Tiwi and English/Lexical selection

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Tiw → Eng

Case 1

mwarlinjangi → caterpillar, Milky Way

Example sentences:

Tiwi Sentence English Translation
Mwarlinjangini arikulani. Milky Way is big.
Mwarlinjangini yirrima. Caterpillar flies.


Generalization for how to decide which translation is right:

  • caterpillar is generally a more common word in English and can be used with action verbs while Milky Way cannot

Case 2

milawiyini → sun ray, paperbark

Example sentences:

Tiwi Sentence English Translation
apakupunarligi milawiyini. He is causing the rays to sink.
Ngampamirali milawiyini ngawa ngarikirimi yikwani. We light the paperbark to make a fire.

Generalization for how to decide which translation is right:

  • If it co-occurs with the verb amirali ("to light") it should translate to paperbark. Otherwise, it probably means sun rays.