User talk:James Crippen

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Nice to see someone else interested in languages! Do you plan to start a Tlingit wikipedia? - Mustafaa 20:40, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No, probably not for some time. There aren't enough speakers. At last count there's only about 300 or so, and all of those are 50 years or older. The number of second language speakers is growing slowly, and it'll be a few years until any new native speakers are born and old enough to be interested in something like Wikipedia. But in the future, maybe ten years down the road, I hope to see Wikipedia in Tlingit.

History of Alaska[edit]

Hi, I've been working on History of Alaska, and I've nominated it to be a featured article at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/History of Alaska. It's only five days old, so someone objected, and said he would only change or withdraw his vote if an Alaskan says it's all right. I noticed that you lived in Anchorage, so could you please help me out? Toothpaste 23:11, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I've added my own two cents. I also made some edits to the section on prehistory. HTH. — Jéioosh 19:57, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Email orthography[edit]

Hi. I noticed on Talk:Tlingit language that you've been converting various pages to the Email orthography of the Tlingit language. I think I found some pages that you probably haven't yet: Sitka City and Borough, Alaska, Battle of Sitka, and Tlingit clans. Correct me if I'm wrong. --Hottentot

??? --Hottentot 03:37, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Sorry I haven't followed up on this. I've been a bit distracted lately. I'll go through those articles some time this week and fix them up. — Jéioosh 00:29, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I really mean to do this. I haven't forgotten, I just have too many things to do. — Jéioosh 21:10, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Tlingit pronunciation[edit]

An anon recently added a long and dubious explanation to the Tlingit article, so I replaced it with the IPA pronunciations, sourced from the American Heritage Dictionary and the OED. They seem to contradict each other as to whether Tl- or Kl- is preferred. Please see my comments on the talk page. Regards, Dforest 06:53, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Note re Hooch/Xootsnoowu[edit]

Saw your edit to the village name and proper spelling. Just to comment about the "this needs study and its own article but would be stubby", I think the Wikiproject on Indigenous peoples and also Project Alaska would probably wind up having a Xootsnoowu article at some point; not sure what's in there for the Tlinkit yet. what would be good for an article, of course, is the apocryphal recipe for the version of hooch made in Xootsnoowu. I'd be interested in any Chinook Jargon citations from up that way if you come across any; either in English usages or among natives. CJ studies is very Columbia-biased so a lot from the north, either interior or coast, just hasn't been studied, nor compiled.Skookum1 01:55, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Totem poles as pictography[edit]

Per your edits to Totem pole and comments on Talk:Totem pole, I thought you should also have a look at the Pictography article. It cites a 2003 book by Ishmael Reed that claims that totem poles are pictographic. "Reed 2003" is also cited by a para in the totem pole article, btw. Your help in correcting these apparent misconceptions is appreciated. heqs 07:29, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Heraldic motifs, perhaps, but not pictographic; mythographic, yes....interesting question but the implication of pictograph is (or isn't) pictorial story-telling; the poles are particular STORIES, and each has its own name, and is associated with a certain ceremonial name for a certain chief's clan head and so on; it's much more than pictography IMO so I'll look at Reed-3 etc and see what I can do.Skookum1 07:31, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

linguist assistance[edit]

You are listed in the linguist by profession category. Would you please look at the discussion at Talk:Caron? It has been suggested that professional opinions are required to resolve the dispute there.

Dance capitalization[edit]

I noticed that you listed yourself as a linguist. There is currently a dispute at the Lindy Hop article the Dance WikiProject about the capitalization of dances that could use the expertise of a linguist. If you think you might be able to help, we would certainly appreciate your comments. Thanks! --Cswrye 05:14, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Linguists don’t really deal with problems of usage or style in writing. Granted, we often complain about illogical or unnatural prescriptive rules of grammar, but only because they are unrealistic and don’t conform to the inherent linguistic knowledge of speakers. Instead you should check with professional editors and grad students in the writing fields. On the other hand, if you have a question as to what part of speech “lindy hop” is, how it is constructed, what its semantic structure is, etc., then a linguist is the source you need. — Jéioosh 10:03, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

RE: A fellow Wikipedian in Hawaiʻi![edit]

Good to see a fellow Wikipedian in the Land of Aloha! We should organize a local meeting with other Wikipedians sometime... — Jéioosh 22:54, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

  • smiles* Yes, it is always nice to meet someone from around here. And yeah, if you know of any Wikipedian meet-ups on Oahu, I'd definitely consider joining...the problem, though, is that there are relatively few of us so it's not usually productive. But, it's always worth a try! —Keakealani Poke Mecontribs 23:01, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Tlingit and CJ[edit]

