Animate and inanimate possessors

animate and inanimate

So here is an essentially randomly picked li’l stretch of Chinook Jargon:

Kimta klaska kakshit Sidisias iaka
Then they beat on Zedechiah’s

siahus pi klaska mamuk klatwa iaka kopa Babilon skukum haws
face and they sent him off to Babylon’s prison.  

Taii wawa wiht kopa solshirs pus klaska mamuk k’aw
The chief also ordered soldiers to tie up 

Shirusalim tilikom pi kiskis klaska kopa Babilon pus iawa
Jerusalem’s people and herd them to Babylon so that there 

klaska ilaitin.  Taii wawa pus solshirs mamuk paia
they would be slaves.  The chief told the soldiers to burn 

kanawi tlus haws kopa Shirusalim.  Solshirs mamuk paia
all the beautiful houses in Jerusalem.  The soldiers burned 

styuil haws, klaska paia Shuda taii klaska haws pi
the temples, they burned Judah’s chiefs’ homes and 

kanawi hloima haws.  Shirusalim tawn mimlus alta, kopit
all the other houses.  The city of Jerusalem was dead now; only 

ston mitlait.  Taii kopa Shuda chako kopit.  Shuda tilikom
rocks remained.  The chiefs of Judah came to an end.  Judah’s people 

klatwa klahani kopa klaska ilihi.  Asiria taii kiskis
went away from their land.  Assyria’s chief drove 

klaska kopa Babilon pus klaska ilaitin iawa…
them to Babylon to be slaves there…

(– Kamloops Wawa #133 [October 1895], page 155, “Bishop Durieu’s Old Testament”)

Look how I’ve bolded and underlined certain things.  These all are possessive constructions.  So each one means “X’s thing”.  (In various flavours.)

See any pattern?

In  a few words: animate possessors (people for instance) => “X iaka thing”, inanimate possessors (geographical names for instance) => “X thing”.

This is another important detail of Chinook Jargon grammar that has never been pointed out for the benefit of would-be fluent speakers.


Naika nim: Dave