This article is missing information about orthographies.June 2019)(
|chinuk wawa, wawa, chinook lelang, lelang, chinook|
|Native to||Canada, United States|
|Region||Pacific Northwest (Interior and Coast): Alaska, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Northern California|
|More than 640 (at least 3 native adult speakers alive in 2019 based on estimates from the Chinook Jargon Listserv archives) (2020)|
|Revival||Never went completely extinct; 650 native speakers according to 2010 US Census|
|De facto Latin,|
currently standardized IPA-based orthography
Official language in
|De facto in Pacific Northwest until about 1920|
Chinook Jargon (Chinuk Wawa or Chinook Wawa, also known simply as Chinook or Jargon) is a language originating as a pidgin trade language in the Pacific Northwest, and spreading during the 19th century from the lower Columbia River, first to other areas in modern Oregon and Washington, then British Columbia and parts of Alaska, Northern California, Idaho and Montana while sometimes taking on characteristics of a creole language.It is partly descended from the Chinook language, upon which much of its vocabulary is based. Approximately 15 percent of its lexicon is French, and it also makes use of English loanwords and those of other language systems. Its entire written form is in the Duployan shorthand developed by French priest Émile Duployé.
Many words from Chinook Jargon remain in common use in the Western United States and British Columbia today and it has been described as part of a multicultural heritage shared by the modern inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest. The total number of Jargon words in published lexicons numbered only in the hundreds, and so it was easy to learn. /r/ is rare, and English and French loan words, such as rice and merci, have changed in their adoption to the Jargon, to lice and mahsie, respectively.It has its own grammatical system, but a very simple one that, like its word list, was easy to learn. Though existent in Chinook Jargon, the consonant
Most books written in English still use the term Chinook Jargon, but some linguists working with the preservation of a creolized form of the language used in Grand Ronde, Oregon prefer the term Chinuk Wawa (with the spelling 'Chinuk' instead of 'Chinook'). Historical speakers did not use the name Chinook Wawa, however, but rather "the Wawa" or "Lelang" (from Fr. la langue, the language, or tongue).[ citation needed ]Wawa also means speech or words – "have a wawa" means "hold a parley" even in idiomatic English today, and lelang also means the physical bodypart, the tongue.
The name for the Jargon varied throughout the territory in which it was used. For example: skokum hiyu in the Boston Bar-Lytton area of the Fraser Canyon, or in many areas simply just "the old trade language" or "the Hudson Bay language".
Whether the Jargon was a post-contact or pre-contact language has been the subject of debate.
The pre-contact hypothesis states that the language developed prior to European settlement as an intra-indigenous contact language in a region marked by divisive geography and intense linguistic diversity, eventually expanding to incorporate elements of European languages, with approximately 15 percent of its lexicon derived from French.The Jargon also acquired English loanwords and its written form is entirely in the Duployan Shorthand created by French priest Émile Duployé.
The post-contact hypothesis suggests it originated in Nootka Sound after the arrival of Russian and Spanish traders as a means of communicating between them and indigenous peoples, eventually spreading further south due to commercial use.University of Ottawa linguist David Lang has argued for this understanding.
Linguist Barbara Harris suggests a dual genesis, positing that both origins probably have some legitimacy and the two varieties eventually blended together.
By 1840, it had creolized into a native language for some speakers.
In the Diocese of Kamloops, British Columbia, hundreds of speakers also learned to read and write the Jargon using Duployan shorthand via the publication Kamloops Wawa . As a result, the Jargon also had the beginnings of its own literature, mostly translated scripture and classical works, and some local and episcopal news, community gossip and events, and diaries.Novelist and early Native American activist Marah Ellis Ryan (c. 1860–1934) used Chinook words and phrases in her writing.