I'll try and address the phonological mutation question you posed on Talk:Chinook Jargon later, but given your knowledge of Tlingit I thought I'd check with you on some entries on List of Chinook Jargon placenames, which I finally launched the other day. There are various cases where I'm just not sure but have listed things anyway, which might be Tlingit rather than CJ in origin - the Klahini and Klehini Rivers, for instance, which might be local CJ variants (from klahanie - "outside", "the outdoors"); have a look for anything from Alaska and see if I've overshot the mark. Another of a similar kind is Klootchlimmis Creek, on Quatsino Sound, Vancouver Island, which could be Kwak'wala or Nuu-chah-nulth; especially since, as I recall, klootchman->klootch is originally from Nuu-chah-nulth or another Wakashan language.Skookum1 05:24, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Klahini is from Tlingit. The latter part of the name is from héen meaning “fresh water, river”. The Stikine River is another example of this, from Shtax' Héen although in the English version of the name the héen is hard to see. I’m not sure what the former part is, although I’d guess it was something like tlei in Tlingit. There’s a river and hot springs in YT that share a Tlingit name, Takhini, from Taxhhéeni meaning “broth, soup”.
From what I’ve learned about CJ and Tlingit, it seems that there was a lot of tension between speaking CJ and speaking English in Southeast Alaska after the Russians departed. Whites certainly spoke CJ to the Tlingit quite a bit in the early days given the number of loanwords for basic western goods. There are also memories of Tlingit people speaking it with native fluency. However it seems that CJ declined in favor of English earlier than it did in the southern regions. This is probably due to the influence of the gold rushes that brought many whites from California and elsewhere who were unfamiliar with CJ. On the other hand, there was a contingent of Tlingit people who worked seasonally in the area near Victoria, so CJ was certainly well known by a minority, and frequent trading expeditions to southern BC and Washington would undoubtedly necessitate the use of CJ. But since there was little long term close contact between the Tlingit and CJ-speaking tribes, most Tlingit people seem to have had little or no knowledge of the pidgin.
As for placenames, there are relatively few CJ inspired placenames in Southeast Alaska as compared to the southern NW coast. Most places were given adaptations of Tlingit names, like Skagway, Ketchikan, Stikine River, etc., or they were given completely novel English (e.g. Chatham Strait), French (Port Beaucleric), or Spanish (Boca de Quadra) names by the early explorers, or novel Russian ones (Chichagof Island) by the colonials. Some places are actually literal translations from Tlingit, like Basket Bay. In fact, the only CJ name I can think of off the top of my head is Meyers Chuck. BTW, chuck in Southeast Alaska seems to have meant an enclosed salt water area, particularly a brackish tideland or estuary, rather than its meaning of any general water feature as in the south.
This is also true of BC, unlike Oregon/the Columbia, where the general sense is meant. "Out on the chuck" in Vancouver still means the Georgia Straight, and doesn't generally mean the open ocean, and also doesn't mean a river or lake as it can/does in Oregon. "Hyas saltchuck" meant the open Pacific in the old days, FWIR. Also in BC, words like "basket" were used in preference to the regular-CJ forms, clouding the nature of names and also of what's Jargon and what's not; current chinookological biases disdain English/French loans and the mishmashing of Jargon with English pidgin that was common in BC; likewise French loanwords in languages like Nuxalk and Okanagan are hard to say whether they came in from CJ or directly from French; since the voyageurs spoke both, y'see; I'd say CJ because the natives didn't speak French (not usually, anyway); but the bias for some reason is to cite French as the source, downplaying the importance of CJ loanwords, of whatever origin. BTW is "mowitch" (for deer) used in Alaska? Moolack (elk)?.Skookum1 07:34, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I had never heard of “mowitch” or “moolack” until I read about them in a Chinook Jargon dictionary in the university library some years ago. Our deer are Sitka deer, btw, and there are no elk and only a few moose in SEAK. The only CJ words I ever recall hearing while a child were tyee which meant “chief”, and siwash which was a somewhat derogatory term for Indians along with “squaw” for women. We do have the geoduck (“gooey duck”), which is probably a CJ name as well as its original Nisqually source. There’s the Tlingit word kooshdaa for the land otter – we don’t have many rivers so we don’t call it a “river otter”. It’s often spelled “kushta” in English, as in the article I just discovered (Kushtaka) indicates. Both “kushta” and “kushtaka” have entered the regional English.
Mowitch/mowich is so current in BC/PacNW that most white people who use it don't know it's native; same with skookum and klahowya and saltchuck and others. And quite a lot of the time native people think it's from their own language (I think IIRC it's Nuu-chah-nulth originally); that includes a part-Shoshone girl I met at one point; apparently it's used right into Idaho, Utah and Montana; moolack is a bit less well-known. So that's why I asked. Interesting about kushta though; you know what a mountain beaver is, right (suwellel I think, also, aka a "boomer")?
On a related naming note, there are unique northern names in Alaskan English for the salmon species, different from those used on the rest of the NW coast. The Southeast is in the middle of a cline from the northern terms to the southern terms, so some people – particularly fishermen from Down South – prefer the southern ones, but people who’ve spent more time in the north prefer the northern ones. I use the northern ones almost exclusively, except when Outside. “King” instead of “chinook”, “red” instead of “sockeye”, “silver” instead of “coho”, “chum” instead of “dog”, but both “pink” and “humpy” interchangeably. My commercial fishing relatives in the Southeast prefer “sockeye” though. — Jéioosh 10:03, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
King salmon has always confused me; it's not a Canadian/BC term - is that the same context as in WA/Seattle? Chum we also use, instead of dog salmon, although we're stuck on sockeye and coho; which one is the "spring"? A friend of mine writes on salmon/fishery issues (Terry Glavin); he may have some comments about fish-terms...
Needless to say, if you do come across any other placenames in Alaska, particularly southeast Alaska, which seem to be CJ derived but of which you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’d be happy to look them up with what materials I have. — Jéioosh 06:38, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Kalahin Mountain[edit]

