A dictionary of Teanu (Vanikoro, Solomon Islands)
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teanu dictionary
Index v
vebe mata diro
vese ma
vese ngele
vese piene
~vesu bavede
~vete piene
~vi nuduro
vilo peini melevele
vioe die
vioe peini revo
viñe anuele
viñe basa
~vo mwa tanoe
voko mwaele
voro beve
voro menuko
voro moloe
va  [fa] -.
vabasa  [faᵐbasa] -.
~vagasi  [(i·)vaᵑgasi] transitive verb. reach

(1) ⦗+location⦘ go as far as ‹specific location›, reach.

U-katau anoko u-vene u-le amjaka, u-vagasi pongo gilita.
Just follow the road a little further up, and you'll reach the top of the hill.

(2) ⦗serialised after motion vb⦘ go and reach ‹somewhere›; hence all the way to ‹a place›.

Li-koioi li-su buluko ka li-koie li-vagasi ta-koie.
They lit torchlights and led them in, until they reached (the village) inland.

Ero i-pu i-abu i-vagasi revo.
The river flows down to [lit. reaches] the sea.

(3) ⦗+time⦘ (do) until ‹specific moment›. Synt.. Impersonal construction, always with 3s prefix i-.

Syn: ra

Ba-mako ra i-vagasi vono i-sodo.
You danced together until dawn!

Voko i-te ponu ra ka i-vagasi nanana.
The stone has been there until this day.

(4) reach, come to meet ‹s.o.›; meet.

Keba kape ba-vagas' eo Ostrelia.
We will come to (visit) you in Australia.

Mamote ni-vagasi Ezzy tae.
I haven't met Ezzy yet.

(5) ⟨sickness+⟩  affect ‹s.o.›.

Emel' enone malaria i-vagasi.
My wife has malaria. [lit. malaria has caught her]
~vai  [(i·)vai] transitive verb. bake ‹food›, cook in the stone oven (awene).

Li-vai uo
bake yams
vaiene  [faiene] -.
vakaboro1   [fakaᵐboro] noun. <Ornith> White-rumped Swiftlet. Aerodramus spodiopygius.

vakaboro2   [fakaᵐboro] noun. <Bot> k.o. creeper, unidentified.

vakaero  [fakaero] -.
~valangia  [(i·)valaŋia] transitive verb. carry ‹burden› on o.'s shoulder using a stick.


Pi-valangia nganae aipa ponu?
What are you guys carrying (on your sticks)?
vana  [fana] -.
vangana  [faŋana] -.
vao   [fao] adjective.

(1) ⟨animal⟩  wild (opp. tame).

Vao, we pe li-womanga?
Is it wild, or tame?

(2) ⟨plant⟩  wild, growing in the bush (opp. cultivated).

matamulue vao
wild variety of matamulue plant
vao   noun.

(1) wild pig.

(2) (gen) pig.

Syn: poi

vao  [fao] -.
vasango  [fasaŋo] -.
ve  [fe] -.
~ve1   [(i·)ve] int. interrogative verb enquiring about a whole situation. Contrary to ~mikae* ‘do what’ and ~kae* ‘do how’ which both take a personal subject, ~ve always takes a (semantically impersonal) 3sg subject i-. The surface form is therefore always ive (for i-ve).

(1) ⦗main predicate⦘ what happens? what's up? how's things?.

Eo pon, i-ve?
[lit. as for you, how's things?] What's up with you?

I-ve? Ba-romo kupa wako we tamwaliko?
Now what? Do you like us or not?

Aia kape i-ka ne! – Ka i-ve?
Your father's coming! – So what?!

(2) ⦗in hesitation⦘ what? Used when the speaker looks for his words to describe a whole event.

Li-ka ponu, li-ko (ive?) li-wokobe da.
So they all came in order to… (to do what again?) …to welcome them.

(3) ⦗foll. another verb⦘ be why?.

Syn: pe i-kae

A-kai lusa ene na (pe) i-ve?
But why did you tear my shirt?
~ve2   [(i·)ve] intransitive verb. give birth.

Ka i-ve?
Has she given birth already?
~ve2   transitive verb.

(1) ⟨female animal, woman⟩  lay ‹egg›, give birth to ‹offspring›.

