Reinforcement of the Indigenous metaphor BIRD : FOOL?

Here’s quite an interesting parallel, I think.

foolish bat

(Image credit: Amazon)

Lower Cowlitz Salish q’ʷátxʷ ‘bat’ (flying mammal) <=> q’ʷatə́xʷ- ‘(to) fool’.

The consonant patterns there are identical, as is the placement of the full vowel /a/. And the difference in stress placement is a productive pattern in Southwest Washington Salish languages, with the first syllable of the root stressed for imperfective (ongoing) actions or states (such as ‘being a bat’), whereas the second syllable takes stress in perfectives (such as ‘get fooled’).

This immediately brings to mind the originally Lower Chinookan, & then Chinuk Wawalalax̣ ‘bird’ <=> ‘fool’.

This Salish language is one of the two (along with Lower Chehalis) that are traditionally spoken alongside Chinookan languages. The metaphor ‘bird’ <=> ‘fool’, found in Chinuk Wawa, has already been shown to be Chinookan in origin.

I haven’t succeeded in finding the ‘bat’ <=> ‘fool’ metaphor in the documentation of other Salish languages. Their words for ‘bat’ are based on different roots from what we find in Cowlitz.

The sum of the evidence found, then, suggests to me that the ‘bird’ <=> ‘fool’ metaphor is Lower Chinookan in origin. This would explain its having diffused only into one neighboring Salish language, and its meaning having become mildly distorted in Lower Cowlitz, as ‘bat’.

Incidentally, ‘bat’ in Chinuk Wawa is known as púlakʰli-kə́ləkələ (literally ‘night-bird’).

What do you think?