By: David Captain
The Akawaio-English dictionary entry has three primary parts. First is the Akawaio headword, which appears in bold, slightly enlarged, blue type. Second is the abbreviation for the grammatical part of speech, which is shown in italic type. (See the List of Abbreviations where these are expanded.) Third is the definition, which gives the meaning of the Akawaio word in English. This meaning may be expressed by one or more equivalent words in English or by phrases that explain or clarify the meaning.
Sometimes an Akawaio word may have more than one meaning. These related meanings are called senses. Multiple senses are introduced by consecutive numbers in bold type, followed by a right parenthesis. If all the senses function as the same part of speech, that designation is given before the first sense number. However, if any of the senses functions differently, then every sense is marked with its own part of speech immediately following the sense number.
There are times when two or more Akawaio words are spelled the same but with unrelated meanings. These are called homonyms. Since they are actually different words, each will occur as a separate entry with a small, lowered number at the end of each headword to distinguish them.
Some entries include one or more example phrases or sentences following the definition. These help to illustrate the meaning and use of the headword in a natural context. Each Akawaio example in blue type is followed by its free translation in English in distinctive black type.
A number of Akawaio words may have one or more alternate pronunciations, as used by different speakers or in different areas. These variant forms are listed in parentheses immediately after the headword in bold blue type, following the abbreviation var:. The variant forms may also be found as minor entries in their respective alphabetised locations. But these merely refer the reader to the main entry where the lexical information is found.
Another type of variation, for the noun class of Akawaio words, is that of the possessed form of a noun. Some Akawaio nouns must always occur in their possessed form, others may never be possessed, and the rest may optionally be possessed or not. A description of noun possession is to be included in an Akawaio grammar sketch that is in preparation. Unfortunately, information on possession has not yet been obtained for all of the nouns in this dictionary, but for those entries where it has been, the possessed form for second person singular (“your …”) is placed in parentheses after the abbreviation poss:, following the headword. Basically, the possessor of a noun is indicated by a preceding possessor noun or by a possessor prefix on the noun. For example, the noun pʉroroi, ‘yard’, may be possessed by a noun, Father pʉrorooi, ‘Father’s yard’ or by a pronominal prefix, ɨpʉrorooi, ‘your yard’. However, many possessed nouns, though not all, require an additional possessive suffix, as in the preceding example. It is the form of these possessive suffixes (and whether or not they are required) that is not predictable for any given noun. It is for this reason that the possessive forms, when known, are being included in their respective dictionary entries. Finally, for those nouns known to never be possessed, that is noted in parentheses at the beginning of the first sense of the entry. A fuller documentation of noun possession remains open to future research.
In some cases, two or more different Akawaio words may share a lexical relation, based on meaning or function. When these relationships have been noted, the related words are cross-referenced to one another. An abbreviation of the label, in italics, for the type of relationship they share is presented following the definition of the headword and any examples that may be given. The related word or words, in bold blue type, then follows the label, separated by a colon. Some common types of these relationships are: synonyms, opposites, part–whole, generic–specific. There are other, less common, relationships as well. For example, the calendar relationship cross-references the names for the days of the week as well as for the seasons of the year. Stages, such as in the ripening of fruit, is referenced by the development relationship. Corresponding forms for direct and indirect address for some of the kinship terms are likewise cross-referenced. In a number of cases, a simple confer label cross-references a word for which the nature of the relationship has not been precisely identified. If a lexical relation applies to the headword without regard to any sense distinctions, the cross-referenced word is presented before any of the senses. If a cross-reference is to a specific sense of another word, that sense number is appended to the cross-referenced word.
In the Akawaio language, there are a substantial number of complex forms: words that are derived from other words, as well as compounds or idiomatic phrases formed from two or more other words. In this dictionary these are usually presented as main entries containing their full lexical information. The word from which they are formed and the type of formation is included in parentheses following the headword. Generally, each complex form is also included as a sub-entry, with limited lexical information, under the entry for the word from which it is formed. This helps to demonstrate the relationship between the two. The sub-entry is formatted like the main entry in which it occurs except that it is indented from the left.
When it has been identified for some plant and animal terms, the scientific name is given, in italics, immediately following the definition.
In a few cases, an entry, especially when it consists of a phrase, will have a meaning that is different from the sum of its parts. Where this has been noted, the literal meaning is given in parentheses after the abbreviation lit: at the end of the entry.
This dictionary also includes a number of affixes as entries. These can be recognised by the hyphen that precedes or follows the “headword”. These are not independent words but rather are joined before (as a prefix) or after (as a suffix) to a suitable independent word and modify that word’s meaning in the way indicated by the explanatory definition.
English-Akawaio Reversal Index
The English-Akawaio reversal index presented here is not intended to be a dictionary. Rather, it is generated from the database of the Akawaio-English dictionary and only includes very basic information. Its purpose is to enable the user to search an index of English glosses that reference one or more related Akawaio entries so that he or she may then find the full dictionary information there in the Akawaio-English dictionary.
In the Browse section, the English gloss is presented in the first column, in black type. Then the related Akawaio word or words are presented in the second column in purple type.
In the Download section, a PDF file which includes this reversal may be accessed. It presents somewhat more information in a limited dictionary-format style. There the English gloss, in bold black type, is given first. Then the headword from the related Akawaio entry is presented in bold blue type. If the English word refers to a specific sense of the Akawaio entry, that sense number follows the Akawaio word. Next the Akawaio part of speech is given in italics, followed by the full English definition as given in the Akawaio entry. When the same English gloss was generated from more than one Akawaio entry, this same basic information is presented for each of those several Akawaio entries in their respective alphabetical order within the English entry. No attempt was made to include the appropriate parts of speech for the English words in this reversal index.