1913: Alternate take (with joke)

Sometimes we get multiple reports of a single historical occurrence.

charlie ross

Charles Henry Ross (1851-1948) (image credit: Naches Trail)

Here’s another newspaper’s presentation of a 1913 speech in Chinook Jargon that I showed you 4 years ago.

Back then, I didn’t go into the details of its CJ, so I’ll do that today.

Thanks to reader Alex Code for sharing this clipping! Interesting that the newspaper didn’t feel like providing a translation; other published versions of this did show its English meaning.

talk in chinook

Talk in Chinook.

Charles H. Ross of Puyallup made the following address of welcome in Chinook, to which Allen Weir, secretary of the Thurston County Pioneers’ association, replied in the same language: 

Kla-How-Yah Kla-How-Yah Tilacum Kla-How-Yah, ankuty tilacum. Nika tum-tum chocohias skookum spos nika nanitch mesika klosh anuty tilacum choco yawa okok sun. Delat klosh mila choco kokwa onaway kah okok sun. Mika choco mika tika mamok klosh tum tum pe hi yu he-he pe iskum hi yu muka muck, hi yu salmon, hi yu kula kuly, hi yu ollale pe pe sugar, pe coffee, pe konoway klosh iktas.

Klosh mika choco konaway warm. Okok sun nika tum tum kela pie kopa ankuty sun. Nika nanitch konaway ita haloamay alta. Ankuty sun tilacum konaway choco kopa yakwa ilahe konamox chic-chic pe moose-moose konamox kuitan. Ankuty tilacum klatawah copa chuck conamox kanim. Alta nasika klatawah kopa cars, copa steamboat, pe yaka klatawah sahaley Kowka kulykuly. 

Yaka tilacum wa wa Charley Loss lost, wake delate wawa, Charley Loss mama clap yaka kopa Blue Mountains wake siah Walla Walla. Pos yaka chechaco kopa okok ilahee 1851. Yaka mama mitlite pe yaka wawa delate pus mika tike.

Okok ilahee ankity yaka Siwash name Sheballop alta yaka name Tacoma.

Ankuty 1865 nika tenas man, nika momik conamox John Meeker pe Ezra Meeker pe Momak sem Tacoma ilahee.

Pe hiyu stick, hiyu mowitch, hiyu itch foot, halo klosh ilahee, kopet ick tenas skookum house copa Tacoma Job Car mamook yawka, nesika mitlite copa okok house, nika mosum kequila kopa laplash, kapet ick pesisy kequilay kopa nika. Nika tika hi yu wa wa kopa konaway ikta, klosh nika kapet, hi yu tilacums wa wa kimpta nika. Ick tilacum yaka nam Allan Weir wa wa kimpta nika okok sun. Ankuty nika klatawah school conamox yaka delate skookum lapush pe yaka lawyer, pe yawkya sem paper ankuty yaka tolo nika kopa konaway ickta che yaka wawa, klosh mika potlatch lema pe mama klosh wawa pe mama klosh tum tum. 

Nika kopet.

And a closer look at the Jargon there, using the English translation supplied in the article I first looked at. (“DDR” = my own translation, guided by the provided one as far as that’s reasonable to do.)

     Kla-How-Yah Kla-How-Yah Tilacum Kla-How-Yah, ankuty tilacum. Nika tum-tum
     ɬax̣áwya, ɬax̣áwya, tílixam, ɬax̣áwya, ánqati-tílixam. nayka tə́mtəm
     hello, hello, people, hello, old.time-people. my heart
DDR: ‘Hello, hello, friends, hello, oldtimres. My heart ‘
     ‘Howdy! How are you, friends — how are you, pioneer friends? My heart’

chocohias skookum spos nika nanitch mesika klosh anuty tilacum choco yawa okok
chaku-hayas-skúkum spus nayka nánich msayka ɬúsh ánqati-tílixam cháku yáwá úkuk
gets-very-strong when I see you.PL good old.time-people come here this 
DDR: ‘gets very strong when I see you good oldtimers have come here to-‘
‘swells within me as I look upon you who have met here to[-]

sun. Delat klosh mila choco kokwa onaway kah okok sun. Mika choco mika tika mamok
sán. dléyt ɬúsh mayka [1] cháku kʰupa kʰánawi-qʰá úkuk sán. mayka cháku, mayka tíki mamuk-
day. really good you.SG come from all-where this day. you come, you want make- 
DDR: ‘day. It’s great that you’ve come from all over today. You’ve come here, you want to make’
‘day. You have come to’