In Oregon, Chinook Jargon was widely used by Natives, trappers, traders, employees of the Hudson's Bay Company, missionaries, and pioneers who came across the Oregon Trail from the 1830s-1870s. In Portland's first half century (1840s-1890s) there were frequent trade interactions between pioneers and Native Americans. After about 1900, when such daily interactions were less frequent, Jargon was spoken among pioneer families to prove how early they arrived out west. Many Oregonians used Jargon in casual conversation—to add humor, whimsy or emphasis and to exhibit deep knowledge of Oregon's history. Though traditions of speaking Jargon faded away among the non-Native population, some of Oregon's tribal groups continued speaking Chinook Jargon, though usage was diminished.
According to Nard Jones, Chinook Jargon was still in use in Seattle until roughly the eve of World War II, especially among the members of the Arctic Club, making Seattle the last city where the language was widely used. Writing in 1972, he remarked that at that later date "Only a few can speak it fully, men of ninety or a hundred years old, like Henry Broderick, the realtor, and Joshua Green, the banker."
Jones estimates that in pioneer times in the 1860sthere were about 100,000 speakers of Chinook Jargon. The language was being used, even entire paragraphs, without translations in local newspapers from at least Oregon and Washington states. It was also used by teachers to teach natives at school, by shopkeepers to sell things, by courts as an interview tool or to judge if a person was a citizen or not, by priests to teach religion, and between children playing on the street.
It peaked in usage from approximately 1858 to 1900, and declined as a result of the Spanish flu and World War I.
In the 20th century, Chinook Jargon entered a slow decline. As late as the 1940s, native speakers were still being born in Tiller, Oregon, [ citation needed ] In the 2000s, Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon started a three-semester university program teaching Chinook Jargon The 2010 United States Census recorded 640 native speakers.but by 1962 the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) estimated that only 100 speakers were left.
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There is some controversy about the origin of the Jargon, but all agree that its glory days were during the 19th century. During this era many dictionaries were published to help settlers interact with the First Nations people living there. The old settler families' heirs in the Pacific Northwest sent communiques to each other, stylishly composed entirely in "the Chinook". Many residents of the British Columbia city of Vancouver spoke Chinook Jargon as their first language, even using it at home in preference to English. Among the first Europeans to use Chinook Jargon were traders, trappers, voyageurs, Coureurs des bois and Catholic missionaries.
Hawaiians and American in the region made much use of it as well. In some places Kanakas married into the First Nations and non-native families and their particular mode of the Jargon is believed to have contained Hawaiian words, or Hawaiian styles of pronunciation. Similarly the Jargon as spoken by a Chinese person or a Norwegian or a Scot will have been influenced by those individuals' native-speaker terms and accents. In some areas the adoption of further non-aboriginal words has been observed. The Chinook Jargon naturally became the first language in multi-racial households and in multi-ethnic work environments such as canneries and lumberyards and ranches where it remained the language of the workplace well into the middle of the 20th century. During the Gold Rush, Chinook Jargon was used in British Columbia at first by gold prospectors and Royal Engineers; then as industry developed, Chinook Jargon was often used by cannery workers, hop pickers, loggers, fishermen and ranchers of diverse ethnic background. It is possible that at one point the population of BC spoke and understood Chinook Jargon more than any other single language, including English.Historian Jane Barman wrote,
The persistence of everyday relationships between Natives and Europeans is embodied in Chinook. Emerging out of early contact and the fur trade, the Chinook jargon possesses at most 700 words derived in approximately equal proportions from the powerful Chinook Indians of the lower Columbia, from the Nootka people of Vancouver Island, and from French and English... jargon provided 'an important vehicle of communication for trading & ordinary purposes.' James Douglas often spoke in Chinook when addressing Native people, a local Indian then translating his words into the local tongue. Bishop George Hills and other early Anglican clerics did the same when preaching. Chinook was the language of instruction in the school for Indian children that Hills established near Victoria in 1860.
A miner whiling away the winter of 1858 in Victoria wrote his parents that he was passing the time 'studying the Chinook Jargon and can now converse with the Indians.' A beginning clerk in the Granville general store in 1884 was handed a Chinook dictionary, his pronunciation 'in the second language of the area' being repeatedly corrected by his employer. Again, the purchasing power of Aboriginal men, women, and families is underlined...
