127 Extracted Words – The Tease

March 2022



I write short fiction, flash fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from an essay in progress.

I am currently exploring Salish, the native language of many of the indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest. I am not attempting to master the language. Hardly. I can only speak a handful of words, mostly the names of animals. But in learning these new words, it is evident how closely connected Salish is to observation and experience in the natural world. Possibilities springing from the etymology of the language fascinate me.

For instance, the word uknaqin, seeing over the top. Or sxWy?itp, sharp pointed trees. I wonder what shared experience of early North Amercans inspired the development of these terms.

And yes, I can see how this new interest will demand that I re-learn how to insert special characters on WordPress.


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