klosh tum tum pe hi yu he-he pe iskum hi yu muka muck, hi yu salmon, hi yu kula kuly,
ɬúsh-tə́mtəm [2] pi háyú híhi [3] pi ískam háyú mə́kʰmək, háyú sámən [4], háyú kə́ləkələ, 
good-heart and much laugh and take lots.of food, lots.of fish, lots.of bird,
DDR: ‘good spirits (together) and laugh a lot and take lots of food, lots of fish, lots of fowl,’
‘renew your friendships, have lots of fun, get plenty to eat; plenty of fish, chicken,’

hi yu ollale pe pe [sic] sugar, pe coffee, pe konoway klosh iktas.
háyú úlali pi shúkwa, pi kʰófi, pi kʰánawi ɬúsh íkta-s. 
lots.of berry and sugar, and coffee, and all good thing-s. 
DDR: ‘lots of berries and sugar, and coffee, and all sorts of good things.’
‘fruit, sugar and coffee, and other good things.  

     Klosh mika choco konaway warm. Okok sun nika tum tum kela pie kopa ankuty sun. Nika
nanitch
ɬúsh mayka cháku kʰánawi wám. úkuk sán nayka tə́mtəm k’ílapay kʰupa ánqati-sán [5]. nayka
     good you come every summer. this day my heart return to old.time-day. I
     see
DDR: ‘It’s good that you come ever summer. Today my heart returns to olden days. I see’
‘It is good to meet like this every year. Today my mind goes back to early days. I
note’

konaway ita haloamay alta. Ankuty sun tilacum konaway choco kopa yakwa ilahe konamox chic-
kʰánawi-íkta x̣lúyma álta. ánqati-sán-tílixam kʰánawi cháku kʰupa yákwá-ílihi kʰánumákwst [6] 
all-thing different now. old.time-day-people all come to here-place together.with 
DDR: ‘everything is different now. The oldtimers all came to this place here along with’
‘the changes that have taken place. The early settlers came here with’

chic pe moose-moose konamox kuitan. Ankuty tilacum klatawah copa chuck conamox kanim. Alta
c’híkc’hik pi músmus kʰánumákwst kʰíyutən. ánqati-tílixam ɬátwa kʰupa chə́qw kʰánumákwst kəním. álta
wagon and cow together.with horse. old.time-people go on water together.with
canoe. now 

DDR: ‘wagons and cattle, with horses. The oldtimers went on water along with
canoes. Now’
‘ox and horse teams; they traveled over the waters in
canoes, while today’

nasika klatawah kopa cars, copa steamboat, pe yaka klatawah sahaley Kowka kulykuly.
nsayka ɬátwa kʰupa kʰár-s*, [7] kʰupa stím-put, pi yaka [8] ɬátwa sáxali kákwa kə́ləkələ. 
we go in car-s, in steam-boat, and (s)he go up like bird.
DDR: ‘we go in cars, on steamboats, and he goes high like a bird.’
‘we ride in cars, on steamboats and fly in the air like birds.’

     Yaka tilacum wa wa Charley Loss lost, wake delate wawa, Charley Loss mama clap yaka kopa
Blue
yaka tílixam wáwa chárli* lás* lást*, wík dléyt wáwa, chárli* lás* mámá t’ɬáp yaka [9] kʰupa blú* 
     his people say Charley “Loss” be.lost, not real talk, Charley “Loss” mother find him in Blue 
DDR: ‘His family says Charley “Loss” was lost; it’s not straight talk, Charlie “Loss’s” mother “found”
him [as we say in Chinuk Wawa] in the Blue’
‘They say that Charley Ross is lost, which is not true; his mother found him in a wagon in the Blue’

Mountains wake siah Walla Walla. Pos yaka chechaco kopa okok ilahee 1851. Yaka mama mitlite pe
máwntən-s* wík-sayá [10] walawála*, pus yaka chxí-cháku kʰupa úkuk ílihi 1851. yaka mámá
míɬayt pi 

Mountain-s not-far Walla.Walla, when she newly-come to this place 1851. his mother remain 
DDR: ‘Mountains, near Walla Walla, when she had just gotten to this place in 1851. His mother is still here and’
‘Mountains, when she first came to this country in 1851. She is here
and’

yaka wawa delate pus mika tike.
yaka wáwa dléyt pus mayka tíki. 
she talk real if you want. 
DDR: ‘she can talk straight if you want.’
‘she can speak the truth for herself.’ 

     Okok ilahee ankity yaka Siwash name Sheballop alta yaka name Tacoma.
     úkuk ílihi ánqati yaka sáwásh-ním shəbáləp*(,) álta yaka ním təqʷúʔməʔ*. 

     this place long.ago its Native-name spuyáləpabš, now its name Tacoma.
DDR: ‘This place, its ancient Native name is Sheballop, now its name is Tacoma.’
‘This place, where we are now, was called Sheballop by the Indians; now it is called Tacoma.’

