Komtakst/komtaks and klaksta/klaska in BC Chinuk Wawa
In my 2012 dissertation, I took note of a pronunciation peculiarity of Kamloops-area Chinuk Wawa…
(Image credit: Experience and Embrace)
There, in the letters written by Native people, Chinuk Wawa’s kə́mtəks is often komtakst, with an extra “T” sound at the end.
I’d like to connect this observation now with another one that I made in my dissertation.
I noticed that there’s an enormous degree of confusion between what’s written as klaska (which we expect to be ‘they, them, their’ in the Jargon) and klaksta (which we expect to be ‘who’).
I’m now thinking these types of variation are a single phenomenon.
The people who talked this way were essentially all Northern Interior Salish speakers, to use a linguist’s categorization of them. The sound sequence /kst/ is very frequent in NIS languages, partly due to the common suffix of that shape meaning ‘hand’.
Did they feel it was more natural to say /kst/ than /ks/ or /sk/?