A Chinook Jargon adverb-class marker?
Here’s a little sketch of an idea about Chinuk Wawa:
There’s word-final stress on these 2-syllable adverbs in the Grand Ronde dictionary (multiple stress marks = more than one possible place to stress the word):
- háyás(h) ‘loud’, háyú ‘much’ ≠ tunús (~tənás?) ‘little ‘ (and ‘quiet’?)
- kʰapá, yáwá ‘there’ ≠ yákwá ‘here’
- łáwá ‘slowly’ ≠ (h)áyáq ‘fast, quickly’
- sáyá ‘far (away)’ (≠ wik-sáyá ‘near’)
- kímt’á ‘behind; after’
- t’łúnás ‘possibly’
I’d thought of final-stressed kʰə́pít ‘finished’, but I really think that’s not an adverb; I analyze it as an adjective-type word (presumably a “stative verb” if you like technical terms).
There’s also dilít~təlít~tirét ‘really; straight’, but these are rare alternatives to the standard 1-syllable pronunciation, drét. (And a one-syllable word is stressed on its last syllable, eh?) 🙂
Now I’d like to list the counterexamples I’ve found in the 2012 Grand Ronde Tribes dictionary — words that you can see as adverbs, that have 2 syllables, but no final stress:
- álta ‘now’, áłqi ‘in the future’ (+ánqati ‘in the past’)
- íləp ‘before; in front of’
- kákwa ‘in this/that way; like this/that’ * (Just yesterday a highly proficient learner told me he’d been slipping into a pronunciation kakwá, fascinatingly parallel to the above pattern!)
- kʰə́ltəs(h) ‘pointlessly’
- líli ‘for a long time’
- máyʔmi ‘downstream’
And adverbs of more than 2 syllables (some have 2-syllable alternate forms) :
- kíkwəli ‘below; downstream’
- kwánisim~kwánsəm ‘always’
- sáx̣ali~sáx̣li ‘above; upstream’
The pattern I keep noticing among all these is, to be more precise, most 2-syllable adverbs, especially those with the vowel “a” in the second syllable, like to stress that syllable.
It’s almost like -á is a marker of the adverb class of words!
(Much as l- at the start of a 2+-syllable Jargon word almost guarantees you’re dealing with a noun.)
Maybe this reflects some linguistic reality in the minds of speakers in previous generations?
All of the words in this pattern except sáyá (ultimately from Nuuchahnulth) and dilít~təlít~tirét (tracing to Canadian French) are from Chinookan languages, for what it’s worth. I’d like to hear audio recordings & carefully look through written texts in Chinookan, just to check whether there’s any tendency to rhetorically stress adverbs this way.
It’s not a productive pattern at this time, though.
And I don’t foresee anyone deciding to engineer Chinuk Wawa by ordering us all to stress every adverb at the end!
PS: To be thorough, I should point out there are a number of further words that you could see as adverbs in certain limited uses that they have, such as when they’re the first word in a compound:
- t’łəmínxwət-wáwa (literally ‘lie-talk’) ‘to tell lies’ (not in Grand Ronde dialect)
- sáliks-wáwa (literally ‘angry-talk’) ‘to scold, to “chew out” ‘ (not in Grand Ronde dialect’
But these aren’t “productive” uses — you can’t freely use t’łəmínxwət or sáliks as adverbs, in the variety of sentence positions that adverbs can occupy. (Start, end, and right before the verb.) T’łəmínxwət is primarily a verb, as is sáliks.