Chinook entered the mainstream. The summertime camps of late-nineteenth century Victorians 'were nearly all given rather fantastic and often facetious names: "The Three Black Crowes" or something à la Chinook... It was only after mid-century, when almost all Indian adults had learned basic English in school, that everyday use of Chinook died out in British Columbia.
A heavily creolized form of Chinook Jargon (Chinuk Wawa) is still spoken as a first language by some residents of Oregon, much as the Métis language Michif is spoken in Canada. Hence, Chinuk Wawa as it is known in Oregon is now a creole language, distinct from the widespread and widely varied pronunciation of the Chinook Jargon as it spread beyond the Chinookan homeland. There is evidence that in some communities (e.g., around Fort Vancouver) the Jargon had become creolized by the early 19th century and that would have been among the mixed French/Métis, Algonkian, Scots and Hawaiian population there as well as among the natives around the Fort. At Grand Ronde, the resettlement of tribes from all over Oregon in a multi-tribal agency led to the use of Chinuk Wawa as a common tongue among the linguistically diverse population. These circumstances led to the creolization of Chinuk Wawa at Grand Ronde.There is also evidence that creolization occurred at the Confederated Tribes of Siletz reservation paralleling Grand Ronde although, due to language revitalization efforts being focused on the Tolowa language, Chinuk fell out of use.
No studies of British Columbia versions of the Jargon have demonstrated creolization. The range of varying usages and vocabulary in different regions suggests that localization did occur — although not on the pattern of Grand Ronde where Wasco, Klickitat and other peoples adopted and added to the version of the Jargon that developed there. First-language speakers of the Chinook Jargon were common in BC (native and non-native), until the mid-20th century. It is a truism that while after 1850 the Wawa was mostly a native language in the United States portion of the Chinook-speaking world, it remained in wide use among non-natives north of the border for another century, especially in wilderness areas and work environments. [ citation needed ]Local creolizations probably did occur in British Columbia, but recorded materials have not been studied as they were made due to the focus on the traditional aboriginal languages.
Many[ who? ] believe that something similar to the Jargon existed before European contact — without European words in its vocabulary. There is some evidence for a Chinookan-Nuu-chah-nulth lingua franca in the writings of John Jewitt and in what is known as the Barclay Sound word-list, from the area of Ucluelet and Alberni. Others[ who? ] believe that the Jargon was formed in the great cultural cauldron of the time of Contact and cannot be discussed separately from that context, with an appreciation for the full range of the Jargon-speaking community and its history.
Current scholarly opinion[ who? ] holds that a trade language probably existed before European contact, which began "morphing" into the more familiar Chinook Jargon in the late 1790s, notably at a dinner party at Nootka Sound where Capts Vancouver and Bodega y Quadra were entertained by Chief Maquinna and his brother Callicum performing a theatrical using mock English and mock Spanish words and mimicry of European dress and mannerisms. There evidently was a Jargon in use in the Queen Charlotte, but this "Haida Jargon" is not known to have shared anything in common with Chinook Jargon, or with the Nooktan-Chinookan "proto-jargon" which is its main foundation.
There are a few main spelling variations of Chinook Jargon but each individual writer also had their own spelling variations.
1. English, French and German-Based Spelling:
In a general sense, when words derived from English or French the original English/French spellings were used. Words not derived from English/French were written in an approximate spelling based on mainstream English, French or German spelling. This would mean, for example, "cloochman" ("clooch" being native origin, "ch" being the German "ch") for "woman, wife", "house" (English origin) for "house", and "le clou" (French origin) for "nail, claw". This spelling doesn't take into account the actual mainstream pronunciation of the words in Chinook Jargon.
2. Approximate Sound-Based Spelling:
With every writer having their own variation of a fairly standardized spelling based on their own dialect, the same examples above could be "tlotchmin, haws, leklo".
3. IPA-based spelling for use on smartphones and early computers:
This was used on the Chinook Jargon Listserve in the 1990s and other places where it was/is difficult or impossible to type using actual IPA symbols.