     Ankuty 1865 nika tenas man, nika momik conamox John Meeker pe Ezra Meeker pe
     ánqati(,) 1865 nayka tənəs-mán, nayka mámuk kʰánumákwst dján* míkər* pi ézra míkər* pi
long.ago 1865 I little-man, I work together.with John Meeker and Ezra Meeker and 
DDR: ‘Way back in 1865 I was a boy, I worked with John Meeker and Ezra Meeker and’
‘A long time ago, in 1865, when a boy, I helped John Meeker and Ezra Meeker’

Momak sem Tacoma ilahee.
mamuk-t’sə́m [11] təkʰóma*-ílihi. 
make-written Tacoma land.
DDR: ‘mapped out the Tacoma area.’
‘survey Tacoma.’

Pe hiyu stick, hiyu mowitch, hiyu itch foot, halo klosh ilahee,
pi háyú stík, háyú máwich, háyú íchxwut*, hílu ɬúsh-ílihi, 
and much tree, much deer, much black.bear, no good-land, 
DDR: ‘And there were lots of trees, lots of deer, lots of black bears, no usable land,’
‘It was then covered with timber; no cleared land could be found. Here, bear and deer roamed at will.’

kopet ick tenas skookum house copa Tacoma Job Car mamook yawka, nesika mitlite copa okok
kʰəpít íxt tənas skúkum háws [12] kʰupa təkʰóma*(,) jób* kʰár* mámuk yaka, nsayka míɬayt kʰupa
úkuk

only one little strong house at Tacoma, Job Carr make it, we live in
that 

DDR: ‘just one little sturdy house at Tacoma, made by Job Carr; we lived in
that’
‘Only one small log house, built by Job Carr. Here we lived.’

house, nika mosum kequila kopa laplash, kapet ick pesisy kequilay kopa nika. Nika tika hi yu
háws, nayka músum kíkwəli kʰupa laplásh, [13] kʰəpít íxt pásísi kíkwəli kʰupa nayka. nayka tiki háyú 
house, I sleep below on board, only one blanket below from me. I want much 
DDR: ‘house, I slept down on the boards, just one blanket underneath me. I want to go on’
‘I slept on the floor with only one blanket under me. I would like to speak to you’

wa wa kopa konaway ikta, klosh nika kapet, hi yu tilacums wa wa kimpta nika. Ick tilacum
yaka
wáwa kʰupa [14] kʰánawi-íkta, ɬúsh nayka kʰəpít, háyú tílixam-s wáwa kímt’á nayka. íxt tílixam yaka
talk to all-thing, good I stop, many person-s talk after me. one person
his 

DDR: ‘talking to [sic] everything, I better stop, lots of folks will talk after me. One person’
‘about many things, but it is time for me to quit, as there are many others to follow. An old friend,’

nam Allan Weir wa wa kimpta nika okok sun. Ankuty nika klatawah school conamox yaka delate
ním álən* wír* wáwa kímt’á nayka úkuk sán. ánqati nayka ɬátwa-skúl kʰánumákwst yaka(,) dléyt 
name Allen Weir talk after me this day. previously I go school with him, really 
DDR: ‘called Allen Weir will talk after me today. I used to go to school with him, really’
‘Allen Weir, will follow me. I used to go to school with him. He was gifted’

skookum lapush pe yaka lawyer, pe yawkya sem paper ankuty yaka tolo nika kopa konaway ickta
skúkum-labúsh pi yaka lóya*, pi yaka t’sə́m-pípa ánqati yaka [15] túlu nayka kʰupa kʰánawi-íkta 
strong mouth and he lawyer, and his written-paper previously he beat me in every-thing 
DDR: ‘a powerful mouth [on him] so he’s a lawyer, and his writing used to beat me in every way’
‘in speech, a good writer and a splendid fellow.’

che yaka wawa,
chxí yaka wáwa, 
as.soon.as he talk, 
DDR: ‘as soon as he started talking,’
(–)

klosh mika potlatch lema pe mama [sic] klosh wawa pe mama [sic] klosh tum tum.
ɬúsh mayka pá(t)lach límá pi wáwa ɬúsh wáwa pi wáwa ɬúsh tə́mtəm. 
good you give hand and say good word and say good heart. 
DDR: ‘You should shake hands and say good word and say [you have] good hearts.’
‘Shake hands, extend greetings, renew friendships. Come back next summer.’

Nika kopet.
nayka kʰəpít. 
I done.
DDR: ‘I’m done.’
‘I close.’

