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A dictionary of Mwotlap (Banks Is., Vanuatu)
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Mtp–Fr–Eng

Mtp–Eng–Fr

Mtp–Fr

Tea–Eng–Fr

Tea–Eng

mwotlap dictionary
Index d
d[a]hal
damA
damB
dam na-mtehal
dawdaw
day1
day2
d[a]yag
dayday
del
delan̄
deldel
d[e]m̄e
denA
denB
den̄A
den̄B
d[e]n̄eg
den̄hel
den… tiple
d[e]ye~
d{ē}lo~
dēlan̄
dēln̄e~
dēlse~
dēm
dēm liwoA
dēm liwoB
dēm lok
dēm meh
dēm ne-qet
dēm veteg
dēmapA
dēmapB
dēmapC
dēmdēmA
dēmdēmB
dēmdēm hethet
dēn̄1
dēn̄2
dēvet
dēwA
dēwB
d[ē]yē
diAB
didi1
didi2A
didi2B
didin
d[i]lit
din̄
diy1
diy2
dol
dot
doydoy
doydoy goy
1
dōlm̄ele
dōyō
duw1
duw2
d[a]hal  (na-nhal) [nanhal] noun. <Bot> plant name. Pseudoranthemum carruthersii.

[ Mota sasala. ]

dam   [ⁿdam] intransitive verb.

(1) hanging, suspended, typic. in a dropping position.

sal

vēhbeg

Nēk et van a na-qyet a dam tō alge nōk en?
You see those flying fox hanging up there?

Kē n-en hiy hōw nen e n-et hag a l-ēwe tētēnge a dam tō en.
He lay down on the ground and began to observe the fruit hanging from the branches.

(2) long, falling, hanging down the back (like European and Polynesian women's hair).

N-ēlēn na-damdam dēn̄ a na-wut nonon!
Her hair fell all the way down to her backside!

(3) hang on, cling on to something high up (e.g. liana, rope +) to help oneself to move; hence climb (up) or slide down something.

Damdam egal tog van la-gayga agōh!
Try and climb up this rope.

Iqet ni-dam van aē, tō ni-dam, tō ni-dam, tō ni-dam tēqēl hōw lē-vētan.
Ikpwet started to go down, down, down, all the way down (the liana) until he reached the ground.

(4) 'hang on' to s.th in front of oneself, take it as a landmark to move; hence head for (+ locative), follow.

hiy

Tētē nōnōm ma-dam goy na-yn̄ēk.
Your baby hangs on to my legs (he follows me everywhere).

Dam ēgē lē-klek! Dō yow ēagōh!
Quick, follow me [lit. hang on / use my back to take your bearings]! We'll run away!

dam hay
head inland (following a path, footsteps...)
dam   transitive verb.

Syn: tatag

(1) move away, taking ‹s.th› as a landmark; hence follow ‹s.th›; take ‹route, means of transport› to get about.

Vēnvēntey ni-hō ēgēn; ni-dam a na-yo bak e ma-hal tō aē en.
Venventey began to paddle; he got his bearings by following the banyan leaf that he had seen flying in that direction.

dam na-mtehal (yow…)
follow the route (to the beach...)

No ma-dam me na-baklap gōh den Vila.
[lit. I've feen following this boat from Vila] I came from Vila on this cargo boat.

(2) follow in ‹s.o.'s› footsteps, follow ‹s.o.›; hence come with, accompany, join ‹s.o.› in his moves or his activity.

Syn: biyin̄

So ne-welan so ni-van ave e, kē ni-dam kē.
Wherever the chief goes, she follows (She follows the chief wherever he goes).

Ni-siok en, vētmahē aē? Nok so dam kimi!
Is there any room left in the canoe? I want to come with you!

Kēy qētēg laklak ēgēn. Van me, dō dam kēy !
They've just begun dancing. Come on, shall we join them? [lit. shall we follow them?]

Kē et-vanvan te so ni-damdam ige susu so kēy so siseg.
She didn't want to join in on the children's game [lit. follow the children for them to play].

[ Vurës <°dame. Mota diam.  nam̄ehang’. ]

dam na-mtehal  expr. take such and such path, go through (+ loc.).

Dō so dam na-mtehal ale.
We'll take the beach route.

