Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš) (Salish-Pend d'Oreille)

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby księżycowy » 2013-11-24, 21:26

Glad to hear it!

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-11, 0:39

Given that we are in the third annual Powwow, I will try to write some notes about the Séliš language.

I'm using this textbook:

https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1

I already brought up this subject, but it's time to brush up on it (is this sentence correct? English phrasal verbs are complicated, not like Salish :lol:).

From lesson 4 (physical descriptions):

When I want to ask if someone is young, old, fat, skinny, tall, short, ugly, pretty, handsome, or strong I have to say:

ha kʷ skʷk̓ʷim̓l̓t ?
ha kʷ p̓x̣p̓x̣ʷot ?
ha kʷ q̓ʷoct ?
ha kʷ čt̓ásɫc̓eʔ ?
ha kʷ kʷtnálqʷ ?
ha kʷ ɫkʷk̓ʷim̓álqʷ ?
ha kʷ
č̓sus ?
ha kʷ swiʔnum̓t ?
ha kʷ x̣sus ?
ha kʷ yoyoót ?



ha kʷ
means "were/are you...?". Ha is the interrogative particle, and means "you".
So, literally they say "interrogation you young, old, pretty? etc..."

ha kʷ literally means "were you...?", not "are you...?". In effect, here we deal with properties that are essencially inherent to a person - these are not essences that we are just now, but something that we were and we are, or, better, that we "have been being" till now (I don't really know if I can say that in English!!). So, the Séliš language expresses it by using the perfect tense ha kʷ.

If I want to ask about a transitory condition that may affect a person, I have then to add the actualizing particle es after ha kʷ and a final -i to the verb

(from lesson 5 - states of being)

ha kʷ es________? (Are you ______?)

Examples:

Are you hungry, thirsty, happy, sad, sleepy, tired, cold, rested, disappointed, bored, hot?

ha kʷ es čsq̓mélti ?
ha kʷ es nx̣mpcini ?
ha kʷ es npiyélsi ?
ha kʷ es pupusénči ?
ha kʷ es čsʔitši ?
ha kʷ es áyx̣ʷti ?
ha kʷ es suy̓ti ?
ha kʷ es ɫexʷlsi ?
ha kʷ es nmaw̓lsi ?
ha kʷ es šallmis ? or ha kʷ es šalli ?
ha kʷ es ƛ̓aq̓mi ?

:)
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2014-01-01, 5:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-17, 1:25

Hi!

Salish colours (from here https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1, lesson 7):

sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ = colors

kʷil = red
kʷalíʔ = yellow
p̓um = orange
qʷeyn = green
qʷay = blue
piq = white
čx̣ey = gray
i hen = pink
q̓ʷay = black
čɫkʷi = brown
ƛ̓um̓ or i qʷayqʷay = purple

t čen̓ ec̓x̣ey sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ ɫiʔe = What color is this?

or

t čen̓ ec̓x̣ey sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ ɫiše = What color is that?

t čen̓ ec̓x̣ey means "what kind of" (see here http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 245).

ɫiʔe means "this, here" (see here: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 452).

ɫiše means "that specifically" (see here: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 448).

To answer both (why both? :? Maybe there's a mistake in the book) question you have to say:

šey̓ ɫu i and the name of the color.

šey̓ means "that, there" (see here: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 448).

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-12-17, 1:37

Massimiliano B wrote:why both? :? Maybe there's a mistake in the book

Why should there be? Would you find "either" a better way of expressing that? I understand it to mean that if someone asked you, "t čen̓ ec̓x̣ey sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ ɫiʔe?" then you would say, "šey̓ ɫu i [color]," and if they asked you, "t čen̓ ec̓x̣ey sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ ɫiše?" then also you would say, "šey̓ ɫu i [color]."

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-17, 3:25

Oh, yes you are right!

I was confused by the fact that the first question is:"What color is this?" and the second "What color is that"?, so I've thought that I had to answer those questions respectively with "this is...." and "that is....", which is obviously wrong. :lol:

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-17, 23:16

Hi!