Kulevelu ponu i-ovei pe i-ve waluluo ini moro abia na.
This hen is able to lay eggs every day.

Ne metele tilu-tae kape i-ve menu.
She will give birth in August.

(2) ⟨man, woman⟩  beget, be parent of ‹s.o.›.

Da ka lai-ve menu?
Do they already have a child?
vebe  [feᵐbe] noun. <Bot> cutnut, bush nut (Lecythidaceae). Barringtonia edulis.

li-ta vebe
split a ‘cutnut’

Dapa pe li-anu kava, li-e vebe ñe ponu, me kape ije dapa memia etapu.
Kava drinkers eat cutnut right after it, to take away the bitter taste.
vebe mata diro  -. lit. “arrow-tip vebe” : k.o. cutnut, whose elongated fruit reminds of an arrow tip.


vede  [feⁿde] noun. <Bot> k.o. pandanus, the leaves of which cannot be woven (vs kie ~ woubo). Pandanus spp.

Lekele i-nge ua vede.
Flying-foxes chew fruits of pandanus.

[ POc *padran. ]

~vei  [(i·)vei] transitive verb. weave.

li-vei bete
weave a mat

Li-vei (uie) kie / (uie) woubo.
weave pandanus leaves

Dapa noma, li-ovei pe li-loko uie woubo pe le-vei bavede peini.
People before used to weave sails out of pandanus leaves.
veiebe  [feieᵐbe] noun. <Bot> k.o. creeper. Merremia peltata.

veiko  [feiko] -.
vekai  [fekai] noun. k.o. pudding made of taros (jebute) and almonds (vongoro), always presented in a long shape, and served on long Heliconia leaves (lukilo vekai) during public celebrations.


Li-apilo vekai wamtaka, biouro iape nga ne!
They made small puddings, but still they were as long as this!
vele  [fele] -.
velei  [felei] -.
velesebe  [feleseᵐbe] -.
velia  [felia] -.
veluko  [feluko] -.
ven  [fen] -.
vene  [fene] -.
vengela  [feŋela] -.
vese  [fese] noun. bit, element of.


vese ma  -. <Anat> lit. “element of arm” : elbow.


vese ngele  -. <Anat> nose, snout.


vesengele pwoi
pig's snout
vese piene  -. lit. “bits of speech” : word.



vesengele  [feseŋele] -.
vesepiene  [fesepiene] noun. lit. “bits of speech” : word.

piene ‘speech’

Piene adapa Teanu, ia vesepiene pe noma.
This is Teanu language, but with some archaic words.

Vesepiene iune, i-vete ngatene tilu.
⟨polysemy⟩ It is the same word, but with two distinct meanings.
~vesu   [(i·)vesu] voi. Causative counterpart of ~vene ‘go up’, hence raise, put up ‹›.

(1) erect, put up, stand up ‹› vertically.

~vo [2]


Li-vesu wolowolo
erect a cross

Li-vesu blateno i-vio.
They erected the ritual pole.

Li-vesu moe.
erect a house

Li-nabe na ini wako, li-vesu iuro.
Once we've marked the site (of the house), we stand up the pillars.

(2) perform (?) ‹dances+›.

I-ko kape le-vesu makone, ngapiene.
He wanted people to perform dances, to hold a dancing festival.
~vesu   intransitive verb.

(1) ⟨⟩  rise, go up.

Basa i-abu i-ka mijaka, i-ka i-vesu.
The hill goes down a little bit, and then rises again.

(2) ⟨s.o.⟩  sail.

Nga ne tomoro nga le-romo ngiro wako, le-vesu i-katau.
If they found the wind to be fine, they would sail along.
~vesu bavede  -. lit. “hoist the sail” : sail, go sailing, travel on sailing boat.

~vesu [A]


Dapa noma, li-ovei pe li-vesu bavede.
Our ancestors used to sail. [lit. to hoist the sail]

Basavono na ka tae, ka li-vesu bavede ñe kuo nga noma tae.
Nowadays it's over: people don't sail any more like they used to.
vete  [fete] -.
~vete  [(i·)vete] transitive verb. say

(1) ⦗+object NP or direct speech⦘ tell, say, declare ‹›.

Pi' one i-vete tae.
My grandfather never told me.

