The Evolution of the Chinook Jargo

    This paper that I wrote for a class in Pacific Northwest Native American Anthropology.

The paper essentially provides a brief historical summary of the evolution of Chinook Jargon (also known as Chinook Wawa), which was a pidgin language with most of its vocabulary was origininally centralized around trading and based in Chinookan, but also incorporated words from many other Native American languages, such as Salish, Wakashan, and Kwakiutl. Eventually it also began to incorporate various Indo-European words from interaction with the new traders from the east. It is truly a sad story, as at one point, Chinook Jargon was essentially the most widely spoken language in the Pacific Northwest. But, now it is very close to joining its main originating language, Chinook, as an extinct language. According to, Chinook Jargon had a total of 17 speakers in the USA in a 1990 census and is classified as being near extinction.

Length: 7 pages (including bibleography)  Written: March 10, 2001

 Available as:

  Paper in HTML       Available as PDF

Interesting Links on the Chinook Jargon language:

The Chinook Jargon - A very informative site with many resources on the language, including dictionaries.
Chinook Jargon - A good summary of the linguistic and grammatical characteristics of Chinook Jargon

Note: This paper is copyright 2001, Kevin Ickes. If this paper is used as a reference in another academic paper, I would really love to hear about it. I also enjoy suggestions/comments/constructive criticism. I can be reached here:

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