Things that make me go…wha?

Sometimes, while digging through ancient transcripts, I run into translations of Native words I am not sure of, or downright puzzled by.

Just ran into another today.  In Frachtenberg’s wordlist, he listed a verb yaus-, to stoop, found once in a story collected by St Clair.  St Clair also recorded it twice more in his supplementary notebook.  The problem?  In none of those other instances – the story or St Clair’s notebook is the word used as ‘to stoop’.  Instead it always turns up as ‘getting lively’.  BUT – and here is the important caveat – in all these instances the verb appears with the negative particle, in.  For example:

ene en yausiseni = you (Singular) get lively  (Literally: you not stooping)

So it kind of looks like if you use the word for ‘no, not’ with the verb yaus- it seems to imply ‘being lively’ – not stooping.  I suppose the idea is that if one is stooping, one is tired.  Not stooping, one is lively.  That is my best guess as to the metaphor behind the expression here.

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About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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