Abbreviations and Key



Sample Entry




SEMANTIC CROSS REFERENCES: ge: Generic, wh: Whole,  syn: Synonym, opp: Opposite, cn: Contrast,   sa: See Also.

DERIVATIONS: rt: Root, st: Stative, ca: Causative,  it: Intransitive, tr: Transitive, ps: Passive, cp: Causative-Passive, sg: Singular, pl: Plural,  rp: Repeated Action, ot: One Time Action,   do: Other Derivatives. (Any derivative followed



Headword.  The headword is the most commonly used form of the word. In this lexicon, alphabetization counts only the initialwconsonant of geminate clusters and the initial vowel in long orwdouble vowels of the same articulation. Thus geminate or double consonants are found in the same place as the single consonants with the same articulation, and long or double vowels are found in the same place as the single vowel of the same articulation.All words beginning with ‘f’ are listed under their alternates in ‘h’.  Forms prefixed with the causative prefix haka- are found under their root unless their definition merits a separate entry. Words that are entered separately under haka- are found listed under their root and followed by a ‘*’.  If a word has different snses that appear to be related, these are entered under one eadword, but with numbered senses.

Alternates.  Alternate forms of the headword are in bold face in parantheses following the headword.

Etymology.  Following the alternate of the headword, the etymology of the headword is listed in parentheses.  This includes the sources for borrowed words, the Sikaiana sources in compound words, and Proto-Polynesian source words.

Sense.  Following the etymology is the numbered sense of meaning of the word in bold type.  Note: unless otherwise stated, notes on usage, semantic cross-references, and derivations apply only to the sense that they are found under.

Grammar.  Following the number of sense, in brackets [ ], is the grammatical classification of the sense of the headword.

English Definition.  Following the grammatical definition is the English definition for the sense of the headword.  The definition may be followed by compounds, short examples, or a sentence to clarify the meaning of the word.  In words for technology or ritual, there is sometimes a brief discussion of cultural context. Idioms are included.  When appropriate a literal translation of the idiom is given followed by a semicolon and then  the figurative translation is given.  All identifications of flora and fauna are tentative.  Sentences used for examples are taken from a variety of sources: texts, conversations, and elicitation.  Quotations taken from songs are marked TS tradi­tional’ and MS ‘modern’.  Following the definition any notes on usage are included in parentheses.

Semantic Cross References.  The definition and usage notes are completed with a period.  Then semantic cross references relevant to the sense of the headword are listed.  All words listed under the semantic cross references are found under a separate entry in the lexicon.

Derivations.  The semantic cross references are completed with a period.  Then follow the various derivatives of the headword. Sometimes a brief English gloss is included..






PPN   Proto-Polynesian  PPN ^word ‘gloss’

Eng   English  root

Mota  Mota    root

Lua   Luaniua  root




n     noun

na    noun, a class, alienable

nao   noun, a and o class: alienable for sponsor, inalienable for benefactor

nf    noun, flora and fauna: if an identification  is especially uncertain a ‘?’ is inserted

no    noun, o class, inalienable

np   noun, a class for human possessor; o class for the whole of which it is part

nq    noun qualifier, adjective

nv    noun and verb, mostly ritual and technology

pln   place name

ps   passive or ©Cia suffixed form, root given in etymology

psn   personal name

    qualifier, modifies noun qualifiers and  verb qualifiers

t/a   tense aspect marker


vi    intransitive verb

vp    semi-transitive verb followed by preposition

vq    verb qualifier, adverb

vs    stative verb, often used as adjectives

vt    transitive verb



Archaic         Older form not known to younger speakers.

CR              Christian Ritual.  A word or meaning introduced  by Christianity.

Demeaning   Usage that is insulting or degrading

Figurative      A meaning that is metaphoric or extended meaning.

MS              Modern Song.  Quotation is taken from a modern guitar song .

PCR       Pre-Christian Ritual.  A ritual that is no longer practiced.

Rare         Speech that is very rare, not recognized by many people, even elder ones.

Recent          A meaning that older Sikaiana people claim is recent

Restricted      Speech referring to sex or defecation that should not be used in formal settings, especially between in-laws or cross-sex siblings.

TS              Traditional Song.  Quotation from a song composed in traditional style.


Semantic Cross References

cn    Contrast: words that have related meanings

ge    Generic: the generic term for the headword,  as in ‘bird’ to ‘seagull’.

opp   Opposite: antonyms, opposites.

sa    See Also

syn   Synonym: words with closely related meanings

wh    Whole: the whole of which the headword is a part, as in ‘house’ to ‘roof beam’.


ca    Causative: haka- prefixed form that is not   transitive

cp    Causative Passive derivative

it    Intransitive derivative

ot    One Time action derivative

pl    Plural subject derivative

ps    Passive or ©Cia affixed derivative

rt    Root of headword

sg    Singular subject derivative

st    Stative derivative

tr    Transitive derivative