Shooting affair at Dog Creek

Dog Creek Canoe Creek IR

Dog Creek / Canoe Creek First Nation (image credit: Wikipedia)

For a short news article, there’s plenty to chew on here.

A clue before you start reading — try to figure out the relationships among these 3 people.

Shooting affair at Dog Creek

     Iht man kopa [1] Alkalai Lik, iaka nim
     íxt mán kʰupa álkalay léyk, yaka ném
one man from Alkali Lake, his name
‘A certain man from Alkali Lake, named’ 

Rid Blof Charli iaka mamuk pu 
réd blə́f chárli(,) yaka mamuk-pú
Red Bluff Charlie, he make-shoot
‘Red Bluff Charlie, shot’ 

iht man kopa Dog Krik, wiht 
íxt mán kʰupa dóg krík, wə́x̣t
one man at Dog Creek, also
‘one man at Dog Creek, (and) also’  

iaka pu iaka [2] kluchmin. Iaka 
yaka pú yaka łúchmə́n. yaka
he shoot his woman. he
‘shot his (own) wife. He’ 

chiləs [3] ukuk man: iaka ilihi 
djéləs úkuk mán: yaka ílihi
jealous this man: her village
‘was jealous, this man: her (home) village’ 

Dog Krik iaka kluchmin. 
dóg krík yaka łúchmən.
Dog Creek his woman.
‘was Dog Creek, his wife(‘s was).’

     Ukuk [4] man drit skukum kakshit(,) 
     úkuk mán dlét skúkum-kákshit
that man really powerfully-broken,
‘That (other) man was terribly injured,’ 

wik saia iaka kakshit iaka 
wík-sayá yaka kákshit yaka
not far it destroyed his
‘it was nearly destroyed(,) his’ 

tomtom; iaka nim ukuk man 
tə́mtəm; yaka ném úkuk mán
heart; his name that man
‘heart was; that man’s name’ 

Litl Choni. 
lítəl djóni.
Little Johnny.
‘was Little Johnny.’

     Ayu tilikom klatwa kopa 
     (h)áyú tílikam łátwa kʰupa
many people go to 

Dog Krik, tiki [5] iskom ukuk 
dóg krík, tíki ískam úkuk
Dog Creek, want get that  

Charli pi mash [Ø] [6] kopa skukum haws 
chárli pi másh Ø kʰupa skúkum-háws(,)
Charlie and throw him into strong-house, 

pi wik klaska tlap [Ø]. Klunas kah 
pi wík łáska t’łáp Ø. t’łúnas-qʰá(x)
but not they catch him. maybe-where  

iaka klatwa. Tilikom tomtom 
yáka łátwa. tílikam tə́mtəm
he go. people think 

pus [7] iaka klatwa kopa Chilkotin 
pus yáka łátwa kʰupa chilkótin-
so.that he go to Chilcotin 


— from Kamloops Wawa #116 “bis” (b), May 1894


Iht man kopa [1] Alkalai Lik: The < kopa > here is slightly misleading. It’s clearly intended by Father Le Jeune, under the influence of his native French, as ‘from’. But in Chinook Jargon this preposition defaults to a sense of present location: ‘at, in’. Things clear up as you read through the entire article, once again demonstrating the power of context in CJ. Read the comments below for more examples of this.

iaka [2] kluchmin is also kind of unclear when you first read it. The tendency in Jargon is to attach a possessive expression like this to the nearest possible possessor noun, thus to the guy who got shot. 

chiləs [3] is a recent loan into 1890s Kamloops Chinuk Wawa. There’s another dialect expression for this emotion in KCW, < makmak >, literally ‘to eat (someone)’! Previous Chinook Jargon would be limited to broader expressions like sík-tə́mtəm ‘upset-heart’. 

Ukuk [4] man is another reference that only becomes clear as you continue to read.

tiki [5] iskom: this is one of those subjectless clauses in Jargon that work like an English “-ing” participle. 

mash [Ø] [6] kopa skukum haws pi wik klaska tlap [Ø]: These both are unusual uses of the ‘null’ (silent!) third-person pronoun Ø, which in all Jargon dialects defaults to an inanimate, and even indefinite, reading. I see these as Father Le Jeune showing an awareness of proper Jargon, but falling just slightly short of the mark. In his writings, he was humbly self-critical about his fluency in this language, and here as well as in Note 1, we see small examples where his speech deviates from that found in the First Nations-writtten letters in the same region. 

Tilikom tomtom pus [7] iaka klatwa: in Kamloops Chinuk Wawa, < pus > (which also means ‘if’ in all dialects including KCW) additionally functions as ‘when’ (which tends to be qʰánchix̣ elsewhere) and, as seen here, like a marker of ‘hypothetical’ status of a clause. That is, here it means something like ‘maybe’ (which in other dialects is usually t’łúnas ‘maybe/I guess’ or, at Grand Ronde, aláxti ‘maybe/I think’).

Kata maika tomtom?
What do you think?