Talk:Chinook Jargon

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Basic content/history[edit]

Recusing myself from quality assessment; but article does need revision/expansion; eventually separate article on the Grand Ronde Wawa currently spoken in OR, which differs from the "traditional" or standard historical Jargon(s). ----Skookum1 (6 May 06)

Note on comment re usage by "American leaders" and "residents of Vancouver"[edit]

"American leaders sent communiques to each other, stylishly composed entirely in The Chinuk. Many residents of the British Columbia city of Vancouver choose to speak Chinook Jargon as their first language, even using it at home in preference to English."

This strikes me as a very strange pair of statements. I think the first sentence must intend to refer not to "American leaders" (which would be like Presidents and Senators?) but to members of the old settler families of the Pacific Northwest; this was certainly true of much of the "old blood" in Seattle in the fin de siècle period and perhaps even up into the 1920s and 30s. But people with names like Joshua Green and Arthur Denny do not qualify as "American leaders". The trick is to think how to reword it. The second sentence, I'm pretty sure, can be improved greatly just by putting the verb into the past tense. Which I shall do forthwith. --Haruo 01:36, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Teddy Roosevelt is said to have learned it on his trips to the Northwest and to Alaska, and various senators and other political magnates who came through either investing, big-game hunting or just drinking their way through the frontier. Senator Boies Penrose likely learned it during his hunting trips, for instance. I can't say for Washington and Oregon politicians and business leaders, but it's a truism that successive generations of British Columbia elites were raised with familiarity with the Jargon, including one famous nomination meeting of the BC Conservative Party when Richard McBride was first persuaded to run; the Jargon was used to exclude Central Canadians new to the province from the private discussion between provincial/colonial old-timers about taking control of the party (i.e. preventing carpetbaggers from hijacking it).
There is one cite, somewhere in Maj. Matthews Early Vancouver, of two ladies of Granville (Gastown) origin who had done well in the Klondike and were parlaying the lobby of some swank New York hotel, much to the astonishment of the surrounding New Yorkers, who had never imagined white girls to be capable of such barbaric sounds and speech, yet they were happily conversing in it (this cite may be in Alan Morley's Vancouver: Milltown to Metropolis which I'm currently re-reading so if I find it I'll provide the detailed reference. Matthews does comment that old pre-railway Gastown families maintained the use of Jargon at home into the early 20th Century (he's meaning his own era, 1920s-1930s), in preference to English.
And Nard Jones, in the work I've now cited, makes similar remarks about members of the Seattle elite, down to an even later date. - Jmabel | Talk 03:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm at a disadvantage for adding specific instances since selling my copy of Early Vancouver a few yeaers ago, and either giving away or selling or leaving in storage various books that would have specific instances; I think in A Voice Great Within Us by Lillard & Glavin there are some examples, also, including Premier McBride's nomination-meeting (when CJ was used by old-BCers to exhort him to run so that Eastern Canadians at hte first Tory convention couldn't understand) and the story of two young women speaking CJ in a hotel lobby in New York, shocking New Yorkers by their "barbarous and gutteral utterances", happily chatting away in their home tongue. In Mel Rotheburger's Who Killed Johnny Ussher Allan McLean, a "half-breed" son of trader Donald McLean (fur trader), speaks in CJ to exhort Chilliheetza/Tsilaxetsa or the Nicola people to rise up against the whites. People like the Mcleans and other non-indigenous people, even into modern times, are as much "native speakers" of CJ as any indigenous user; one of the fallacies of the POV fork to the other article. Such users, as I rant about always here, are denigrated and ignored by FN/NA-oriented academics/linguists.....Skookum1 (talk) 21:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Chinuk Wawa vs. Chinook Jargon[edit]

See also more recent Talk:Chinook Jargon#Chinuk Wawa vs. Chinook Jargon revisited

I do object to the use of The Chinuk, which is a modern spelling entirely inappropriate to the name the users being mentioned would have known the language by; especially when referring to it in the old-fashioned way, the Chinook. So Chinuk has been changed to the historically-correct Chinook. Linguistically-oriented CJers/Chinookologists do some weird and often arrogant things, including trying to creolize conventional spellings to some kind of non-English influenced standard; some kind of post-modern ideological rationale exists for such agendas, but it's not what those who made this tongue knew it as, or would have spelled it as. Making it look more exotic, supposedly, doesn't "de-whitify" it, if that's the goal of such fiddling with historical reality. My response to that is simple: English and French are historical components of the Jargon, so why are their words, spellings and pronunciations somehow inferior to the linguistically-preferred ones, which have no actual basis in history, only in the revision of it. Forced credolization is not proper creolization - or rather, it eventually becomes so, but at the expense of naturally-developed languages. 08:56, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, English spelling (just spelling!) is inferior to that of any other language that uses an alphabet or syllabary, in that it makes it very difficult to guess the (range of) pronunciation(s) and often actively misleads. It's worse than Mongolian-in-the-Mongolian-script, worse than French, worse than Tibetan even. "Making [CJ] look more exotic" can of course have all manner of ideological motives, but it doesn't need to; it can also be merely an attempt at spelling it sanely. Two great sites on the English orthography: [1] [2]
The first of these sites also talks about the problem of how to spell a phonetically and even phonologically diverse language. David Marjanović (talk) 18:58, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Swingbeaver 10h03, 20 August 2005 (GMT-5h00) says:

I am going to sit on this for a couple days, but so long as no one objects I would like to change the title of this page to "Chinook Wawa." Jargon is itself a mild perjorative, and in any case the article concedes that in academic circles "Chinook Wawa" is standard. Is "Chinuk Wawa" the spelling in Wawa? I can't find any reference to it in any article.
I object to the change; Jargon is only a pejorative if you want it to be; and it's the common name for this language throughout its historical region of use; the Jargon is always referred to just as that, or as the Chinook Jargon, or as "the old trade language". Chinook Wawa is only in vogue with the Grande Ronde folks and the linguists who've clustered around them; in BC you might have heard "the Wawa" but it's highly doubtful; everyone knew it as "the Jargon". Sure, you could solve this with a string of redirects and disambiguations, but myself I think it's cultural/historical hijacking to supplant the GR-preferred name for the long-standing historical one. If there's to be an entry Tshinuk-Wawa, as the purists spell it, then it should point at a lexicon/history that only concerns the users of that spelling, not the whole range of culture and history associated with the Chinook Jargon, which is a lot wider. Skookum1 23:37, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
I too object to the change. Chinook Jargon is what it's named in the books, and it is a "jargon". The Jargon is a treasured old form of speach that I learned from my father and gradparents, and a part of my Pacific Northwest heritage, but it is just a trade pidgin. If you think that "jargon" is perjorative, so be it. Certainly Chinook Jargon is not entitled to the same linguistic respect that, say, is due to one of the languages native to the Puget Sound or Inland passage most of which had an extensive art, oral literature, and history behind them (now lost in some cases). Tom Lougheed 6 June 2006

List of Chinook Jargon placenames?[edit]

Thought of starting this, came here earlier to suggest it, wound up staying around to kibbitz and increase the wordlist. Did a lot of name-finding during some research work for the [Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia] - glaciers, creeks, plateaus, marshes, peaks, hills, what-not all over the place. Might start it later, i.e. another time; taking a break now and will probably get distracted onto something else when I sit back down.Skookum1 09:28, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I recognized a lot of the Chinook Jargon words as place names, so on a whim I made them links and was pleasantly surprised to find the articles already there. I avocate continuing that, and adding the Chinook translation to every existing article. Tom Lougheed 17:49, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Mamook vs. munk[edit]

It's since I began expanding the wordlist here that frustration set in when many idiomatic expressions common through the Skookum Illahee, such as mamook kloshe (mend, heal, fix), "can't" be put in place (supposedly) because that's not the Grand Ronde usage; and Grand Rondies would like all the rest of us to revise the historical Jargon according to their model (do you hear axes grinding? - you bet). The distinction between mamook and munk is one of those core things that make the reality what it is - that the creolized Grand Ronde Tshinuk-Wawa is a very different beastie than the Jargon as it was known in the old days (same as the Chinuk vs Chinook spelling variation preferred by linguistickese/academic types, in opposition to the bulk of historically recorded usages). I know on the Chinook Wiki project there's even some discussion about using GR/linguistics pronunciation/orthography in preference to the "bad" spellings created by those incompetent 'ol whiteys. Such arrogance, such revision; presumably though such a choice of "prounciation and orthography" implies the adoption of GR word-usages, including "munk" over "mamook" and more.

Why can't the linguists just admit that there was no "One Jargon" and that GR's Jargon is an evolution from the older Jargon, and should not be considered representative of it - or worse, that it is the "correct" form. You would have been laughed out of any rancherie or roadhouse north of Olympia or east of The Dalles.Skookum1 00:16, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Please check on moos-moos[edit]

Could someone more competent than me please check on how I expanded moos-moos?

I remember my grandfather using Chinook Jargon as part of his attempt to explain the English words "steer" and "heifer", I'm not confident that I've remembered it right.

