l-1 subject prefix
variant of 3rd plural irrealis prefix le-, elided before a vowel
Kape le-kotu le-le l-opogo l-abu le-vio ne ero waini.We'll run and jump down into the river.
~l’2 verb, intransitive
variant form of ~le ‘go’, elided before vowel
main entry~le
~la1 (i·)la verb, transitive
take ‹one thing› (vs. ~loko, ‘take several things’)
1take ‹s.th.› physically, grab, carry
Leka, kape u-la ngatene u-mini susuko tae. Kape u-la u-teli, ka ini ka i-la.As for your (opp.-sex) cross-cousin, you cannot give her anything directly. You just put it down, and she'll pick it up.
I-ko i-la abo ne kaipa i-ko i-romo abo i-ko pi-tavie we tae.He wants to draw [lit. take] your blood and examine it to see if you are sick.
see lexical list at~labu
2espoften first verb in serialisationtake ‹s.th.› in order to use or move it. Serves to introduce a new participant in a situation, often an instrument or a theme, even when no actual ‘grabbing’ event is referred to.
Abu u-la kangele teuko u-kamai![take a fishhook and bring it] Please bring a fish-hook!
Li-la ruene li-tabo li-bono.[they ‘take’ the door and shut it] They shut the door again.
U-la teili u-bi ñ‘ eo.Just take a fan and fan yourself.
Ai' iape kape i-la men' iape i-koioi ne Toplau.The father would introduce his son into the Men's House [lit. would ‘take’ his son and introduce him].
derivative~la ~minigive
derivative~la ~teliput down
~la ~lui verb, transitive
take carry-awaytake ‹s.th.› away
main entry~lui
3switch-subject serialisationforms causative constructions with motion or posture verbs
li-la i-avo → ~laiavo[they take it hangs] they hang s.th.
li-la i-abu[they take it goes down] they put s.th. down
li-la i-koie[they take it enters] they put s.th. in
Vilo pe i-bu, ni-la enga ene i-wene ñei.I left my name on a dead tree. [lit. I ‘took’ my names it was left there]
Nobwogo miko i-la i-wai moe ne.Last night [an earthquake ‘took’ and shook this house] this house was shaken by an earthquake.
4give ‹s.th.›
U-la i-ka kiane![take it it comes quickly] Give it to me, quick!
Program kula idi li-la moli.Some software programs are free [lit. people take/give them unconstrained].
Taluaito i-la ero ie menu apilaka.The doctor gave medicine to the little child [lit. he took/gave the child's water].
📘 Usually followed by ~mini* to introduce the recipient.
derivative~la ~minigive ‹s.th.› to s.o.
5figtake ‹s.th. abstract›, keep
Ni-la piene ono.I'm recording [taking] your language.
6s.o.understand ‹s.o., s.th.›
Ka ni-la awa eo.[I took your mind] I understand what you mean.
Ai-la ene?[did you take me?] Did you get my point?
Bwara ni-la eo susuko tae.Maybe I didn't understand you properly.
7actionrequire, take ‹amount of time›
I-la wik iune!It takes a whole week!
Li-bo kuo votobo pe i-la moro tete we teva.Making a canoe can take up to three or four days.
8do, make. Combines with certain objects, to form semantically non-compositional phrases
~la ngatene ‘take things’ = work
Nganae pe kape le-la tae.They don't need to work. [lit. there isn't anything they have to ‘take’]
~la aele verb-object idiom
take legstake a number of steps
I-la aele wa-tuo.He took six steps.
~la2 (i·)la verb, intransitive
Cf. (?) ~la ①
weather, vono ②become dusk; hence ‹day› come to an end
Vono ka i-la.It was already dusk.
antonym~sodobe dawn
la-3 la lai- subject prefix
Lvnla- / sa-
Tnmla- / ja- / de-
dual subject prefix, realis or irrealis, for “Collocutive”: 1st inclusive and 3rd person
📘 The prefix surfaces as lai- before certain monosyllabic verbs (e.g. ~ko ② ⓐ > la-ko/lai-ko, ~la ① > la-la/lai-la) but not others (e.g. ~ka ③ ⓐ > la-ka/*lai-ka, ~le ② ⓐ > la-le/*lai-le).
1you and I: 1st inclusive dual subject
2they two: 3rd dual subject
laba luro laᵐba.luro noun, relational
Lvnlaba vedue
Tnmaba vadua
(?) + luro ‘coconut’
coconut skirt: cloth-like fibrous material at the base of the coconut tree
labaro laᵐbaro noun
1husk of a coconut; esp. coir fibers in the husk
Li-mali iawo ne lema awene pwo, semame añaña longe me labaro.You light a fire down in the oven, with small firewood and coconut coir.
2shoes, sandals
Ka a-wamu labaro 'none vele?Where did you hide my shoes?
labiou laᵐbiou
~la ‘take’ + biouro ‘long’
lasting a long time, long
Ka labiou mijaka.It's been a long time already.
Labiou metae.It won't take long.
labiou tae phrase
it was not longjust a moment later. Links events in a narrative
Li-koie ne moe, ka labiou tae, dapa ka tabo li-ke li-ka.They went inside, and just a moment later, again they came out.
1(do) for a long time, for long
Kape ne-te na labiou mijaka.I'll stay here for a little while.
I-vet' piene labiou.He talked for ages.
2perfective context(have done) a long time ago
Aeve ka i-vene labiou awoiu.The sun has long risen already.
~labu (i·)laᵐbu
Averb, transitive
Taking and holding~labu
~la ① take (sg obj.)
