LINGUISTIC ARCHAEOLOGY: TREATY LANGUAGE (POINT NO POINT), PART 15

point no point

(Image credit: Legacy Washington)

Wrapping things up:

Because the English wording here is boilerplate — highly traditional, formulaic wording to indicate the end of a written document — it’s as impossible to replicate “in Indian” as it would be elegantly render a Salish pun to a settler.

(Back to: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8.; Part 9 ; Part 10Part 11Part 12.; Part 13; Part 14)

ARTICLE 14.
úkuk táx̣am-pi-lákit íkta ɬáska wáwa
this ten-and-four thing they talk

‘The fourteenth thing that was discussed.’

This treaty shall be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same
qʰánchi(x̣) bástən háyas(h)-táyí yáka wáwa ɬúsh úkuk pípa, álta ɬúsh pus kʰánawi úkuk
when American great-father he say good this paper, then good if all these
‘When the American great father says this paper is good, then all of these’

shall be ratified by the President of the United States. In testimony whereof, the
s(h)áwásh pi bástən-tílixam mámuk dlét kákwa úkuk pípa wáwa, kʰapa kwánisəm. pi
Indian and American-people do exactly as this paper say, for always, and
‘Indian and American people should always do just as this paper says, and’

dlét kákwa ɬáska wáwa, úkuk
exactly so they say, this
‘this is what they say, this’

said Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs, and the
< governor > Isaac I. Stevens, wə́x̣t bástən tənəs-táyí yáka kʰapa s(h)áwásh-tílixam,
governor Isaac I. Stevens, also American little-chief he to Indian-people,
‘governor Isaac I. Stevens who is also the American supervisor to the Indian people,’

pi úkuk
and these
‘and these’

undersigned chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the aforesaid tribes and bands
s(h)áwásh táyí pi tənəs-táyí pi háyás(h)-mán,
Indian chief and little-chief and big-man,
‘Indian chiefs and subchiefs and big men,’

of Indians have hereunto set their hands and seals at the place and on the day
kʰánawi úkuk tílixam ɬáska mamuk-t’sə́m úkuk pípa úkuk-sán kʰapa
all these people they make-mark this paper this-day at
‘all of these people who are marking this paper today at’

and year herebefore written.
úkuk ílihi.
this place.
‘this place.’

A long list of the signatories and witnesses follows. The witnesses are essentially any available settlers, i.e. non-Native males including several known to be highly fluent in “the Jargon” such as Michael Simmons, George Gibbs, and Benjamin Shaw.

What do you think of the mismatches between the Chinuk Wawa and English versions?

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