I am really not qualified anyway: my family Jargon-using family were all almost completely WASPs (or WISPs?), and I still understand Chinook Jargon only poorly. And grandpa refused to explain what man stone moos-moos meant. I thought it was the neighbors' bull's name until I read stone = "testicles" in the vocabulary list. (Oddly, my sweet, rough old grandmother was not embarassed to often call skunks "stinky butt" in English. Hmmm.) Tom Lougheed 18:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

humm opoots, but opoots isn't very graphic; it can just mean "the back end of something", as opposed to "bum" or "ass", neither of which are particularly bad words in English but the object itself is something you're not supposed to mention. Like, one supposes, "elbow" or "ankle" a hundred and fifty years ago, when those were considered erotic if displayed publicly. So while stone is very explicit, opoots is very not; similarly tatoosh for breast/'s all in the context. That hyas hyas stone illahee thing I quoted from Paul St. Pierre's Breaking Smith's Quarter Horse uses stone in a different capacity, but that's the Chilcotin variant of the Jargon and not within the narrow parameters of Chinookology's dependence on the Columbia/Georgia Strait Jargon sources; on the other hand, the speaker might have been meaning "the big MACHO mountains", which isn't inconceivable either if you have any idea what the Chilko Lake-Taseko Lakes area looks like. Anyway, what WOULD have grossed out your grandmother might have been humm thlwop opoots, which would specify the anus as opposed to the buttocks (Fr. cul vsderrière, Sp. culo vs. atras). At one of the two Jargon conferences I attended - the first one in Grand Ronde - I got the old ladies from Warm Springs chuckling about hyas skookum scotchman wootlat, which I used in a translation of a joke about a regimental sergeant-major who wakes up in hospital with a blue ribbon on his....wootlat. They got a good laugh out of it; but the prissy GR/chinookology crowd was already up in arms because Warm Springs, like all the rest of us, used mamook instead of munk, because to them mamook means "fuck", as in "do someone"; the Warm Springs ladies (elders all) were pretty offended when they were presumptuously corrected by one of the GR/Chinookology people; who also criticized an elder white person, the storekeeper from Warm Springs, for not speaking it "correctly". Which is as you can gather where my other comments about GR's prejudicial view of the Jargon come into play; and part of that is their own prissiness on terms like wootlat, munk/mamook and things like chinaman which they find inconvenient to their post-modern intellectualities and not-so-veiled puritanism......Skookum1 20:08, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Vocabulary is Ready to be Independent[edit]

I believe that the vocabulary is approaching being long enough to become an independent article. Tom Lougheed 18:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I recently re-formatted the vocabulary list to make every Chinook Jargon word or phrase begin a new bullet. Everything is in very nearly the same order, just split up into bullets. It was too difficult to sort by alphabetical order, which may or may not be appropriate, since it's almost — but not quite — ordered thematically, now. Tom Lougheed 18:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering about this, too - but I'm unaware of any other language pages in Wikipedia which have separate word-list articles/lexicons. This is not a dictionary. There IS the Tshinuk-wawa Wiki, which has its own wordlist and will build a Wikidictionary of Jargon, ultimately if anyone ever bothers over THERE; in its present form the Chinook Wiki is biased towards Grand Ronde's creole and to a certain affective degree on the (unrelated) Kamloops Wawa script; I added the transliterations there into the usual historical-lexicon spellings.
So anyway, not sure how to proceed, i.e. what the format/title of the new page should be. "List of words in the Chinook Jargon" doesn't cut it; I can see a Chinook toponymy - placename catalogue - but a full lexicon of the Jargon is as far as I understand not in the purview of Wiki's objectives.Skookum1 22:38, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Hyas Klootchman Tyee[edit]

Historically this almost always meant Queen Victoria, largely because the Jargon was relatively dead by the time Elizabeth II came to the throne. Its usage for a female Lieutenant-Governor would be unprecedented, and in terms of royal protocol, inappropriate; but users of the Jargon might not care much for royal protocol; but again, there were no female Governors nor Premiers (until Iona Campgnolo and Rita Johnston, respetively); and Hyas Tyee is implicitly "king", so it's not even appropriate for a Premier. Anyway, this is just all an aside; an L-G is addressed as "Your Honour" so, in my latter-day estimation, a Jargonization of that would be yuronnur (if not by that spelling, rather than, say, maika kloosh nem). NB the city of Victoria was Bictoli, Queensborough/New Westminter was koonspa, so both her name and a variation on "queen" were already in the Jargon; the BC version of it anyway.Skookum1 19:49, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

There have been female governors here, south of the border in Washington: Dixy Lee Ray and the current governor Christine Gregoire. - Jmabel | Talk 20:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If there was a need to descrbe them in CJ I suppose Hyas klootchman tyee would do, then, as I believe it may also have been used at some point in recent years for Iona Campagnolo (who speaks CJ and used it in her first Throne Speech).Skookum1 (talk) 20:47, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Recent fixes[edit]

There's a lot of non sequiturs and "loaded language" throughout bits and pieces of the article; I've been emending it where possible but it's rife with problems, I think, and bits of "knee-jerk language" with typically po-mo phrases turning up here and there; I REALLY object to the use of "European" in discussions of the Jargon, as the Jargon itself made a firm distinction between at least six or seven types of white man (King George Man, Boston Man, leplet, Pasiooks, Dutchman (all Europeans other than Brits and Pasiooks), Scotchman and Irish - I've heard that even lately: "Hey, Irish!" as a form of address to a stranger/acquaintance known to be Hibernian; in the Fraser Canyon to this day "Hey, Boston!" is the same as "Hey, white man"; even though the "American" meaning of "Boston Man" is long-forgotten. Similarly "Portyg(h)ee" turns up in older publications here, and it can be presumed that it was used in the Jargon/ or in the Jargon's adaption into local English; no terms for Japanese or Spaniards/Mexicans have surfaced, and "Hindoo" is a misnomer for Sikhs comes from the same mentality that called all non-Brit Europeans as "Dutchman" (be you Moravian, Croat or Galician, it didn't matter; primary meaning of Dutchman, also, was "German", not "Dutch").

Note my changes about "Hawai'ian immigrants" and my history-page comments about that. Some repetition in that paragraph now because I added something further/earlier about industrial/workplace usage, but that was meant in the context of necessarily-Jargon-speaking environments, be they bars in New Westminster/Vancouver or Kamloops or anywhere else; canneries etc; and mixed-race households (Hawai'ian or otherwise - the Chinese were often offered native wives but turned them down for racist reasons; whites, Hawaiians, blacks and others had no issues, except with marriage per se; so Chinese usage is thought to be mostly mercantile, and in environments such as canneries, as the railway gangs used Chinese interpreters; the Jargon was used by CPR/CNR First Nations railway workers, however, to the extent that the CPR was working on a manual of the Jargon when they stopped using it c.WWI; same translator for that project and the CPR's operations was working on a full Chinook bible (different from LeJeune's, that is). I'd like one day to see the colonial Hansard for the debate on making Chinook an official language...... Skookum1 16:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Re-inventing the wheel?[edit]

This is to Tom Lougheed and anyone else contributing to this page. AFAIK Wiki articles aren't supposed to be full vocabularies, and I'm wondering how to condense this list so that this doesn't become another online dictionary of the Jargon. I like the idea of letting people see the unusual nature and flavour of Jargon words and expressions; but the bigger this list gets the more it belongs on the Chinook MetaWiki; but there, the general public won't see it ... what to do? Thinking also that a more thorough discussion of the Jargon's impact on regional English lexicons and styles ("in the sticks", "high-ass" -> dumb-ass; Chinookisms where the gist of the Chinook is mirrored in English, either by expression or, as in the case of "high-ass", by sound/coincidence).Skookum1 06:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't have a pat answer for what to do with the vocabulary, but propose the following ideas:
  • It's very helpful to see examples of how Chinook Jargon works, for instance how a root word like moos-moos or hyas combines with other words to produce English language equivalents.
  • Colorful or funny phrases like "stinky butt" should be kept.
  • If feasible, it is highly desirable for every Jargon word that is also a separate article in the Wiki (like Tatoosh Island or Tillamook, Oregon) ought to be listed.
Tom Lougheed 6 June 2006
Could the organization of the vocab list be improved somewhat? heqs 10:07, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Category: Chinook Jargon placenames[edit]

Just stopped by Skookumchuck, British Columbia and rewrote it a bit. I have a good idea exactly how many Chinook Jargon placenames there are - hundreds, and significant places/things it the dozens, which are likely to be articles sooner or later. I've always wanted to do a Chinook toponymy...maybe this is the right venue for it, and a usefully expandable one too; at the very least a List of Chinook Jargon placenames would be a worthy page, I think.....Skookum1 08:12, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, list is the way to go I think. A shortened version could appear in this article with a link to the main list. heqs 10:06, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Any point in Category:Chinook Jargon placenames??Skookum1 (talk) 19:57, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Paragraph 2[edit]

Why is Paragraph 2 not in Section 1? It seems to refer / relate to origins. normally there should only be one paragraph in the lead section of an article. Garrie 05:27, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

This article needs major reorganization, as it was written and rewritten by various authors; and myself and a few others became more concerned with the word list after a while, quite frankly, which also quite frankly needs major trimming/reorganization. Feel free to move Paragraph 2 to the next section, although prioritizing it relative to what's in that section is a dubious task; it's a bit contradictory over all because of the competing opinions in current Chinookology, which I've really got to get busy doing at least a stub for soon as you can see by the redlink. For instance, I dispute the validity of the opening sentence of paragraph two - "great variety" is hardly the term for a few hundred words, and there's no PROOF that there were any proto-jargons, only implications; the myth of the proto-Jargon is largely a speculation by latter-day chinookologists bent on proving that the historical Chinook Jargon was a corruption of a "pure" Native/First Nations interlingua by unwanted European words; which is a crock, but it's also a sacred cow in modern chinookology. One reason I haven't edited the main text much, other than adding qualifying comments here and there and trying to straighten out the original propagandistic tone of the page as I found it, is because so much chinookology is inherently POV because of the various academic and tribal interests/agendas that are at stake...and I'm heavily POV/black-sheep in and of my own right, because of my aversion to the existing doctrines.....Skookum1 07:30, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Lewis and Clark were greeted in recognizable Chinook WaWa as documented by their own journal. This is a pretty good indication that the language was in use prior to extensive contact with cheechakos. Certainly in early contact times it went through a major evolution as witnessed by the number of European loan words -- which possibly displaced some harder to pronounce native words. However, in pre-contact times, all the tribes in the Northwest had their own language and yet there was extensive trade and intermarriage between them, so a shared language would have been a logical development. The Chinook tribe in particular was noted for their extensive trading expeditions. I have heard two different stories from two different elders which indicate that Chinooks went as far south as Mexico on their pre-contact trading journeys. Another indication of prior use is that an elder from the Lummi tribe (near Canadian border) told me a traditional story about an event that occurred in pre-contact times and taught me the song to go with it, the song is in Chinook WaWa. It's possible that the song was composed later, but it's just as likely that the song was composed in pre-contact times. Just because we did not keep written records does not mean that something did not occur. It would be interesting to look for place names and other indications of cj use in California and Mexico. It is not helpful to be so cavalier in dismissal of Indian Oral Traditions. Manyshoes (talk) 20:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Lewis and Clark arrived in Clatsop Chinook territory in late 1805. By then hundreds of European and American trading ships had visited the coast, entered the Columbia River, etc, for a couple decades at least. These maritime fur trade voyages scoured the coast from the Columbia to Alaska, working hard to communicate and trade with the indigenous peoples. The Clatsop who spoke to Clark in Chinook Jargon said something like, "that is a very good musket you have, I don't understand how it works." The natives Lewis and Clark met at the mouth of the Columbia had been trading with Europeans and Americans for decades. They wore top hats, were experienced with muskets, and so on. Of course a trade pidgin had begun to emerge. The Chinook Jargon spoken to Clark was almost entirely words derived from Nootka. It is not evidence of a pre-contact Chinook Jargon. Just the opposite, it is evidence that the intense coast trade was fostering a new trade pidgin. Pfly (talk) 09:36, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I suspect that "great variety" refers to the number of different source languages. Manyshoes (talk) 20:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

