Working with large numbers of Chinuk Wawa documents, as I do, I often find myself adding “[sic]” as a comment on what I’m seeing…

…And I thought it might interest my readers to see what that “[sic]” implies.

For a source of examples, I’ll use my current project of transcribing and analyzing the 1902 “Chinook Book of Devotions throughout the Year”. 

“[sic]” flags a number of details that demand some close reading:

  • Alta tomtom kopa Sint [SIC] Shwakim pi Sint
    An…Alta tomtom kopa msaika: msaika na
    tlus kakwa Sin [SIC] Shwakim pi Sint An?
    (‘Now think about Saint Joachim and Saint 
    Ann…Now think about yourselves: are you folks 
    good like Saint Joachim and Saint Ann?’)
    Here I’m pointing out the variation between 2 pronunciations of “Saint” in Jargon.
  • …ukuk klaska mimlus= [SIC]
    siahush, klaska nanich alta…
    (‘…those who are
    blind, they can see now…’)
    In this case I’m noting that the writer is unusually placing a punctuation mark “=” in the middle of a compound; it’s normally used if a single word is interrupted by a line break.
  • Pus chako <8> son kimta, klaska chako
    pus mamuk nim ukuk tanas, pi klaska
    tiki mamuk nim iaka Sakari, kakwa iaka [SIC]
    Pi iaka mama wawa: …
    (‘When it got to be 8 days later, they came
    to name that child, and they
    wanted to name him Zachary, like his [father.]
    And his mother said…’)
    With this “[sic]”, I’m noting that a CW word papa has apparently been left out.
  • Chi iaka chako, Mari mamuk tlus
    iaka kopa tanas pasisi iaka lolo, pi
    pi [SIC] iaka mamuk iaka li dawn kopa musmus
    (‘Once he was born, Mary fixed
    him up with a little blanket that she’d brought, and
    and she laid him down in a stable…’)
    Here I’m pointing out an accidental repetition of a word. 
  • Pus tolo nisaika [SIC] …
    (‘To win us over…’)
    What I’m highlighting here is a special “song pronunciation” of a word that’s otherwise spelled nsaika.
  • Ankati, ukuk tlus tilikom klaska
    tlus nanich klaska shīp [SIC] wik saia kopa
    (‘Long ago, those good people who
    were taking care of their sheep near
    This note directs your attention to an unusual vowel symbol, apparently intended to prevent confusion with the Jargon word ship meaning ‘ship’.
  • Kata na msaika? Pi kata na msaika
    tanas? Msaika na tomtom pus msaika
    kakwa ShK kopa ukuk ilihi? Msaika na
    tlus nanich pus klaska [SIC] wiht kakwa ShK
    kopa ukuk ilihi?
    (‘What are you folks like? And what are your
    children like? Have you folks thought whether you’re
    like Jesus on this earth? Have you folks
    been careful that they [your kids] are also like Jesus 
    on this earth?’)
    This “[sic]” is an assurance that the CW text indeed says klaska ‘they’, even though that pronoun’s referent (the kids) isn’t perfectly obvious.
  • Pus
    iht man saliks msaika, pi iaka chako
    olo, patlach makmak kopa iaka: wik mash [SIC]
    masachi tolo msaika, tlus msaika
    tolo masachi kopa tlus.
    some person is hostile to you folks, and they become
    hungry, feed them: don’t leave [SIC]
    evil things (to) win you folks over; you folks should
    beat evil with good.’)
    And here, “[sic]” spotlights an unusual word choice, mash, intended as ‘let, allow’ (more literally ‘leave; discard; reject; throw’), influenced by writer JMR Le Jeune’s native French laissez. It’s actually hard to come up with a CW word for ‘let’; speakers most often would make use of context + an imperative form like wik-tlus (pus)… (‘not-good (if)…’)  to carry that sense.

qʰáta mayka tə́mtəm?
What do you think?