4: IPA-based Grand Ronde Spelling:
This is only used by speakers of the Grand Ronde dialect in Oregon.
Below is a comparison chart.
|Listserv Symbol||Grand Ronde Variations||Other Variations||English|
|?, 7||uh?oh (glottal stop)|
|!||ejective (comes after the ejective consonant)|
|h||aspiration (comes after the aspirated consonant)|
|w||rounded (comes after the vowel/consonant to be rounded)|
|ch||tj, ty, sh, s||church|
|E, V, v||u, o, e||but, mutt|
|k||cow, anchor (unaspirated)|
|L, hl||clock (lateral fricative)|
|tl, thl||lateral affricate|
|n||no (note that in some native languages and thus CJ dialects, "n" and "l" were pronounced so similarly they would switch between one and the other)|
|q||deep "queen" (uvular "k" with lips rounded) (unaspirated)|
|r||robber (note that most northern dialects said "l" instead of "r")|
|uy||buoy (depending on your dialect)|
|x||velar fricative (Scottish English "loch")|
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Linguist David Douglas Robertson and others have described Chinook Jargon as part of a shared cultural heritage of modern inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest.
Pacific Northwest historians are well acquainted with the Chinook Jargon, in name if not in the ability to understand it. Mentions of and phrases of Chinook Jargon were found in nearly every piece of historical source material before 1900. Chinook Jargon is relatively unknown to the rest of the population, perhaps due to the great influx of newcomers into the influential urban areas.[ citation needed ] However, the memory of this language is not likely to fade entirely. Many words are still used and enjoyed throughout Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska. Old-timers still dimly remember it, although in their youth, speaking this language was discouraged as slang. Nonetheless, it was the working language in many towns and workplaces, notably in ranching country and in canneries on the British Columbia Coast where it was necessary in the strongly multi-ethnic workforce. Place names throughout this region bear Jargon names (see List of Chinook Jargon placenames) and words are preserved in various rural industries such as logging and fishing.
The Chinook Jargon was multicultural and functional.To those familiar with it, Chinook Jargon is often considered a wonderful cultural inheritance. For this reason, and because Jargon has not quite died, enthusiasts actively promote the revival of the language in everyday western speech.
The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon is taking steps to preserve Chinook Jargon use through a full immersion head start/preschool which is conducted in Chinuk Wawa, in hopes of fostering fluency in the language.The Confederated Tribes also offer Chinuk Wawa lessons at their offices in Eugene and Portland, Oregon. In addition, Lane Community College offers two years of Chinuk Wawa language study that satisfy second-language graduation requirements of Oregon public universities.
In March 2012, the Tribe published a Chinuk Wawa dictionary through University of Washington Press.
At her swearing-in as lieutenant governor in 2001, Iona Campagnolo concluded her speech in Chinook, observing that "konoway tillicums klatawa kunamokst klaska mamook okoke huloima chee illahie" – Chinook for "everyone was thrown together to make this strange new country (British Columbia)."
An art installation featuring Chinook Jargon, "Welcome to the Land of Light" by Henry Tsang, can be viewed on the Seawall along False Creek in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia between Davie and Drake streets.Translation into Chinook Jargon was done by Duane Pasco.
A short film using Chinook Jargon, "Small Pleasures" by Karin Lee explores intercultural dialogue between three women of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds in 1890s Barkerville in Northern British Columbia.
Chinuk Wawa was classified as extinct until the 2000s when it was revived, notably in 2014 with the release of Chinuk Wawa—As Our Elders Teach Us to Speak It by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. In 2018 a textbook for Chinook Jargon in Esperanto (La Chinuka Interlingvo Per Esperanto,The Chinook Bridge-Language Using Esperanto) was published by Sequoia Edwards. In 2019 "Chinuk Wawa" became available as a language option on the fanfiction website Archive of Our Own. In 2020 Chinook Jargon was added to Tatoeba.org, a website that collects and crowd-translates sentences in various languages.
