‘Pinning’ down a Lower Chehalis trace in early-creolized Chinuk Wawa

From their Fort Vancouver experience starting in 1838, Catholic missionaries Demers and Blanchet published (with the editing help of L.N. St. Onge) a wonderful little Chinuk Wawa dictionary in 1871.

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Image credit: Amazon

One of the points (no pun intended) in it that fascinates me is their word for a ‘pin’:

kwekwians / kwekwiuts 

The reason I love this detail so much is that it’s a mighty clear indication of Salish influence.

Particularly, I think of Lower Chehalis here.

A huge proportion of those who have noted down Lower Chehalis Salish words in the last 2 centuries have had a hard time distinguishing between “glottalized N” (n’) and a sequence of nt, or even a t or a d sound. It’s been said more than once that this language has the most “glottal” tinge to it of all Pacific Northwest languages.

So the major difference that we see between the 2 spellings for Chinuk Wawa ‘pin’ above are easily explained by that fact. And the Lower Chehalis original of this word is in fact recorded by linguist Charles Snow as k̓ʷík̓ʷiyan̓st.

(That final sound is an “Instrumental” suffix, and I suspect it amplified the ambiguities we’re discussing.)

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?