Thompson River Salish & hymns

An apparently older version of the 1pl form [of ‘independent pronoun’] survives in a religious song: /nmimeł.

[Otherwise /nmimł]  — Thompson, Laurence C. and M. Terry Thompson.  1992.  The Thompson language.  Missoula, MT: University of Montana.  (UMOPL #8.)  page 59  [the i is stressed and the ł is voiceless]

True, I bet.  ‘Religious song’ probably means a Christian hymn.  It would likely have been composed, or at least set to music, by a non-Native missionary circa 1865 to 1895, perhaps 1925 at the latest.  In my experience with various Pacific Northwest languages, this genre of songs abhors non-European-type consonant clusters and even treats many a schwa as unsingable 🙂  (Schwa, otherwise, might unremarkably be added before the voiceless L.)  Full vowels are inserted frequently, under pressure from Western metrical demands.

This was done with hymns in Chinook Jargon, too.  /msáyka/ ‘you folks’ (2pl) was often scanned as ma-say-ka or mi-say-ka.

I haven’t observed songs composed by Salish people inserting etymologically nonexistent vowels like this.  Have you?

*nłeʔképmxcín or Thompson River Salish is traditionally spoken in southern interior British Columbia, Canada.

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