Prefix č-, is locational indicating an elevated position and/or a specialization as opposed to a generalization. It directs the act indicated by its stem at, toward, or upon the object. It elevates the act/object or notion above/forward a norm. By elevating, it indicates a specialization out-of/above/forward a generalization.
Generalizations are derived from the inherent worldview of the language. They are an important aspect of understanding meaning. Within the philosophical foundations of Nselíšcn is a hierarchical system of control and of the capacity to act. Prefix č- is a component of this system. An example of this is the designation of č- indicating people. See below for more on how people fit within this hierarchical system.
This prefix has the following two patterns. It either elevates the act/state/change-of-state in the stem-word or it elevates the specialization indicated by the lexical suffix.
- č-/stem-word/-lexical suffix
When affixed to a stem-word it elevates its act, state, or change of state from a norm to a specialization that’s culturally understood or indicated through context.
The Nselíšcn hierarchical system of control and of the capacity to act in holds a worldview that humans have a high level of control and the highest capacity to act. This view is revealed in the use of č- to designate people among all other things. Others report that the prefix designating people is a different prefix.
The example below illustrate this concept. In the world there are things in general. When inquiring about the quantity of some group of things you ask, k̓ʷinš, /How many are there?. Isolated from any context, one is inquiring about the quantity of some unspecified things. In context or when specified like, k̓ʷinš ɬu sc̓eɁek̓ʷ, /How many flowers are there?/, the inquiry is specific but general, or un-elevated.
- k̓ʷinš, How many?
- č-k̓ʷin-k̓ʷnš, How many people?
In the worldview of Nselišcn, people are special. People have the highest capacity to act and a high level of control. In the world of things, people are viewed in an elevated position. Prefix č– is used to indicate people when counting. The indicates people have an elevated status above all things countable. In this example k̓ʷinš is reduplicated as you would not inquire about number of people if there were thought to be fewer than two.
The next example illustrates how stem-word’s act/state/change-of-state is elevated. The root word, k̓ʷul̕, means work, effort to produce or accomplish something. This word is all inclusive of every thing that falls in the category of ‘effort to produce or accomplish something.’ It is a generalization.
- es-k̓ʷul̕-i, S/he/it is working, in the process of producing or accomplishing something.
- es-č-k̓ʷul̕-i, S/he/it is ornamenting something, beading, embroidering.
In the example above, prefix č– elevates the ‘effort to produce or accomplish something’. Elevated work in Nselišcn worldview means to adorn or ornament something. This is the specialization of work. This elevated work is understood to refer to the act/work of beading.
- q̓ʷlew̓-m, harvest/pick berries.
- č-q̓ʷlew̓-m, harvest/pick berries from a tree.
In this example, q̓ʷlew̓-m refers all forms of fruit harvesting by hand. Adding the prefix indicates an elevation of act, q̓ʷlew̓-m, hand-harvest fruit/pick berries. The only elevated option of this act is locational. A tree is an elevated location to harvesting fruit. As fruit harvesting goes there are ground fruit, bush fruit, and tree fruit. Prefix č- indicates the elevated/highest option/form. In a hypothetical world, čq̓ʷlew̓-m, could be used to indicate the harvest of some highly specialized/rare and magical berries. In the real world it indicates picking fruit/berries from up in a tree.
The word puʕus, heart, thought, derives the act, pusəm, to think on/at/about something or someone, to have the heart on something or someone.
- i-es-pus-əm, I have my heart on it; I think on/at/about it.
- i-es-č-pus-əm, I compare it to something; I judge it.
This example shows the elevation of heart/thought from an internal position to an external position. To think about something, is an internal/inward activity. Making a comparison or judgement is an external activity, elevating and externalizing thoughts about something. In this case prefix, č- elevates the inward thought act to and outward ‘airing’ of the thought act.
- šin, cover over, put upon.
- č-šin, put something special/important upon/over; to accompany someone.
- č-šn-ten ɬu malye, I put medicine on it. literal
- č-šn-ten ɬu in-qeneɁ, I went with my grandma. figurative
The elevative element in this example makes use of the literal and figurative use of the word. Most words have a literal and a figurative meaning. In this case the elevated literal meaning of čšin includes medicine or other beneficial additive. The root is locative and directive and conveys a meaning similar to the prefix, č-. In this sense a doubling effect is achieved. This elevated position is where a ‘beneficial additive’ resides. The same effect of a ‘beneficial additive’ in an elevated position is achieved in the figurative sense. The elevated figurative meaning is the benefit of not going alone. Going alone is viewed as inferior or in a lower position than going together.