~loko collect (pl obj.)
~labu seize, hold in hand
~tabe hold in arms, on shoulder
~papa carry on o.'s back
~akawo hang on neck, on back, on shoulder
~valangia carry on stick
~wo ② carry on forehead strap
1hold ‹s.th.› in o.'s hands; grab, grasp
La-labu ma kia.Let's shake hands.
~labu ngatene verb-object idiom
euphgrab thingseat
Le-le le-labu ngatene?Shall we go grab something? (=food)
2raretake ‹s.th., s.o.› in o.'s arms
Nga u-kila ini, kape u-labu u-lui ne moe iono.If you marry her, you will carry her all the way to your house.
synonym~la ①
3touch ‹s.o.›, have body contact
Leka, kape u-labu ebele ini metae. Nga u-romo ini we u-labu ini, kape u-kila.With your (opp.-sex) cross-cousin, you are not allowed any body contact. If you ever touched her, you'd have to marry her.
Ne-labu ebel' ini pe nengele i-meli.I'll massage her body because some spots (on her body) are painful.
5abstrhandle, treat ‹s.th., s.o.› in such and such a wayhandle ‹s.o.› in such and such away
Pe-labu pi-ejau, pe-somoli etapu!Handle it carefully, don't damage it!
~labu motoro [lit. hold s.o. heavy] respect s.o.
6fighold ‹skills, knowledge+›
Mwaliko pon i-labu tongolukilo pe i-ejau ñe idi.That man knows how to perform magic for people. [lit. he holds medicinal leaves…]
Bverb, intransitive
common registergrab s.th.eat, have dinner
Sa eo moli, u-labu!If your belly's empty, grab (something)!
lai- laj- subject prefix
dual subject prefix for “Collocutive”: 1st inclusive and 3rd person. Variant of la- ③ before a vowel, or for certain monosyllabic verb stems
~laiaini (i·)lajaini
Averb, intransitive
change clothes, get changed
Bverb, transitive
1change ‹s.th.›, modify
2change ‹s.o.›, have them put on new clothes
Abu u-laiaini menu, awoiu kape u-mata ini me i-mokoiu.Come change the baby, and then you can rock her to sleep
Ai-ovei pe a-laiaini?Can you translate?
4answer, reply
Ni-le ne ngogoro n-i, ia ni-lengi ngele i-laiaini tae.As I was walking in the forest, I called out, but I heard nobody reply.
5take the place of ‹s.o.›, replace; succeed ‹s.o.›
Menu ie teliki i-ovei pe i-vene i-ka ini teliki i-laiaini ai’ iape.A chief's son can rise to become chief, succeeding his father.
6non-sg subjectexchange ‹s.th.›, trade, swap
Kia la-laiaini tapepa.We're swapping presents.
Da la-laiaini piene.They traded information.
~laiaini piene verb-object idiom
non-sg subjectexchange wordstrade insults, argue
~la … i-avo verb, transitive
Tnm~la ~nadou
~la ① ‘take’ + ~avo ‘hang’
take s.th. it hangshang, hook ‹s.th.›
Ne-la mangamanga 'none i-avo.Let me hang my towel.
U-la lusa eo i-avo ne tero.Hang your shirt up on the string.
Le-la i-avo korone nara i-sabu.We must hook (the bait) firmly for fear it might fall off.
MorphologyThe sequence ~la i-avo is sometimes contracted into a single verb ~laiavo* ‘hang, hook+’.
2figrarebadmouth ‹s.o.›, ruin s.o.'s reputation
U-la ene i-avo etapu!Don't badmouth me!
~laiavo (i·)laiavo verb, transitive
Contraction ~la … i-avo
hang ‹s.th.›
U-laiavo lusa ene (i-avo) ne tero.Please hang my shirt on the string.
Telau, ini topola iote pe li-laiavo ne toplau, peini none we dapa gete.The food basket ‘telau’ is a basket that is put to hang in the men's club, keeping food for the young men.
~laiui (i·)lajui ~laioi verb, transitive
1throw, cast ‹s.th.›
U-laiui i-ka!Throw it to me!
2throw away, get rid of ‹s.th.›
U-laiui i-le!Throw it away!
Ni-bo beniawo ni-le ni-laioi.I collected the ashes and threw them away.
~lakau (i·)lakau verb, transitive
1s.th.stick to ‹s.th.›, as a stain
Abwa vilo i-lakau lusa ene.There's tree gum stuck on my shirt.
Abo ne eo nara i-lakau namolo iono.Make sure your blood doesn't stain your clothes.
2espliving organismcreep on ‹s.th.›, adhere to ‹s.th.›
Moko i-lakau oie luro.The coral has crept over the coconut tree..
Kanamuko me komudo i-lakau tepungo.Clamshells adhere to the coral rock.
see~tataelecrawl, creep
Laki laki proper noun
Vaeakau-Taumakote Laki
Southwesterly wind, blowing between Teulu and Vakasiu
see lexical list atngiro
Lale lale placename
Lale, a village on the west coast of Banie
Kula ka i-ka se vono Lale, Ngama, Vono.Some people (from Paiu) had moved to the areas of Lale, Ngama and Vono.
~la ~mini (i·)la… (i·)mini
Lvn~la ~mini
Tnm~la ~mika
Aserial verb, transitive
1take and give togive ‹s.th.› to ‹s.o.›
Taluaito i-la tongolukilo i-mini men' one.The doctor gave some medicine to my child.
Leka, kape u-la ngatene u-mini susuko tae.As for your (opp.-sex) cross-cousin, you cannot give her anything directly.
