F. This letter represents the sound
produced by the combination of th in
the words theft, think, etc. the lips,
however, are thrown more open,
than they are in general, when we
pronounce words of the same class in
G represents the sound of ng
in wrong, wing, or the nasal sound of
n in uncle. It is often thrown in be-
tween words for the sake of euphony,
or to distinguish the person of verbs.
H is aspirate, but expresses in gene-
ral a stronger breathing than it does
in the words has, hoe, his, etc.
K, M, N, P, R, S, and T, have the
same power that they have in English,
with the exception of p, which some-
times partakes slightly of the sound of
b; and r, the sound which, in some
words, so nearly resembles that given
to d, (with which letter it is often in-
terchanged,) that it is difficult, to de-
termine, which is intended; as,
raeh-to-hrae-kae, -----a strawberry.
====end p. 10 ====
Lance Foster's notes about Page 10
F: Hamilton and Irvin use the letter F to
represent the sound written as TH (THink)
in today's Ioway-Otoe (THinye: squirrel).
They do not however seem to use/recognize
the sound DH (THat) in Ioway-Otoe (maDHe: iron).
G: In modern Ioway-Otoe this is written NG
(maNGe=chest/breast). Hamilton and Irvin
do not distinguish the use of k in opposition to g;
however modern Iowa-Otoe does, and uses
both k and g. There is also a particular symbol
in modern linguistics that signifies this sound
that looks like an "n" with a tail descending
from the second leg of the n. It can get
confusing in modern Ioway-Otoe when
you write such words sinnge as the first n
just indicates the i is nasalized. There are
also words that have the NG sound just
before the G sound so one ends up with
mannge, which actually has a nasalized a
which makes manngge (manNG-gay) so
there are more graceful and efficient ways
if one uses the linguistics orthography, yet
the modern community would have to
learn that and there is resistance
to doing so among some.
H: I look forward to seeing the words
using H, as Hamilton and Irvin do not
make provision for the glottal fricative
that is written as X in today's Ioway-Otoe.
There is a difference between H and X,
and perhaps Hamilton and Irvin conflate
the two. We shall see in the pages
R: R actually is different than the English R;
Whitman heard it as an L sound, and it
has been written in modern Ioway-Otoe
that way at times, although at present
the R is favored. And as Hamilton and Irvin
indicate here with their example of "strawberry",
the R is realized in speech as a D,
especially at the beginning of words
(Whitman noted this).
So ranuwe/lanuwe (sacred pipe) actually
sounds to an English speaker more like
danuwe in regular conversation.
P: P is also an in issue in speaking Ioway
for the native English-speaker. That is
why we often see Baxoje written as Paxoje,
Pahodse, etc. in historic documents. The
difference between P and B in English is
whether the sound is voiceless and aspirated
which gives the P, or voiced and unaspirated,
which gives the B in English. Some Ps
in English are more aspirated than others too.
Hold your hand in front of your lips
and say "People"...feel the puff of air?
That's aspiration. Now hold your hand up
by your lips and say "Stop"...you won't
notice much, if any, puff. That's an
unaspirated P. The Ioway P/B was unaspirated
historically apparently, which explains
why some writers used a B and some a P
to write Baxoje and Paxoje.
Minimal Pairs and Paxoje vs Baxoje
One essential way a linguist gets at
figuring out what sound is meant is to
elicit "minimal pairs." A minimal pair is
a pair of words in which only one sound
(phoneme) is changed, but the meanings
are changed when the phoneme is changed.
In English, examples of minimal pairs would be
"rid - lid" as well as "rid - red"
In Ioway-Otoe, examples would be
"che (buffalo) - chi (house)" and
"pa (nose) - ba (snow)"
This is why we really don't know for sure
whether the Ioways' name for themselves
was meant to be:
Ba-xoje = Snow-gray -- or
Pa-xoje = Nose-gray
(In ancient usage, especially with animals,
pa also relates to the head as a whole;
as in goose,
mixe-paxanje- waterfowl-big nose/head;
xoje = means both ashes and the color of ashes)
The Mystery of Strawberry
Finally here Hamilton and Irvin give us
the word for strawberry in 1848,
This would be written in today's spelling
as rehtohreke, or perhaps rexdoxreke.
Today we use the word hashje, which
comes from hadhe "berry" blended with
In trying to figure out which way to go,
one can compare it to some of the other
Siouan language terms for strawberry
(Kindscher, Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie, p. 116):
Winnebago: haz-shchek (haz means fruit or berry)
It looks like all of the other Siouan names
here use their own words for fruit/berry + red
and look very similar to what we now use
in Ioway-Otoe, hashje.
It is a mystery to me then why Hamilton and
Irvin have this long word, rehdo-xrege,
or something along those lines, as
meaning "strawberry." It seems though,
that I may have seen this word before
in connection to another plant, perhaps
in one of Alanson Skinner's works.
But that will have to wait for another time.
In collecting some of the photos of
wild strawberries here from Google,
I notice that the five-petaled star-shaped
flowers and red berries are seen in beadwork.
It would be very interesting to see what
other wild plants were used in Ioway-Otoe
beadwork. I know I have seen wild grapes
used on Ioway-Otoe clothing/moccasins.