Ba tita mino vasem so nok so dam na-mtehal gēn.
But Mum told me I should come this way [lit. follow this route]
dawdaw  [ⁿdawⁿdaw] intransitive verb. <Ethn> perform a magic dance to put a curse on (s.o. or s.th, hiy).

vēgēl ‘ensorceler’

dawdaw hiy na-sm̄al
dance for rain (to fall)

dawdaw hiy na-naw
dance for the ocean (to bring on a storm)

N-et hewhew ta-dawdaw vēh hiy n-et tegha tō kē ni-mat.
The sorcerer is capable of performing a death dance against someone else, to kill him.
day1   [ⁿdaj] adv. (do V) waiting for ‹s.o, s.th›.

dēyē ‘attendre’

tig day
stand waiting for ‹s.o, s.th›

hag day
sit waiting for ‹s.o, s.th›

en day
lie waiting for ‹s.o, s.th›

tog day

Kem hag day so nō-mōmō so ni-gon lelo qen.
We sit and wait for the fish to get caught in the net.

[ Mota narewait, expect’. ]

day2   (na-day) [naⁿdaj] noun. blood

[ PNCV *daʀa. POc *draʀaq. ]

d[a]yag  (na-nyag) [nanjaɣ] noun. <Bot> wild nutmeg, bsl. Nandae. Myristica fatua.

dayday  [ⁿdajⁿdaj] adv. just in case.

Nok vap dayday ēwē van hiy nēk so kēy tele tit nēk.
It's just to warn you, in case they come and beat you up.
del  [ⁿdɛl] dét. all
delan̄  (ne-delan̄) [nɛⁿdɛlaŋ] noun. <Bot> name of a plant. Pongamia pinnata.

deldel  [ⁿdɛlⁿdɛl] intransitive verb. wander

deldel magaysēn

[ Mota nalnalto go continually about’. PNCV *daligo around’. ]

d[e]m̄e  (na-nm̄e) [nanŋ​͡mʷɛ] noun.

(1) in measuring shell money (nē-sēm), designates the portion which 'hangs' once the main units have been counted.

(2) remainder, supplement: for example, what remains in the basket after having distributed most of its contents.

(3) in numeration, a relating element (nanm̄e*) separating tens from units.

son̄wul tēl nanm̄e vōyō
[three tens supplement two] thirty-two

son̄wul yō nanm̄e aē
a little more than twenty, twenty odd
den   [ⁿdɛn] -. ablative....

So nēk wo ma-van me am̄ag den, itōk ēwē.
If you come earlier, it'd be better.

sili ok lok den na-sam
near the canoe, on the float side
den   conj.
den̄   [ⁿdɛŋ] intransitive verb. ring, resound.
den̄   transitive verb.

Syn: bēl

d[e]n̄eg  [ⁿdɛŋɛɣ] intransitive verb. startle

yow den̄enn̄eg

[ Mota nin̄agbeat upon, ram down, distress, startle’. PNCV *diŋiknock, hit, beat drum’. ]

den̄hel  [ⁿdɛŋhɛl] adv. askew, lopsided.

Na-mtēgtap mi-tig den̄hel, veg ne-len̄wuh mo-lom.
The door is [standing] lopsided, beaten by the storm.
den… tiple  -.

den [B]

d[e]ye~  (na-nye~) [nanjɛ] -.

(1) ‹s.o's› blood.

(2) ‹fruit+› stain.

[ PNCV *daʀa. POc *draʀaqblood’. Cfday. ]

d{ē}lo~  (nē-nlo~) [nɪnlɔ] -. <Anat> neck, throat.

Nēk lep nē-sēm, tō oy van lē-nlē.
Shell money is put around your neck (as a necklace).

No-gom nan, kē ni-tyatyah a lē-nlē.
This illness (throat soreness), hurts the throat.

Kē ni-hēlat nē-nlon.
He cut the other's throat.

[ PNCV *daleʔovoice ; neck, throat’. ]

dēlan̄  (nē-dēlan̄) [nɪⁿdɪlaŋ] noun. <Bot> k.o. tree, unidentified.
dēln̄e~  (nē-dēln̄e~) [nɪⁿdɪlŋɛ] -.

(1) ears.

qoywon ‘sourd’

nē-dēln̄e gōhōw

(2) pectoral fin.

[ PNCV *daliŋa. POc *taliŋa. ]

dēlse~  (nē-dēlse~) [nɪⁿdɪlsɛ] -.

(1) saliva.

ninih ‘crachat’

(2) skin mucus, covering fish scales.

dēm  [ⁿdɪm] transitive verb.

(1) think. Used in numerous phrases designating mental activities or dispositions of the mind.

dēm sosok X
[think look for] think hard in order to remember X

dēm sas X
[think find] remember X

dēm* lok X
[think again] remember X

dēm* veteg X
[think leave] pardon, forget, abandon, drop

dēm* liwo hiy X
[think big] attach a lot of importance to X

dēm lōlhiy
[think following] think of X in detail

dēm vēglal X
[think know] understand X by thinking hard

(2) think that.

Nok dēm so kē ma-mat.
I thought he was dead.

[ Mota nom. PNCV *domithink (about), love’. ]

dēm liwo   [ⁿdɪm liwɔ] intransitive verb. attach great importance (to:[+ Inan.] bE- ; [+ Anim.] hiy).

Ant: dēm su ‘dédaigner’

(1) feel concerned, worried about; be specially interested in the outcome of (s.o., s.th).

dēm meh ‘s'inquiéter’

Tog dēmdēm liwo meh van aē.
Don't attach too much importance, forget about it.

(2) respect, be particularly respectful towards (s.o.).

dēmap

(3) attach a lot of importance (o (oneself): be vain, conceited, pretentious.

Syn: sotel

Syn: waksē

Ant: lep-hiy

Kē ni-dēmdēm liwo meh hiy kē.
He's full of himself.
dēm liwo   transitive verb.

(1) have a high opinion of ‹s.th, s.o.›.

(2) be conceited.

Nēk tog dēmdēm liwo len̄ nēk, ba nēk dēm su nēk.
One must not have too high an opinion of oneself, one has to be modest.
dēm lok  [ⁿdɪm lɔk] transitive verb. keep in mind, remember, recall ‹s.th, s.o.›.

Syn: dēm sas

Ant: lolqōn̄

lo~ [2] ‘mémoire’

Nok dēm lok lepgetō, na-lēk et-qōn̄ qete.
I can still remember, I haven't forgotten.

Kimi dēm lok kē?
Do you remember her?

Nok dēm lok tōqōn̄ anen a dō ma-van tō hōw en.
I recall precisely the day we went for a walk.
dēm meh  [ⁿdɪm mɛh] intransitive verb. be obsessed by an idea, worry, anxious (about, , hiy).

Nēk wo ma-van, ba nitog dēmdēm meh hiy no.
Don't worry too much about me when you leave me.
dēm ne-qet  intransitive verb. silently rehearse the words associated with this dance for men, in order to find the correct rhythm for the footwork.

qet [2]

dēm veteg  [ⁿdɪm βɛtɛɣ] transitive verb. forget ‹s.o, s.th›, on purpose.

(1) forget ‹a worry›, wipe the slate clean over ‹a quarrel› ; purposely forget; hence forgive.

ukēg ‘laisser tomber’

Nēk galeg a so nēk may dēm veteg na-haphap a kē ma-galeg tō van hiy nēk.
You act as though you'd forgiven him for what he did to you.

(2) unintentionally forget, omit.

Syn: lolqōn̄

Syn: yak veteg

Kēy tile dēm veteg qēt na-vap nongēn!
They might forget their language.
dēmap   [ⁿdɪmap] ~ dēm map  transitive verb. respect, have consideration for or fear ‹s.th, s.o.›.

Qiyig gōh, kēy et-dēmap si te na-kastom en.
These days, hardly anyone respects tradition any more.
dēmap   adv. (act) respectfully, with respect.

Ant: vasawyeg

Ant: lege

Nēk so hohole dēmap!
Be more respectful when you talk!
dēmap   (nē-dēmap) noun. respect, part. respect for authority, tradition, elders.

Me gōh, nēk mo-tog leln̄e dēmap tatag van lē-vēnan ige to-M̄otlap.
Here you live in respect for Motalava's tradition.
dēmdēm   [ⁿdɪmⁿdɪm] intransitive verb. think, be pensive (about s.o., hiy); part. worry, care about.

Nēk so dēmdēm hiy na-vap t-am̄ag.
Think about a story.

Ige le-pnō kēy dēmdēm aē ni-lwo.
The villagers have doubts about this, they're very worried.

Nēk tog dēmdēm me hiy no!
Don't worry about me!
dēmdēm   (nē-dēmdēm) noun. idea, thought, reflection.

(1) mind, whereabouts for thinking.

Nē-dēmdēm nonon na-qaqa.
She's mad [lit. her thinking is mad].

Ba nu-vu mal hēw me le-tqan wa lē-dēmdēm nonon.
But the supernatural being had already entered her heart and mind.

(2) idea, content of thought.

Gēn et-ēglal te nē-dēmdēm ne qo, ba…
We don't know what's in a pig's mind [lit. pigs' thoughts], but...

Tō kē me-lep a nē-dēmdēm non imam nonon en.
He applied the exact idea that his father had conceived.

(3) affair, matter, intention, subject of discussion; question, problem.

Nok so vasem te dēmdēm van hiy kē.
I want to discuss something with him [lit. a thought].

Dō hohole lok si tog bē-dēmdēm mino a no ma-van me aē en.
Let's get back to the matter [to the thought] I came here for.

No mal lep nē-dēmdēm a nēk vap me en.
I fully understand what you meant / the problem you're talking to me about.

No ma-van me bē-dēmdēm liwo vitwag.
I came here for an important matter;

(4) sense, significance, meaning; hidden intention, reason, motivation.

Syn: manig

Na-Tmat n-aksok e so kē ni-wuh Iqet e, nē-dēmdēm nan aē: so kē so ni-lwo goy a na-myam kē.
If Satan tried to kill God, it was for a precise reason: he wanted to become master of the world.

No-hohole gōh, nē-dēmdēm nan qele ave?
What's the meaning of that term?

ni-tiy dēmdēm ne gatgat to-M̄otlap
[lit. the true spirit of the language...] the foundation of the mwotlap language (the grammar)
dēmdēm hethet  [ⁿdɪmⁿdɪm hɛthɛt] intransitive verb. think ill of s.o; disapprove s.o's attitude.

Imam m-etsas kamyō e tō kē ni-dēmdēm hethet aē.
My father caught us by surprise, and he disapproved (our relationship).

Ige to-M̄otlap kēy dēmdēm hethet.
Mwotlap people see evil everywhere.
dēn̄1   (nē-dēn̄) [nɪⁿdɪŋ] noun. semi-mat

tamn̄a

[ Mota non̄. PNCV *doŋicoconut leaf mat’. ]

dēn̄2   [ⁿdɪŋ] transitive verb. reach

Bulsal! Nēk mē-dēn̄!
So you've arrived, my friend!

[ Mota <°diŋa.  nin̄a. ]

dēvet  (nē-dēvet) [nɪⁿdɪβɛt] noun. <Bot> wild_yamDioscorea bulbifera.

dēw   [ⁿdɪw] adj.

Ant: momya

(1) heavy, ponderous.

Nē-dēw meh!
It's too heavy!

(2) causing a feeling of fatigue or numbness, similar to the effects of carrying a heavy weight.

Nēk yon̄teg na-taybē ni-dēw aē, tō nēk mitiy galsi an̄qōn̄.
⟨narcotic effects of kava⟩ You feel your body becoming heavy, which allows you to sleep well at night.

(3) (metph) inspiring awe and respect, espec. in relation with traditional society; hence imposing, grave, serious, solemn.

Syn: map

Ige m̄ōlm̄ōl van la-halgoy a kem et-lēs tamat qete: nē-dēw mi kemem, kem nē-dēmap so kem so hayveg van.
When men used to gather together in their secret societies, we the non-initiated, were quite impressed [lit. it was 'heavy' for us], we felt too much awe to join them.

(4) ⟨topic, story+⟩  important, major, serious; of outstanding social or symbolical significance.

Nē-dēmdēm nan nē-dēw a nē-dēw.
This is a very important issue.

Na-kaka t-am̄ag gōh nē-dēw lē-vēnangēn.
This myth is a major one in our culture.

(5) ⟨artwork, style+⟩  of great aesthetic value, of impressive beauty (vs. momya ‘lightweight, careless, slapdash’): hence grand, superb, awesome, magnificent, elegant, noble.

Nok so mōk na-plakas van l-eh so kē n-ak dēw na-he.
I wanted to add a few nice turns to the poem in order to make this ode even more majestic. [lit. even 'heavier']

(6) accomplished, refined, tasteful, elaborate; artfully performed.

Ige lōmlōmgep nen kēy laklak namuy en, et-dēw galsi te.
These young people have a way of dancing that is not very graceful. [lit. not very 'heavy']

(7) ⟨word, phrase⟩  well said, elegant, recherché; of a formal style, imbued with respect (vs. vasawyeg ‘informal, casual’); hence idiomatic, proper.

mutuw ‘idiomatique’

“Heleg” nē-dēw veteg “vēlēs”.
Heleg” is a more formal word than “vēlēs”.

Itōk, ba et-dēw galsi te.
(This sentence) is correct, but it's not very idiomatic [lit. not heavy enough]
dēw   (dēwdēw) adv. ⟨sit+⟩  lit. “heavily” : in a stable or firm manner.

