St Clair’s Milluk list

St Clair was a linguist who visited the Florence area in 1903.  He mostly worked with Jim Buchanan and Frank Drew (who served as a translator) to get word lists and texts in the Hanis language.  He also worked briefly with Tom Hollis (an interesting character who was related to Lottie Evanoff).  The texts he got from Buchanan were later included in Frachtenberg’s book Coos Texts (a link to this book is on the sidebar).  However, he also got a wordlist of 219 Milluk words and phrases from George Barney (the Barney’s were a Milluk family that lived near North Fork a century ago; if you look at names of people buried at the North Fork cemetery you will see some people with that surname there).  I don’t know why St Clair did not get more material from Barney – perhaps Barney was to busy to spend much time with St Clair, or he was unable to tell stories, which Buchanan was.

Still, the good thing about St Clair’s Milluk list is that he wrote down the Hanis equivalents to those words so you can compare the two languages, and he did get a handful of words that don’t turn up in other sources.

The majority of the words on this list are the same or quite similar between the two languages.  For near cognates, we have words like ‘hand’ which are kihla in Hanis and kihlan in Milluk (per Barney anyway; Annie’s answers to Jacobs might be different – I still need to compare her material to Barney’s).  Interestingly, it seems like the biggest divergences are the numbers and body parts.  For example, the number one is yixei in Hanis, atsuu in Milluk.  Skin is tsxa and setlehl respectively in Hanis and Milluk.  Interestingly he noted tskwetukw or tokwetkwis for shoulder, and tsipatl in Milluk – this Milluk word is similar to the Hanis word for shoulder blade (which was later adapted into the word as ‘hoe’ as well).

A few other Hanis-versus-Milluk words just for fun:

English                         Hanis            Milluk

sturgeon, white       maqaxa        niqáxan

whale                         bintluuwai      tsaham

red tail hawk           qelxene            tlílakáitos

osprey                     kiskasitl             gisgátotos

tomorrow               halmii                ama

today                    diixtse                    dííxaxáya



About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
This entry was posted in Vocabulary comparisons, vocabulary words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to St Clair’s Milluk list

  1. Shirod Younker says:

    so…I was wondering about the word tomorrow. In miluk it’s “ama”. Could this a shortened derivation of the Chinook word for “Tamala”?

  2. shichils says:

    I wouldn’t say shortened exactly; however, at present, the Coosan languages and Chinookan languages are both in the Penutian superfamily so there may be some ancient shared roots there. Or, possibly, evidence of language contact and borrowing – like in the word aluudaq for northern style canoe that comes from one of the WA Salish languages (I forget Quinalt or Quileute).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s