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. Because we could think of more instances where caterpillar could be used rather than Milky Way, we set Milky Way as the default and added rules for when the word can be translated as caterpillar

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.