A couple reasons for “kopa yawaa” in northern CW
I was writing a post about Kamloops-area soldiers writing home in Jargon during World War 1, and George M. Cohan’s 1917 patriotic song “Over There” came into my mind…
(Image credit: Wikipedia)
Which led to my hearing it in Chinuk Wawa, as “kopa yawaa”…
Which is a distinctly northern expression, literally ‘at there’ or ‘to there’.
The southern dialect lacks this phrase.
Why does the northern dialect have it, then?
I can see a couple of reasons it came about in places like BC…
1 – Southern CW has yawá-iwa for ‘thataway’ ~ ‘over there’, but northern Jargon lacks that suffixoid -iwa.
2 – Adding the preposition kopa prevents any confusion with the secondary northern use of yawaa in a sense of ‘(and) then’. (Which southern CW always, and northern sometimes, expresses by the similar metaphor alta — literally ‘now’.)
Thus, perhaps, do some dialect differences come about.
Meant to bring it up this morning when we were talking about BC chinook remaining consistent outside of just Kamloops, but Jimmy John has a good “kopa yawa” and “yawa” meaning “then” in his recording. He says:
“pi yawa naika kumtaks yaka wolf. manwolf mitlait kopa yawa kopa bushes.”
Not only this but the “komtaks” spelling in chinuk pipa (which I interpret as “kəmtaks”) shows up in pretty much all the island recordings where they, including Jimmy John, say it like “kəmtaks”. Do you think historically this “kəmtaks” pronunciation might have been a more common in BC than kəmtəks?
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I always took it as a very Vancouver Island accent, along with other “short A” vowels in the Jargon of Islanders. No real clear evidence for it on the mainland, AFAIK, but that doesn’t rule it out there. Demers – Blanchet- St Onge 1871 has < komtoks >, which probably reflects the known kə́mtəks pronunciation, and maybe the Kamloops < komtaks > indicates a difference from that…