Pon i-vete (i-ko) “Wako!”
So he said “That's fine!”

(2) mention ‹s.o.,›, talk about.

Na tepakola pe li-vete na?
Is this the giant whom people keep talking about?

Iote pe eo a-vete ponu, i-wene ne moe 'none.
The one you were mentioning is in my home.

Ka ni-mui pe ni-vete temotu aplaka.
I forgot to mention the small islet.

(3) ⟨word+⟩  mean ‹›.

Vesepiene iune, i-vete ngatene tilu.
⟨polysemy⟩ It is the same word, but with two distinct meanings. [lit. it says two things]

(4) give away ‹s.o.›, denounce publicly.

U-vet' ene etapu!
Don't give me away!

(5) ⟨chief⟩  call, convene ‹event, meeting+›.

Teliki iadapa i-vete ngapiene.
The chief proclaimed the opening of the Festival.
~vete piene  [(i·)vete piene] voi.

(1) lit. “say words” : talk, speak, communicate.

Syn: ~mo

Li-vet' piene ñe ma dapa.
They talk with their hands.

Ini i-vete piene wako se idi abia.
She talks easily to everybody.

(2) talk about (, ñe), mention.

Ngatene pon etapu tamwase pe li-vet' pien' ñi.
This topic is very delicate to talk about.

(3) speak (a language, ñe).

Ini i-ovei pe i-vete piene ñe piene adapa Teanu.
He can speak Teanu.

Li-vete piene ñi i-aiae, ia li-lengi wako.
They speak (that language) with difficulty, but they understand it well.
veve  [feve] noun. <Bot> k.o. plant whose leaves are traditionally used for wrapping food.

vewo  [fewo] noun. <Bot> Polynesian chestnut. Inocarpus fagifer.

utele vewo pine ponu
at the base of that big chestnut tree over there
vi  [fi] -.
~vi1   [(i·)vi] transitive verb. <Mus> blow

(1) ⟨wind, s.o.⟩  blow gently onto ‹, s.o.›.

~aka ‘blow strongly’

Ngiro i-vi idi.
The wind is blowing gently on us (like a breeze).

(2) (esp) blow into ‹wind instrument+› to play music.

Li-vi jokoro.
They're playing [bamboo] panpipes.

jokoro pe li-vi
flute, panpipe
~vi2   [(i·)vi] transitive verb.

i-vi nuduro
(engagement to a girl...)
~vi nuduro  -. lit. “attach a taboo-leaf” : reserve (, s.o.: se) for oneself; hence get engaged to (s.o.).

Mwatagete iote ka i-vi nuduro se.
She's already engaged to someone. [lit. A boy has already put up a taboo on her]
via  [fia] -.
viabasa  [fiaᵐbasa] -.
~viaene  [(i·)viaene] ~ ~viane  transitive verb.

(1) ⟨s.o.⟩  trample, hit ‹› noisily or violently with o.'s feet.

Li-viane tepapa me aña ini.
They jump on the (dancing) boards for the sound it makes.

(2) ⟨s.o.⟩  stumble upon ‹› with o.'s feet; hence slip, fall.

Syn: ~tabau

Netebe pon, nara u-viane!
This is mud here, make sure you don't stumble!

(3) ⟨⟩  trip ‹s.o.› up.

Vilo i-viane ale ene.
[a plant hit my foot] I banged my foot on a tree.

(4) (fig) ⟨food plants⟩  be so plentiful as to trip ‹their owner› up in their garden. Proverbial saying referring to s.o.'s economic prosperity. The grammatical subject, usually utele ‘root, plant’, is sometimes omitted.

Utele i-vian' eo?
⟨prov⟩ Are you so prosperous? [lit. do roots trip you up?]

A-viñi dapa a-ko le-ka pe i-vian' eo?
⟨elliptical⟩ You invited them (for a meal): is it because you are rich? [lit. because it trips you up]

(5) ⟨⟩  hit ‹s.o.›, touch, esp. with some physical impact.

(6) (fig) ⟨event+⟩  reach ‹a certain moment›; last ‹a certain time›.

I-viane bwogo tili.
(the festival) reached the fifth day.

(7) ⟨event+⟩  become suddenly known to ‹s.o.›, with some emotional impact; hence affect, disturb, move, catch by surprise.

