Monthly Archive: March, 2022

Borrowed numbers, and linguistic archaeology

Numerals do get borrowed from language to language. Famously (among Pacific NW linguists) the word for ‘4’ is essentially the same across the Salish, Chimakuan, and Wakashan language families.

Quinault Salish ‘buttons’ from Chinuk Wawa ‘gambling game’?

(s)lahál for ‘stick game’ is a Chinuk Wawa word…

1888: Siwash evidence

Another in our occasional series on the use of Chinook Jargon in the courts of the Pacific Northwest.

1862: Letter to Abe Lincoln involves Chinuk Wawa

Ripe for back-translation into Jargon, we have some material that reached President Abraham Lincoln’s eyes straight from the Pacific Northwest.

Chum salmon, dog salmon, (salmon)trout

An Indigenous metaphor that’s partway preserved in Chinuk Wawa is the fish species name that’s literally ‘spotted/marked on the body’ in SW Washington Salish.

1887: Kaska Dena people spoke little Chinook Jargon

A passing remark by known BC Chinuk Wawa speaker and researcher, George Mercer Dawson, helps us understand the geographic limits of CW.

lapʰísh, and Métis

I thought this would be among the briefest of notes I publish on my site.

“Siwash” in Ninilchik (Alaska) Russian

I shared this on the old CHINOOK listserv 14 years ago, and it deserves wider visibility.

1939: Sarah L. Byrd (born 1843?) remembers

An elder pioneer was interviewed by the Depression-era Federal Writers Project in the 1930s…

1898: High u skookum whisky and such!

Untranslated Chinuk Wawa in a Seattle paper early in the post-frontier period…