Algonquian Names


  • Paul Proulx Heatherton, Nova Scotia


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.




How to Cite

Proulx, P. (1997). Algonquian Names. Linguistica Atlantica, 19, 121–127. Retrieved from