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word of the day (or thereabouts) 2

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  • yahganlang
    Today s word of the day (or thereabouts)IS the Yahgan word for day/dia , that is, moala, or mola in many of Bridges earlier writings. Stress is on the o, and
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Today's word of the day (or thereabouts)IS the Yahgan word for
      "day/dia", that is, moala, or mola in many of Bridges' earlier writings.

      Stress is on the o, and given the ambiguous spelling one may speculate
      that the a following was reduced.

      According to B's original 1877-8 (m.s. 317 = H/G 351) manuscript, the
      entries given are:

      moala s. Day. Daylight 2. White spots or marks, as patches of
      white on a cow.

      moala adj. 1. Light, no longer night or dark. 2nd. Having white
      patches or spots.

      moala v.i. To day, become day, dawn as day.

      This last entry comes with an example sentence:

      Hamashvnna kvle: moaloa wvli:tas
      "It will, I think, be a fine day tomorrow."

      B also lists:

      moala:ki Piebald. One having white patches or spots
      moalun In the daytime. Day. In the day.
      Haku: moalun Another or the other day.

      Haku: moalunchi tvpan haku:chiu:a
      "I will go some other day and not now."

      moaloalan Every day, Always. All the day long. All day.
      moalada:ra Every day.

      moalada:ranata To become or be long as days in summer.
      moalateka v.i. To break as day. To day. To come as day.

      Wuli:tas kiu:e:la moalatecunna
      "I hope it will day fine tomorrow." (H/G corrected this gloss).

      Moala may not be historically a unified form. Consider the word shoala
      (stress also on o) (B's m.s. p.139=H/G 158), which B defines as:

      shoala s. A light, torch, flambeaux. v.i. To be alight as a fire. To
      burning as a fire or light.

      As a side note here B. has crossed out an entry following:

      shoala:kaia v.tr. To put up as a light. To be held up or show as a
      light or torch. To be up as a light on a post.

      H/G have retained this entry, without also marking it as having been
      crossed out by B.

      The next form to compare is aioala. Here the stress has shifted
      leftward to ai (which seems to be a general pattern in Yahgan). My
      copy of the m.s. has this entry cut off at the page top, so H/G:

      aioala Visible, where a thing can be seen

      Where the m.s. copy begins, we have B.:

      aiola s.adj and v.i. Light. Knowledge. Wise, intelligent, learned,
      skilled. To be do., do., do. To know.

      aiola! See how or Observe!

      Also note here o vs oa, as is seen in the moala/mola forms.

      What can we make of this? I have speculated in early posts to the list
      that Yahgan is related genetically in some fashion to languages of the
      North American Pacific Coast (Chumashan, Chemakuan, Salishan, etc.).
      In Salishan languages especially, one sees a collection of obviously
      etymologically connected forms whose general shape is labiovelar or
      labiouvular initial (which may be a plain or glottalized stop,
      voiceless fricative, glide or approximant, etc.), medial vowel, and
      final non-front, non-back fricative or glide (hl, l, s, sh, y, r, etc.).

      All the members of this rather extended "word family" in Salishan
      refer in some way to phenomena of light- the day, the bright sky, the
      sun, the moon, stars, light genrally, and so on.

      Even forms such as Yahgan apvrinix "star" may be etymologically
      relatable to this system, as may vsekvs "Sunlight. Rays of the sun,
      also the sun" (which may be an ancient reduplication with root
      *(e)kvs). Similar forms may be seen in other language families in the
      Americas (indeed much further afield, leading one to suspect some form
      of phonosemantic encoding historically at least partially motivating
      these forms- in Salishan languages many words dealing with colors, for
      instance, seem to be part of this system too, and are recognized as
      being relatable by sound symbolism).

      In Yahgan one source of sh- may originally have been a rounded velar
      (what in Salishan would be fronted xw- the shift of xw to sh is well
      known in the region), and m- obviously shares the labial feature too.

      In the modern language aio(a)la is further changed to something more
      like e:la, thus making any etymological connection between the forms
      in Bridges' Yahgashaga dialect even more difficult to see ;-)

      Jess Tauber
    • Pedro Viegas Barros
      Dear colleagues of waata chis: Estimados colegas de waata chis: In a Yahgan-Alakalufan comparison, Yahgan shoala light, torch, flambeux , to be alight , etc.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 5, 2005
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        Dear colleagues of waata chis:

        Estimados colegas de waata chis:


        In a Yahgan-Alakalufan comparison, Yahgan shoala "light, torch, flambeux", "to be alight", etc. could be a potential cognate of Kawesqar aswal  "day" (a word with such derivations as: aswal-k-seles "sun", aswal-oykem-na "noon, midday", aswal-kte "afternoon",  aswala(f)k from *aswal-lafk "tomorrow; yesterday", etc.)


        En el marco de una comparacion Yahgan-Alacalufe, Yahgan shoala  "luz, antorcha, llameante", "estar encendido", etc., podria ser un potencial cognado de Kawesqar aswal  "dia" (palabra que cuenta con derivados tales como: aswal-k-seles "sol", aswal-oykem-na "mediodia", aswal-kte "tarde",  aswala(f)k de *aswal-lafk "manana, ayer", etc.)





        J. Pedro Viegas Barros

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