č-/ /-min, the reason why; It does for/to. This affix co-occurrence indicates the tool for doing/being, or the reason to do/be, where ‘do’ is a function of the stem-word. Prefix, č- elevates
- k̓ʷul̕, work, the act of producing or accomplishing something. Bi-valent root
- k̓ʷul̕-mən, the instrument/material to produce or accomplish something.
- č-k̓ʷul̕-mən, the reason to work; the time to work.
- n-k̓ʷul̕-mən, the way of producing or accomplishing something.
- pax̌, to rub/polish surface to surface; make friction. Ambi-valent root
- č-pax̌ , to light a match; out of the strike/rub.
- č-pax̌-mən, the tool for lighting a match; a match.
- č-pax̌–lqʷ, to polish wood; rubbing sticks together, polishing it.
- px̌-pax̌-t, wise, smart; polished.
- šal, to suspend/hang. Ambi-valent root
- č-šəl-min, the reason to suspend/hang, the tool for hanging/suspending.
- xʷus, to be wide awake; alert. Mono-valent root
- č-xʷəs-min, the reason to be wide awake, the subject of worry/thought.
č-/ /-tin, the reason why; It does for/to it/him/her. This affix co-occurrence indicates the tool for doing to/for one, or the reason why one does. Prefix, č- elevates the instrumental use of the root along with suffix, -tin from tool to the force of the tool.
- ɬaq̓ʷ, manifest, appear, show up.
- č-ɬaq̓ʷ-tin, the reason/cause/tool for why s/he/it manifests, appears, shows up.
- t̕loq̓ʷ, flee, escape, run away.
- č-t̕lq̓ʷ-in, the reason/cause/tool for why s/he/it flees, escapes, runs away.
- čn ayx̌ʷt, I am tired.
- kʷ in-č-ʕayx̌ʷt-n, You are the reason I am tired. [č-ʕayx̌ʷt-(t)n]
č-/ /-ew̓s, elevated relation, up high
Prefix, č– elevates, while suffix, –ew̓s, establishes the relationship between the higher form and the general form. To elevated in relation to a norm. The ‘form’ is the shape/act of the stem-word.
- č-t̕ap-ew̓s, shoot up in the sky, shoot up high. /t̕ʕ̓ap/, shoot projectile.
č-/ /-épleɁ, elevated authority
- es-č-qʷlqʷlt-épleɁ-i, s/he is pronouncing special orders. (directions, sentencing, decree, etc.) /qʷl-qʷel-t/, talk.
- c̓ox̌ʷ, instruct, make known the rule, order, law.
- č-c̓x̌ʷ-épleɁ, to instruct/judge according to the rule, order, law.
- č-c̓x̌ʷ-épleɁ-tn, the order, judgement, sentence.
- mi, know.
- č-mi-épleɁ, to know in the realm of authority; judge, accuse.
č-/ /-asq̓t, sky, in the sky, on the day
Both affixes must co-occur to indicate the sky. Without č-, suffix –asq̓t indicates day.
- č-cq̓mn-asq̓t, throw upward into the sky. /cq̓-min/, throw.
- č-x̌s-asq̓t, good sky, cloudless, pleasing. /x̌es/, well, pleasant.
- x̌s-asq̓t, good day, pleasing. /x̌es/, well, pleasant
- č-t̕ap-ásq̓t, shoot up into the sky. /t̕ʕ̓ap/, shoot projectile.
The perceptive senses of taste, sight, smell, and hearing are indicated by suffixes. Prefix č- elevates taste and sight specifically to the experience of each.
- Sight is / /-us or č-/ /-us;
- smell is / /-aɬq;
- taste is / /-aqs or č-/ /-aqs.
- Hearing is / /-eneɁ or n-/ /-eneɁ.
The next two sections show examples with affix co-occurrence č-/ /-aqs and č-/ /-us are provided.
č-/ /-aqs, elevated taste, experience taste
Suffix -aqs is categorizing/classifying as embodied by both a literal and figurative narrowing/tapering feature. In a directional sense it has forward motion. It is most recognizable as the co-occurring affixes, n-/ /-aqs, in referencing the nose or road/path (vanishing point). When co-occurring with prefix, č-, it indicates a special class of taste in the experience of the stem-word.
- x̌s-aqs, tastes good.
- č- x̌s-aqs, enjoy food, savor the taste.
č-/ /-us, elevated source, experience sight
Suffix -us has an ‘outwardness’ reference, an emergence into existence, to be the origin/source. It is used to indicate the literal and figurative concepts, among these are: eye, face, berries, fire, vision, family, etc.
- x̌s-us, beautiful-looking; pleasant face.
- č-x̌s-us, look with pleasure; enjoy the view.
- č-px̌pax̌-s, wise eyes. Polished eyes.