Taken from here https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1:


Lesson 8
(I already studied this lesson, but now I want to review it):

Drinks:

ha kʷ es nsstelsi = Do you want to drink?

nsstelsi is composed of the circumfix n...els which indicates a want/desire/ need to do some action (see here: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 482). The full word for «to drink» is sust.When this verb is used together with the inherently stressed circumfix n...els (the stress is on the vowel -e-) the verb sust loses the vowel -u- and becomes -sst- (see here: A grammar of Spokane, pages 24 and 137). The last vowel -i is used at the end of verbs along with the actualizing particle es.

So, in Séliš you have to take the verb sust, then you have to remove the vowel -u- and finally to insert the remaining letters into the circumfix n...els! In English, in order to do a similar operation, I would have to divide the verb 'to want', for instance, in w...ant, then to remove the vowel -i- from the verb 'to drink', thus obtaining -drnk-, and, finally, to insert it into w...ant. The result is wdrnkant (w-drnk-ant). "I wdrnkant" thus would mean, in this "salishanized" English, "I want to drink". Excuse me for this phantasmagorical treatment of the English language!

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-12-23, 1:17

Just a couple of comments on one of your earlier posts, if you don't mind :)

Massimiliano B wrote:I already brought up this subject, but it's time to brush up on it (is this sentence correct? English phrasal verbs are complicated, not like Salish :lol:).

I think I'd say "to come back to it." :P

these are not essences that we are now, but something that we were and we are, or, better, that we "have been being" till now (I don't really know if I can say that in English!!).

And here I'm pretty sure you mean better than we have been so far.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-23, 23:40

vijayjohn wrote:Just a couple of comments on one of your earlier posts, if you don't mind :)

Massimiliano B wrote:I already brought up this subject, but it's time to brush up on it (is this sentence correct? English phrasal verbs are complicated, not like Salish :lol:).

I think I'd say "to come back to it." :P

these are not essences that we are now, but something that we were and we are, or, better, that we "have been being" till now (I don't really know if I can say that in English!!).

And here I'm pretty sure you mean better than we have been so far.


I mean "we have been so far".

I think I have to study English!

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby księżycowy » 2013-12-24, 11:04

Not to turn this into an English discussion thread, but you did ask for help. I find it a bit hard to understand the second sentence Vijay points out.

After finding it in your post it makes more sense now, though it still seems a bit clunky to me.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-26, 2:05

I wrote that

these are not essences that we are now, but something that we were and we are, or, better, that we "have been being" till now (I don't really know if I can say that in English!!).



I mean that these qualities are not transient accidents occurring to a subject, but something that we have been and we still are - for instance, "to be tall", "to be handsome", "to be ugly". In Séliš you don't say "he/she is handsome", but "he/she was handsome" (x̣sus in Séliš) - because someone is not handsome right now, but he or she is handsome and has already been handsome.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby księżycowy » 2013-12-26, 13:33

That's a much better way of putting it.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-26, 23:00

Hi!

From lesson 8 (https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1)

ha kʷ es nsstelsi t sqʔém = Do you want to drink some milk?

Here, before the object sqʔém we have to put the particle t, which indicates that the following word is the object of an inherently intransitive verb.



From lesson 9 (https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1)

The weather

Here's a very phonetically complicated sentence:

ec̓ščnasq̓ti y̓etɫxʷasq̓t = What/how is the weather today?

ec̓ščnasq̓ti is composed of the words ec̓ščé́n, which means «to happen» - but it can be used also to inquire about the state of someone or something ( see Selish dictionary: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 209) - and -asq̓t, a lexical suffix which means «sky».

I think that the suffix -i at the end of the word indicates that the verb is a present continuous. :?

y̓etɫxʷasq̓t means «now». It includes the suffix -asq̓t (= «sky»).

The literal meaning of ec̓ščnasq̓ti y̓etɫxʷasq̓t is «What's happening now with the sky?» (see Selish dictionary: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 487).

The word ƛ̓aq̓ means «hot», while i ƛ̓aq̓ means «it's hot». I don't know yet why by just adding the letter i you can turn an adjective into a verb. But I have to remember that there are not adjectives in Selish. So, ƛ̓aq̓ already means «it's hot», but then I have to understand what does the particle i add to it. The Selish dictionary says that the i means "specially noted" (see here: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 516, and A grammar of Spokane, pages 57-58-59). But what does it mean? I don't know. And why not all the verbs indicating a weather condition add this vowel? I.e.: c̓alt means "it's cold". I don't have to put an i before it. Why?