No, it means that it was a great variety of words, just like it says; and hte source languages included English and French (especially French). Source native languages are primarily Chinookan, Nootka, & Klickitat (in that order), with more Salishan words found farther north and in the Interior. As for the proto-Jargon/no-proto-Jargon discussion, I've never seen convincing proof - though I've seen lots of speculative rataionzliations - for the "Pre-Jargon" or for the CJ's prior's largely based in wish-it-was-so notions.....there seem to have been regional jargons/argots but it's also axiomatic that most people in this region spoke more than one of neighbouring languages...the Jargon's main use, and its heyday, are related to the fur trade intermixing with French and English tersm...e.g. "musket"....that phrase by the way, might have been "yaka musket mitlite kloshe. Wake kumtux kopa mamook"....(except that a modern-era Grand Ronde user would blanche at "mamook" - they use "munk", "mamook" being somewhat pornographic, or at least graphic to them). As for the tone of some of my comments above, I'm in a both COI position as well as having strong COI, which is why I've largely desisted from working on this article; but I'm an unpublished chinookologist, vs. those that are...but even in Henry Zenk's writings he explains that modern Chinook and old CJ aren't the same thing, and also admits there's no conclusive proof, only conjectural notions, that there was a pre-contact CJ....Skookum1 (talk) 01:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I reworded the quote a bit, not having the info in front of me. According to this library book (Making Wawa), the Clatsop said Clouch musket, wake com ma-tax musket (not sure if this is the way Clark wrote it or not), or in "DBS orthography", tlush mosket, wek cumtuks mosket. There's a Grand Ronde orthography version given too, basically the same with funky letters: łush maskit, wik kǝmtǝks maskit. Not a huge sentence or anything, but supposedly the earliest surviving, or perhaps the first documented examples of Chinook Jargon. Clark had apparently just shot a duck with a firearm different and much better than the flintlocks known on the coast at the time. The Clatsop man, according to Clark, was quite impressed. Clark believed he was hearing the Clatsop language.
I'm hesitant to edit this page much because I'm not at all knowledgeable about Chinook Jargon, aside from bits and pieces picked up since moving to the PNW a decade ago. But one thing that occurs to me, that this page could use, is something about the different orthographies used to write Chinook Jargon. Pfly (talk) 08:54, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

List of Chinook Jargon placenames begun[edit]

See List of Chinook Jargon placenames, also Talk:List of Chinook Jargon placenamesSkookum1 19:10, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


I’d like to see phonetic glosses added to the words in the article. The ad hoc English-based orthography is somewhat difficult to interpret for people who don’t already speak Chinook Jargon. Also, stress is important but completely unmarked. I can do IPA if necessary, but I only have one or two written sources for the Jargon from which I can work that are phonetically accurate and show stress.

Also, in working on Tlingit, I’ve come across a number of loans from CJ. Some of them are reduced in ways that run counter to the expected pronunciation of the original CJ words, which leads me to believe that they were imported from odd or uncommon dialects of CJ. An example of this is Tl. wasóos [wə.sús] “cow”, from CJ moosmoos, where the first CJ syllable has been reduced to [wə], which is not what I’d expect if moosmoos was pronounced [ˈmus.mus] with the stress on the first syllable. Another group of words seem to have been pronounced with a sh in CJ instead of the more common s. An example of this is Tl. dóosh [túʃ] “cat” which comes from CJ puspus; since Tlingit has a perfectly serviceable [s] I find it strange that the s in pus(pus) would have been converted into an [ʃ]. This among other instances of [ʃ] appearing where [s] is expected leads me to believe that the CJ speakers that the Tlingit were in contact with used [ʃ] themselves, in words like *pushpush or *Bashton. Can any of you CJ people comment on this? — Jéioosh 22:26, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

(I should note that those derivations may look suspicious, but it’s because Tlingit lacks labials like [m], [p], and [b], and the voiced [l], so it adapts them to other sounds like [t], [kʷ], [x’ʷ], [n], etc. — Jéioosh 22:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC))

TumTum I would like to see some elaboration on this particular chinook word - its meaning and application. See TumTum.

'Tumtum is a Chinook Jargon term meaning "from the pulsations of the heart", or "the heart, the will, the mind."

Chinook Jargon was a simplified language comprised of words from English, French, and numerous languages belonging to Native people in the Northwest region of the North American continent. The Jargon was used widely in this region for basic communication and trading purposes and was most common during the 19th century.

The word Tumtum used to describe to the beating of the heart, as well as life forces.'

In the Indian view, the seat of consciousness is the heart; in the Western view it is the brain. This is why thinking is associated with tumtum. Manyshoes (talk) 20:46, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

-- With difficulty I have pieced together these intriguing uses of this word. I was surprised that no reference has been made to the concept on Wikipedia.

Would someone better credentials to elaborate on this like to make a try?

Retrieved from ""

Languages contributing to Chinook Jargon[edit]

Well, we know that french and english were part of chinook jargon, but what about the native languages that made the vast majority of the vocabulary? Lashootseed is one, Can we get a list going for the definition?


As it stands in the article now, this is the definition: kamuks or comox — dog. This would have originally referred to a now-extinct species of domestic dog once common in the region, which was raised for its wool and meat. This breed is often depicted in drawings and paintings from the earliest eras.

This seems to be vandalism to me, but I don't know the subject area well enough to be sure. Can somebody who does know confirm or deny this?

I think that it's not vandalism. The description was in the vocabulary list when I first read through it, perhaps in late 2005. And I have indeed seen pictures painted during the pioneer-era that show a small curled-tailed variety of dog accompanying various native people. I also recall from the late 1970's hearing students from WSU chant Cultus Comox when the UW football team came on the field. Tom Lougheed 08:58, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
On one of the Kwakwaka'wakw or Salish websites it's asserted that K'omoks is a Salishan word meaning the case of that group, that may be the case, I'm not sure; I know comox was an alternate spelling for kamuks though; the WSU chant is interesting, I'll have to add it to my expansion of Chinook Jargon use by English-speakers or whatever it's called (and isn't quite titled right as others who learned CJ spoke Norwegian, German, French, Chinese, Hawaiian etc....).Skookum1 (talk) 20:00, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Commented out section?[edit]

At the very end of the article, just in front of the categories is the following text which is commented out so it does not display (see below). Should it be included anywhere, or expunged? j-beda 13:23, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know who commented it out, didn't pay attention; it's all citable, and swhould go back in.Skookum1 (talk) 20:01, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

In British Columbia, Yukon and throughout the Pacific Northwest a pidgin language known as the Chinook Jargon emerged in the early 19th Century which was a combination of Chinookan, Nootka, Chehalis, French and English, with a smattering of words from other languages including Iroquoian and Hawaiian thrown in. The Jargon had no fixed form, and — depending on the origin of the speakers and the locality — words from other languages were also incorporated: In the Puget Sound area of Washington, one account describes the adoption of the Norwegian/Scandinavian words glemde ("forgot") and husker ("remember"); in the writings of guide-outfitter Ted "Chilco" Choate, of Gaspard Lake in the Chilcotin Country, comments that Gaelic as well as Chilcotin were components of Jargon usage in that region, but does not provide any examples.

Chinook, as the Jargon is usually known, is normally considered an aboriginal language, but it was in its day the lingua franca of the Northwest Coast and Plateau and was often the language of workplace and home even in non-native environments. It was, in other words, a language of all peoples in the BC and the Pacific Northwest and was not exclusively native. So much so that during the colonial period of the 1860s a proposal to make it an official language was half-tabled in the colonial Legislative Assembly but was not passed, and in 1903 Richard McBride was recruited to run for the first-ever BC Conservative leadership in Chinook, so as to thwart eavesdropping by "Canadians", as people from Eastern Canada were still known at that time. Court proceedings involving natives were often in Chinook, and while court translators for Chinook were present, typically justices, magistrates and government agents themselves spoke passable Chinook.

On the other hand, efforts by the Diocese of Kamloops to separate their Catholic First Nations flock from the largely Protestant cultus whitemans (cultus means "bad, worthless, useless, ordinary") produced a separate script based on the French Duployan shorthand and a large amount of ecclesiastical translations as well as community bulletins of the diocese in a short-lived publication named the Kamloops Wawa ("talk from Kamloops"), and sermons were regularly delivered in Chinook at native churches throughout BC, even into the 1960s.

A darker side of the Jargon's role in native life is connected to the residential school systems, where the speaking of native languages was forbidden and rewarded with beatings. Despite this threat, First Nations children from all the cultures speaking the many different traditional languages in the province found they shared a common tongue in the Chinook, and it became the secret language of the schools - and punishable for being used, although only a few years before the churches running the schools had themselves used the Jargon in teaching and evangelical activities. Despite the Jargon being forbidden, its secretive use in the schools furthered its spread in the BC-wide native community as those children returned to their communities, often not knowing any of their traditional language and unable to communicate with parents and elders. The circumstances of Jargon usage in the schools also created a feeling among natives that it was their language, and as at the same time massive immigration to BC obliterated the old Jargon-speaking non-native culture, such that a linguistic divide was created where many non-natives speaking the Jargon or using Jargon words did not even know it was native in origin, and natives themselves preferred not to share it with outsiders because of its function as an intertribal language. By the mid-20th Century, Chinook was the dominant language among elders in most native communities and was a threat to the traditional languages. Because of this, the movement to restore the traditional languages has largely suppressed Chinook materials and, while many young natives can understand some of the Chinook, it has largely passed out of use.