It's in BC, just south of the Iskut-Stikine confluence, and just inside the border so not gazetted in USGS listings; I've taken it to be a variant of kullaghan, referring to a fence, fenced enclosure, and implicitly a boundary; but given your other -in endings from Tlingit I thought I'd better throw it by you; it's on List of Chinook Jargon placenames at the moment; if it shouldn't be (i.e. if it's Tlingit) pls remove.Skookum1 06:22, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

There’s no [l] in Tlingit, it would be an [n] instead. And kanahéen doesn’t really mean anything in Tlingit. It could be Tahltan, but I have no familiarity with that language nor any reference materials on it. I’m guessing you’re probably right, but you’ll have to depend on either histories of the region or on an informant from Telegraph. If it’s one of the boundary mountains then the name is most likely CJ. — Jéioosh 07:12, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
How the heck do you usually pronounce <gh> in Chinook Jargon anyway? — Jéioosh 07:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
The fallacy about Chinook is that there ever was a proper way to pronounce things. There's not; all depends on who you are, where you're from, and who you learned it from. There's quite a bit of pretentious snobbishness from the nativist in Chinookology over this - that white people didn't pronounce the Jargon properly - weren't capable of it, supposedly - and so when it spread to other native peoples via the white (and Chinese and Hawaiian and West Indian and others) the other native peoples didn't learn it "correctly". But the whole point of a lingua franca is to be understood, to get the message across; there are no phonological tricks in using Jargon words that require a plosive-t over a nonplosive-t, for instance; and since everyone, pretty well, were second-language speakers, who cares? The myth of white incapacity to handle native gutturals (such as this <gh> for instance) is blown further out of the water by the fact that the bulk of early Brits in the region were Scots (Orcadians no less) and northerners and Welshmen and Irish; and others were German and Scandinavian. Ever heard a dane make the igge sound? So whether it's the lateral fricative lh/tl or the -gg- or the kw' or whatever, the pretense that white people weren't "capable:" is one of those bugbears that my pointing out the hypocrisy of got me blacklisted in Chinookology circles ;-) But what's true is true, no matter the ideology/political pretense of those writing the rulebook.

