Online dictionaries

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A dictionary of Teanu  (Vanikoro, Solomon islands)

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Welcome to the 2020 online version of my Teanu – English dictionary!


Teanu (a.k.a. Puma or Buma) is an Oceanic language spoken on the island of Vanikoro, in the province of Temotu, on the eastern tip of the Solomon Islands. With about 800 speakers, it is the largest language spoken on the island: it has now replaced the two other languages Lovono and Tanema, which are only remembered by a handful of elders.

I am proposing here the first dictionary ever published of Teanu – including lexical data from the highly endangered languages Lovono and Tanema.

A dictionary of Teanu

This dictionary of Vanikoro languages focuses on the main language Teanu, yet includes also data from the two endangered languages Lovono and Tanema. Its 1520 headwords (1300 entries, 220 subentries) take their source in my field notes and text corpora, collected during my short time working in Vanikoro. The dictionary features a total of 2360 definitions, bearing witness to the rich polysemies of Teanu words.

As of May 2020, I have incorporated about 90% of my data into this lexical resource. Given more time, I should finish adding data from two more field notebooks on Teanu. But this online version already provides the essential of my observations from the field.

These few snapshots provide an overview of how lexical entries are presented in the dictionary:


Technical note

I write the contents of this dictionary using the free software Toolbox. I regularly convert my Toolbox files to XML, using a Python script written (initially for my Mwotlap dictionary) by two IT engineers – respectively Céline Buret for Pylmflib, and Benjamin Galliot for Lexika – (with the support of LabEx EFL in 2016 and 2017). Clément Plancq (Lattice-CNRS) wrote the script for the search engine. I personally contribute to all segments of the chain: Lex, Python, Xml, Xslt, Js, Css, Html.