Kanamokst as a noun!

The word that was spelled kanamokst in the Kamloops area is known in every dialect of Chinuk Wawa.

Chinook companion

Dictionaries mostly define it in English as an adverb, “together”. This is what you’ll learn from the Grand Ronde dictionary.

They sometimes also gloss it as a sort of dual pronoun, “both”, in which sense there’s a synonym “kanawi mokst” — literally “all two”. These observations probably reflect an awareness of the etymology and usage of kanamokst. In fact, a rarely noticed additional function of kanamokst, at least in certain dialects such as Kamloops, is as a reciprocal pronoun “each other”. I mention this briefly in my dissertation.

A third function, never before noted in the literature on Chinook Jargon, is as a noun, “companion; partner”. (Such as the little Chinook dog in the illustration.)

I have only discovered this expressive near-synonym for tilikom and sikhs in the Kamloops dialect, but the evidence for it is reasonably abundant.

It’s easiest to spot the use of kanamokst as a noun when it’s possessed, as in “his companion”, “their companion”, and so on.

Having made my case, I finish with several examples for you to practice on:

Shako wiht Mari
Shims iaka mama, Salomi, Shin
pi klaska kanamokst; klaska wawa
kopa lisapotr ikta klaska nanish. 

“There came also Mary,
James’ mother; Salome; Jeanne [Joanna];
and their companions; they told
the apostles what they had seen.” (Kamloops Wawa #116, 15 April 1894, page 73)


Kopa Sondi Shun <24> kopit sitkom son Pir Sulii
pi iaka kanamokst klatwa kopa tanas bot pus
klatwa kopa Wisminstir.

“On Sunday June 24 in the afternoon Pere Soullier
and his companions [two priests] boarded a small boat to
go to [New] Westminster.” (KW #119, August 1894, page 136)


Kanawi klaska mokst,
man pi kluchmin; kopit iht Adam, ilo iaka kanamokst[.]

“All of them [the birds and beasts] were in twos,
male and female; only Adam had no companion.” (KW #118, July 1894, page [1])