Commentary:
This is genuinely fluent, but distinctly English-influenced Settler use of Jargon, from someone who probably spoke it his whole life.

mayka [1] cháku — The sudden switch from plural “you” msayka to singular “you” mayka is weird. But English-speaking Settlers did this a lot, probably due to English making no distinction of grammatical number in the second person pronouns. 

klosh tum tum [2] is a phrase we see quite a lot from Settlers, meaning ‘a good relationship; being on friendly terms’. 

hi yu he-he [3] is English-influenced Settler talk, seeing as how “fun” was still just a noun in English. It sounds just like a verb hayu-híhi ‘in the act of laughing’, according to usual Chinuk Wawa grammar. 

salmon [4] being used generically for ‘fish’ is a nice potential indicator of Settlers understanding that this was the usual expression in lower Columbia River CW. 

ankuty sun [5], (literally ‘long.ago-day’), is far more typical of English-speaking Settlers than of anyone else; usual CW would be just to say ánqati. Correspondingly, when Ross later says Ankuty sun tilacum, it’s equivalent to the fairly frequent CW phrase ánqati-tílixam ‘the long-ago people’. In other words, “sun” is not normally used in CW in the metaphorical sense it has in English of ‘a time, an era’. 

konamox [6] chic-chic exemplifies another habit of English-speaking Settlers, trying to make the preposition kʰánumákwst serve in the Instrumental sense of ‘with’, i.e. to express a tool or means of doing things. Normal CW limits this preposition to a spatial location sense of ‘together with, along with’. 

cars [7] is a new English loan that we also see in British Columbia in the same time period. 

yaka [8] klatawah sahaley … Who is this ‘(s)he’? The yaka is probably not plural, although fluent northern-dialect Jargon uses it that way too. The influence of English has always been so strong for Settler speakers of CW that they pretty rigidly stuck with a distinction yaka (singular) vs. ɬaska (plural), as in southern CW.

chárli* lás* lást*, wík dléyt wáwa, chárli* lás* mámá t’ɬáp yaka [9] — This is a pretty solid pun, and it sounds like Charley Ross must’ve been well known for this story. You have to accept the conceit of saying his last name “Native”-style as “Loss”. Then you agree that this is the same thing as “lost” (a word that we find often in BC Jargon of the time, incidentally). Finally, you speak Chinuk Wawa, so you know that ‘give birth; have a baby’ is t’ɬáp tənás, literally ‘find a baby’. By the way, Ross uses the fluent old lower Columbia CW structure for inalienable possession, chárli* lás* mámá for ‘Charlie Ross’s mother’, rather than the general possessive formation which would be chárli* lás* yaka mámá.

wík-sayá [10] walawála* represents still another typical Settler-ism in Chinook Jargon, trying to use the adverb wík-sayá ‘almost’ in a more literal reading as a preposition ‘near (to)’. I would split the difference, removing the hyphen so you’d have wík sáyá kʰupa walawála*, ‘not far from Walla Walla’. Alse see footnote [12]. 

mamuk-t’sə́m [11] ílihi is actually a well understood idiom in Jargon for ‘surveying’ or ‘mapping’.

íxt tənas skúkum háws [12] gives us another neat lesson along the lines of footnote [10]. Obviously what Ross is saying here is ‘one little sturdy house’. If you joined the last two words together into a compound/idiom, though, you’d have ‘one little jail’! 

I found some un-clarity in Ross’s “nayka músum kíkwəli kʰupa laplásh, [13] kʰəpít íxt pásísi kíkwəli kʰupa nayka”. It starts out tending to sound like “I slept under the boards”…shelves maybe? Only on consultation with the supplied translation do I think his first kíkwəli is ‘down low’ (on the floor), and his second one is ‘underneath’ (me). 

wáwa kʰupa [14] kʰánawi-íkta is typical of English-speaking Settlers, using the generic preposition kʰupa to express talking ‘about’ something. A more established CW way of accomplishing this is to say you talk qʰata (‘how’) things are, or to not use any word at all equivalent to ‘about’. 

yaka t’sə́m-pípa ánqati yaka [15] túlu nayka is a bit odd, and again it comes down to an English-speaking Settler tendency. This time the tendency is to overuse CW yaka, which my research has shown to be equivalent to ‘she’ or ‘he’ and even to ‘they’ — all of these in reference to people. Inanimate things, like say Weir’s writing, would normally be reflected with the “silent it” of Chinuk Wawa. Add to this complex picture the fact that CW does like to bolster noun subjects with this 3rd-person subject pronoun yaka, à la “my mama she loves me”.  So it looks like Ross is trying to follow CW grammar fluently by saying ‘his writing long ago, it beat me’. But the “silent it” would’ve been the more normal way to go. So Ross winds up saying in effect ‘his writing she beat me’. 

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?

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