Buro i-viane dapa ka li-le.
[a song hit them as they went] As they walked, they were suddenly moved by a (beautiful) song.

(8) (comm) awa* ‘neck > will’⟩  lit. “my desire hits” : like ‹s.o.,›; want, desire ‹s.o.,›.

Awa ene i-viaene imaluo iape.
I like her character.

Awa ene i-viane tamwase!
I absolutely love it!

(9) ⦗foll. by ~ko3awa* ‘neck > will’⟩  want to do; want that.

Awa kupa i-viane pi-ko u-le u-romo tadoe akapa.
[our neck/will hits that you go see…] We'd like you to go and meet our god.

(10) (rare) ⟨s.o.⟩  want, desire..

mwaliko pe i-viane da-viñevi tamwase
a man who loves woman too much
viane  [fiane] -.
viapwene  [fiapʷene] noun. <Bot> k.o. reed. Miscanthus floridulus. ◈ Etym.. ‘large feathers’ (?)

vidi  [fiⁿdi] -.
vidiko  [fiⁿdiko] noun, obligatorily possessed. <Anat> ⟨hum⟩  finger.
viji  [fiᶮɟi] -.
viko  [fiko] -.
vili1   [fili] noun. <Ornith> lorikeet

(1) Palm Lorikeet. Charmosyna palmarum.

(2) Rainbow Lorikeet. Trichoglossus haematodus.

~vili2   [(i·)vili] transitive verb. squeeze, press ‹›.

U-la manave awoiu u-vili.
⟨kava⟩ You take a piece of coconut fibre, and squeeze (the kava).
vilimoe  [filimoe] -.
vilisao  [filisao] ~ vilsao  np. tornado.

apono ‘hurricane’

Vilisao tilu: iote bworo, iote koro.
Suddenly there were two tornados: one was dark, one was white.
vilisi  [filisi] -.
vilitoe  [filitoe] -.
vilo  [filo] -.
vilo peini melevele  -. lit. “plant for disaster” : ‘famine food’: plant which is not ordinarily used as a staple, yet which is known to be edible enough to be consumed in case of crop shortage or disaster.
vilsao  [filsao] -.
~vilu  [(i·)vilu] intransitive verb. wander
vinoe  [finoe] noun. <Bot> k.o. tree, unidentified.

vio  [fio] -.
vioe  [fioe] noun. <Bot> giant taro, elephant-ear taro. Alocasia macrorrhiza.

Pe na vioe tae, jebute.
This is not Alocasia, this is Colocasia taro.

[ POc *piRaq. ]

vioe die  [fioe ⁿdie] ~ die vioe  noun. <Bot> lit. “sucker of giant-taro” : Hong-Kong taro, bush taro, hill taro. Xanthosoma sagittifolium.
vioe peini revo  [fioe peini revo] noun. lit. “taro of the sea” : sea foam.

vilisa revo ‘sea spray’

viri  [firi] -.
viro  [firo] noun. <Bot> fan palm. Licuala spp.

[ POc *piRu. ]

visiboko  [fisiᵐboko] noun. stones used in the traditional oven (awene) for cooking and baking food.

voko ‘stone’

Li-avi visiboko ñe aviro.
You remove the oven stones with the tongs.
visone  [fisone] -.
vitoko  [fitoko] -.
vivilo  [fivilo] noun. <Bot> swamp taro. Cyrtosperma chamissonis.

Vivilo li-teli ne netebe.
Swamp taros are planted in swamps.
viñ'  [fiɲ'] -.
viñe   [fiɲe] noun, obligatorily possessed.

(1) hard shell of ‹animal+›.

viñe anuele
turtle shell

(2) hard shell used as a container; hence container.

viñe teipu
a coconut shell (used as a container, e.g. to drink kava)
viñe   adjective. empty.

Ant: ~lipu

viñe anuele  -. turtle shell, often cut into various ornaments.
viñe basa  -. <Anat> ⟨man+⟩  lit. “head shell” : skull, cranium.
viñevi  [fiɲevi] -.
viñi  [fiɲi] -.
vo  [fo] -.
~vo1   [(i·)vo] transitive verb.

(1) pound, beat* ‹›, esp. with long and heavy stick.


