni

throat lote'

thunder wakiN'yaNhothuNpi ‘The Thunderers are calling’

tired watu'kha, hu'stakA

tobacco c^haNli'

tomato See wildrose

tongue c^hez^i'

tooth hi'

travois c^huwi'c^?iNpa

tree c^haN' ‘tree; wood’

tribe See people

trousers uNzo'g^iN

turkey wagle'ks^aN

turnip thiN'psila ‘wild turnip’; see also artichoke

turtle khe'ya

two nu'pa, nu'm

Two-Kettle Sioux O?o'henupa ‘those who boil meat twice’

uncle leks^i' ‘mother’s brother’ (The father’s brother is called ‘father’.)

use uN' ‘use; wear’

vegetation wo'h^e ‘weeds’

vulva s^aN'

wagon c^haNpa'gmiyaNpi ‘wood that is made to roll along’

walk ma'ni

warbonnet wapha'ha

warclub iN'yaNkape'mnipi ‘stone club’

wash yuz^a'z^a

water mni'

watermelon s^paN's^niyuta'pi ‘they eat it raw’;
     wagmu's^paNs^ni ‘uncooked squash’

wear See use

weasel ithuN'kasaN', ithuN'kasaN'la

weed See vegetation

west wiyo'h^peyata ‘where the sun goes down’

wet spa'yA

whiskey mni'wakhaN' ‘wonderful water’

white saN' ‘dull white’; ska' ‘clear white’

White man Was^i'c^uN, Was^i'c^u

wide o'pta

wife thawi'c^u

wildrose uNz^iN'z^iNtka ‘rose hip; tomato’

willow c^haNs^a's^a ‘red stem dogwood’; c^haNwi'wila ‘common willow’

wind thate'

window oz^aN'z^aNglepi ‘frame to admit light’

wing h^upa'hu

winter wani'yetu

woman wiN'yaN ‘woman’; wikho's^kalaka ‘young woman’; winu'h^c^ala ‘old woman"

wolf s^uNn^ma'nituthaN'ka ‘big coyote’

wood See tree

write owa' ‘write; paint’

Yankton Sioux IhaN'gthuNwaN ‘those dwelling at the end’

yellow zi'

young See new


T.O.C.


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