Bella Coola etymology again!

David Robertson ddr11 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Thu Feb 3 04:04:11 UTC 2005

Probably interesting only to the linguists here...

I just received my copy of Aert Kuipers' "Salish Etymological Dictionary"
(Missoula: U of Montana, 2002).  I think I've discussed a Bella Coola
version of "tamanawis" before.  Here I go again.

Kuipers reconstructs Proto-Salish *x at m 'both (sides), and more specifically
P-S *x at m-an(-was) 'other side, alter ego, enemy'.

The second of these seems to rest on various modern Salish languages'
cognate words of a form x at man, S at men, etc., for 'enemy', plus related forms
that look to me as though they have the frequent Salish lexical suffix =ews
usually meaning 'both sides'.

All of these Kuipers compares with a Bella Coola form xmanwas 'guardian

I can't help thinking (1) maybe the Bella Coola word was misrecorded, (2)
maybe Bella Coola speakers reanalyzed the Chinook Jargon word
t'amanwas 'spirit power', and (3) maybe the proper P-S form to reconstruct
would be more like *x at m(-)an.  [Kuipers doesn't always show morphological
boundaries in his reconstructed forms, and I'm not sure if he'd propose one

Thoughts on this would be welcome.  Off list is fine!

--Dave R

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