Grand Ronde Chinuk Wawa in the “Kalapuya Texts” (part 6: Totally new discoveries?)


Gleaning some odds and ends…


There’s still a small number of words that we haven’t yet tallied up as being Chinook Jargon in the book “Kalapuya Texts”.


First is < q’aʹyi > ‘colt’, said by editor Jacobs to be CJ in a footnote on page 171. This word is new to me.

In the actual text, the form of the word is prefixed: < atq’aʹi >. This is interesting evidence.

Did one of the Kalapuyan speakers tell Jacobs the un-prefixed form that starts with < q’ >?

That word sure does resemble < cayuse >, the word for ‘pony’ (small horse) that’s long been said to come from Chinuk Wawa. The goofy thing is that we have relatively few known examples of < cayuse > being used in the Jargon, so for this skeptical-minded linguist at least, there’s always been a shade of doubt over that word.

This < q’aʹyi > could help resolve such questions.

(I won’t repeat various speculative connections I’ve made in the past between ‘cayuse’ and other horse words in regional languages.)


I wonder about page 329’s Kalapuyan < u•ʙuʹtsu’ asaʹʙlε > = ‘barley’. Words for this grain have long been known in Chinuk Wawa: 

  • lólsh from French l’orge (some old dictionaries have it as < larch > or < lareh >. There’s also < lashey >, which I believe is a misspelling of the above, and/or perhaps a reflection of older, rarer French l’orgée which meant apparently (A) ‘a mix of oats & barley’ (B) something like the related Spanish word horchata, a drink made from toasted grain with cinnamon.
  • barli in Kamloops Chinuk Wawa, from local spoken English

In K’alapuyan, <asaʹʙlε > is < a-saʹʙlε > (Noun.Marker-wheat/flour), that is, a borrowing from Chinuk Wawa saplel

The word preceding it, < u•ʙuʹtsu’ >, seems adjectival in form if I go by my tiny comprehension of K’alapuya. (Long story short, other adjectives seem to start with u- and stand before the noun.)  

This word is footnoted by Jacobs as being not recognized when he ran the original writing of it by a later K’alapuyan speaker. I wonder if this word might be local Chinuk Wawa also — could it be a form of the noun upuch/uputs ‘tail’, reanalyzed by Kalapuyans, and forming a phrase ‘tail(ed) wheat’ to signify barley’s appearance?

In other words, this implies Grand Ronde CW *úpʰuch-saplél for ‘barley’, which would be a new discovery.


On pages 53-54 the word Shaker is used in Kalapuyan, referring to plural people.

This English-derived word for a Native American religion of the coast is highly likely to have been the Chinuk Wawa name for it as well.

CW was closely associated with this intertribal faith. Traces of Shaker as a Jargon term occur in some Indigenous languages, for example Stó:lo (Upriver Halkomelem Salish) of lower mainland British Columbia, where we find Shéykes ‘Shakers’ and the phrase shíka leplít ‘Shaker minister’.

So here’s yet another “new” Chinook Jargon word, I suggest.

What have you learned?