Li-votei i-wene li-ko kape le-la viko le-mini idi ia li-la li-mini tae.They promised to give money to people, but they didn't.
Ne-ko ne-la awis pine iakapa ne-mini tili’ akapa pe i-si diksoneri akapa.I’d like to extend our deep gratitude to our brother, for the dictionary he has written.
contracted to~lamini
2figstrike ‹s.th.› hard
U-la u-mini toñaki ponu i-abu i-wene ne mataiko ponu!Destroy that ship and send it down to that reef!
I-ka i-ka po i-ko i-koie, ini i-la i-mini!As soon as the ship came closer inland, [the god] hit it hard!
synonym~abu ③strike, kill
Bserial verb, intransitive
figact eagerly, with energy; be fired up, be intense
Idi li-mako li-ka li-koie ne mane, ponu li-la li-mini li-ejau!As the dancers came into the village area, they were dancing like crazy! [they were really intense]
~lamini (i·)lamini
Averb, transitive
Contraction of ~la ~mini
give ‹s.th.› (to s.o., se)
Uña teliki li-lamini tanoe se dapa.The authorities granted them some ground.
synonym~la ~mini
Bsecond verb, intransitive
(take V) and give it to ‹s.o.›
Awa ene ne-ko me le-la awis pine iakapa le-lamini tili’ akapa Dr Alex.I would like us to extend our big thanks to our friend Dr Alex.
lamwaro lamʷaro noun
refuse ‹of coconut›, obtained after coconut flesh has been grated and milked
~lanasu (i·)lanasu verb, transitive
bewitch, kill ‹s.o.› using sorcery
Ini pe i-lanasu idi.He's someone who can bewitch people.
Noma li-lanasu idi ne ngatene engaenga: ebele nga namolo iaidi, viabasa idi, kula none aidi, viñe buioe aidi.In the olden days, killing someone could be done using a variety of objects, such as, their clothes, their hair, the food they left, the nut they chewed…
langasuo laŋasuo noun
on outrigger canoeswooden rail tying the outrigger (demene) to the canoe hull (ebele kuo)
Kape le-toe langasuo peini, ka nengele wamitaka.canoeYou cut out the big rail, and then the smaller pieces.
see lexical list atkuocanoe, boat
~la ngatene (i·)laŋatene ~langatene
Averb-object idiom
~la ①▻⑧ ‘take’ + ngatene▻⑥ ‘thing’
1s.o.take thingswork, do some work
Awis pine peini ngatene pe a-la ponu.Thank you for your efforts. [lit. for the things you ‘took’]
Nganae pe kape le-la tae.They don't need to work. [lit. there isn't anything they have to ‘take’]
Pe-le, pe-le pe-la ngatene! P-ae none! P-ae jebute!Come on guys, you should go to work! Go harvest food, go harvest taros!
Dapa Lovoko na li-ovei pe li-la ngatene iune.The Lovoko people are inclined towards mutual cooperation [lit. doing things together].
Dapa li-ka li-loko idi li-lui li-ko le-la ngatene le-mini dapa.BlackbirdingThey used to come to recruit people who would then work at their service.
Basavono na, kuo demene ka l-ejau tae, pe li-la ngatene ñi pine tamwase.These days, outrigger canoes aren't being made any more, because they are too much work.
2metons.th.get into action, be used
‘Plenu’ wako, ‘hama’ i-langatene.After the plane, it was the hammer's turn to get into action.
Bverb, transitive
rarework at ‹s.th.›
Katae ka li-tetele ae, li-langatene toñaki iadapa pon ta.And so they began to work at (building) their ship.
langero laŋero adjective
~langiro (i·)laŋiro verb, intransitive
plant Colocasia taros (avtebe, jebute)
Li-teli avtebe i-le i-le i-le, li-langiro adapa ponu.So they went to plant Colocasia taros; they did all the taro-planting they needed. [lit. they taro-planted theirs.]
Synt.The verb is intransitive, as the verb root itself implies the type of taro. However, it is often followed by the possessive classifier (enaka).
Laperusi laperusi Laperus proper noun
The two frigates of Lapérouse (toñaki ie Laperusi)
Jean François de Lapérouse: French navigator (1741-1788), whose naval expedition perished in 1788 on the southern coast of Vanikoro
Li-atevo piene peini toñaki ie Laperus pe tamwaleko.Let's tell the story of how Lapérouse's ship was destroyed.
Laperus i-ka tev' kiapa ne kulumoe iakapa Vanikoro.Lapérouse came among us, in our island of Vanikoro.
Laperusi vana i-moloe i-si sivene ne nom’ ole tetake ne.Lapérouse had the habit of walking around, making some drawings on that beach over there.
📘 Lapérouse (Laperusi) and his crew are central to a number of oral histories still told today on the island of Vanikoro.
The story of Lapérouseiepiene ie Laperusi
According to Vanikoro's oral tradition, Lapérouse approached the island aboard a double-hulled canoe (tepakare). The islanders feared that ship was coming to forcibly recruit people as work force; so they invoked their god Vilisao, asking him to destroy the ship with a double tornado. The ship split in two, one part sinking in the ocean, another part wrecking on the reef, off Paiou (Paeu). Some men survived the tempest, and remained on the island for some time, building a new ship to escape; one day, they finally out took to the ocean.
laro laro noun
Lvnwila vedue
young coconut, good for drinkingCocos nucifera.
