1878: An addendum to “Exploring the Olympic Mountains”

A reasonably clear record of míməlust-íliʔi (‘dead.people-place’) for ‘graveyard; cemetery’ turns up in a half-translated form.

1877: Chinuk Wawa etc. on the Little Bighorn battlefield, from a Nez Perce

Hugh Lenox Scott (1853-1934) was seen as an authority on Plains Indian Sign Language…

Chinuk Wawa təmstiyu, from Salish with Métis + Chinookan input

The Chinuk Wawa noun təmstiyu ‘arrowwood’ has stuck in my mind for quite a while, as have many others that “feel” Salish to me.

1930: Williams, “Logger-Talk”

Another in my sporadic series of gems from the old CHINOOK listserv that deserve more attention:

1886: Held for Passing Counterfeit Money


Borrowed numbers, and linguistic archaeology

Numerals do get borrowed from language to language. Famously (among Pacific NW linguists) the word for ‘4’ is essentially the same across the Salish, Chimakuan, and Wakashan language families.

Quinault Salish ‘buttons’ from Chinuk Wawa ‘gambling game’?

(s)lahál for ‘stick game’ is a Chinuk Wawa word…

1888: Siwash evidence

Another in our occasional series on the use of Chinook Jargon in the courts of the Pacific Northwest.

1862: Letter to Abe Lincoln involves Chinuk Wawa

Ripe for back-translation into Jargon, we have some material that reached President Abraham Lincoln’s eyes straight from the Pacific Northwest.

Chum salmon, dog salmon, (salmon)trout

An Indigenous metaphor that’s partway preserved in Chinuk Wawa is the fish species name that’s literally ‘spotted/marked on the body’ in SW Washington Salish.