“Nawitika” there’s a “hymn” pronunciation of Chinuk Wawa

Short post: “Nawitika” there is a “hymn” pronunciation of Chinuk Wawa.

It amounts to throwing extra vowels in.

This breaks up some of the consonant clusters that are harder (for European missionaries) to sing.

O ShK nawitika (2)

The word “nawitka” comes out as “nawitika”.  (Check out the four syllables at the end of the shorthand line above.)

That’s the first example that comes to mind.

There are others, and I have audio of Native people singing the hymns this way, but more later.

I’m leaving it there for now, with the observation that you don’t find these inserted syllables in the missionary prayers, or catechisms.  Because only songs need this treatment.

Further reference: “Thompson River Salish & hymns“.

EDITED 9/20/2015: Leland Bryant Ross asked in the Facebook Chinook Jargon group:

Can you quote the whole hymn? Assuming it’s a translation or paraphrase, can you give the original first line? And the source? Was it spelled that way or did you transcribe it from Chinuk pipa?”

Here in my transcription from shorthand is the full text of the hymn on that page of Kamloops Wawa: 

O Sh[isi] K[ri] nawitika 
Aias maika tiki nsaika 
Maika mimlus kopa lakrwa 
Pus piii nsaika masachi 
Alta nsaika tiki maika 
Nsaika iskom maika wawa 
Wik kata pus alki nsaika 
Kilapai kopa masachi 

As for the source (the model for this Jargon version): Le Jeune’s Chinook Manual, page 77, refers to “No. 90”, in the same way that its other hymns reference pages or [hymn] numbers from some unnamed, presumably French, hymnal.  I’ve checked through my files without luck, but In case it helps track down the source — which I hope we can do — here is my translation of the above lyrics:

Oh Jesus Christ, truly
You love us.
You died on the cross
To pay for our sins.
Now we love you,
We heed your words,
We could never
Return to sinning.

The biggest clue to the source is likely to come when I snip a bit of audio to post.  I feel sure that someone will recognize the tune.

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