Category Archives: vocabulary words

“Dear Old Lady”: the tale of the suffix -sha

Leo Frachtenberg worked with Hanis speaker Jim Buchanan in 1909. As part of his work, he later published a grammar of Hanis. In it he noted a suffix -sha that is unusual in that unlike any other suffix in the … Continue reading

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More puzzling meanings of words from context

I’ve written before about how tricky it can be to figure out some of the specific definitions of words when they only appear once or twice.  Sometimes I have to go back and take a careful look at a word … Continue reading

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What is that mystery phrase anyway?

So I have been working on translating a Siuslaw story that Jim Buchanan told to Harry Hull St Clair in 1903, and was published years later by Leo Frachtenberg in Coos Texts. It is the last story in the book … Continue reading

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Puzzles in the First Coosan Wordlist, 1856

In autumn of 1856, physician John J. Milhau was stationed at Fort Umpqua. At the time he was a young man of 28, and had been raised and educated in New York City. He wrote down word lists of what … Continue reading

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Hanis Coos recordings from 1941 at Smithsonian

John Peabody Harrington was an eccentric yet talented linguist whose decades of work recorded numerous indigenous languages – including Hanis, Siuslaw-Lower Umpqua and some Milluk in 1942. Other Oregon languages he worked on in the 1930s and 40s include several … Continue reading

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Translations and meanings aren’t always settled: Rethinking the definition of kahlalis

First, I want to thank Troy Anderson for pointing me out to Milluk examples of a word I was looking for, kahlalis/qahlalis. While going through Jim Buchanan’s story of “Night Rainbow” I noticed a Hanis word, kahlalis, that Frachtenberg (who … Continue reading

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Place name of the day: Tree-Fall-Place

There wasn’t a village here on what was once a bluff above the bay – though it was located between a tightly packed string of villages to the north (like Q’alaxaich, Mahakwin, Gahakich & Da’nis) and south (Shuutlits) of it – … Continue reading

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