1855: The only “Stevens treaties” document in Chinook Jargon

dret hayu masi kʰapa chup henli / nawitka ayu naika wawa mirsi kopa olman hinri! Among the many reasons why the following document is perhaps the most valuable item ever written in Chinuk… Continue reading

4-language mix in JMR Le Jeune’s notes to self

If you like puzzles, read on.

1890: Washington state’s “coat of arms” coulda been a contender

The Washington Territorial seal (not coat of arms) (image credit: State Symbols USA) A helpful editorial suggestion for a new, improved (because humorous) use of Chinuk Wawa in official symbols of the new state… Continue reading

“Naika tilicum” and Native ways of talking about your relatives

One page after declaring the fur trade extinct on the coast, Geo. Gibbs (1877) tries to explain why nayka tilixam is such a common expression among Native people, and by extension among all Chinuk… Continue reading

So many Métis words in interior PNW languages (part 8: Nɬeʔkepmxcín / Thompson River Salish)

There are tremendous numbers of of loanwords into Nɬeʔkepmxcín (“Thompson River Salish”)… (Image credit: Wikipedia) Many came from the neighbouring tribal languages Halq’eméylem to the west, Nsilxcn to the east, and Nicola Athabaskan… Continue reading

1862: You Saby — blending Chinese Pidgin English and Chinuk Wawa in Oregon

Way back in the “frontier” era, when Oregon was a young state, you could publish an entire newspaper article in Chinook Jargon blended with the West Coast variety of Chinese Pidgin English.

Early 1860s: Chinuk Wawa’s distribution in Idaho

A book that collects early pioneer memories tells us something noteworthy about the development of Chinuk Wawa.

1901: Telegrams “in unknown tongue” (Chinuk Wawa and Cree)

I betcha the Cree one is more or less pidginized…

So many Métis words in interior PNW languages (part 7: Nsilxcən / Okanagan-Colville Salish)

As we’re finding to be frequent among the modern Indigenous languages of the Pacific Northwest interior, Nsilxcən Salish carries many, many indications of a substantial contact history with Métis people’s speech. Today I’m… Continue reading

1875: “Legend of Chemeketa”, an epic doggerel poem

Among the most famed “pioneers” was Captain Oliver Cromwell Applegate Sr. (1845-1938).