Let's see another verb:
es néw̓ti, which means «it is windy». Here, the verb is in the present continuous form. The verb is néw̓t, which means «the wind blew» (see here: http://salishworld.com/Selish%20Diction ... %202.4.pdf, page 495). Here, no partice i is used.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-27, 23:15

Hi!

From here:
https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1


I'll review the lesson 10:

In this lesson we can learn about the present continuous and the future tense in Séliš.

č̓ čen u kʷ es xʷúyi = Where are you going?
Literally: to where (č̓ čen) that (u) you are going (kʷ es xʷúyi)?

"To go" is xʷúy. Its basic meaning is "he/she went". es xʷúyi means "he/she is going" (so, by adding the prefix es and a final -i to the verb base, you obtain the present continuous), while kʷ es xʷúyi means "you are going".

čn es xʷúyi č̓________. = I'm going to_______.
The last č̓ means "to, toward". It's the same č̓ we find at the beginning of the question č̓ čen u kʷ es xʷúyi.




If I want to ask "Where are you going to go?" I have to say:

č̓ čen u kʷ qs xʷúy = Where are you going to go?

Between the subject (you) and the verb xʷúy (without the final -i of the present continuous) I have to put the particle qs, which indicates a future action or something that we plan to do in the future.

I can answer this way:

či qs xʷúyi ɫu č̓ ________. = I'm going to go to_____.
Here, before the particle indicating "movement toward a place", we have to place the particle ɫu, which means "secondary in importance". I don't know why in the first answer (which is in the present continuous) we don't have to put this particle.
The subject čn becomes či when followed by the particle qs.


Here's a list of places where we can go:

citxʷ = House.
sntumístn = Store. From sn- "a place of...", tumi "to buy", and -tn, a suffix that derives nominal instrumental forms from verbal bases (see here: A grammar of Spokane, page 103). The -s- before -tn may be the causative stem. Literally, it means thus "a place for buying".
snac̓x̣ɫq̓eymintn = School. From sn- ("a place of..."), ac̓x̣ɫq̓ey ("to read"), -min- which is a suffix similar to -tn (see here: A grammar of Spokane, page 102-103), and -tn (see above).
snč̓awmn = Church. From sn- (a place of), č̓aw (to pray), and -mn - it is the same suffix -min- seen above.
esy̓apqéyni = Pow wow. y̓apqéyn means "to gather for celebrations".
snululimtn = Bank. Again, sn- means "a place of", ululim means "money", and -tn (see above).
čɫq̓lip or čɫq̓li (Selish people often don't pronounce the letters after the stressed syllable) = Lake.
esmqʷmóqʷ = Mountains. This is the plural form. The singular is esmóqʷ, without the reduplication of the stem.
ntx̣ʷetkʷ = River. From tox̣ʷ "straight", and -etkʷ, a lexical suffix that means "water".

:)

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-29, 0:51

Today I'm going to study the lesson 11 (it's here: https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1)

Lesson 11: Meal

ckʷent ci_______. = Pass me a/the______.

The word ckʷent means "pass me!". It is composed of the directional prefix c-, which means "toward speaker - or a particular referent" - here, the speaker is the subject who enunciates the request, that is "me" (see here A grammar of Spokane, page 120), and the verb kʷent, which means «take it» (see here A grammar of Spokane, page 61). The word ci means "that/those".

ckʷent ci ɫuʔmn = "Pass me the spoon!"


If I want to ask "Where is the spoon?", I will say

čen̓ ɫu ɫuʔmn

čen̓ = where; the object we are looking for is always preceded by the particle ɫu, which means "secondary in importance" (see A grammar of Spokane). I think the object is secondary because the center of the question is the adverb "where". So, the sentence means, literally: "Where is it [comment], as for the spoon [topic]?". If so, ɫu marks the topic of the discourse - what is already known - while the comment (= what is said about what is already known) is left unmarked.


