Chinuk Wawa

kakwa nsayka ulman-tilixam laska munk-kemteks nsayka / As Our Elders Teach Us to Speak It

The Chinuk Wawa Dictionary Project

  • $29.95 paperback (9780295991863) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2012
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 400 pp., 25 illus., 7 x 10 in.
  • Distributed for: Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon
  • Contents

Chinuk Wawa (also known as Jargon and Chinook Jargon) is a hybrid lingua franca consisting of simplified Chinookan, combined with contributions from Nuuchahnulth (Nootkan), Canadian French, English, and other languages. It originated on the lower Columbia River, where it once was the predominant medium of intertribal and interethnic communication. Even after English came into general use on the lower Columbia, Chinuk Wawa survived for generations in families and communities shaped by the meeting of the region's historically diverse tribes and races. This Chinuk Wawa dictionary is based primarily on records from one such community, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Oregon, where Chinuk Wawa is taught as a community heritage language.

"A treasure trove of knowledge about Wawa in Grand Ronde, this dictionary is also a monument to the vital role it has played and plays in the lives of people there, and across the Northwest."
-George Lang, author of Making Wawa: The Genesis of Chinook Jargon

"[A]n excellent overview of the structure and history of the language. . . . [M]onuments for the language-in both sense of the word. The dictionary is a great resource, for creolists as well as for those in the community. . . in their continued efforts to revive the language in the school and the reservation community."
-Peter Bakker, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages