Mudcat Café message #1206647 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69992   Message #1206647
Posted By: Haruo
14-Jun-04 - 02:55 AM
Thread Name: Chinook Jargon Songs
Subject: RE: Chinook Jargon Songs
As far as I know there are no living speakers of the lower Chinook dialects, such as Clackamas or Clatsop. However, there are a few speakers (the Ethnologue says 12 for Kiksht in 1996, and 69 for Wasco-Wishram in 1990) of a couple of the upriver Chinookan dialects still living on the Warm Springs Reservation (and maybe elsewhere): Wasco-Wishram and Kiksht are the dialects in question. Sometimes in developing the living language on the Grand Ronde Reservation, when data from the local elders is lacking, they turn to Kiksht for models.

The language spoken at Grand Ronde is a creole, not the original jargon much less the original Chinookan. The people there came (by government decree) from more than a dozen different language-stocks and have spoken the "jargon" (actually creole) for many generations now.

As for government recognition, that is generally on a piecemeal basis. This group gets recognized, that group gets ignored or actively suppressed. There are Chinookan, and Chinuk-Wawa-using groups that have government recognition, and others that don't.

I'm glad you're getting something of value out of this thread. I'll be giving a brief presentation on Chinuk Wawa (in Esperanto) at the Canada/US Esperanto Convention in Sidney on July 18th (10 AM at the Mary Winspear Centre). If you're in the area, come on by.

The performance of "Seattle Illahee" at Folklife, by the way, was wonderful. The pronunciation was definitely Euro-Jargon, but it was fun and appropriate.