Its widespread usage in the region left its impact on regional English, which still uses many Chinook words (skookum, saltchuck, tyee). Also notable are "Chinookisms", which range from borrowings such as "in the sticks" to a certain style of English delivery with simplified grammar. The evolution of slang terms such as "dumb-ass" may come from the Chinook hyas (big, important; found in English as "high-ass"), tenas (small, a child), tamanass (magic, spirits).

Significance of Fort Vancouver speakers[edit]

It was my understanding speakers of the Chinook Jargon (and I think this name is the only appropriate one at this point) in the Kanaka village next to Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River on the Washington side were the first to raise a generation of native speakers, which by many definitions is the criterion for definition as a language rather than a pidgin. The question of creole is a different question from what I gather. The story goes the Hudson Bay Company officials back east in Canada (Britain claimed the territory down to the Columbia River) grew alarmed at the prospect of a heathen population arising with a unified speech or at least didn't want the corporation's name tarnished, and sent out missionaries to teach the native speakers English and Christianity. Kanaka means Hawaiian of course; there were Hawaiian canoe crews brought in from the then Sandwich Islands to help navigate the waterways of Pacific America for the fur trade. It's interesting to note, for me at least, competing visions on the American side regarding the push westward. Jefferson had envisioned new states, read national entities or countries, emerging to the west of the United States, bound by a common origin and language in fraternal ties with the mother country in the east, while Astor largely engineered what came to be known as manifest destiny by establishing American outposts, including Astoria on the Columbia. As it turned out, race decided the territorial dispute over what came to be known as the Washington territory, the southern stretches of the Columbia territory bordering Oregon: George Washington Bush, a black (or East Indian) homesteader, was denied entry into Oregon territory because of the racist laws there and set up house across the river in Tumwater, taking a native woman as wife. It was also my understanding that Tumwater is named after Tum-tum, a native and perhaps Chinook Jargon word meaning waters, because of an abundance of natural fresh water springs in the area. "Tumwater" is thus a bilingual reduplication. Does it belong on the list of Jargon place names? My cursory knowledge of Washington state and Pacific Northwest native languages says that some were/are not Lushootseed or even Salishan at all but were probably present before the Salishan invasion from the Alberta Plateau about AD 1000, IIRC. The languages in coastal British Columbia are even more varied. From what I gather non-Salishan languages contributed to the Chinook Jargon as much as Salishan languages did. I don't really see the need to call the pre-European trading language a proto-pidgin unless pidgin is defined as the natives' attempt to speak the conquerors' European language. It seems to have been fully-fledged before the arrival of Europeans and was quite capable of assimilating European elements. That said, it's great to see this on wikipedia, and it's amazing to learn that there are still speakers beyond the unrecognized (by the BIA) Chinook tribe on the Columbia up in British Columbia. It would be helpful to have a graphic or two illustrating the Duployan shorthand orthography mentioned. International phonetics in brackets after the words on the word and place name lists would also be helpful, and also a more direct link to on-line versions of essential works (Franz Boas?) on the Jargon (which isn't a jargon at all but rather a language as described above, but which should retain its historic name because of reference, primacy in naming conventions etc. "The language known as the Chinook Jargon.")

The business about "American leaders" (above) is more or less true from what I remember reading, government officials translated English into Chinook Jargon at treaty-signing gatherings and in various dealings with the native tribes. Prominent early American figures in the territory also knew the Jargon.

I can't resist an excerpt from a native Washingtonian, born in Olympia, whose family founded Oysterville along the Columbia River and whose poem contains a number of Chinook Jargon place names. It shows a certain feeling for native words and vital cross-pollination with English into the 20th century:

Chet loved to WALLA WALLA/
In breakers warm and wet/
In all DUWAMISH water/
Would splash and WOLLOCHET.

And was he brave?/
‘Til LATAH he fell in with/
A LILLIWAUP named Anne.

‘Lor LUMMI, wasn’t she though?/
She had ASOTIN something/
That should have laid CHETLO.

She saw him in DEWATTO,/
Afloatin’ on his back,/
That made her lips go smack!

Now WHATCOM over Annie?/
‘Twas love ATTALIA that,/
Her heart went HAMMA HAMMA,/
Her teeth went KLICKITAT!

She said, "You are MALOTT dear;/
WYNOOCHEE kiss me pet?"/
The MATTAWA her ardor,/
Was not returned by Chet.

So ANACORTES Chester,/
She has to HAVERMALE,/
But he replies, "TONASKET!/
OHOP off. Hit the trail!"

"NASELLE me your embraces,"/
She begs him with sweet moan./
"My family’s ALGONA/
And I must sleep alone."

With METHOW in her madness,/
Once more the girl began./
"I SEKIU, and you only . . ./

excerpt from "Omak Me Yours Tonight, or, Ilwaco Million Miles for One of Your Smiles: A ballard of Washington State," copyright 1972 Willard Richardson Espy (1910-1999)

Hypatea 14:34, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

There's a LOT to reply to in your post, and I'm limited to free library access, about to expire, but I'll get in what I can at the moment.
1. Tumwater. Tumtum means "hearbeat" and/or "emotions/feelings/thoughts" (also in verbal as well as noun context, i.e. to feel/think), and is generally considered onomatopaeic. Tumwata simply means waterfall directly, because of the drumming sound of falling waters (if you've been near a waterfall in the very-wet Pacific Northwest you should get the allusion...).
The DIA recognized Chinook people are not on the Columbia in British Columbia; that is Sinixt, Ktunaxa/Kinbasket and Secwepemc territory ;-). The main Chinook community, AFAIK, is at Grand Ronde OR, and is where the modern creole of Chinook, called/spelled by them Tshinuk-wawa, is preserved and fostered. There may be another community on the Columbia itself, I wouldn't know, but Grand Ronde is near Corvallis and is in Oregon's Pacific Coast Range, not near the Columbia.Skookum1 23:20, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
George Washington Bush. What an irony that name is now, huh? At least in initialized form anyway (Geo. W. Bush). Interesting to note that at the time of the so-called plebiscite to join the US, i.e. a plebiscite for white Americans only, Bush could not vote, but also that BC-side historians have noted that he was originally a British subject; but the American logic is that since he was American, his presence at Tumwater mandated the American control of the (whole of) Puget Sound, but "his fellow Americans" didn't want him, not in Oregon anyway. For more on the politics of this, you might find Talk:Oregon boundary dispute and Talk:Oregon Country and related pages "interesting".
Franz Boas did some work on the CJ, but mostly on "old Chinookan" I think. The main sources are Shaw, Gibbs, Harper, Lejeune; other than Lejeune's Kamloops Wawa variant, most documented CJ is from the lower Columbia, with only some side comments on Puget Sound, not on variations as they might occur in other areas of BC, particularly the Interior or farther up coast. Why not? Well, there was nobody around either literate or interested enough to take notes; and many users in those areas, ultimately, weren 't even necessarily native, so their existence and mode of usage is systematically dismissed by academic researchers, who are focussed only on native culture/use/language.
Hadn't heard that before about the HBC worrying about the "heathen" having a unified language re the CJ; I think that might have more to do with that language not becoming French, i.e. as a mainstream language in the PacNW (not that the company itself didn't operate in French...), and therefore Catholic in denomination, although as I recall the Methodist or whatever he was dispatched to Fort Vancouver was an abysmal failure and had few converts, whether among the fur colonists or the natives; it was mostly a Catholic game until after 1846/1858.
International phonetics won't really help. Although Tshinuk-wawa diehards like to maintain that theirs is the "correct" form, there is really no standard prononciation to draw on, and wide variation in some wordforms to start with, from region to region and source to source. CJ is an interlingua and does not have rigid rules of pronunciation, or rather none are required for intelligibility. Speaking Chinook with a German or Chinese "accent" is just as legitimate as speaking it with a Syilx'tsn or Nuu-chah-nulth one; they all work. IPA is too strict; the forms given in Gibbs, mimicking old-fashioned English pronunciatoin guides, are about all that is useful; if Gibbs, Shaw and Lejeune had made their notes in IPA, fine, then IPA would be appropriate. It's not in this case.
I agree about Duployan shorthand but don't have a copy of Kamloops Wawa handy to scan it out of; Fr. Lejeune obligingly printed a key in each issue.
Chinookan and Wakashan languages are the main sources of CJ's lexicon, with the Salishan language Chehalis coming in a not-too-distant third; does the article now say it was Salishan based? Hardly...though inb widespread use, with time, in Salishan country......Skookum1 23:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
IPA is certainly appropriate – because it is exactly as precise as you want it to be. The keyword here is phoneme. It would also be a great idea to describe the (presumably enormous) regional variation in the Jargon in the article; from what little I've read, some varieties had ejectives and others not, for example. David Marjanović (talk) 18:43, 18 May 2008 (UTC)


Yes, Skookum, I was wrong about Tumwater. That's something locals told me, that the place used to be called Tum-Tum, don't know exactly. For some reason I pictured Grand Ronde in BC although the article(s) say clearly it's in Oregon. Nowhere did it say the Jargon was Salishan-based either, I don't know why I thought it was important to point out it wasn't, except that it is interesting or might be interesting in the article to mention the Wakashan, Salishan and Penutian (which includes Mayan, Chinook proper, Araucanian and others) families and their affiliations. Vi Hilbert, the Lushootseed scholar, mentions the non-Salish groups in western Washington. IIRC the Puyallup had something to suggest a non-Salish linguistic substrate.

Regarding Bush and competing claims to the territory, it was my understanding that the "green line" ran roughly somewhere between the Nisqually Delta (Ft. Nisqually) and Steilacoom (Ft. Steilacoom) for a time, George Bush occupying the southlands for the USA, although the present forts were built later. Interesting to note in the entry Oregon boundary dispute tha the phrases "54' 40" or fight!" and "manifest destiny" both came out of the dispute.