Na-magtō en ni-hag dēwdēw hōw kōyō.
The old woman made them sit down firmly.
d[ē]yē  [ⁿdɪjɪ] transitive verb. await ; wait
di   [ⁿdi] transitive verb. <Pêche>

(1) bang, slap, burst out, make a slapping sound, espec. caused by a shock on a hard surface.

Nok en hōw e, nok yon̄yon̄teg na-naw ni-didi.
Lying on the ground, I listen to waves breaking (on the rocks).

(2) produce a clapping noise, by hitting a hard surface repeatedly.

Kēy didi mi na-yn̄oy.
They produce slapping sounds (on the water) with their legs.

(3) produce a slapping sound by hitting the surface of the water with the palm of one's hand.

Syn: wosdi

Kimi lōqōvēn, di hōw ! Di tō n-ēg ni-hay la-hay !
Come on, ladies, slap the water! Slap the water so that the fish swim towards the fishing net!

(4) play music with a music board (cf. below) to accompany dancingstrike ‹the music board› using long poles, to beat the rhythm of the dance (cf. waha)..

Kem tig ketket: n-eh ni-qtēg, tō kem di ēgēn.
We stand up, and the moment the singing begins, we start hitting the board.

Yatkelgi mey a nē-tēy nē-qēt-didi en, kēy didi hōw na-qyēn̄ malbuy.
All those who hold rhythmic poles play the music board.
didi1   (ni-didi) [niⁿdiⁿdi] noun. <Ins> tiny red, non-poisonous ant.

[ Mota niniu. PNCV *duduired ant’. POc *dui. ]

didi2   [ⁿdiⁿdi] intransitive verb. reduplicated form of di ‘clicking'.

di

didi2   (ni-didi) noun. <Mus>

(1) beating, tapping.

(2) rhythm beaten on a musical board.

di

Kimi vatne n-eh vēlēs, siso ni-didi nan se?
Do you just learn the words of the song, or do you also learn how to play its music [its rhythm]
didin  (ni-didin) [niⁿdiⁿdin] noun.

(1) partition inside a house, trad. made of bamboo (ni-vinhe), separating the area into several rooms (opp. nē-bēyih, external wall).

din ‘emmurer’

(2) partition inside modern homes.

d[i]lit  (na-nlit) [nanlit] noun. <Pois> Caranx ignobilis.

tokel

din̄  [ⁿdiŋ] transitive verb. rattle

din̄din̄ le-mtēgtap
knock at the door

[ Mota nin̄to rattle, tap, rap; to ring’. PNCV *diŋiknock, hit, beat drum’. ]

diy1   [ⁿdij] transitive verb. throw ‹marble, cauri›, esp. in a game of marbles (belebiy) or a game of cauri shells (tōqōl).

Kē mi-diy mat nō-wōqōl hohole mino.
He played-killed (cf. "hit and sink") my talking cauri! (i.e. he succeeded in touching my marble, so I must keep quiet now)
diy2   (°na-diy) [naⁿdij] noun. <Zool> coconut crab, a shellfish whose fine flesh is highly prized, for which the Banks-torres Islands are famous. Birgus latro.

[ Mota <°daˈuru. PNCV naer.  *daweʀu. ]

dol  [ⁿdɔl] transitive verb. swallow.

Nēk dol qiyig mey geh anen !
Swallow it all up (medecine)!

Tēytēybē kē n-in nē-bē ba kē et-dol tēqēl te.
The healer drinks water without swallowing it.

[ PNCV *dolo-mi. ]

dot  (no-dot) [nɔⁿdɔt] noun. <Bot> name of a plant. Excoecaria agallocha.

doydoy  [ⁿdɔjⁿdɔj] intransitive verb. make a clinking noise; click, clink, resound.

Welan, nē-lēw ni-doydoy a le-mnē.
Big chief, his ivory bracelets clinking all along his arm.
doydoy goy  transitive verb. resound, ring out, echo.

doydoy

Ne-vet ni-doydoy goy na-pnō.
The rocks (slapped by the waves) echo throughout the island.
1   (nō-dō) [nʊⁿdʊ] noun.

dōlm̄ele  (nō-dōlm̄ele) [nʊⁿdʊlŋ​͡mʷɛlɛ] noun. <Bot> water yam. Dioscorea alata.

dōyō  [ⁿdʊjʊ] ~ ~   pp. the two of us, ie. you & me; 1inc Dual.

[ PNCV <°da-rúa.  *kida-ruanous deux’. ]

duw1   (°na-duw) [naⁿduw] noun. <Pois> "Two spine angelfish". Centropyge bispinosus.

duw2   (nu-duw) [nuⁿduw] noun. <Bot> name of a plant. Diospyros samoensis.

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