The answer is:

ihéʔ ɫu ɫuʔmn = Here is the spoon (literally: "It's here, as for the spoon").
:)
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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-30, 0:11

Hi!

Today I'm going to do lesson 13 (https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1):

How to say "Do you like X?" in Séliš.

ha an x̣menč ɫu________ = Do you like_______?

ha is the interrogative particle; an means "your". x̣menč is composed of the lexical suffix -enč, which in Séliš means "within" and in Spokane "stomach" (the relation between the two meanings is evident). I cannot find the meaning of the first part of the word (x̣m-). Altogether, x̣menč means "like, love". So, an x̣menč = "your liking". The particle ɫu introduces an adjunct that is «secondary in importance and particular» (see here A grammar of Spokane, pages 53-62). I think that this can be understood as a mark of the topic in the sentence. Indeed, the sentence can be transformed into this one: «Do you like it, as for the fish?». (I'm uncertain of my interpretation of this particle).

Example:

ha an x̣menč ɫu swew̓ɫ = Do you like fish?

unexʷ, in x̣menč ɫu swew̓ɫ = Yes, I like fish.

Here, in place of an (=your), there is in (=my). So, in x̣menč means "my liking".


Another question:

ha kʷ es ntelsi t sx̣setkʷ = Do you want (some) soup?

ntels = to want. The particle t precedes the object of an inherently intransitive verb (ntels is morphologically intransitive).


Lesson 14: Physical descriptions (part 2)

č.......s is a lexical circumfix whose meaning is «eye». The isolate word for «eye» is sčkʷƛ̓us (at least the circumfix share the final -s with the isolated word! Sometimes, the two forms have no phonemes in common)

The three words we find at the beginning of the lesson thus are composed of the circumfix č.......s and of the name of a color.

čqʷnqʷeyns = green eyes.

«Green» is qʷeyn in Séliš. Within the circumfix č.......s, there is a longer form of this word: -qʷnqʷeyn-. Why? The explanation is simple. The "longer" form -qʷnqʷeyn- is the plural of qʷeyn («green»). In English the adjectives are only singular, but in Séliš they have a singular and a plural form. Thus, if qʷeyn means «green», then the form -qʷnqʷeyn- means *greens, or, better, «green-(plural)». (The sign (*) identifies an impossible word or an ungrammatical sentence in English).

The sentence «You have green eyes» in Séliš is:

kʷ čqʷnqʷeyns.

The literal meaning is «you () green eyes (čqʷnqʷeyns)». When in Séliš the predicate follow directly the subject, the relation between them is like the relation between a subject and a predicate verb in English. So, in Séliš the sentence kʷ čqʷnqʷeyns literally means *«you green-eyes».
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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-31, 0:19

Hi!

Today I'll take a last look at lesson 14 (https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1).

If I want to turn an affirmative sentence into an interrogative one, I have to put the particle ha at the beginning of the sentence:

kʷ čqʷnqʷeyns = «You have green eyes».

ha kʷ čqʷnqʷeyns = «Do you have green eyes?»

Both sentences are built with the past tense. In Séliš the present tense is not used here, because the color of the eyes is not just a present condition, but an essential trait.

The second word () is the second person singular pronoun and it is proclitic, that is it always precedes a verb and is pronounced like one word with it - or, in other words, it has no stress.

If I want to ask if he or she has green eyes, the textbook reports the following sentence:

u ɫu cniɫc ha čqʷnqʷeyns = "Does he/she have green eyes?"

The first particle u here means "and/so/therefore". It is a pleonasm in an emphatic phrase - particularly in an interrogative one (I've found this information here, page 80). The second word ɫu introduces an element which is «secondary in importance» (in English, this concept can be translated with the wording "as for"). The word cniɫc is an independent personal pronoun - it's a full word like the English "he" or "she". It is not a proclitic personal pronoun like of the previous sentence, but a full stressed word (see here, page 71). The previous sentence (u ɫu cniɫc ha čqʷnqʷeyns) thus means literally «And as for him, has he green eyes?».