Awa ini i-ko i-anu laro.He'd like to drink a fresh coconut.
see lexical list atluro
~lateli (i·)lateli verb, transitive
Contraction ~la ~teli
put ‹s.th.› somewhere; put away, deposit, store
Li-mabui li-ae tanoe, wako ka li-lateli teve.They quietly dug a hole in the ground, and put (the treasure) there.
Li-ovei pe li-la tepulu li-lateli ne teipu me le-su nga buluko.Kauri resin can be stored in an empty coconut shell, and lit as a lamp.
Ka ponu li-la viko, li-lui li-lateli ne moe ma tadoe.They took the ritual money, and deposited it in the gods’ lair.
lava lava noun, relational
1side, flank; rib
lava pwoipork ribs
Taluaito ini basa beme, kape i-padi basa ini: ne to ne, koro; ne lava tilu, kape bworo.The (heathen) priest had a bald head, which he would paint: white in the middle; black on each side.
lava abilo lava aᵐbilo noun
The giant liana lava abilo.
sides of a snakek.o. bush liana (unidentified), whose shape is reminiscent of a large snake (abilo)
lavatunu lavatunu noun
k.o. pudding, typic. made with breadfruit (bale) that is mashed and baked
lavatunu balebreadfruit pudding
laviakome laviakome noun
handle of axek.o. seashore tree, whose hard wood is used to carve artifacts, e.g. for axe handlesScaevola taccada.
laviko laviko noun
Dapa li-la laviko, namolo, kangele teuko, li-la li-mini kupa.They would take pearls, clothes, fish hooks, and give them to us.
le1 le postverb
underneath; under ground
Dapa damala li-ae tanoe le.The Westerners began digging up the ground, down under.
~le2 (i·)le
Tnm~la, ~lava
(?) POc*lako
Averb, intransitive
1+ locative phrasego somewhere
Ia kela, kape ba-le vele?Where are you two going?
Ni-garei eo pe u-le re!I forbid you from going there!
contrasts with~ka ③ ⓐcome
see lexical list at~vilumove, travel
2first verb in serial pattern, with locative phraseintroduces a locative before the main verb, when previous motion is implied
Ni-le ne revo nanana ni-romo meviko takataka.[I went to sea I saw…] I was at sea today, and saw a sea krait.
Le-le ne touro li-odo aero?[shall we go to the reef and seek shells] Shall we look for seashells on the reef?
Phraseol.This syntactic strategy serves to “unpack” the various participants and complements of an action into separate clauses. The first clause with ~le ‘go’ introduces the locative complement, while the following verb presents the main action.
3first verb in serial pattern, without locative phraseget up and (do V): introduces a new action, whether or not involving a literal motion event. Not always translated
La-le lai-ago telupe?Shall we go pigeon-hunting?
Vono i-sodo li-le li-au jebute.In the morning they went to harvest some (water) taros.
Nga mwaliko i-bu, dapa le-le le-iu ebele ini.When somebody dies, we bury their body. [lit. we go we bury the body]
Li-toe kuo wako, i-viñi dapa gete iape i-ko “Wako le-le le-katei.”Once they had carved the canoe, he told his youngsters: “Alright, let's drag it now!” [lit. we go, we pull it]
Pe-le pe-le pe-la ngatene!Come on guys, go to work!
4absolute use, without locativeleave, be gone
“Minga kape ba-le?” I-ko “Mobo.”“When will you leave?” – “Tomorrow.”
5espsunleave its zenith position; hence be early afternoon, around 2pm
Aeve ka i-le.[the sun has gone] It is early afternoon.
📘 The later phases are called Aeve i-tavali (cf. ~tavali), then Vono ka i-la (cf. ~la ②).
see lexical list atmoro ①
6timepass, reach (such and such moment)
Ra ra i-le ne to ebieve, vongoro ka i-mote.[on and on, it went to mid-year] Time went on, till they reached mid-season: this is when the almonds had finished ripening.
7with perfect ka ②timebe past
ne metele iote ka i-le awoiu[in the month that has already gone] last month
8somet+ secondary predicatebecome
Bwara i-le pine, po ra i-le ini mwatagete, kape i-koie ne toplau.When (the child) grows up, when he becomes a young man, he will integrate the men's house.
see~teliniturn into
Bverb, oblique transitive
s.o.go tobelieve (s.o., s.th.: ne)
Dapa li-le ne ene tae, ka ene ni-aptei ñe lek’ one.[lit. they didn't go to me] They didn't believe me, so I swore on my cousin's life.
Ene ni-lengi ñe taña ene, ka ebele piene, ene ni-le ene.I heard it with my own ears. It's the truth, I believe it.
Synt.This construction consists of the verb ~le ‘go’ + the locative preposition ne ① or locative adverb ene ②.
Csecond verb, intransitive
1serialised between two verbsseparates two actions that take place in separate locations. Usually not translated
Ni-bo beniawo ni-le ni-laioi.[I collected ashes I went I threw them] I collected the ashes and threw them away.
2after intransitive motion verb, same subject; foll. by locative phrase(move+) towards, to (such and such direction)
P-aiu pe-wo pe-le ne ngogoro!Get up and run away to the bush!
Li-ovei pe li-pwalau li-le Iura ne tepuke.3pl subjectThey used to travel to (north) Vanuatu on their large canoes.
Li-aiu li-ke li-pwalau i-le iura.3sg inanimate subject[they rose they went-out they travelled it went south] They left (Vanikoro) and set off to sail southwards.
3after transitive verb, switch subject; foll. by locative phrase(take s.th.+) towards, to (such and such direction)
Li-tabe i-le i-wene ne aeve me kokoro.[they carry (it) it goes it lies in the sun] They bring it out to lie in the sun so it dries up.