During termination of aboriginal peoples by the United States government, speaking of the language was forbidden, and as a result, developed a decline of speakers. After the conclusion of the termination era with the restoration of tribes in the Pacific Northwest area, revival of Chinuk Wawa began. To date, there are fluent speakers of Chinuk Wawa, primarily in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
British Columbian English and Pacific Northwest English have several words still in current use which are loanwords from the Chinook Jargon, which was widely spoken throughout the Pacific Northwest by all ethnicities well into the middle of the 20th century. These words tend to be shared with, but are not as common in, the states of Oregon, Washington, Alaska and, to a lesser degree, Idaho and western Montana.
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A pidgin, or pidgin language, is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common: typically, its vocabulary and grammar are limited and often drawn from several languages. It is most commonly employed in situations such as trade, or where both groups speak languages different from the language of the country in which they reside. Linguists do not typically consider pidgins as full or complete languages.
Peoples of the Lower Columbia include several groups of indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest in the United States who speak the Chinookan languages. Peoples of the Lower Columbia reside along the Lower and Middle Columbia River (Wimahl) from the river's gorge downstream (west) to the river's mouth, and along adjacent portions of the coasts, from Tillamook Head of present-day Oregon in the south, north to Willapa Bay in southwest Washington. In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered the Chinook Tribe on the lower Columbia. However, it is not appropriate to use the term "Chinookan." This term is a misnomer invented by white people to describe a wide variety of peoples who have inhabited the Lower Columbia but aren't connected as a single group of people. "Peoples of the Lower Columbia" is preferable as an inclusive name. There are several theories about where the name ″Chinook″ came from. Some say it is a Chehalis word Tsinúk for the inhabitants of and a particular village site on Baker Bay, or "Fish Eaters". It may also be a word meaning "strong fighters".
The Umpqua are an umbrella group of several distinct tribal entities of Native Americans of the Umpqua Basin in present-day south central Oregon in the United States. The tribes spoke several different languages: Siuslaw, Yoncalla, Upper Umpqua, Takelma, and possibly the Molalla language - all Penutian languages with the exception of "Upper Umpqua" which are part of the Oregon Athabaskan languages. The area south of Roseburg is known as the Umpqua Valley. The name "Umpqua" dates back to as recently as the early 1800s, when the Coquille tribe of Native Americans inhabited the area. ... Other theories report that "Umpqua" means "thundering water" or "dancing water" or "bring across the river."
The Warm Springs Indian Reservation consists of 1,019 square miles (2,640 km2) in north-central Oregon, in the United States, and is occupied and governed by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
The Clatsop are a small tribe of Chinookan-speaking Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. In the early 19th century they inhabited an area of the northwestern coast of present-day Oregon from the mouth of the Columbia River south to Tillamook Head, Oregon.
The Siletz were the southernmost of several divisions of the Tillamook people speaking a distinct dialect; the other dialect-divisions were: Salmon River on the river of that name, Nestucca on Little and Nestucca River and Nestucca Bay, Tillamook Bay on the bay of that name and the mouths of the Kilchis, Wilson, Trask and Tillamook rivers, and Nehalem on Nehalem River. The name "Siletz" comes from the name of the Siletz River on which they live. The origin of the name is unknown
The Kalapuya are a Native American ethnic group, which had eight independent groups speaking three mutually intelligible dialects. The Kalapuya tribes' traditional homelands were the Willamette Valley of present-day western Oregon in the United States, an area bounded by the Cascade Range to the east, the Oregon Coast Range at the west, the Columbia River at the north, to the Calapooya Mountains of the Umpqua River at the south.
The Chinookan languages were a small family of languages spoken in Oregon and Washington along the Columbia River by Chinook peoples. Although the last known native speaker of any Chinookan language died in 2012, the 2009-2013 American Community Survey found 270 self-identified speakers of Upper Chinook.
