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.


About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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