“tiki kʰapa” is good Jargon for ‘love’

id love to

(Image credit: Avery Bang)

Certain occurrences in Chinuk Wawa stories etc. that I’ve remarked on as oddities…

…turn out to be good fluent Jargon.

You learn something every day, when it comes to this language!

In one of the very earliest texts written in Chinook Jargon, by François Blanchet circa 1838 near Fort Vancouver, we find:

tiki khapa.PNG

An act of Love and Charity. — Saիali Taï Papa, aïas naïka tikeի kopa maïka pi kopa kanewe telikom

— from page 43 of “Chinook Dictionary, Catechism, Prayers and Hymns

That’s early-creolized Jargon, but in modern Grand Ronde spelling (useful for its ability to show pronunciation details), that would be:

sax̣ali-tayi papa, hayas nayka tiki(x̣) kʰapa mayka pi kʰapa kʰanawi tílixam...
above-chief father, much I want to you and to all people…
‘God the Father, I very much love you and everyone…’

This observation readily explains stuff that I used to take as mistakes in Chinook Jargon usage!

I’d ask you to notice another detail:

Blanchet happens to say “hayas nayka tiki(x̣) kʰapa…”, using the long-established intensifier ‘much’. It’s entirely possible that he meant for the whole phrase all together, hayas tiki(x̣) kʰapa, to mean ‘love’.

In later northern-dialect Jargon, the common way of saying ‘love’ was just hayas tiki(x̣), literally ‘much want’. So maybe that form developed from the longer hayas tiki(x̣) kʰapa?

By the way, in the southern (the lower Columbia River region) way of talking, ‘love’ came to be expressed as q’at.

So you can see that the older way of saying ‘love’ went out of fashion pretty much everywhere. And that’s why I was unfamiliar with it for so long.

What have you learned?