Skookum is a Chinook Jargon word that has historical use in the Pacific Northwest. It has a range of meanings, commonly associated with an English translation of "strong" or "monstrous". The word can mean "strong", "greatest", "powerful", "ultimate", or "brave". Something can be skookum, meaning "strong" or "monstrously significant". When used in reference to another person, e.g., "he's skookum", it conveys connotations of reliability or a monstrous nature, as well as strength, size or hard-working.
The Native American name controversy is an ongoing discussion about the changing terminology used by the indigenous peoples of the Americas to describe themselves, as well as how they prefer to be referred to by others. Preferred terms vary primarily by region and age. As indigenous people and communities are diverse, there is no consensus on naming, aside from the fact that most people prefer to be referred to by their specific nation.
The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (CTGR) consists of twenty-seven Native American tribes with long historical ties to present-day western Oregon between the western boundary of the Oregon Coast and the eastern boundary of the Cascade Range, and the northern boundary of southwestern Washington and the southern boundary of northern California. The community has an 11,288-acre (45.7 km2) Indian reservation, the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation, which was established in 1855 in Yamhill and Polk counties.
Skookumchuck is a Chinook Jargon term that is in common use in British Columbia English and occurs in Pacific Northwest English. Skookum means "strong" or "powerful", and "chuck" means water, so skookumchuck means "rapids" or "whitewater", or fresh, healthy water. It can mean any rapids, but in coastal usage refers to the powerful tidal rapids at the mouths of most of the major coastal inlets.
Nuu-chah-nulth (nuučaan̓uɫ), also known as Nootka, is a Wakashan language in the Pacific Northwest of North America on the west coast of Vancouver Island, from Barkley Sound to Quatsino Sound in British Columbia by the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. Nuu-chah-nulth is a Southern Wakashan language related to Nitinaht and Makah.
Pacific Northwest English is a variety of North American English spoken in the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon, sometimes also including Idaho and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Current studies remain inconclusive about whether Pacific Northwest English is a dialect of its own, separate from Western American English or even California English or Standard Canadian English, with which it shares its major phonological features. The dialect region contains a highly diverse and mobile population, which is reflected in the historical and continuing development of the variety.
The Kamloops Wawa was a newspaper published by Father Jean-Marie-Raphaël Le Jeune, superior of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops in British Columbia, Canada, beginning May 25, 1891, and continuing into the 1900s. The contents of the Kamloops Wawa were near-entirely written using Le Jeune's adaptation of the French Duployan shorthand writing system. Most of the texts of the Kamloops Wawa were composed in the local variant of Chinook Jargon with some passages and articles in Nlaka'pamuxtsin, Secwepmectsin, St'at'imcets and other traditional languages. Some series of articles, however, included translations into Chinook Jargon of classical texts from Latin, such as the Seven Kings of Rome, though most content was either community news or translations of the mass or other liturgical materials.
Jean-Marie-Raphaël Le Jeune was a Canadian Roman Catholic priest, linguist, author, and newspaper publisher.
Nootka Jargon or Nootka Lingo was a pidginized form of the Wakashan language Nuučaan̓uł, used for trade purposes by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, when communicating with persons who did not share any common language. It was most notably in use during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and was likely one precursor to Chinook Wawa, in Chinook Wawa's post-contact-form. A small number of words from Nuučaan̓uł form an important portion of the lexical core of Chinook Wawa. This was true, both in Chinook Wawa's post-contact pidgin phase, and its latter creole form, and remains true in contemporary Chinuk Wawa language usage.
We Have Always Lived Here is a 2015 public art installation by Greg A. Robinson, installed at Tilikum Crossing in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. The work consists of two traditional Chinook basalt carvings sited at both ends of the bridge, plus a bronze medallion on the northeast side of the bridge.
|Chinook Jargon test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
|For a list of words relating to Chinook Jargon, see the Chinook Jargon language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Note: The Incubator link at right will take you to the Chinuk Wawa test-Wikipedia, which is written in a variation of the standardized orthography of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde which differs significantly from the orthographies used by early linguists and diarists recording other versions of the Jargon: