“Gitop” vs. “lei dawn”, etc.


Kluchmin iaka sit dawn, man iaka lei dawn (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Here’s a selection from page 46 of the “Chinook Manual” (Kamloops: 1896)…

gitop sit dawn

…pi iaka mimlus, pi iaka
‘…and he died, and he’ 

chako mash kopa ilihi; iaka klatwa kopa
‘got put into the ground; he went’

kikuli, pi tlun son iaka gitop kopa
‘down, and in three days he rose from’

mimlus. Pi iaka klatwa kopa sahali,
‘death. And he went to heaven’

pi iaka sit dawn kopa iaka rait ST papa
‘and he sat down at the right God the father’

skukum kopa kanawi ikta; alki wiht
‘who is powerful (enough) for anything; again in the future’

iaka chako mamuk kort haws illi tilikom
‘he will come to judge the living people’ 

pi mimlus tilikom. Naika mamuk nawitka
‘and the dead people. I believe’ 

ST SS; ukuk tlus Katolik styuil,
‘the Holy Spirit is God; this good Catholic religion,’

tlus tilikom klaska mamuk hilp kanamokst;
‘the good people help each other;’ 

masachi chako mash; alki gitop
‘the evil get thrown away; in the future they will be risen,’

kanawi mimlus tilikom; pi ukuk klaska
‘all the dead people; and those who’

gitop kwanisim alki mitlait.
rise will remain forever.’ 

And now a couple observations.

Gitop ‘to rise’ is written above as a single word, and my linguistic intuition agrees with this. Gitop is quite old on the scale of known Chinuk Wawa history, which only goes back a bit more than 200 years. It’s the only “up” loan from English. Gitop is firmly integrated into CW’s “Fluid-S” active-stative syntactic alignment, so that we see both Active iaka gitop (placing the subject first: ‘he rose’) & Stative alki gitop kanawi mimlus tilikom (placing the subject last: ‘they will be risen, all the dead people’).

Sit dawn ‘to sit, to sit down’, like the similar lei dawn ‘to lie, to lie down’ and fol dawn ‘to fall, to fall down’ in Kamloops CW, are written as two words. Again this is a view that I agree with as a linguist. These are newer in the Jargon, known only from the 1890s onwards. There’s a group of several such “down” loans in BC Jargon. Like a lot of other new borrowings from English, all of these appear to be limited to a more English-like syntax, where the subject always comes before the verb. Thus, in CW terms, the ‘down’ verbs behave like Active verbs (verbs of motion), despite their also serving as verbs of position (Stative verbs)!

What do you think?