Example:

a. čq̓ʷayqn ɫu Johnny = «Johnny has black hair».

b. u ɫu cniɫc ha čqʷnqʷeyns = "Does he have green eyes?" (he = Johnny)



In lesson 6 (about personality traits) there are some questions about a third person where the independent pronoun cniɫc is not present:

ha c̓ʔešémn = «Is she/he shy?».

c̓ʔešémn means "shy" Here, after the interrogative particle ha no pronoun is present - but the word for "shy". The reason is that the Séliš language has no proclitic pronoun for the third person singular and plural. Thus, the word c̓ʔešémn alone means «he/she is shy».

The textbook doesn't present here sentences with indepentent personal pronouns, but I think the following question is possible:

u ɫu cniɫc ha c̓ʔešémn = «Is he/she shy?». Literally, the meaning should be «As for him/her, is he/she shy?».

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-01-02, 0:55

Today I'm going to study the lesson 15 (https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1).


Lesson 15 (Actions - part 1)

How to say "do you like to ____?" in Séliš:

ha an x̣menč kʷ qs nkʷnem = «Do you like to sing?»

«Do you like» is ha an x̣menč. The rest of the question is set up by the second personal pronoun proclitic , then by the particle qs which indicates either a future or an unreal action, and finally by the verb (here, it is nkʷnem = «to sing»). The literal meaning is thus «Do you like you-unreal/hypothetical-sing?». I think that the use of the unreal marker qs here is due to the fact that the action of singing is not actually performed by the subject , but it is only a possible and a hypothetical action.

In order to answer this question I can say:

unexʷ in x̣menč či qs nkʷnem = «Yes (unexʷ) I like (in x̣menč) to sing (či qs nkʷnem» - literally: «I-unreal/hypothetical-sing». The proclitic pronoun čn becomes či before the particle qs; therefore, the consonant cluster čnqs is strangely hard to pronounce for a Séliš speaker!);

or

ta, tam in x̣menč či qs nkʷnem = «No (ta), I don't (tam- this word negates the verb - its meaning is «not») like (in x̣menč) to sing (či qs nkʷnem» - literally: «I-unreal/hypothetical-sing»).


The verb nkʷnem alone means «he/she/it sings». The third personal pronoun proclitic is absent in Séliš. The personal pronouns proclitic are čn (I), (you), qe (we), and p (you all).
The third plural personal pronoun (they) is marked by a glottal stop (ʔ) after the stressed vowel of the verb and a repetition of the same vowel. So, in order to say «they sing» I say nkʷneʔem , while nkʷnem means either «he sings», or «she sings» - or even «it sings», like for example if a bird is singing.


Now we have to know how to say «Do they like». This form is composed of the possessive pronouns and the word x̣menč:

in x̣menč means literally «my liking» but its meaning in English is «I like». The particle in means «my»;
an x̣menč is «you like». The particle an means «your (singular)»;
x̣meʔenčs means «they like». Literally, this word means «their liking». The plural is indicated by: 1) the glottal stop (ʔ) after the stressed vowel; 2) the repetition of the stressed vowel; and 3) the final -s. If I add the -s without adding the glottal stop and repeating the stressed vowel, I'll obtain x̣menčs, which means «He/she like».

Now we can say also «Do they like to______?»

ha x̣meʔenčs qs č̓iʔiwlš = «Do they like to climb?»

The texbook has the word č̓wiʔiwlš, with a «w» in the second position, but it is a typo, because the singular form of the verb is č̓iwlš («to climb») - without the «w». The Selish dictionary proves that I'm right (see Selish dictionary, page 90). So, the right form is č̓iʔiwlš.

A possible answer:

unexʷ x̣meʔenčs qs č̓iʔiwlš = «Yes, they like to climb».
:)

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Massimiliano B
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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-01-02, 23:43

Lesson 16 (from: https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1)

The sentence

kʷent ɫu an/a______ is translated as «Get out your____».

The word kʷent is an imperative. It means «take it» («it» is understood; literally, it means simply «take») (see here A grammar of Spokane, page 61). In lesson 11 it appears together with the directional prefix c- where it forms the command ckʷent (= «pass me__», «give me__»). ɫu introduces a «secondary in importance» element - that is, the topic of the discourse (translatable in English as «as for»). The last an/a is the possessive adjective «your»: an becomes a when the noun it precedes begins with the letter s. Examples:

kʷent ɫu an č̓almín = «get out your scissors»;

kʷent ɫu a sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ɫp̓min = «Get out your crayons».