Ni-tabulu voko i-abu i-le ne gilita.[I rolled a rock it descended it went to the valley] I rolled a rock down into the valley.
Li-loko none i-le ne lema awene.We put food into the stone oven.
Ba-ko ba-katau ene le-le ne toloto?[you want you follow me we go] Do you guys want to follow me to the lake?
4genwithout a locative phrase: directional use(move+) forward, ahead
Ka li-kopu li-vene li-le.They decided to move camp uphill (ahead of their route).
Li-katei bavede i-vene ne iuro, peini me le-vesu i-ke i-le.They hoisted the sail up the mast, so they could sail away.
Ini i-opogo i-le i-vio re, ne lema aero ne makone pon.[he jumped he went he stood] He jumped in, and stood in inside the dancing fence.
5directional use, deictic interpretation(move+) thither, away from speaker or deictic centre
Abu u-kop' u-le!Shift yourself a little (that way)!
U-iui i-le!Push it forward!
contrasts with~ka ③ ⓑ▻①hither
6fig3sg subject, referring to the actionit goes(do V) ahead, in a continuing manner; go on
Ngele nga i-ko i-oburo buro ae pon, kape i-obur’ i-le.If someone wants to sing a song, he can (go ahead and) sing. [he'll sing it goes]
Kape ni-atevo i-le biouro metae.I won’t be able to speak at great length.
Ni-odo eo i-le ra bogo, ia eo a-te tae.I looked for you on and on till night, but you weren't there.
73sg subject, repeated(do V) on and on, for a long time
Uña teliki li-anu i-dai i-le i-le.The chiefs drank the kava around in a circle, one after the other [lit. it went, it went].
Li-mako i-le i-le i-le – me kape bwogo.They danced on and on – until night was ready to fall.
Li-langatene i-le i-le i-le, ebieve iote awoiu.They worked on and on, for a whole month.
le-3 le subject prefix
Lvnkape- / se(pe)-
Tnmla- / le-
irrealis subject prefix for “Collocutive” plural: 1st inclusive and 3rd and generic person
📘 Variant li- before a radical starting from a vowel: e.g. le- + ~ovei = li-ovei ‘they know’. For these verbs, the realis and irrealis 3pl are homophonous.
11st inclusive plural subject (see kiapa): you and us
Kape le-tabo le-katau na kiapa ponu.Let's retrace our own steps again.
Le-wamu kiapa ñe ini!reflexiveLet's hide away from him!
23rd plural subject (see dapa): they
Dapa kula li-abu revo, me le-labu namuko.The others slap the (sea) water, in order to catch the fish.
3generic plural subject (see idi): ‘people’, ‘one’, generic ‘you’. Sometimes translated with a passive voice in English
Nga mwaliko i-bu, le-iu ebele ini i-wene ne kie ini.When somebody dies, their body is buried in a grave.
Toñaki pine pe kape le-ke le-lui ne ngamuli tae.It was not the kind of large ships that can go out into the ocean.
Li-vo aero i-dai, me kape le-mako ne to.They erected a fence around (the village area), for us/for people to dance in the middle.
Van' ni-wene ni-botongo nara kape le-punuo ñi.I sleep on (my money) so nobody can steal it.
lea lea noun
fathom: measure of length
Ni-nabe jokoro lea iune ka kula.I measured the bamboo to be one fathom and a half.
Wako li-ejau sowi pine. Bwara dapa li-ko lea tuo. Tuo tae: bwara uluko! Iune, tilu, tete, teva, tili, tuo, i-le uluko!So they made a large boat; perhaps six fathoms. No, not six: ten perhaps? One, two, three, four, five, six, all the way to ten!
~lebie (i·)leᵐbie
Averb, intransitive
1bathe, swim in water for recreational purposes
Ai-ovei pe u-lebie.You can bathe (if you want).
Ka li-lebie li-koie.directionalThey waded back ashore.
contrasts with~wowo ②swim
2hencewash, e.g. have a shower
Ka a-lebie awoiu?Have you had your shower?
Bverb, transitive
give a bath to ‹s.o.›, wash ‹baby+›
Ini i-lebie men’ iape.She's bathing her child.
lebwogo leᵐbʷoᵑgo noun
1Black SweetlipsPlectorhinchus gibbosus.
2Harlequin SweetlipsPlectorhinchus chaetodonoides.
3Spotted SweetlipsPlectorhinchus picus.
~ledi (i·)leⁿdi verb, intransitive
eyes, mata(my) eyes are hungrybe hungry
Mata dapa i-ledi.They are hungry.
Poi mata i-ledi.The pig is hungry.
Lege leᵑge placename
Lengge, a place on the west coast of Banie
Voko iote pon li-re ne elene Lege ponu.There was once a large stone down there, in the clearing known as Lengge.
Basavono pe toñaki tamwaliko, dapa kula li-koie ere se vono Lege re.Lapérouse shipWhen their ship got destroyed, some managed to reach the island [swimming], towards Lengge over there.
leibo leiᵐbo noun
Topsail drummerKyphosus cinerascens.
~le iune (i·)le iune ~leiune second verb, intransitive
Lvn~le tilioko
Tnm~la omwano
~le ② ‘go’ + iune ‘one, the same’
serialised; always 3sgit goes one(do) together, as one
Kape le-vongo i-le iune.We shall eat together. [lit. we'll eat it goes one]
Teanu me Banie, damala li-kila i-le iune.Teanu and Banie islands, the Westerners call it with a single name [Vanikoro].
leka leka noun, kinship
1slek' one2sleka3slek' iape
1symmetrical termsame-sex cross-cousin (MBC, FZC): a man’s male cousin (MBS, FZS), or a woman’s female cousin (MBD, FZD)
Awis, leka.from man to manThanks, my cousin.