So, basically, a simple 'h' would do for that 'gh'; but if ya want, more like a Scots guttural; but remember that even in native-to-native transmission, say if the word had come north with a Tlingit who'd learned it from a Nootka, that the Tlingit speaker would have a different guttural/aspirant or whatever from the Nuu-chah-nulth he/she learned it from. Likewise a Scots guy learning it from a Frenchman (all Canadian French, or mostly other than the priests, who tended to be Belgian), who might have learned it from a Wasco instead of a Chinook. The point with the spellings in the old manuals is that they used 19th Century spelling conventions; which is why, if you were a Brit, especially from certain areas "Owyhee" is pretty close to the Hawaiian way to say it; once you understand the 'h' to represent a glottal stop; same as in the variant of tyee that looks like tyhee. But that way of pronouncing tyee isn't the same as the Grand Ronde CJ (the latter-day creole in Grand Ronde, Oregon, which evolved to purify itself of English/French terms and incorporate new native words and "more native style" pronunciation; in other words it's no more authentic than anything else, despite its claims to be and the stated intention of its supporters that any modern Jargon revival should mimic it; fine, if it wasn't so anti-non-native in context, but it's not. So, rant ended for now....kullaghan is pretty much the same, in practical terms, as the Irish name Callaghan, and if you want to shade the guttural towards a thick brogue that's just as legitimate as a light hochdeutsch ch, or a straight English h. It's all about being understood, not being prissy about the pronunciation. Which, among many other reasons, is why there are so many variant spellings of nearly everything.Skookum1 19:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I get the part about being a contact language. I’m interested in setting down one pronunciation which can be used by your average English speaker, then additional suggestions for people who are capable of more sounds than the average monolingual English speaker. There just aren’t any CJ speakers around here and working from the dictionaries is almost impossible. I never can tell when a final -e is supposed to be silent like most French words an many English ones, is an actual [ɛ] or [ə], if it’s a [e], or if it’s perversely enough an [i] like in the English alphabet. And interpreting i is just as difficult. I’ve had some success comparing between dictionaries, figuring that the different ways the lexicographers spell would point towards something close to their phonology, but that doesn’t always work. The one recent CJ book is a big help, with its more phonemic but nontraditional orthography still aimed at non-GR learners. I guess the real thing would be to compile a CJ “alphabet” that shows all the various pronunciations of the letters of the Roman alphabet in different words. This would give people a handle on how to interpret the vagaries of the old records. For speaking, of course, it’s only important to be understood... — Jéioosh 22:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Tum/Turn Point = are you sure?[edit]

All my US placenames came from Topozone's USGS indexing; here's the map that goes with "Tum Point" at the 1:100,000 scale: and at 1:50,000 scale:

On the other hand, "Tum" in single form is unusual in CJ; southern CJ anyway. There aren't many records of CJ as it was used by Tlingit and/or by the Russians and pre-Klondike American Alaskans (Americans being "Bostons" in southern CJ; "Boston" in the Fraser Canyon of BC has come to mean simply "white guy" as so many whites in the early days were Americans; ironically most were southerners....). Anyway, Tum, even if that's the name, might still not be CJ and could have another source; is there any Gazette of Alaska placenames or book or other source like the Canadian Geographical Names Database, or the Akrigg book on BC Placenames (ISBN if you want it; it's under the pile of crap beneath my desk somewhere...) I used CanGeogNames Database for placenames outside of BC; for within BC the most thorough is BC basemap at which is the official provincial gazette.Skookum1 07:34, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely certain of the name. I just checked my copy of the US Coast Pilot 8 – Alaska: Dixon Entrance to Cape Spencer (27th ed., 2005) on page 210, and there it is with Turn Island above it and Hunter Bay below it. “Chart 17433 ... Turn Point, marked by an abandoned light structure, is 1.2 miles ENE of Turn Island and consists of a number of small, low, grassy rocks. It is at the extremity of a low peninsula that is not wooded for about 300 yards back from the point.” The Coast Pilot is about as authoritative a source as I can think of, since they – the National Ocean Service – are the ones who make the navigational charts compiled with their water surveys and USGS land data. There are six Turn Points in this volume...
BTW, any “indianish” names you might find in SEAK that have an <m> in them – or <p> or <b> for that matter – are suspect. Tlingit lacks labials except for [w], so the only possibilities would be Haida or Tsimshian. Haida doesn’t use [m] very much, and [p] is foreign only. Furthermore, Haida names in SEAK are restricted mostly to the southwest coast of Prince of Wales Island and nearby islands; most of the Haida names there are actually derived from Tlingit anyway. There are very very few places with Tsimshian names, since the Tsimshians are newcomers who arrived with a Canadian missionary. There is one exception to the “no <m>” rule that I can think of, the name “Sumdum”, which derives from the Tlingit S'aawdaan. It’s the area south of Juneau and north of Petersburg on the mainland coast, the land previously belonging to the now extinct S'aawdaan Khwáan, a regional subgroup of Tlingits.
As for a gazette of Alaskan placenames, I think there are a couple. For coastal stuff the Coast Pilots are better than anything, at least for the name. I know of no similar compendium for Explanations of names are available in some books on regional naming history, but I don’t know of any titles offhand. A search on OCLC would probably turn up quite a few. There’s also a few really good chart collections that are made from older government charts overlain with historical information; my grandmother has a couple of these that I was reading this summer, but they’re all still in Wrangell. — Jéioosh 09:31, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Háa', I just remembered that there’s a Tyee Glacier off of the Stikine River. It may be in Canada. It’s on the south side of the river, I think. — Jéioosh 10:08, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
There's a Tyee Glacier in BC, but it's on the west slope of Mamquam Mountain, near Squamish (just S of Whistler, which you're more likely to have heard of ). And quite often landforms along the Boundary Range have a different name on either side of the border; not just different spellings as with the Purcell/Percell Mountains. Dropped by just now because I found a Tyeen Glacier in Topozone/USGS in Glacier Bay: Tlingit or an adaptation of Tyee?Skookum1 18:29, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Re: Skookumchuck[edit]

