Like other Siouan languages, Omaha-Ponca is SOV in syntactic type. Heads follow dependents as follows: verbs normally follow subject and object noun phrases, modified nouns follow modifiers, articles follow noun phrases, adpositions follow noun phrases, and conjunctions follow subordinate clauses. Relative clauses are what are variously called headless or head-incorporating.
Omaha-Ponca is also head marking. Verbs incorporate the subject and primary object pronominals and some classes of peripheral arguments. Inalienably possessed nouns (all kinship terms) incorporate the possessor pronominal. Independent pronominals have a focussing function. Case is indicated by means of the pronominals incorporated in the verbs, or by means of derived verb stems: datives, suus, and reflexive/reciprocal.
Word order is relatively fixed, but adverbial phrases, subjects, and objects can be postposed under circumstances not yet established, and question words can be placed adjacent to the verb or fronted.
A Sample Sentence
MaNs^tiN'ge=akha ikkaN' z^u'=gigdhe tti'=bi=ama.
Special Characteristics of Dhegiha
Special characteristics of Dhegiha languages include extensive positional (shape/posture-based) noun classification indicated with a complex set of definite articles and the use of the plural or augment enclitic with most third person singulars, apparently in the capacity of a proximate marker. A set of forms related to the definite article serve as progressive and future auxiliaries.
There is an extensive system of inceptive-momentaneous-iterative auxiliaries based on compounds of the positional stems and the motion verb stems. (The corresponding forms in Dakotan seem to be limited and the system moribund.)
You are the 7492nd visitor since 03/29/98.