Adding to the Chinookan etymology of p’ə́q
In these pages, previously…
…I’ve written about probable alternations between “M” sounds and “P” (or even “B”) sounds in the lower Columbia River region.
- A well-known example is “Multnomah”, the name of a tribe and its locality not far from modern Portland, Oregon. Historically, the name was sometimes documented as “Multnobah” in local Chinookan people’s pronunciation.
- Also I’ve written about how Grand Ronde Chinuk Wawa pʰík’w ‘back (of body)’ is likely from the same Chinookan source as older CW < e[-]meek > ‘back’, as well as having a Salish etymology.
- I’ve also noted that Quinault miy[-]u ‘bee’ may be a loan from English.
I believe we have at least one more example where “M” and “P” alternate: the etymology of Jargon p’ə́q ‘hit’.
The 2012 Grand Ronde dictionary finds an excellent source in Lower Chinookan that I’m not arguing with: the Kathlamet particle p’aq ‘slap’.
I have details to add to that, though. Also in Lower Chinookan, we find “M” versions that bolster the preceding etymology:
- Shoalwater-Clatsop: Franz Boas 1910:600 -maʔ ‘act of hitting ( = to hit)’ implies an underlying -maq by regular sound changes
- Kathlamet: -maq
Notably, Upper Chinookan languages appear to have a rather different verb root for ‘hit’:
It’s not unimaginable that these two forms are related to -maq; for a linguist it’s not hard to see that they might be historically from /im(a)q/.
But the point today is, we’re able to find even more evidence of the Lower Chinookan source of CW p’əq, because we know a fair amount about Lower Chinookan phonological rules.
How does that strike you?