Chinuk Wawa in a Stó:lō hymn book (Part 12: Finale)

methodist church nanaimo

Methodist Mission church at Nanaimo, BC (image credit: Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia)

In this mini-series, we’ve made our way through a whole lot of Methodist hymns translated into Chinuk Wawa in turn-of-the-century British Columbia.

That, however, isn’t all of the Jargon in this particular publication!

I’m challenging myself to go Pro level in this last installment.

Not that I’m fluent in Stó:lō (Upriver Halq’eméylem Salish), but just as I’ve shown for other Northwest languages, it’s clear there is both overt & covert Jargon influence in the Salish portions of this hymn book.

Let’s see if I can persuade you of that.

The title page is a fine place to start:

staylim tp

Here, < Staylim > is Salish st’í:lem ‘song’ in modern Stó:lō writing, but it’s compounded (by the rules of Chinuk Wawa grammar) with CW’s noun < paypa > (pípa ‘book, paper, writing’).

< Ts’hayilth > is Salish ts’ahéyelh ‘pray’ or — shown but not explicitly noted in Brent Galloway’s unbelievably great Stó:lō dictionary — ‘prayer’. Galloway describes it as a puzzling word in terms of Stó:lō grammar, but it’s probable that this can be explained by its being a loan from the Lushootseed Salish word that he notes; Ld was a major transmitter of Christian ideas to BC Coast Salish tribes. < Ts’hayilth > here forms another compound, also potentially good Chinook Jargon: < Methodist-Ts’hayilth >.

stand up

Hymn 10 “Stand Up for Jesus” includes a phrase < soldiers ta lak-wail >, where both nouns are from Chinuk Wawa — compare Grand Ronde shúlchast ‘soldier(s)’ and JB Good’s typical BC CW < la qhuen > ‘(the) cross’ — but this time joined together via Salish grammar. The word < lee-awm > appears to be líyóm from CW liyob ‘(the) devil’.

shall we gather

Hymn 19 “Shall We Gather at the River” uses the word < lee-zas >, i.e. lisós ‘angel(s)’, borrowed from CW lesásh.

Are you noticing that most of the religious words we’re seeing from CW are French-based? These reflect the fact that Christianity was first effectively brought to the Native Northwest by priests from Quebec. Here’s another instance:

jesus my all

In Hymn 23 “Jesus, My All, to Heaven is Gone”, < Jesus Kree > is Sisikri ~ Síthikri ~ Síthikwi, from Jargon sesukʰli.

On page 48, the “Ten Commandments in Alkomaylum” use an abbreviation T-S for Tchee-tchilth-See-am (God), a strategy which I suspect is borrowed from the Catholic Kamloops Wawa newspaper! My readers have previously seen that KW plagiarized these 3 Methodist missionaries’ Chinook Jargon 10 Commandments, so it would be a funny symmetry if these guys borrowed something from KW.

That wraps up our mini-series on this hymn book!

What do you think?