Franz Boas only recorded a few things in Chinook Jargon it seems. The links to the Jargon dictionaries in the entry are very good. The "Mystery Dictionary" on the AT&T page looks to be verbatim with Costello's list in The Siwash (1895) may be from the Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon printed in Olympia in 1873 mentioned by Shaw. The place names seem to center around Olympia and Union City (now just Union, WA; the city must have never developed as expected). The Washington State Library in Olympia or the Smithsonian might have a copy of the dictionary mentioned by Shaw so this could be checked.

For whatever reason, HBC apparently saw fit to break up the emerging scene at the Kanaka village.

Point taken on international phonetics; do recordings (Smithsonian or elsewhere) exist of "native" Jargon speakers? A link on the page to something like that would be very good. Lushootseed phonetics are very different to English and other European languages. From what I understand the double T in Seattle merely represents an attempt to render the closest thing English has to a glottal stop, while the L in Seattle is an entirely different sound in Lushootseed. I believe Vi Hilbert renders this L-ish sound as l with a ~ through it. I'd be interested to know if there were any Hoh/Quileute contributions to the Chinook Jargon and more about the Spanish, which is mentioned by some but not others. The BC writer Anne Cameron, who can't always be trusted to transmit native lore correctly, I hear, mentions oral traditions concerning the arrival of the Spanish ships somewhere on or near Vancouver Island. The Olympic Peninsula was also claimed and named by the Spanish. Russians were also involved in the fur trade, sailing down to the Russian River in California, but there seems to be no Russian in the Jargon. Interesting why not.

Hypatea 15:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

As above somewhere, Jargon varied with the region and the available languages; Chilco Choate says that the form spoken in the Chilcotin had Gaelic and Russian in it, but doesn't provide examples; it's almost for certain that Alaska Panhandle-area Jargon must have had Russian loanwords, but no documents have surfaced giving local variants other than the Tlingit Jargon (which ain't CJ); the recorded Jargon sources are near-ALL lower Columbia River based, Shaw, Gibbs, Harper, Pasco, El Comancho etc. although the latter two do expand on Puget Sound; what I'm saying is that in areas where there were no documentarists we can only go by hearsay as to what the other components were, sadly enough. And there are tapes of aboriginal "native" speakers, people raised with CJ as their primary language, from Lillooet, Bella Coola and elsewhere, but the tribal lagnuage authoritiers in charge of them and the linguistics/academics-community advising them are hostilee to opening up regionalCJ studies as a perceived threat to revival of the traditional/ancient languages in each area; lots of tapes, nobody willing to let anyone hear them.....tapes of non-native "native" speakers were rarely, if ever, collected, though lots of non-native people in remote communiteis grew up bilingual, sometimes tri or quadlingual, in CJ and whatever else (two contacts from Pavilion told me they speak St'at'imcets as well as CJ; in other cases the home language might have been,say, German or Norwegian or French, plus English, CJ and whatever local language.....). It's a great bit empty hollow in CJ studies, all this stuff; maybe certain parties will take their blinkers off one day and dust off those tapes before they demagnetize.....Skookum1 (talk) 20:06, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

POV template[edit]

In reading over teh recent rewrite I found it necdessary to start placing cite templates, because a lot has been added that's entirely speculative and also really about the "proto-Jargon", which isn't the same thing any more than the Grand Ronde Chinuk Wawa is the same thing; despite certain academics' agendas that they're all the same, THEY'RE NOT. The downplaying of teh white role in teh actual Chinook Jargon (i.e. the one shared with non-native cultures) is clearly on display in the recent edits, as is the commentying out of the entire orioginal content of this article, which amounts to a deletion; add to Wikipedia.....thte claims that there were Asian and Hawaiians words are spurious - unless tyee is really Chiinese tai and thre's omething else than kanaka out there from "Polynesian". BC and AK area dialeccts of CJ are mentioned as having Russian and Gaelic, and Pasco says there were Norwegian/Swedish words in Puget Sound....but funny how the professional Chinookologists just aren't interested in that, but more in proving that white people weren't capable of speaking it and it's not really their langauge etc etc etc. The POV template can come off when t6he p.c.-massage is taken out ("anything p.c. is inherently POV") and also when the ingrate who commented out the original article integrates thte material back in, instead of tries to hide it in the dustbin. This kind of behaviour is eventaully going to show up at a linguistics/history conference about the puerile and destruction behaviour of Chinookological "experts" who don't want to discuss things, rather censure adn ban them. Disappointing; I would have thought you guys had grown up by now.Skookum1 (talk) 14:30, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know what has transpired previously on these pages, I have only recently joined this discussion and I am not about to wade into the middle of an argument. But with regard to Hawaiian/Polynesian words finding their way into the language that is entirely possible. What few people outside of the Chinook tribe seem to be aware of is that in pre-contact times there were multiple incidents of visits from ocean-going Polynesians. And in at least one case a shipwreck resulting in the survivors becoming permanent residents. This is what our oral traditions tell us. Manyshoes (talk) 22:15, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

I have also heard an account of a shipwreck that was probably Chinese in origin. The bottom of the ship was lined with sheets of copper - presumably to prevent barnacles. The copper was striped from the ship and highly valued. I do not know if any of the Chinese survived, but clearly there have been a lot of different peoples coming to these shores even in pre-contact times. I also remember about 10 or 15 years ago there was a Japanese fishing boat with a broken engine that managed to drift all the way to (California?) So clearly, ocean crossings are possible, and they have been happening for a long time. Polynesian artifacts have also been found in the San Juan Islands. Manyshoes (talk) 03:01, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Two issues in your post:
1. If few people outside the Chinook tribe are aware of such visits is because the Chinook tribe doesn't tell anybody about them, or publish such information; if it's published it can be cited as such, as in "Chinook oral tradition says...". And re the ship lined with sheets of copper, I've heard the same story and believe the vessel to have been Korean - a copy of such a vessel was on display at Expo '86 in Vancouver. But the website which had that story had to be taken down as the teenage Chinook who had put the webpage containing it together was besieged by violent personal threats from others in the Chinook community; not his story to tell. If you know of it in print, citable form, it can be included. But despite such stories the issue in the next point is relevant in relation to both Polynesian and Chinese or other Asian words:
2. To my knowledge linguists have discerned no lexical or syntactical similarities between Polynesian languages and Chinook (i.e. the Chinookan language, not the Jargon); similarly no congruencies with Chinese (or Korean) have been observed (despite the similarly of meaning/sound between tyee and tai/dai). If you know of any studies which explore any connections, please cite themSkookum1 (talk) 23:29, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Equivocation of Proto-Jargon with real-world Chinook Jargon[edit]

The former is theoretical, althoug I've found in Costello's 1909 publication the idea that a predecessor jargon existed was out there even back then; the Proto-Jargon shoudl be a separate article, and efforts by certain academic agendas to equivocate the two are citable only because they've theorized about it; but a theory isn't a fact....rather than add another cite template, here's the wordiing that's bothering me, although there are similar obfuscations elsewhere in the article:

The Jargon was originally constructed from a great variety of Amerind words of the Pacific Northwest, arising as an intra-indigenous contact language in a region marked by divisive geography and intense linguistic diversity.

Better worded as "The Proto-Jargon".....the historical meaning of Chinook Jargon is clearly that form which integrated English, French and other non-PacNW languages, and is not a reference to the Proto-Jargon, which clearly is a different beastie, as also the modern form in GR (which doesnt' even have a common vocabulary with the Warm Springs variant, much less any a priori "correctness" over forms found farther north; or superior to Chinook Jargon use by English-language speakers, which is mis-titled anyway as Germans, Scandinavians, Chinese, French etc and others used it as well.....but who as speakers get derided by indigenously-biased linguists as "incapable ofpronouncing it properly"...pretty funny considering the mangling of English and French borrowings (but boy would "we" ever get nailed for saying natives were "incapable"), and totally untrue given the phonological palette of the Gaelic and Germanic and other European peoples present in the region.Skookum1 (talk) 18:50, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

As per the remaining fact template re "indianized" GR chinuk-wawa, as noted taht was Tony Johnson's own term; another used by the mascot-linguists is "creolized", and refers to the induction of newer native words adn the getting-rid-of non-aboriginal words (mostly the English ones, FRrench ones are for some reason OK). And also "more Indianized" pronunciation. I'm surprised Holton didn't include this in his book because it was the subject of long discussions at one of the Chinuk Lu?lu's and a bit of a bragging point by GR indigenous people who were proud of it. There are cites available within CHINOOK-L, if that's a suitable citation to use; would take some digging, but more likely it should be in materials published by GR and whatsisname, the linguist who works with them. D. Robertson, if you're reading this you know exactly what I'm talking about. Any progress on finding actual CJ usage in different parts of BC, or are you still trying to integrate everything frrom a GR perspective? Warm Springs, Colville etc. remain undocumented forms; and any number of BC peoples have tapes of CJ users kept under lock-and-key to prevent their being studied; non-aboriginal source informants die off because of disinterest/disregard by academics because they're not aboriginal.....ethnic myopia is the curse of CJ/PacNW historical studies IMO.Skookum1 (talk) 18:59, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Lexicon section[edit]

that got built before I and others contributing at the time knew about content parameters; should it be migrated to the CJ Wiki, or into Wiktionary, or where? Some should remain because of their continuing use today (mowitch, e.g.); the idea was to give a demonstration of the fluidity of meanings; as there can be no "proper pronunciation" despite GR-biased academics' inclination to claim that theirs is teh "right one".Skookum1 (talk) 18:52, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Chinuk Wawa vs. Chinook Jargon revisited[edit]

I'm starting a new threat on this since the one below is a bit messy.

In my understanding, Chinook Jargon refers to the pidgin spoken around the Northwest. Chinuk Wawa, on the other hand, is the name of the creolized version of said pidgin spoke at Grand Ronde, OR. Despite claims below that the spelling 'Chinuk' is used to 'de-whitify' the language (which is a largely incoherent statement anyway; the Chinook peoples still use that spelling for their ethnic identity), the speakers and community members at Grand Ronde prefer the term (and spelling) 'Chinuk Wawa' for their language.