2symmetrical termcross-cousin of opposite sex (MBC, FZC): a man’s female cousin (MBD, FZD), or a woman’s male cousin (MBS, FZS)
leka emelefemale cousin
Leka, kape u-labu ebele ini metae, kape u-romo ini tae. Nga u-romo ini we u-labu ini, kape u-kila.With your (opp.-sex) cross-cousin, you are not allowed any body contact, nor any eye contact. If you ever saw or touched her, you'd have to marry her.
U-le pon etapu! Ña leka kape i-rom' eo!Don't go there! Your cousin might see you!
Avoiding your cross-cousinleka
The kin relation between opposite-sex cross-cousins (leka) is sacred (etapu) – associated with awe, fear and avoidance. Thus if I swear (~aptei) on s.o.'s life, that will be on my cross-cousin.
Any sort of contact between cross-cousins of opposite sex, whether eye- or body-contact, is strictly prohibited. If it ever occurs, then the two individuals must marry (~kila ②▻②). As a consequence, cross-cousins – who can be potentially spouses – avoid each other strictly. Mwasu, a mythological figure, infringed those rules, and caused a disaster on the island.
lekele lekele noun
flying foxPteropus spp.
Lekele i-nge wa vede.Flying-foxes chew fruits of pandanus.
Uña asodo dapa li-avo ne bonge, ia uña lekele li-avo ñei ma dapa ne vilo.Bats hang about in caves, but flying-foxes hang down from trees.
lema lema noun, relational
Tnmele / añe
inside ‹of s.th.›
lema mathe palm of the hand
Li-aneve lema mwoe, ka maro.They sweep inside the house, and outside too.
Ni-wowo revo i-ke mina lema kuo.I'm bailing out the (sea) water from inside the canoe.
ne lema preposition
Lvnne rume
Tnmini añe
inside ‹s.th.›
Li-mali iawo ne lema awene.We light a fire inside the stone oven.
Ini i-opogo i-le i-vio re, ne lema aero ne makone pon.He jumped in, and stood in inside the dancing fence.
Damala moli li-te ne lema.used absolutelyOnly Westerners can go inside.
~lemisi (i·)lemisi verb, intransitive
~lemoli (i·)lemoli ~le moli verb, intransitive
contraction of ~le moli* ‘go randomly’
1literalwander around aimlessly
Ni-le moli ne kulumoe.I just wandered around in the village.
U-le moli nga pon etapu!Don't go around aimlessly like that!
2figbe random, unruly; follow no particular rules
3as predicatenot matter
Kape le-kae? – I-lemoli!How will we procede? – It doesn't matter.
4unimportant; common, ordinary
Moe iaidi i-lemoli.This is just a house for ordinary people.
~le ne revo (i·)le.ne.revo verb, intransitive
~le ② ⓐ ‘go’ + ne ① revo ‘to the sea’
euphgo to the seago relieve o.s. in the sea; defecate
📘 Just like in other islands of the area, Vanikoro people use the sea as their toilets.
~lengi (i·)leŋi
POc*roŋoRhear, feel
Averb, transitive
1feel ‹s.th.›; perceive through senses or intuition
Ni-lengi tanoe pe i-wai.I felt the ground shake.
Nganae kape li-lengi melia dapa ñe tae.Paradise[there is nothing by which they feel pain] Nothing can cause them any pain.
2hear ‹s.o., s.th.›
Ni-lengi mama gita.I can hear the sound of a guitar.
Iepiene pon na, ni-lengi tev' et' one.This story, I heard it from my mother.
Ene ni-lengi ñe taña ene, ka ebele piene, ene ni-le ene.I heard it with my own ears. It's the truth, I believe it.
U-lengi u-ejau me u-ovei.Listen carefully, so you learn.
4(+ ~ko ② ⓑ▻③) + clausehear that, learn that (s.th. happened)
Ka ni-lengi ni-ko dapa kula li-te tae.I never heard that there was anyone else there.
Ni-lengi Sintia ka i-kovi metele.I heard that Sintia is expecting.
5somethear from ‹s.o.›, have contact ‹s.o.› by phone or mail
Labiou tamwase kia ka la-lengi kia tae.We haven't heard from each other for a very long time.
6tropative construction, foll. by secondary predicatefind ‹s.th., s.o.› to be so and so, through hearing or feeling
Buro ponu li-lengi wako tamwase.That song sounds beautiful. [lit. that song, they hear it very beautiful]
Li-lengi ebele dapa ka wako.They feel better [lit. they feel that their bodies are well now]
see~romo ⓑ▻③find s.th. so and so (by sight)
Bverb, intransitive
+ predicatefeel (so and so)
Ni-lengi wako.I feel good.
Ebele ene ni-lengi tamwaliko.My body is not feeling right.
leñe leɲe noun
The tree leñe.
k.o. tree, unidentified
leve leve noun
Polynesian Arrowroot, a starchy plantTacca leontopetaloides.
li- li subject prefix
realis subject prefix for “Collocutive” plural: 1st inclusive and 3rd and generic person
11st inclusive plural subject (see kiapa): you and us
Kiapa ka li-pei kiapa, pe menuko iakapa dapa Frans.We are all delighted, because the French are our friends.
23rd plural subject (see dapa): they
Dapa teliki ka dapa wopine li-ajau none.The chiefs and the elders were having a feast.
