More connections between BC Chinuk Wawa & Chinese/Pacific Pidgin Englishes

get up

(Image credit: 123rf.com)

BC Chinook Wawa has other features that strike me as being similar to Chinese Pidgin English and the South Pacific Pidgin Englishes that CPE spawned…

Aside from BC expressions like stop for ‘be located; have’, I notice some body-position phrases, built from English words, that differ from how other, earlier, dialects of Chinuk Wawa phrase things…

sitdawn ‘to sit’

Compare Cantonese Chinese 坐低 co5 dai1, literally ‘sit low’. As in Jeff Siegel’s paper on CPE of southeast Australia in Jong Ah Siug’s notebook (he also shows “put down” as frequent).

foldawn ‘to fall’

Compare Cantonese 跌親 dit3 can1, Mandarin 跌倒 diédǎo, literally ‘fall inverted’. As in Robert A. Hall’s 1944 description of CPE.

lidawn ‘to lie (down), be lying (down)’

I’m not yet finding evidence of this one within CPE, but compare Cantonese 瞓低 fan3 dai1, literally ‘glance(?) low’. Also note that the British Columbia CJ spelling (here transliterated from the shorthand Chinuk Pipa alphabet) indicates an origin in informal English ‘lay down’, not formal English ‘lie down’.

One similar form in Jargon that we should not try to attribute to CPE is:

gitəp ‘wake up; get up’

— it’s quite old, dating to a time before Chinese immigration to the Pacific Northwest, and before the Jargon came to BC. But it fits into the pattern we’re examining; notice how Cantonese 起身 hei2 san1 parallels the Jargon word’s range of meaning [1] to wake up, to waken, to arise in the morning. [2] to get up (from a sitting or lying-down position). In Jargon, we see Demers-Blanchet-St Onge 1871 [1838-ish data] < ketop > ‘rise [from the dead]’, Lionnet 1853 [1848-ish data] < kétop > se lever du lit [to get out of bed]’, Gibbs 1863 [1850s data] < get-up / ket-op > ‘to get up; rise’. Nonetheless, CPE get up could potentially have reinforced its use in “Chinook”.

Bonus facts:

A not-infrequent way to say ‘(law) court’ in CPE is < court houso >, which happens to match the normal BC Chinuk Wawa expression kort haws. (Which, in BC CW, is used a lot in the inflected form mamuk kort haws ‘to judge; to sentence’ someone to a punishment, often referring to God.)

CPE, like Jargon, often uses no spoken preposition (or uses a “null” preposition, in the terminology I often deploy here). So we find CPE < He hap come court houso? > for ‘Did he appear before the court?’

The normal way to say inanimate direct object ‘it’ in CPE & in Jargon is also a “null”, as in CPE < What placee you makee buy? > ‘Where did you buy it?’

CPE and BC Chinuk Wawa both say < sellum > for ‘sell’.

What do you think?