- č-px̌px̌-us, looks wise. Polished look.
č-/ /-qin, on/of the top.
- Elevated position on the top, to the extent. Literal
- Elevated quality of the top. Figurative
This co-occurring affix pair, prefix, č-, elevative, and suffix, -qin, on/of the top, reference a specialization of the top or extent of the act in the stem-word.
Suffix, -qin is a reference to the top or to the extent. Prefix, č- elevates the quality of the top or of the extent it does. This affix co-occurrence is often used to indicate a mountain.
- yelxʷ, conceal from view.
- č-iyalxʷ-qn, čiya, to conceal the top; conceal the hair.
- č-kʷton-qn, big mountain.
- kʷton-qn, big head.
- č-kʷil-qn, red hair; red mountain.
- miš, none.
- č-miš, only. Elevated out of none results in a meaning, only.
- č-mš-qn-m-ist, to give up.
Nselíšcn – Nqlispelíšcn
“č– prep. of movement towards…; before original substantives remaining substantives it means to, towards…; before substantives derivated from a verb ending in -ten it means the reason, the object of the verb itself…; before substantives verbified it means to be after, to go for…; prefixed with compound verbs in many cases it imparts a peculiar meaning to the affixed particle…; with verbs it means to, at, towards, or, nearly in all pages…; prefixed to the verb implying movement or situation and giving it the instrumental conjugation, means near, by, lat.” Giorda, 1877-79.
“č– towards, upwards, to go after.” Speck, 1977.
“Directional prefix, č-, after, is very limited in distribution. It usually occurs with derived transitive stems formed from bases with intransitive roots expressing some type of motion.” Carlson, 1972
“t-, on and a part of; č-, on, attached to but not part of, at a point; čet-, on a surface or object broader than subject, above, over; čs-, after, behind, in pursuit of, for a purpose.” Reichard, 1938
“Locative, čet-, on; t-, on; čic-, toward here. Doak, 1998
“čet-, on a surface; above, over. Brinkman, 2007.
“The directive prefix is /k– /, with an allomorph [t-] before roots beginning with a velar. The meaning of bases so derived is an extension of the meaning of the root.” Mattina, 1973.
Positional prefix k-, quoting Kinkade, ‘on or against something vertical.’ Willet, 2003
Positional prefix t-, quoting Kinkade, ‘attached to, cover.’ Willet, 2003
Positional prefix kat-, quoting Kinkade, ‘on a flat surface, over.’ Willet, 2003
The prefix, nə-, in Thompson’s, The Thompson Salish Language, has a similar use as Nselíšcn prefix, č-.
“Localizer /nə-/ signals localization or a more abstract specialization, as opposed to vaguer or more usual references of unmarked forms.” Thompson, 1992.
- Giorda, Joseph. 1877-79. A dictionary of the Kalispel or Flathead Indian language. St. Ignatius Mission, Montana.
- Reichard, Gladys. 1938. Coeur d’Alene. In Franz Boas, ed., Handbook of American Indian Languages III, Gliickstadt: J. J. Augustin Inc., and New York: Columbia University Press, 517-707.
- Carlson, Barry. 1972. Grammar of Spokane. Dissertation, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.
- Mattina, Anthony. 1973. Colville Grammatical Structure. Dissertation. University of Hawaii, Honolulu.
- Speck, Brenda. 1977. An edition of Father Post’s Kalispel grammar. Master’s thesis. University of Montana, Missoula.
- Thompson, Laurence. 1992. The Thompson Language. UM Occasional Papers in Linguistics, No. 8. Missoula, Montana.
- Gerdts, Donna B., and Mercedes Hinkson. 1996. Salish lexical suffixes: a case of decategorialization. In Proceedings of the conference on conceptual structure, discourse and language, ed. Adele E. Goldberg, 163–176. Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
- Czaykowska-Higgins, Ewa, 1996. NxaɁamxcin Lexical Suffixes: A working Paper. University of Victoria, British Columbia.
- Kinkade, M. Dale, 1998. Origins of Salishan Lexical Suffixes. University of British Columbia. Vancouver.
- Doak, I. G. 1998. Coeur d’Alene grammatical relations. PhD Thesis, UMI, Ann Arbor.
- Hinkson, Mercedes, 2000. The semantics of the Lexical Suffix *an/n̓ak. Proceedings of the twenty-sixth annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 63. University of California, Berkeley.
- Willet, Marie, 2003. A Grammatical Sketch ofNxa’amxcin (Moses-Columbia Salish). Dissertation. University of Victoria, British Columbia.
- Brinkman, Raymond, 2007. Features of the Coeur d’Alene Language. A self-published curriculum guide.