Dapenuo li-go dapa ñe tolosai; da viñevi li-ativi dapa ñe tekume.The men girt themselves in loincloths, the women in skirts.
Li-madau li-ko bwara kape le-ka le-loko dapa.They were afraid that they would be kidnapped.
3generic plural subject (see idi): ‘people’, ‘one’, generic ‘you’. Sometimes translated with a passive voice in English
moe pe li-apinu enekitchen [lit. house where one cooks]
jokoro pe li-viPan pipe [lit. bamboos to be blown]
Basavono po le-ko li-ago idi, li-katei puro i-ke ka li-ago.When you want to shoot someone, you draw out an arrow and shoot.
moro pe li-ve eothe day when you were born [lit. when one begat you]
Uk’ aidi, li-labu motoro.In-laws are to be respected.
~lipu (i·)lipu verb, intransitive
belly+be full
Sa ene i-lipu![My bell is full] I'm full.
antonymviñe ⓑ
lo lo noun
rafter: light beam extending from the ridgepole (pumene) down to the tie-beam (basadigo), forming the roof structure
📘 There are about ten rafters on each side of the roof. They rest on purlins (dienebe,womoe), and in turn support the sago thatch (sodo otovo).
see lexical list atnengele moeelements of a house
loko1 loko noun
A Vanuatu dancer with loko leaves around his head and waist.
a plant (unidentified) with green leaves and scented flowers
Dapa pe li-mako li-loko loko i-vio ne webwe iadapa.The dancers have stuck some loko leaves on their armbands.
📘 These leaves are used for decoration, or worn by musicians and dancers # typically by sticking them on their armbands (webwe).
~loko2 (i·)loko verb, transitive
1typic. first verb in serialisationtake ‹several objects›, collect, esp. before displacing them somewhere
Le-loko ajekele le-iui ne revo.They collect the rubbish and throw it into the sea.
see lexical list at~labu
2take ‹people› somewhere, lead
Kape pe-loko dapa gete enone, da meliko viñevi, pe-lui ne moe re.We'll take my boys and my girls, and lead them to that house over there.
Ka li-loko dapa li-koioi.They led them inside.
Toñaki iote ka i-tabo i-ka! Kape i-loko idi!BlackbirdingHere comes another ship again! They're going to kidnap people!
3genintroduces a plural object, animate or not, before a verb of motion or displacement
Li-loko none i-le ne lema awene.We put food into the stone oven.
Dapa li-loko mana vilo i-vio ne viabasa dapa.People put flowers in their hair.
lokoudo lokouⁿdo noun
croton, a plant with coloured leaves (Euphorbiaceae)Codiaeum variegatum.
lone lone noun
end of ‹place+›
lone ne virothe end of the fringing reef
longe loŋe noun
Li-vokoiu longe.break firewood
moe ma longefirewood house (where wood is stocked)
Li-mali iawo semame añaña longe.We light a fire with small bits of firewood.
see lexical list atiawo
2rarewood, as material
I-le i-toe kuo iape ne ngogoro: kape i-toe i-abu i-wene, i-toe mengela mina awoiu, ka li-la longe mina.He went to cut a canoe in the forest: first he chopped it down; then he cut off the top; then he dut out the wood.
longo loŋo noun
Lesser yamDioscorea esculenta.
Uo moloe na, samame none ka longo.Here is some Red yam, together with Potato yam and Lesser yam.
seeuoGreater yam
loro1 loro noun
loro ie añawo [lit. ‘whale vomit’] amber
~loro2 (i·)loro verb, intransitive
vomit, puke
Basavono po mwaliko malaria i-vagasi, basa i-meli, mwaliko i-loro, panavono i-ke.When someone has malaria, their head aches, they vomit, they sweat…
see~ra ②spit
lotoko lotoko noun
Thumbprint EmperorLethrinus harak.
loubo louᵐbo noun
ba loubocrab's claw
utedie loubo[backside of crab] crab's shell
ma loubocrab's hole
Loubo iote i-ke vidiviko ne ale ene.I had one of my toes bitten by a crab!
louboaido louᵐb(o)aiⁿdo loubo aido loub’ aido loubaido noun
Tnmlouba aida
A coconut crab (louboaido)
loubo ‘crab’ + (?)
coconut crabBirgus latro.
buia loubaidoabdomen [lit. testicles] of a coconut crab
li-labu louboaidohunt for coconut crabs
loubo antebe louᵐbo anteᵐbe noun
loubo ‘crab’ + antebe ‘mud’
mud crabk.o. crab, find in mangroves
loubo kilo louᵐbo kilo noun
loubo ‘crab’ + kilo ‘blind’
blind crabcrayfish, rock lobster, spiny lobsterPalinuridae spp.
loubo we matiki louᵐbo we matiki noun
crab for star(fish) [?]reef crabCarpilius maculatus.
~lovei (i·)lovei verb, intransitive
non-sing subjectfall one after the other
Luro i-lolovei i-abu.The coconuts keep falling.
Uie vilo i-lolovei i-abu ne tanoe.The dead leaves are falling on the ground.
see~sabufall once
lovia lovia noun
part, section; storey
Moe na, lovia tete.This house has three storeys.
Toñaki ie Laperus ponu, ae, tepakare. Lovia tilu, ne?Lapérouse's ship, you know, it was a catamaran. With two sections, you see?
lovia vono lovia fono noun
section of the universeany one of different worlds or realms
Kape u-re lovia vono na.You will leave this world.
lovia vono tete[three parts of the world] the three different worlds
📘 The word marama, borrowed from Mota, is sometimes used with the same meaning.
lovia vono iote noun
the other worldthe world of the Dead; Hades, Paradise
Basavono po li-bu, kape le-tomoe mina Lovia Vono na, le-le ne Lovia Vono iote.When we die, we leave this World, and migrate to the Other World.