The word k̓ʷnt is another imperative, which means «put away»:

k̓ʷnt ɫu an č̓almín = «put away your scissors»;

k̓ʷnt ɫu a sq̓ey̓q̓ey̓ɫp̓min = «Put away your crayons».


Other sentences:

a. čen̓ ɫu an q̓ey̓mín = «Where is your paper?»

b. iheʔ ɫu in q̓ey̓mín = «Here is my paper».

The word čen̓ in a. is the interrogative demonstrative «where is he/she/it?». It doesn't mean simply «where». Indeed, every Séliš noun, pronoun, and adjective has a predicative nature. For the same reason, the word iheʔ is «he/she/it is here». Thus, the question a. čen̓ ɫu an q̓ey̓mín means «Where is it, as for your paper?» and b. iheʔ ɫu in q̓ey̓mín means «It is here, as for my paper».

In order to say «I have____» I have to use the special prefix epɫ (ep before a word beginning with s). It is added only to an intransitive form to indicate that the subject of the form possesses the item referred to:

xʷk̓ʷmintn «it's an eraser». The texbook translate all the Selish nouns as nouns, but they have to be translated as intransitive forms. Thus, xʷk̓ʷmintn doesn't mean «eraser», but «it's an eraser». We can now add the prefix epɫ to it, preceded by a subject:

kʷ epɫ xʷk̓ʷmintn =«You have an eraser».

The question is formed by adding ha:

ha kʷ epɫ xʷk̓ʷmintn = «Do you have an eraser?»
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2014-01-26, 3:01, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-01-06, 22:28

Lesson 17 (from: https://sites.google.com/site/salishlanguage/book-1)

Clothes (part 1)

t stem̓ u kʷ es x̣cnumt = «What are you wearing?» (Literally: What that (= u) you (= ) are wearing?)

stem̓ means «what». The prefix t precedes it because stem̓ is the object of a morphologically intransitive verb. x̣cnumt is the verb «to wear». It is morphologically intransitive, even though in English it is transitive. Transitivity and intransitivity in Séliš don't depend respectively on the presence or absence of a direct object after the verb, but on the presence or the absence of the transitive stem -nt- or -st-, in which the verb x̣cnumt is lacking.

The verb x̣cnumt takes the prefix es which indicates that the action is an ongoing action, but it has not the suffix -i, which is similar to -ing in English. Ex. čn tumist = «I bought», čn es tumisti = «I am buying».
When a verb takes the particle es but doesn't take the suffix -i, it means that the action has actually begun in the past and it's still going on at the present time. Thus, t stem̓ u kʷ es x̣cnumt doesn't mean «what are you wearing?», because I see that you are wearing something, but I also know that you have put on your dresses a few hours ago. So, its meaning is «What have you been wearing (since this morning etc.)?». I hope this make sense. My English needs an improvement

Surprisingly, the answer is:

čn es x̣cnumti t qʷacqn = I'm wearing a hat. The word qʷacqn is preceded by the particle t because it is the object of a morphologically intransitive verb - as I've already said above.

I say that sentence is surprising because the verb ends with the suffix -i. So, the question is «what have you been wearing?» (t stem̓ u kʷ es x̣cnumt) - with es but without the final -i; while the answer is «I'm wearing a hat» (čn es x̣cnumti t qʷacqn) - with es and with the final -i. Why :?: Is it a mistake of the authors of the textbook? I don't know. :(

This is more surprising since the negative answer to the following question:

ha kʷ es x̣cnumt t qʷacqn = «Are you wearing a hat?»

has not the final -i:

tam čn es x̣cnumt t qʷacqn

The plot thickens. :?

Probably, the reason is that if I have been wearing something, I'm also wearing it now, so they say «I'm wearing X» because the answer underlines the current situation and disregards the past.


:)
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2014-01-07, 1:24, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Massimiliano - Montana Salish (Séliš)

Postby księżycowy » 2014-01-06, 22:37

I've been finding the grammar breakdowns especially interesting to read! Just wanted to stop by and say that, and let you know I'm still reading! :D


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