Lempfrit’s legendary, long-lost linguistic legacy (Part 9)

In our previous installment, we discovered 2 entire pages that hadn’t been known to Chinuk Wawa scholars. Let’s see what turns up this time around!

Today we examine the 9th pair of page images from an important document, one that was previously unknown to students of Chinook Jargon: H-T Lempfrit’s hand copy of a still not found manuscript by Fort Vancouver pioneer priest M. Demers.

Today, we learn how Lempfrit represents reduplication, by a comma.

Also, more about body-part metaphors in Jargon, at least as these were perceived by Francophones.

I’m still representing the stuff that Lempfrit adds, or materially differs from “Anonymous 1849” (A Pinart/RV Grant 1946) on, by underlining it.

It’s clear Lempfrit knew Chinuk Wawa well, judging by the acuity of the translations he personally adds below!

Screenshot 2023-04-08 222421

  • Melassesmélasse
  • Sik-hawshopital
    ‘hospital’ (literally, ‘disease-house’)
  • Sahalé Tayé pépaBible
    ‘Bible’ (literally, ‘above-chief(‘s) [God(‘s)] writing’)
    This uses the Inalienable Possession construction, which leaves out the otherwise expected possessive pronoun yaka ‘his’. This construction is not extremely frequent in Jargon, but we have plenty of documentation of it. The possessor in it is usually a socially important adult male (‘God’, ‘chief’, ‘priest’, a man’s name); what are we to make of that? 
  • Klisgraisse – huile
    ‘grease, oil’
  • Skōkoum, – araignée, insecte
    ‘spider, insect’
    This is a frequent meaning of this word that we otherwise know to mean ‘monster’, ‘harmful spirit’; it mirrors the way SW Washington Salish expresses the same group of concepts! 
  • Tamanwas génie des Indiens
    ‘a spirit of the Indians’
  • Elaïtch [sic] – esclave
  • tchimis, tchimis (-) esclave 
  • Kălāh̃cloture(,) muraille
    ‘fence, wall’
  • Sapelel haus, grange(,) hangar 
    ‘barn, shed’ (literally, ‘wheat-house’)
  • stōnpierre, os 
    ‘stone, bone’
  • tlosh éléhéprairie 
    ‘prairie’ (literally, ‘good land’)
  • Kélop [sic] – cigne [sic]
  • Tŏkōlă stikcoudrier 
    ‘hazelnut (tree)’ (literally, ‘(hazel)nut-tree’)
  • Paya-tchikominbriquet 
    ʹfirestarterʹ, apparently the ʹsteelʹ that you strike against a flint to make sparks (literally, ʹfire-metalʹ)
    Apparently a new discovery for us; not in the published Demers, Blanchet, & St. Onge 1871 dictionary that’s also based on Demers’ original manuscript, nor is it in St. Ongeʹs 1892 manuscript dictionary.
  • Pah̃ Ship [sic; it’s a single Native-sourced word] – surtout 
    ʹovercoat, frock coatʹ
  • h̃ŏnŏhbarbu (Pinart 1849 has (feminine?!) barbue)
    Not in the published Demers, Blanchet, and St. Onge 1871 dictionary, as far as I see.
  • ekwalébracelet 
  • open-penbête puante 
    ‘stinky animal’ i.e. skunk
    Pinart 1849 is said to have opeu-peu, less of a good match for the Chinookan original word but interestingly more like the Métis French CJ word piupiu repored by George Gibbs 1863.
  • tomstoa [sic] – bois de fleche 

Screenshot 2023-04-08 222525

  • mashatshimal, péché
    ‘(an) evil (thing), sin’
  • thékwano [sic] = pendant d’oreille (Anonymous 1849 has …d’oreilles)
    ‘ear pendant’
  • mashatshi kikoulé tomtom, Diable 
    ‘Devil’ (literally, ‘evil low(er) heart/soul/mind’)
  • léloupan } ruban
  • opout léknin [sic] } gouvernail
    haptilsil [sic]
    (The first term appears to have been interpreted by Lempfrit or in Demers’ original as opout ‘butt’ (de) le kni(m), literally ‘butt (of) the canoe’, with French-language (preposition and) definite article; its word order doesn’t make sense within Jargon itself, as it would mean a ‘butt-canoe’, an entire canoe whose prominent characteristic is its back end or the human butts that sit in it! We’ve seen some similarly odd phrases seeming to show French influence in Lempfrit, such as shit tnepou ‘nits’…and one big question is whether they reflect Métis French influence, or that of the Canadian and French priests, or both.)
  • Katsakmilieu 
    ‘(the) middle’
  • Tanasenfant en général 
    ‘child in general’
  • ōlmanviellard [sic]
    ‘old man’
  • Lamiel [sic] – vielle [sic] (Anonymous 1849 has vieille femme)
    ‘old woman’
  • Kawnoeud 
  • Itlanabrasse, verge 
    ‘fathom, yard’
  • Tlimin, tlimin éléhéboue, terre molle
    ‘mud, soft earth’ (literally, ‘mashed-mashed earth’)
  • Memloustla mort, un mort 
    ‘death, a dead person’
  • pou ou pō,coup de fusil, sa charge
    ‘rifle shot, its charge (of powder etc.)’
  • peintpeinture 
  • lăpŏla, apola (-) chair cuite devant le feu (Anonymous 1849 has …cuit…)
    ‘meat cooked in front of the fire’
  • Sel-hausTente 
    ‘tent’ (literally, ‘cloth-house’)
  • Shous kipnet [sic] (-) aleine [sic]
    ‘awl’ (literally, ‘shoe-needle’)
  • Lewhetfouet 

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?