(2) (esp) grind, crush ‹nuts+›.

li-vo vongoro
to crush canarium almonds
~vo2   [(i·)vo] voi.

(1) ‘hit’, reach the limits of ‹a place›; hence fill ‹a place›, take up ‹room›.

None ka i-vo sa eo?
Has your meal filled up your tummy? (i.e. are you full?)
~vo3   [(i·)vo] transitive verb.

(1) (rare) tie ‹›, fasten with rope.

Kape li-odo tenuro me le-vo ñe nengele kuo korone.
Then we find a rope and fasten tight the canoe's elements.

(2) put up, erect ‹›, with or without usage of rope.

Syn: ~vesu

Syn: ~woi

Li-vo aero i-dai.
They have erected a fence around it.

(3) (esp) build ‹house›.

I-waivo idi pe li-vo mwoe.
She taught people how to build houses.
~vo4   [(i·)vo] transitive verb. plant ‹banana›.

~do [1]

udo pe li-vo
⟨type of banana⟩ planted bananas
~vo mwa tanoe  -. ⟨taro⟩  lit. “hit edge of pit›” : grow large enough to reach the edge of the taro pit (mwa tanoe) in the garden; hence grow big.

~vo [2]

vodo  [foⁿdo] -.
voko  [foko] -.
voko mwaele  -. lit. “yellow stone” : yellow stone (sulphur ?) used as dye.

vokoiu  [fokoiu] -.
vongo  [foŋo] -.
~vongo  [(i·)voŋo] intransitive verb.

(1) ⟨s.o.⟩  eat, have a meal.

~e ‘eat’

Li-anu kava awoiu, ka li-vongo viri.
They first drank kava, and then had their meal.

Li-atevo iepiene pe noma, li-oburo, li-vongo ka li-mokoiu.
We tell old stories, we sing, we eat and then we go to sleep.

(2) ⟨⟩  be burning, burn; perish in fire.

~su [1] ‘burn’

Moe enone i-vongo ne iawo.
My house perished in the fire.

Kuo enone i-vongo.
My canoe was burnt!

[ POc *paŋan. ]

vongoro  [foŋoro] noun. <Bot> canarium tree, canarium almond. Canarium indicum.

li-bi vongoro
collect canarium almonds

li-vo vongoro
to crush canarium almonds

iunubo vongoro
basketful of almonds

Li-wete jebute li-wete vongoro awoiu pon, li-ejau mama.
We mash taros, we crush almonds, and make the mama pudding.

[ POc *[ka]ŋaRi. ]

vonila  [fonila] -.
vono1   [fono] noun. a generic term referring to space.

temaka ‘place’

(1) ⦗subject of impersonal predicates⦘ the universe, atmosphere, insofar as it is subject to the diurnal cycle. The phrase von' i-la ‘it is dusk’ has been contracted into vonila ‘evening’.

vono i-sodo
it is dawn

vono ka-ila
it is dusk

(2) (rare) the world, universe. Neither vono or lovia vono are used as the normal word to designate the present world.


ne lovia* vono iote
in the Other World

(3) ⦗+placename⦘ district, limited area around a certain village.

kulumoe ‘village’

aero ‘district’

Kula ka i-ka se vono Lale, Ngama, Vono.
Some people (from Paiu) had moved to the areas of Lale, Ngama and Vono.

[ POc *panua. ]

voro1   [foro] noun. <Bot> Sea Hibiscus. Hibiscus tiliaceus.

tawo ‘Hibiscus rosa-sinensis’

mana voro
hibiscus flower
voro2   [foro] noun. <Fish> (gen) ray, stingray. Rajiformes spp.
voro beve  -. lit. “white sea-hibiscus” : variety with flowers of a light yellow colour.
voro menuko  -. <Fish> lit. “bird-like ray” : Devil ray. Mobula sp..
voro moloe  -. lit. “red sea-hibiscus” : variety with reddish flowers.
votei  [fotei] -.
votobo  [fotoᵐbo] -.
votoko  [fotoko] -.
vovo  [fovo] noun. <Bot> Twin apple, a tree (Apocynaceae). Neisosperma oppositifolium.

[ See PROc *vaRo. ]

vovoie  [fovoie] noun. <Fish> Manta ray. Manta birostris.

voro [2] ‘stingray’

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