I think it can remain Chinook Jargon throughout the rest of the page, but in the section where it mentions how it is called by those at Grand Ronde, it should remain 'Chinuk Wawa'.

Actually I thought their spelling is Tshinuk-wawa....or was for a while when I was still connected to the CHINOOK-L listserve. Their pretense is that the Jargon as used elsewhere is the same language, and they'll try to refer to it in other areas as Tshinuk-wawa and pretend that it's the same, and go to great lengths to try to prove that - while dismissing white users/white variants out-of-hand; but they have different core verbs (esp. munk vs mamook) and a developed syntax. AND, by Tony R's own statement, the indegenized spellings like Tshinuk vs Chinook, telxyEm vs tillicum, thlhehawye vs Klawhoya, etc are meant to distance themselves from the polluted renderings of Shaw and Gibbs. In my view, by their own admission, GR-Tshinuk wawa has creolized to a new language; the term Chinook Jargon includes all variants, not just native ones "approved" by latter-day GR-based/biased linguists; see Chinook Jargon use by English-language speakers, which I've got more to add to; pages like Tillicum and Skookumchuck and Skookum are cases in point that no matter what indigenous-ideologues want to content, CJ was used and adapted by white people just like it was used and adapted by their native neighbours, and GR-based spellings are not the standard, nor should they be, unless it's the GR dialect/language that's being talked about; "still use that spelling" is a misuse of language; - "still" implies it's the original spelling/usage BUT IT'S NOT; they invented that spelling expressly to distance themselves from the English-style orthography and made a point of getting rid of various anglicisms (though not francisisms) in an effort to purge their language of "white influences". Sounds like a racist agenda to me, but I'm apparently a racist for pointing it out (which is why they kicked me off CHINOOK-L, largely; if you don't like what someone is saying, just ban them in any dictatorship, large or small - boot 'em off the island, basically, which is the problem with tribal councils, no?. Tshinuk-wawa or Chinuk-wawa should be a separate article; it's like the difference between the old Colville (tribe) language and the language spoken on the Colville Reservation today, which like GR's is a creole developed in post-conquest/assimilation times, although in that case it's not CJ based by Okanagan/Spokan/Colville-based, with a lot of CJ elements, apparently. Other comments later below; but I will totally oppose any name change of this article to Chinuk-Wawa; that's not an English name, nor is it valid outside of GR...GR wants it to be valid outside of GR, and DR in Victoria is pushing that other people follow in the merry train, but it's bogus and b.s. from start to finish....especially since hte motivation is in itself ultimately racist....Skookum1 (talk) 19:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
The current spelling at Grand Ronde, and for the class currently being taught at Lane Community College, is 'Chinuk Wawa'. As I said above, I think that the term used on this page should be 'Chinook Jargon', EXCEPT when there is specific mention of Grand Ronde, and then it should be 'Chinuk Wawa'. I wrote this on the talk page because I changed that one occurence yesterday, and someone changed it back. I agree that Chinuk Wawa should, as its own language, have it's own page--a future project. For now, though, when speaking of Grand Ronde, the spelling should be 'Chinuk Wawa'.
But only of Grand hte first conference some elders from Warm Springs were down (two indigenous elders and one non-native elder, who also was the only person completely fluent from Warm Springs - he'd been the shopkeeper)...the GR people tried to "correct" them on their usages and pronunciation, a terrible display of chauvinism, and GR elders were horrified at the Warm Springs' elders use of "mamook"; what I'm getting at is that Chinook Jargon had a lot of regional variations, sometimes right nearby each other; I haven't been able to prove it yet, but I suspect that Lillooet-area CJ was different from Nlaka'pamux-area CJ, and that within Nlaka'pamux CJ there would have likely been a difference between the Catholics of most Nlaka'pamux territory and the Anglican core at Lytton; and LeJeune actually invented the Wawa shorthand as part of an effort to split native CJ use off from white CJ use, in order to keep his flock away from those bloody Protestants....(less than keeping them away from whites, which is a more modern agenda....). thing is, with CJ linguists so obsessed over GR, none of the otehr regional variants are getting studied, or even admitted to have existed, despite the obvious.....Skookum1 (talk) 19:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
On a totally different topic, I'm not sure what you mean about the effort to purge English words from Chinuk Wawa at Grand Ronde; I can think of a ton just off the top of my head (phaya 'fire', stik 'tree, stick', khul 'winter, cold', etc.), so I don't really think there was quite such a concerted effort.

This issue of spelling and pronounciation is not uncommon in the Northwest, and should simply be glossed over by making everything spelled one way. For example, the Yakama tribe uses 'Yakama' for their government, but 'Yakima' for the language (with some debate within the community). Likewise, the term 'Coquille' is pronounced differently depending on whether it referes to the tribe (/ko:kwél/) or the town of Coquille, OR (/ko:kíl/), which was named after the people. Suomichris (talk) 19:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

It's often factional or as a result of institutional inertia; the Lillooet Tribal Council and almost all its agencies use St'at'imc now, but the tribal police use Stl'atl'imx; even in the case of Sto:lo there's orthographic arguments as to which set of diacriticals to use, and I've seen at least seven different "official aboriginal" spellings of various Kwakwaka'wakw and Coast Salish names...none of them using the same orthographic/phonetic systems, either....(well, taht's why the different spellings, competing orthographic systems....).Skookum1 (talk) 19:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. I think it's best if the article at least mentions the Chinuk Wawa spelling. Alexwoods (talk) 19:55, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


When researching Chin Gee Hee I remember running across an anecdote about a Chinese man who was in court in Seattle in the 1880s, accused of being a recent, illegal immigrant. The judge addressed him in Chinook Jargon; he answered in Chinook Jargon; case dismissed. But it had nothing to do with what I was working on at the time, and I didn't write down a citation. Is someone familiar with the incident, and does someone have a citation? Certainly seems worth a mention by way of showing some of how the language at one time characterized a region. - Jmabel | Talk 20:52, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm guessing Willard G. Jue, "Chin Gee-hee, Chinese Pioneer Entrepreneur in Seattle and Toishan", The Annals of the Chinese Historical Society of the Pacific Northwest, 1983, 31:38; unfortunately, that is buried deep in the U.W. Library stacks, and I don't think it's online anywhere. I guess I could try to get hold of it again. - Jmabel | Talk 20:54, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds interesting, and may be the first lead on Chinese use/users of CJ I've seen since the bit in Duane Pasco about the Chinese and Norwegian guy who mixed in words from their own languages, yet still understood each other. I've made various requests to the new Chinese history library at UBC for any information they may have about Chinese knowledge/use of the CJ, adn about other topics as well, but I've gotten no response despite several enquiries and once I tried to ask by phone and got cold-shouldered by someone who didn't speak English well ;-) (a publicy-funded library it is, y'see....apparently I was asking in the wrong publicly-funded language....). CJ was used in canneries and in the goldfields and on Chinese-owned ranches (which were many) so you'd think that in some journal or store logbook somewhere there might be notes in or about CJ; it would be interesting for instance to see CJ spelled out in Chinese characters. BTW I've often suspected that tyee is of Chinese origin, though ostensibly it's either Nuu-chah-nulth or Chinookan in origin; but given the probability/legendary accounts of Chinese visits to the Coast that still doesn't rule it out - tai or dai meaning "great" or "big". The response from the "offfial CJ community" on stuff like this is stoney silence......further btw I'm increasingly of the opinion that the creation of "Chinook Jargon use by English-language speakers" was a POV fork ,especially given exampels like the one you've produced here (which can also be found in Cdn court records in abundance...if someone took the time to look, or gave half a damn....not juset "English-language speakers" spoke the CJ but for some reason (which I won't lay out here but is obvious enough) the academic community doesn't want to address it, or dismisses/derogates non-aboriginal uses/users, whetehr by ignoring them or by put-down comments.....Skookum1 (talk) 21:04, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Chin Gee Hee would have spoken Chinook Jargon; someone at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle might be able to find a citation on that. He lived about a decade in North Kitsap, is universally accounted as good with languages, and was a friend of the family of Chief Seattle. - Jmabel | Talk 23:53, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Similarly I'm certain of the same with at least some of Lillooet's former Chinese population/merchants, whose customers and neigbhbours all spoke it, whether indigenous or non-indigenous. On the Kitsap somewhere, btw. os a bar called the "Hiyu hee-hee" ("lots of fun" or "party happy")...saw the neon sign somewhere, maybe on one of hte other CJ sites than my own.....btw Old Man House down that way is a CJ placename, I'd say (oldman or oleman can mean "ancient" or "old time" as well as "worn out, old".....Skookum1 (talk) 04:21, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Another old thread, I know, but.. I'm pretty sure that exact story is told in Puget's Sound: A Narrative of Early Tacoma and the Southern Sound, by Murray Morgan. I have the book around the house. I'll check when I get a chance. As I recall the story, it happened exactly as described. The Chinese man was accused of being a newly arrived illegal immigrant. Judge asked him "what is your name" in Chinook Jargon. The man answered in Chinook Jargon. Dismissed, next case! I think the case was not in Seattle but farther south, perhaps Steilacoom. But I could be wrong. And it might be in a different book, but I know I have it around here somewhere.
Also, I got a book from the library on CJ/Wawa, especially its early years. Lots of interesting info. If I find the time (ha) I'll try adding some. Your comment about tyee, Skookum, reminded me of a bit I read earlier tonight. When Francisco Eliza returned to Nootka Sound after Martínez had killed Callicum and feelings were hard, Alberni, in charge of the fort, composed a song for Maquinna, using some of the few Nootka words he knew. It went: Macuina, Macuina, Macuina; Asco Tais hua-cás; España, España, España; Hua-cás Macuina Nutka. The word Tais, pronounced ta-ees, "entered Wawa as taï", according to this book. Taï being in the so-called Demers/Blanchet/St. Onge orthography, but is the same as tyee.