Are any of the Skookumchuck placenames in Alaska noteworthy enough to mention in the Skookumchuck article, which at present is entirely BC-oriented? Surprised me to see it turn up in, of all places, New Hampshire, too.....Skookum1 19:53, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Not really. I know that there’s a Skookumchuck somewhere around Prince of Wales Island, but I don’t know much about it. You could list it, but it would really only be an afterthought. There is a charter boat company named Skookumchuck, and the old Alaska Steamship Company used to visit such a place, per [1].
The Coast Pilot (id., p. 218) says “Chart 17407 ... Tlevak Narrows, locally known as The Skookum Chuck, is a narrow and comparatively deep passage between Block Island and Turn Point, and connects Tlevak Strait and Ulloa Channnel. A 6¾-fathom spot, near midchannel, is about 0.3 mile NW of Block Island Light. A ½-fathom shoal 0.4 mile NW of Turn Point is marked on its S side by a buoy that is reported to tow under during large tides. The channel S of the buoy is the one generally used. Good anchorage for small craft can be had in 3¼ fathoms, soft bottom, in the small cove on the N side of Tlevak Narrows; the entrance to it is about 0.5 mile N of Turn Point.” The Coast Pilot is a US gov’t publication so you can feel free to incorporate that without copyright trouble. — Jéioosh 02:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Edit to Hawaii[edit]

Hi! I am on Recent Change Patrol and noticed edits made to Hawaii by User:Alcxz which seemed like subtle vandalism. Plz have a look at the edit and verify it. Thanks!

Shushruth 01:59, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for looking into it! Shushruth 02:39, 26 August 2006 (UTC)


you may be interested in


Tobias Conradi (Talk) 02:16, 2 September 2006 (UTC)


"Migraine sufferers usually develop their own coping mechanisms for vascular headache pain. A cold or hot shower directed at the head, a hot or cold wet washcloth, a warm bath, or resting in a dark and silent room may not be as helpful as medication for many patients, but both should be used when needed."

"2006-09-06T17:19:52 James Crippen (Talk | contribs) (→Symptomatic control to abort attacks - I see a missing “not”. Otherwise the “but” is wrong.) "

That sentence is awkward (not mine, btw), yet meaning-correct without the "not". It was previously balanced, but adding the "not" makes the sentence lean pro-med. The sense of the opening sentence is self-reliance, so I suggest a rewrite to fix the awkward while retaining the self-reliant emphasis. Milo 02:34, 7 September 2006 (UTC)


The category is no big deal. Thank you for all the work I can see you've put into the articles. -- TheMightyQuill 15:57, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Diane E. Benson[edit]

Hello--an article/biography on Diane Benson was recently deleted, after a discussion, and you were recommended by Luigizanasi as a person who would know whether she is a noteworthy Tlingit writer/performer. The deletion discussion did not include, other than myself, any other members of WikiProject Alaska, and seemed to me to go awfully fast and focus on her political noteworthiness. The discussion at the wikiproject is here. If you would, please weigh in on the deletion review discussion. Thanks, Deirdre 00:02, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Here's the link to the deletion review discussion. Deirdre 20:03, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Babel boxes[edit]

I think we need babel boxes for some Native languages- including Tlingit? Would you be up to making them? I know very little Tlingit (it's my minor but I haven't taken any classes yet)... :( L'Aquatique talktome 20:02, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Tlingit noun[edit]

Don't know if you're still around, but I added an unreferenced tag to Tlingit noun, which needs refs despite being very thorough.....I'm curious also as to your source for the CJ spellings you give - are those from Tlingit accounts or are they from the "modern official" version of CJ promulgated by Grand Ronde, Oregon-based academics/culturati? if the latter, they're not proper as those spellings and pronunciations did not penetrate northwards; CJ was spread into Tlingit territory mostly by whites and other non-NW peoples (Iroquois, Metis, Hawaiians) using CJ, not by Chinookans.....there is talk of a Tlingit jargon out there, but I've never seen examples; could these be some of them?Skookum1 (talk) 14:27, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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