Algonquian Names

Paul Proulx

Abstract


Of the many things Algonquianists can be grateful to John Hewson for, perhaps the most useful is his computer-generated dictionary of Proto-Algonquian. And one of the most intriguing reconstructions in it is *e Sinlehk- (with various finals) 'call or name so', There are related forms
with initials other than *ef- or es- 'so', but, when no qualifying initial at all is present, apparently suppletive *wi:n- 'call or name, mention by name' is used. Despite appearances, however, the two stems are in fact related. It is easy enough to explain the *-inl- of *-inIehk-. PA initials like *wi:n- lose their initial sonorant (if any) when used as medials, many
shorten their closed vowels outside an initial syllable, and *wi:n- in particular is seldom, if ever, found unextended with one of the following finals: *-(e)swi 'reflexive: own, self', *-t 'gender-neutral transitive final', or, as in the present case, archaic *-1'transitive animate final' (see Proulx 1985: 79). This leaves *-ehk- to explain.

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