TENAS WAWA--The Chinook Jargon Voice Chinook Jargon Notes

"Chipmunk and His Mother"

A Tale in Jargon Recorded by Melville Jacobs

The preceding is an excerpt from a series of tales narrated in Chinook Jargon and recorded by Melville Jacobs in 1930. They were published under the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington in 1932. The work contains twelve stories, the narration having been done by five natives from various tribal and linguistic backgrounds. While the sentence structure of all these narrators is somewhat consistent, pronunciation seems to vary quite a bit. The phonetic system used by Jacobs allows this fact to be readily discernible to the reader.

A couple of the informants had a tendency to abbreviate certain words. A Clackamus informant by the name of Victoria Howard consistently abbreviated the following words (and others), usually as a prefix to a noun or verb:

la's = klaskala'swawa (klaska wawa)
ya = yakayana'nitc (yaka nanitch)
munk = mamookyamunk-ba'ya (yaka mamook piah)
na = naikanamunk (naika mamook)
i'li' = illaheekaba-i'li' (kopa illahee)
ma = maikamala'dwa (maika klatawa)
ntsa' = nesaikantsamunk (nesaika mamook)

This form of abbreviating was apparently a localization and is still in use by some on the Grand Ronde Reservation in Oregon.


(Copyright © 1994 by Duane Pasco)

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