Combining grammaticalizations in mid-period Chinuk Wawa: mamuk-chaku- &c.

mamuk chako

(Image credit: CNN.com)

Add this one to the list of lower Columbia River CW grammatical innovations that have gone away…

…the combination of the ‘Causative’ mamuk- plus the ‘Inchoative’ chaku- with a predicate stem, specifically a time-stable concept (noun or adjective).

(Not to be confused with mamuk-cháku ‘to bring’, which has only mamuk- on its verb stem, which is the full verb chaku.)

St Onge has about 3 dozen different expressions formed this way. A representative sampling:

With nouns (positive; quantified):

 

mamuk-chako-siks
Causative-Inchoative-friend
ʹreconcileʹ

mamuk-chako-helo-tala
Causative-Inchoative-none-money
‘impoverish’

With adjectives (positive; negated; intensified; comparative):

mamuk-chako-tlemin
Causative-Inchoative-soft
‘melt’ [Transitive]

mamuk-chako-wek-skukum
Causative-Inchoative-Negative-strong
ʹunnerveʹ

mamuk-chako-aias-saleks
Causative-Inchoative-Intensifier-angry
‘infuriate, exasperate’

mamuk-chako-elip-tanas
Causative-Inchoative-Comparative-small
‘minimize’

We don’t find mamuk-chako- on verbal stems, in St. Onge’s data. Any (possibly) verbal material can take this double inflection only if it’s been converted to an adjective:

With ?noun (or verb) => adjective expressions:

mamuk-chako-aias-tlush-tomtom
Causative-Inchoative-Intensifier-good-heart
‘enrapture’

With verb ̣=̣> adjective expressions:

mamuk-chako-komtoks
Causative-Inchoative-to.know
‘habituate’

mamuk-chako-wek-komtoks
Causative-Inchoative-Negative-to.know
‘incapacitate’

I have limited time to write today, so let me leave you with the new information that this double marking was a short-lived(failed?) innovation in Chinuk Wawa grammar.

It appears to have existed only in the lower Columbia region, by the time St. Onge learned Jargon circa 1870. I will do some checking as to whether it’s found before that.

I routinely include Grand Ronde’s creole under that geographical label, and the reservation was founded in the mid-1850’s, so it may have been in use there. We just don’t have significant Jargon data from there so early, and we sure don’t find this construction at GR any later. By the time Grand Ronde’s speech (creole Chinuk Wawa) was documented in any detail, expressions like the above were formed with just mamuk-.

As far as “sources” for this construction are concerned, I’ll have to write a separate post examining whether there are any parallel formations in Chinookan, English, French, or Salish.

What do you think?

 

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