Ah, found it. Not in Murray Morgan, rather in Native Seattle by Coll Thrush, pp 64-65. It was in Seattle, in the 1870s. A Chinese man named Ling Fu was brought before Judge Cornelius Hanford in Seattle's courthouse, accused of not having the proper citizenship papers. He faced deportation, but argued that he did not need to carry papers because he was born on Puget Sound. The judge then said, Ikta mika nem? Consee cole mika? To which Ling replied, Nika nem Ling Fu, pe nika mox tahtlum pee quinum cole. The judge was surprised and said, "You are an American, sure, and you can stay here." Then, to the bailiff, "Ling Fu is dismissed." Oh, and hey, I see the book is on Google Books, with preview. Try Native Seattle, p 64.

So, does this little tale warrant adding somewhere? If so, where? Pfly (talk) 09:08, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Removed erroneous quote/cite[edit]

I removed the two sentences citing Duane Pasco, including:

"...cites a dialogue "between a Chinaman and a Swede" that, he says, was some of the best-spoken Jargon, i.e. the most idiomatic and most articulate, he'd ever heard." (cite here to

The misquote above is apparently a confabulation of:

"The jargon served as a means of discourse between those individuals whose language base was uncommon. A Makah of Neah Bay might converse with an Englishman, Frenchman, Chinese, S’Klallam, Tsimshian or Nisqually using Chinook Jargon. ... an Englishman and a Frenchman [not sharing a mutual language] might find this an appropriate form of verbal intercourse." See A note regarding the Jargon dialog and English translations in "Moola John."

The word "Chinaman" appears nowhere on the cited Web site.

In regard to the quotation I removed, Mr. Pasco reports "I can say unequivocally that any of what he's saying is most certainly no quote of mine." Jeffreykopp (talk) 07:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

It might not be on that site - but the story of a conversation between a Chinese man and a Swedish (or Norwegian?) one is somewhere in Pasco, 'cause it's his story; in your adaption of his publications to the net perhaps you saw fit to omit the story and/or the use of said word? Because, funny, I remember reading it in just the last few months, on-line, and not on my own pages. And the word "Chinaman" was definitely used, in the conversation cited by someone (if not in Pasco)). Don't be disingenuous, you know this story exists because you've heard Duane tell the story, if not with "Chinaman" in it (which I have); in fact in the early days of the Chinook community, which you took part in the hounding-out of yours truly, this story was told at one of the two first "Lu'lus" whichy you attended. You may have chosen not to put it in your website, or to repeat it, and may not like it much, or your memory maybe operating selectively, but I can't help you with those problems; what I can assert is that somewhere this story is told as an example of CJ usage by non-indigenous peoples leading to the integration of non-indigenous words into non-indigenous CJ usage.....I'll find the site in question; again, you may have chosen to excise it from the Chinook=reality as presented by your own selections of material, careful and pointedly tasteful though they may be....but I know you've heard it/seen it yourself. And a postscript - how typical and rather sad your first edits of this article were a deletion, rather than an addition or simple correction; as an experienced Wikipedian I'm supposed to be welcoming, but I find it hard to do when I know the agenda behind another contributors (or in your case, deleters) and their past actions to represe and control information. Unlike CHINOOK-L, Wikipedia is about inclusion, not exclusion, and it operates consensually, not under the control of one particular interest group as went down with CHINOOK-L.Skookum1 (talk) 14:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I remmber it being Pasco; if Duane denies that now it must have been another author - El Comancho maybe, though I don't recall any narratives in his book which is mostly a lexicon and history (and he's a source which in all your thoroughness you've chosen to ignore the existence of and/or to decide he's not "fit" to be taken seriously because your academic friends say "he's not indigenous enough" (those same academic friends also maintain that non-indigenous usage of the CJ is irrelevant and not worht studying, except as a means of ascertaining indiengous usage); again, maybe not Pasco, maybe not El Comancho, but the "Chinese person and a Scandinavian person" (to use the "politically" correct terminology - not quotation mark placement) is part of the lore surrounding Chinook. Too bad you just wanted to delete the story instead of direct it to the correct citation, which I suspect you're all too aware of.....but just don't like.Skookum1 (talk) 14:25, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, so there is an El Comancho section on your site - here. What happened to the moral opprobrium your group had previously attached to this source?Skookum1 (talk) 17:11, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Further to previous, funny that you can be in such denial about "Chinaman" being in the CJ when there are several native languages that use a form of it, borrowed expressly from CJ, that still use it or words adapted from it; these include Skwxwu7mesh and as I have just found out, also Tlingit.......you8 can p.c.-ify English all you want, and you have apparently purged "modern CJ" of it, but historic CJ and CJ loanwords in regional languages are proof of its historical usage. But go write yourself papers saying otherwise and create a whole new citation-reality, and keep on sending notes back and forth about how awful I am and what a good thing it was I was stonewalled from your little club; all it does is prove how wrong you all are..."if only those intent on rewriting history would read some first".....erasing someone else's culture and history is no way to preserve your own. A lack of honesty pervades much in modern CJ studies; I'm curious to read D. Robertson's revisions of all Barbara's materials in that he's "in charge" of CJ studies in BC....just as you (Mr. Kopp) have appointed yourself censor so often (how pathetic)..Skookum1 (talk) 14:45, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

In Vol 3 Issue #1 of TENAS WAWA Mr. Pasco has a copy of a letter sent to him by one of his assistants in a polyglot mixture of 8 seperate languages. He says in the introduction, "....Back to my co-worker...He spoke Norweigan and some Spanish. He would ask me to say this or that thing in Cantonese, Japanese, various Indian tongues or Chinook Jargon". Could this be what you are referring to? PASIOOKS173.126.17.248 (talk) 20:36, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

Chinook Jargon use by English-language speakers was split off from this article unilaterally and was a POV fork; it's also wrong in presuming that only "English-language speakers" were the only other kind of non-indigenous users. Also some linguists/academics maintain that Chinook was a continuum, and its use by "English-language speakers" (and German-language speakers, and Chinese-language speakers, and Hawaiian-language speakers, and Cree-language speakers, and Iroquoian-language speakers) are just as legitimately Chinook Jargon as any form spoken by native peoples. This article (and the other one) needs major trimming of the long word list; but doing so is not helped by "segregating" non-indigenous usages to another page, a mistitlted and a-contextual page to boot.Skookum1 (talk) 14:45, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Massed {{fact}} attack[edit]

I looked up IP Address, who placed the series of fact templates at apparently random through one of the text sections....while I grant some of hte langauge in there has a POV flavour, it's interseting that a number of the items challenged are supported by Jim Holton's book, which was just removed from the external links/further reading, e.g. the creolization at Grand Ronde with Klickitat etc. I even found in various writings (not frmo the chinookology community though) a number of references to how the indigenous-language scholarship community and also band elderes/opliticians have been hostile to the study of CJ because of the threat it represented/s to oldder-language survival, and also because of its role in residential schols and in evangelization. So it's all citable, though the published academics are more concerned with "proving" that hte native phonology is consistent/pervasive and that non-native speakere weren't really CJ speakers etc; much of this built on speculations expanded out of observations made only in teh core Columbai River area, or by extrapoliting hoped-for existence of the sxupposed prot-Jargon. What I'm geting at is that while a lot of the published, and therefore citable material, is highly speculative and subjective in autre but can be cited, much other discussion is hidden in the listserve for CHINOOK (so not citable) or is tucked away in studies on other subjects and other languages. So fine, there's a lot that ne4eds citation here; but it doesn't need half-a-dozen interpolary section-citation templates....anyway I traced the IP address, evidently someone from chinookology inc. who wants to remain nameless (how typical, how very typical), but who might turn up in CHINOOK-L by x-ref'ing Denver CO and maybe *.edu domains in that city/area.....the "Indianization" thing is all too citable, if I could only cite any one of twenty things that Tony has said in conference or in private or by phone; it was in fact a brag of the Grand Ronde revivalists that they had purged the old CJ of English words and replaced them with imports from other native languaegs in order to make it "more Indian". And I'm sure this is even in Holton's book.....though like the back-pedalling about Chiense and Scandinavians (see above) it wouldn't surprse me to find out that he, too, had backpedalled to cover up the very evident prejudices in current academic chinookology; certainly their paranoias are on full display, as in the section above. My end run around this citation challenge, of course, is to finally write that book about my experiences with the online CJ revival an the various illogics and suspect behaviorus/blacklisting I experienced in order for them "to protect the truth" ..... as if they had a monopoly on that, which they don't, especially when there are various truths they refuse to examine.....Skookum1 (talk) 02:58, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Kumtux Leelo[edit]

Just a curiosity more than anything, but I think Kumtux Leelo is a name also found on the Computer Game Star Wars racer (Pod Racers) and as I recall he has wolf - like features. It may have been taken from a Star Wars movie. Does anyone know if this is just a coincidence or can anyone confirm this in the Star wars Racer game? Dees anyone know if this is common that they revert to old languages in film production when looking for words or names that may sound alien? I found this interesting when I came across Kumtux, and I remembered that leelo or leelu is wolf! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Markosjal (talkcontribs) 09:31, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


I guess I never realized how much of this language I learned growing up in Portland. It would sadden me greatly to see it die. We must preserve every identifiable word. Even in Mexico A man claiming to be from Virginia said "Skookum" to me. I knew exactly what he meant, but I also knew that it was Wawa , and that it was highly improbable that he was from Virginia as he had previously told me. That led us to a discussion of Wawa, which he was unfamiliar with. I found out I was right, he was originally from British Columbia! I post this here because I do not know how to post it in support of my change on the page.,M1 See bottom of page 102 This supports what I heard as a child, and I do not believe this to be disputable.; —Preceding unsigned comment added by Markosjal (talkcontribs) 23:26, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

No doubt it's true, but between the historical recorders of CJ and the modern academics, who are very prurient in my experience, I've never come across that term before; although "wootlat" does show might want to add that citation to the Rooster Rock State Park article if there is one, though....Skookum1 (talk) 23:32, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Skookum1 I have heard that "wootlat" also in reference to rooster rock, now that you mention it. What do you know of this word (meaning and origin)? In fact "wootlat" in google led me to this link

