‘Full’ + Noun = ‘full of Noun’, from Lower Chinookan

The Chinuk Wawa way of saying ‘full of X’ is another structure that we can trace back to Chinookan.

full x

(Image credit: wasdalex.co.uk)

CW says pʰáɬ X (literally ‘full X’) for ‘full of X’.

(Incidentally, I suspect pʰáɬ to be a very old Salish loan into Chinookan, long before it came into CW.) 

Take a look at what Shoalwater-Clatsop Lower Chinookan says:

full of

‘full their house meats, full grease their house’ (‘their house was full of meat and of tallow’) — 1894:22 (31)

I found roughly a hundred further examples of this structure in Boas’s “Chinook Texts”. 

I see the same prepositionless structure in Kiksht Upper Chinookan, so I take it as native to the entire Chinookan language family. 

It can be contrasted with, of course, the English and French inputs to CW, which use a preposition (‘full of X‘, ‘plein de X’).

And based on the little information we have from SW Washington Salish, those languages also seem to have used a preposition for this expression, cf. Quinault:

ləč’-s xatá ʔə t lə́m
full-3rd.person that.one of some alcohol

‘he’s full of rum’

A tangential comment — this Quinault sentence is obviously making a conscious, literal translation from Chinuk Wawa pʰáɬ-lám (literally ‘full of alcohol’) into Salish! Quinault also has the typical native SW WA Salish terms for drunkenness, one literally meaning ‘spinning eyes’ and the other a short, sweet word for intoxicated. 

Anyway, Chinuk Wawa’s construction that says ‘full X’ to express ‘full of X’ looks to be a specifically Chinookan inheritance.

What do you think?