Kamloops Wawa pictures, Part 5: The Missionaries of BC!

Another valuable old photo from the peak of Chinook Jargon use in British Columbia…

missionaries of bc

I’m having some difficulty figuring out the numbering system in the key to who’s in this photo, but I know some or all of these fellas spoke and wrote very good Chinuk Wawa.

Here’s what the accompanying text tells us about this picture:

<Our illustrations.> Kopa ukuk pipa msaika nanich
                                    ‘In this (edition of the) paper, you folks see’ 

mokst piktyurs. Iht nsaika ilip papa lisivik, bishop Dirbomis
‘two pictures.      One is our main father-bishop, Bishop D’Herbomez’ 

ankati mimlus, pi iht piktyur, kanawi liplit mitlait kanamokst
‘who died some time ago, and the other picture is all the priests gathered’ 

kopa Wisminstir, chi alta ukuk wam, kopa Shulai mun.
‘at (New) Westminster (BC), just recently this summer, in the month of July.’ 

— from page 200 of Kamloops Wawa #123 (December 1894)

A minor interesting point is that when describing someone as being a bishop, Kamloops Wawa typically uses the older Jargon word lisivik, from the French plural (!) les évêques.

But when referring to that person by their title, KW often switches over to locally-spoken English for a word: bishop.

You could also argue that the phrasing chi alta ukuk wam here (literally ‘just now this summer’) is a way of expressing ‘last summer’.

But BC Jargon much more often uses the newly borrowed English word last, both in the most-common spoken English phrases such as:

  • last nait ‘last night’,
  • last wik ‘last week’,
  • last Sondi ‘last Sunday’,
  • last iiir ‘last year’,
  • last wintir ‘last winter’,

…and also in expressions that came up within local Chinuk Wawa:

  • last mun ‘last month’s (issue of Kamloops Wawa)
  • last pipa ‘last issue’ (before the present one of KW)
  • last gospil ‘the last gospel’ (that KW had discussed)

BC Jargon correspondingly borrows locally spoken English next:

  • nikst Sondi ‘next Sunday’
  • nikst mun ‘next month’
  • nikst iiar ‘next year’
  • nikst taim ‘next time’
  • nikst pich ‘next page’

Southern-dialect Chinuk Wawa, such as Grand Ronde, is more liable to express ‘the next X’ by following noun X with the phrase (uk) cháku (that’s coming).

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?