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Page history last edited by Jens Wilkinson 11 years, 3 months ago

Some Notes


"It may not at first be easy to comprehend how a language composed of so few words, thus inartificially combined, can be extensively used as the sole medium of communication among many thousand individuals.  .  .  .  But it is in the faculty of combining and compounding its simple vocables—a power which it doubtless derives, in some degree, from its connection with the Indian tongues—that the jargon has its capacity for expression almost indefinitely extended. Three or four hundred words may be learned without difficulty in a week or two, and a very short time will make the learner familiar with their ordinary use and construction. He will then have no difficulty in understanding the numerous compounds which, if they had been simple words, would have cost him much additional labour."—Hale.


Yah´-ka, Ya´-ka, or Yok´-ka, pron. (C) (Chinook,-Yaka.) He; his; him; she; it; hers; its; him; her. (Anything pertaining to the third person, singular number.) The word yaka is often used somewhat tautologically, as,—instead of saying,—Okoke kiutan t’kope,—the horse (is) white, the expression would be,—Okoke kiutan yaka t´kope,—the horse, it (is) white. This use of yaka is very common.—Eells.


"As the Jargon is to be spoken by Englishmen and Frenchmen, and by Indians of at least a dozen tribes, so as to be alike easy and intelligible to all, it must admit no sound which cannot be readily pronounced by all. The numerous harsh Indian gutturals either disappear entirely, or are softened to h and k (see note above). On the other hand, the d, f, g, r, v, z, of the English and French become in the mouth of a Chinook, t, p, k, l, w, and a. The English j (dzh), is changed to ch (tsh). The French nasal n is dropped, or is retained without its nasal sound. In writing the Indian words, the gutturals are expressed by gh (or kh) and q, and the vowels have their Italian sound."—Hale.

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