About me & CHINOOK JARGON!
About CHINOOK JARGON!: This site is my way of sharing my ongoing discoveries about the Pacific Northwest’s unique, historic “national language”, Chinuk Wawa a.k.a. Chinook Jargon — and making a living using my education.
About me: I’m a linguist. My mentor was the late, inimitable Robert Austerlitz, who demonstrated every day that linguistics is fun. My PhD dissertation is about a British Columbia (Canada) pidgin dialect ‘Kamloops Chinuk Wawa’, and its writing system ‘Chinuk pipa’. It analyzes around 150 of the Aboriginal-written texts I’ve located. This is the first full grammar of a CW variety, and perhaps of any pidgin language in the world.
I’m interested in — and write about —
- language contact, especially pidgins and The West:
- Chinook Jargon
- the distinct West Coast variety of Chinese Pidgin English
- pidgin Heiltsuk
- so-called Nootka Jargon
- Métis languages, including:
- BC’s ‘French of the Mountains’/Michif French
- the Cree-French mixed language known as (Southern/Heritage) Michif
- aboriginal Pacific Northwest languages, with an emphasis on:
- Salish (I do a lot of work on the neglected ɬəw’ál’məš / Lower Chehalis language)
- Chinookan (particularly Natítanui / Clatsop / Shoalwater Lower Chinookan)
- language revitalization
- historical documents
- anthropological study of language
- writing systems
- missionary linguistics
- ‘Basic Linguistic Theory’ (grammatical description + lexicography + text collection)
- names (onomastics)
as well as…
- words that can’t be spelled (for example what I might approximate as “cazh”, 1980s slang for “casual; cool”)
- invented languages — conlangs — artificial languages — science-fiction languages — movie languages
Job offers are welcome, my friend. Freelance to full-time.
Klahawiam x naika nim x Dave