Kamloops hymns “testify” to English loans

The most recent English-language loans into BC Chinook Jargon, as odd and casual as they may sound to ear that are used to traditional (southern-dialect) CJ, are the normal way to express things in the north.


The lord’s slang song (Image credit: Youtube)

I’ve proved this over and over, so why am I on it again today?

It’s because I’ve come to realize there’s even more proof that these really are Jargon, not English, words in this context.

Hymns and religious teachings use them! That’s some serious material, and the priest who wrote the “Chinook Manual” containing it (Father JMR Le Jeune) would never willingly use slang to do his job.

In fact, as I’ve pointed out previously, religious material from BC shows if anything a real conservatism, in the form of a strong influence from the early, southern-dialect, Chinuk Wawa of the first Catholic missionaries.

My sense is that hymns, in particular, are an “elevated”, special, spiritual way of talking Chinook. For instance, CW hymns frequently have slightly different grammatical patterns from normal full sentences, due to the limitations imposed by the need to match a melody and so on. Because hymns are such a dignified genre of speech, I’m going to look to them in particular, and just secondarily to prayers, catechisms, and such, to make my point.

Some neat examples of new English loans in Chinook liturgical language for you:

Page 76:

…O tlus Sin Shosif, patlach wach man tomtom,
‘Oh blessed Saint Joseph, give (us) a guardian heart,’ 

patlach fait tomtom, patlach styuil tomtom
‘give a fighting heart, give a praying heart’ 

pus wik nsaika kuli kopa masachi.
‘so that we don’t wander into (doing) bad things.’

Page 76:

…Kata pus wik yutl naika tomtom
‘…How could I not be glad’

kopa maika tlus ShK?
‘about you, blessed Jesus Christ?’

Ayu kwanisim maika mamuk
‘You always do a lot’

pus hilp kanawi tilikom…
 ‘to help everyone…’

Page 77:

Iakwa alta naika tlus tomtom
‘Here now I am happy’

naika shanti kopa maika:
‘that I’m singing to you:’ 

mirsi mirsi o tlus ShK
‘thank you, thank you oh blessed Jesus Christ(,)’

chi maika mamuk blis naika.
‘you have just now blessed me.’

Page 78:

Naika o ShK drit olo ⊕:
‘It’s me, oh Jesus Christ(,) who is hungry for the eucharist:’

kata lili alta wiht naika wit maika…
‘how long now must I still wait for you…’

Page 80:

Drit nsaika mamuk tomtom
‘Truly we resolve’

nsaika ShK tlus wach man
‘that we are Jesus Christ’s good watchmen(,)’

kopa iht awr kanawi son
‘for an hour each day’

nsaika styuil kopa Shisyu.
‘we pray to Jesus.’

Page 83:

O ilip tlus tanas Shisyu!
‘Oh most excellent child Jesus!’

Iakwa alta maika chako man.
‘Here now you become a human.’

O ilip tlus tanas bibi
‘Oh most excellent little baby…’

Page 85:

ShK, iaka na alki wiht chako
‘Jesus Christ, is it he who will eventually come again’

kopa ukuk ilihi? = Nawitka; alki wiht
‘to this land? = Yes; eventually again’

ShK chako kopa ukuk ilihi pus iaka mamuk
‘Jesus Christ will come to this earth so that he can’

kort haws hili tilikom pi mimlus tilikom.
judge the living people and dead people.’

If you’re seeing what I’m seeing, you’re seeing that the underlined words above aren’t just some English randomly being thrown in.

Instead, they’re material that’s fully integrated into, and felt like, Chinuk Wawa to BC speakers.

What do you think?
Kata maika tomtom?