Markosjal (talk) 17:59, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Wootlat is in Shaw or Gibbs or one of the other main lexicons, it's where I learned of it, AFAIK it wasn't used up my way (BC)...."mitwhit stick" (standing tree) is sometimes used for that context, though it can also mean a ship's spar or logging spar or anything else standing upright....Skookum1 (talk) 20:57, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

==re {{WikiProject Glossaries}}

== For a while now this page's lengthy glossary has needed trimming, and/or moving to a separate article. Many of the words listed, even obscure ones, are used in regional English, albeit in specialist contexts - e.g. the equestrian terms, or mowitch and moolack by hunters. So maybe List of Chinook Jargon words used in English is one solution; and to this day I think the creation of the "use by English language speakers" was a POV fork, or at best mis-titled as not only English speakers among non-aboriginals used this (and "English-language speakers" includes native people whose primary language is English); the real meaning of that POV fork was "use of CJ by non-native speakers", with "white" implicit (as it's often overlooked that the Hawaiians and the Chinese and otehr non-white, non-native people in the PacNW also spoke CJ, if not according to the strictures of its re-codification by Grand Ronde-based linguistis/linguistic agendas. Mostly on this occasion I'm here to comment on WikiProject Glossaries, which may provide a solution for how to deal with the word-list that's bulking out this article too much; I didn't add it to this page because this page isn't a list/glossary, though it does contain one....Skookum1 (talk) 18:38, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

The difference between a glossary and a dictionary is subtle and often debated, but this list seems like more of a dictionary to me than a glossary (it is not specific to subject matter, and it is more about the words than about the topics they describe). The use of particular words to illustrate specific points (French origins of certain subjects, or whatever) could perhaps be better handled in prose. But I won't claim to understand WikiProject Glossaries more deeply than having read a few old discussion threads and policy pages. Kingdon (talk) 17:04, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Iona Campagnolo[edit]

I've removed the bit about Iona Campagnolo, who is no longer Lieutenant Governor and more importantly does NOT as far as I can tell speak CJ. If anyone has evidence that she does, please supply it. I suspect that this claim is based on the fact that when she was installed as Lieutenant Governor she spoke one sentence in CJ. However, that sentence was taken from Lillard and Glavin's book on CJ and is not evidence that can actually use CJ. See: (talk) 02:25, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Somewhere I saw a bit on her in the pess making mention that she had some familiarity with it from her life on the North Coast; sorry I can't be more specific, I know I saw it; maybe not full fluency, but she said, AFAIR, that she did speak it at least some. If I come across that again of course I'll be back with it. "White jargon" is of debatable quality to linguists no doubt; another case might be Sir Richard McBride at his induction into the Tory leadership race for the 1903 election; story is he was pulled aside by other BCers and they all discussed strategy, and his leadership, in CJ without any of the eastern element at hte convention being able to understand what they said....that, I got from someone at the First CJ Lu'lu in Mission, maybe Terry Glavin. Point is how fluent were they? Could they simply converse in it, or was it like a second mother tongue, or just a particular blend of CJ and English words? Barbara Harris at UVic had more on this, about McBride I mean; it's in the archives she assembled there of CJ materials, I think, but not yet mentioned in any academic paper SFAIK. I'm in touch with Terry Glavin so will ask him for whatever else there might be in print about Campgnolo's CJ ability.Skookum1 (talk) 02:53, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia kʰapa chinuk wawa?[edit]

I've made a proposal for a Chinuk wawa Wikipedia over on Meta. Owen (talk) 19:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Yay Owen! Nvolut (talk) 19:41, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Have a wa-wa[edit]

Re this:

NB ''Wawa'' also means speech or words – "have a wawa" means "hold a parley" even in idiomatic English today<!--I'm from the Pacific Northwest, and no one who I have spoken to recognizes that phrase.--> {{Citation needed|date=March 2010}},

It's definitely old-fashioned, and as noted in the subsequent in-line comment, there's a passage in Bushby's journals from Begbie's visit to Lillooet, or what became Lillooet, in 1858 or '59, though there the spelling is "Waw-waw" and the phrasing is "we had a Waw-waw with them". I'm from that area as well as from the Lower Mainland, and have heard several people use it, mostly older or "of a certain background" (rural). It may not be how Jargon loan-words were used in Washington or Oregon, but it definitely was in BC; I'll see if I can find a copy of Bushby to at least cite that and put it in historical, if not current, context. Part of the problem here is that this falls into the purview of the POV-fork article "Chinook Jargon use by English-language speakers", which someone split off (wrongly) a long time ago and which hasn't been "healed"...I'll also consult Terry Glavin, co-author of A Voice Great Within Us to see if it's either in that book or if he knows of any other cites for it.....the further bit, not quoted here, about "lelang" meaning "the tongue" directly, and not just language, is in Harper, Shaw, Gibbs, El Comancho and I'm surprised a citation request was added for that.....Skookum1 (talk) 00:26, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation and spelling[edit]

I have read in this discussion that there is no right pronunciation, but could there be a more-conservative pronunciation or a more-English pronunciation just as an example? Even some details on the wrong pronunciation might do it. A detailed range of pronunciation variants would be useful and interesting. I'd like to know more about this speech, but as someone with a non-English name, i know better than most folks that pronunciation is not based on spelling, excepting some acronyms. Speaking of spelling, how consistent is the spelling? Are there silent letters? Is there a difference between <c> and <k>? Is <gh> one consonant or two? And so forth. --Leif Runenritzer (talk) 06:34, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Leif, there definitely can be such a thing as wrong pronunciation, I'll have to search that reference out elsewhere and reply there too, but for now, let me see if I can answer your question. The question is rooted in a particular source of confusion: old orthographies. Most of them aren't very consistent in their representation of sounds. Perhaps I can illustrate the difference this way: there are variants, and there are mispronunciation. For a word like lhatwa you can also find the variant lhatuwa and lhatu. All of these are words that are used and documented to be in use. There are many variants of words, which means that, in a sense, pronunciation is fluid. However, it would be a mistake to say there is no wrong pronunciation. Consider, for example, kha ("still") and qha ("where?"). kha is pronounced with an apirated velar stop (like our "k" sound in English), but qha is a uvular stop. To pronounce qha with a velar "k" sound would of course be wrong, and would of course mean something else.Nvolut (talk) 19:54, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Skookum article up for AfD[edit]

User:Huon has started an AfD to get rid of the Skookum article; where the mentions of the Skookum doll and Skookum (cat) went and other citations that were on it went, I don't know, but now there's only the Skookum Tools ref left......which to me is emblematic and representative of the persaviness of the word and concept in modern local usage, and because its information on the meaning of the word is one of the only pages out there that's usable as a cite; the argument that that's not a linguistics cite is totally spurious; this isn't a a language article. On pages about CJ usage by natives, yes, there are further definitions; but this is about non-native use and the presence of this word in NW culture/identity. If only populist usages are there to be cited, it's a form of academic exclusionism.....though there is a Barbara Harris essay on the word out there somewhere, about its adoption into local English and so on....but instead of do some research and improve and cite the article, the deletionist agenda has seen nothing better to do than to try to get rid of it.....Skookum1 (talk) 02:56, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

de-watchlisted this page[edit]

I grow wear of the need to patrol this page for biases of the core-bias group, and given my health and age know it's time for me to let go. That the POV fork to Chinook Jargon as used by English speakers has been allowed to stand and nobody else has questioned it says a lot to me of the inherent biases of most others around here, and the paucity of publications in the field that are independent of the biases circulated by the modern/GR group mean it's pointless in Wikipedia guideline/RS terms to try to hold forth here on all the things that are wrong with the premises here and in the sources. That I never published in the field, or had the funding support to proceed with much-needed sourcing or extensive archives around BC that have gone ignored, speaks to the biases of the field and those who have made it into their own image. Time for me to hang it up, anything I'd publish would be critiqued as "he's white anyway" so why bother? one snotty edit comment from a newbie using GR spelling in his user name was enough to tick me off and...well. I'm done. Have the playpen to youselves all you want now. I'll try not to look and learn not to care.Skookum1 (talk) 06:43, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

As I responded on my talk page, sorry for being "snotty", but I do stand by my edits. I would also like to reiterate that it is highly inappropriate to accuse those who disagree with you of racial bias as many of us are multi-racial and many highly respected teachers, researchers, and students of the language are white. Instead of accusing those who disagree with you of disliking white people perhaps you should consider why the words you write are being challenged. Maybe the problem isn't that we're being reverse-racist (as if that's a real thing), but that what you're writing is inaccurate and/or offensive. I appreciate that you often encourage others to examine their biases, but I think you should take care to do the same. pʼiɬiɬskin 22:38, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Notable non-natives known to speak Chinook Jargon[edit]

Does anyone have any sources on these? Specifically, I'm wondering about Robert Service. I know he used the term cheechako (chxi-chaku), but I can't find any info on him actually knowing the language. It's of particular interest to me as he's a relative of mine. Also, on an unrelated note, should this section just be called "Notable Speakers of Chinook Jargon"? The page definitely has a white focus and I think it would be good to bring in notable Indians as well (Mungo Martin, Eula Petite, Frances Johnson, Charles Depoe etc etc).pʼiɬiɬskin 22:27, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Good questions! This may require a bit of research in print sources. We have two different audiences for articles like this-- the linguists studying and documenting the languages, and the actual speakers and language learners themselves. I've been using the RNLD newsfeed to update language revitalization efforts. It's clear there's a need both for WP:RS and informed editors from the current language communties. Posting input on these talk pages is very helpful! Djembayz (talk) 14:01, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
that section title may be residue from the former POV fork article, in which non-native use ("English" was used though non-native speakers included Chinese, Japanese, Swedes, French etc) was segregated from native use.Skookum1 (talk) 06:13, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

"Chinookology" and "Chinookologists"[edit]

This term was alleged to have been "not a word", but it is in use and was first heard by me from the late (?) Barbara Harris during our encounters in the early days of the "online Jargon revival"..... it has also been used, I believe, by Terry Glavin, who was co-author with Charles Lillard of A Voice Great Within Us. Formation of words by adding -ology is not illegal in English.Skookum1 (talk) 06:18, 9 April 2014 (UTC)