Amis and English/Lexical Selection

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Example 1

The Amis verb ramaʼ can mean to be unhappy and cry from an unstable situation or it can mean to be tired. Although in English both of these meanings might be applied to something conscious, such as a child, the ramaʼ would not be translated as to be unhappy when being used for a hand.

  • Marama' ko wawa. --> The child is unhappy.
  • Marama' ko kamay ako. --> My hand is tired (from holding something so long).

Example 2

The Amis verb kemo can mean to hit squarely or to fall from a high place. As shown below, when kemo exists in conjunction with a noun like folohang which means chest, the verb takes on the first meaning.

  • Pakemo han nira ko falohang ako. --> He hit me squarely in the chest.
  • Makemo ko tamdaw. --> A man fell from above.