Mata piene pon, i-wene moli teve dapa. Pe ponu ka li-le ne lovia vono iote.That life of theirs is easy. That's because they have reached Paradise.
Lovoko lovoko placename
Cf. voko ‘stone, rock’
Lovoko or Lavaka, a village on the north coast of Banie island
Lovono lovono placename
Cf. Vono
Vono or Lovono: a village on the north coast of Banie, together with its area
piene adapa Lovonothe language of Lovono
Tadoe iadapa pon, enga ini – dapa Lovono li-ko ‘Visipure’; ka dapa Teanu li-ko ‘Vilisao’.The god in question was called – in the Lovono language, (they say) ‘Fisipure’; in Teanu, ‘Filisao’.
📘 This village is also known, in the literature, under the names Vanou or Whanou (Dillon). Its local name, in the language Lovono, is Vana.
~lu1 (i·)lu verb, transitive
scrape ‹tuber› or grate ‹coconut flesh›, with a bivalve shell (aero ②) or grater
I-tau jebute awoiu ponu, i-lu.Once the taro was done, he scraped (its skin).
~lu2 (i·)lu verb, transitive
fold ‹s.th.›, esp. in order to put it away
Kape le-lu bete.They are ready to fold their mats.
synonym~bu ②
~lu bete verb-object idiom
fold matsa funeral ritual taking place in the house of a recently dead person
Folding away the deadman's matsLi-lu bete
Idi le-bei bete awoiu, kape le-lu bete. Bete ka mwoe pon, ie mwaliko pe i-bu. Li-aneve lema mwoe, ka maro. Awoiu, le-loko ajekele le-iui ne revo.
At the end of the funeral vigil (~bei bete*), comes the time when we fold the mats away. These are the mats, and the house, of the person who died. So we clean the house, both inside and outside. We collect the garbage (including the mats) and we go throw them in the sea.
~lubi (i·)luᵐbi
Averb, intransitive
wind+turn, turn around; change direction
Ngiro ka i-lubi.The wind has turned.
Bverb, transitive
1flip ‹s.th.›, turn ‹s.th.› around
U-lubi!Flip (the page)!
2wind+spin ‹s.th.›, make ‹s.th.› whirl around
Vilisao i-lubi kuo ka i-apini idi.The tornado spun the ship and killed everybody.
luene luene noun, relational
A string of fish (luene namuko)
bunch of ‹fish› caught in a net, or threaded together on a solid string (tero) while fishing
luene namukoa catch of many fish
~lui (i·)lui ~luoi verb, transitive
causative of ~le ‘go’: make ‹s.o., s.th.› go somewhere, hence take away, carry
Carrying and moving~lui
~lui take away
~kamai bring
~koioi take in
~kevei take out
~venei take up
~abui take down
1take ‹s.th.› somewhere, carry
Ni-bu bete ene me ne-lui.I've rolled my mat to take it away.
Ini i-le i-la voko, i-lui i-la i-teli ne temaka iote.He [went to] grab the stone, took it away and put it down elsewhere.
Toñaki iadapa i-ka i-ka i-sava webwe i-lui.Their ships used to come here to buy troca shells and take them away.
Uña udo pe i-ako, li-lui i-avo ne tone.The ripe bananas had been [taken] put to hang from the hook.
li-lui nudurocarry the scareline, go fishing with the scareline
2take ‹s.o.› somewhere or away
Kupa pi-lui ini teve taluaito.We took him to the doctor.
Nga u-kila ini, kape u-labu u-lui ne moe iono.If you marry her, you will carry her all the way to your house.
Vana uña toñaki i-ka i-loko dapa ne kulumoe na, dapa li-lui li-langatene ne Iura.Ships used to come to this island to collect people, and then take them away to make them work somewhere in the south.
Ngiro i-aka i-lui dapa.The wind blew and took them away.
lukilo lukilo noun
a formative in various words referring to leaves
lukilo vekai heliconia leaf
tongolukilo medicinal leaves
nga-lukilo[lit. like-leaf] yellow
lukilo vekai lukilo fekai noun
heliconia leafHeliconia indica.
Etym.Takes its name from the habit of using this leaf to wrap vekai pudding.
~lukubi (i·)lukuᵐbi verb, intransitive
boat+sway, rock, roll
Toñaki i-lukubi.The ship was rocking.
lumobo lumoᵐbo noun
k.o. leaf
Uie lumobo po i-vi ponu, i-amei, i-amei, i-amei, i-amei, i-amei, i-amei i-ioi i-le ponu.Once he had tied the leaves (around the stone), he began to swing it, swing, swing, swing, till he threw it far away.
lupanade lupanaⁿde noun
uie lupanadetamanu leaves
luro luro noun
Words of the coconutluro
laro fresh, drinkable coconut
luro full-grown coconut
mata luro germinated coconut
buia luro sprout ball in germinated coconut
mana luro inflorescence of coconut
ela ② ⓐ coconut juice
abwaro coconut milk
kangele coconut meat
tele coconut oil
lamwaro coconut refuse
teipu coconut shell
bauluko coconut palm
baro petiole of coconut palm
uie luro coconut leaves
kiñe coconut leaflet
iadiro midrib of coconut leaf
tenuro coconut fibres
labaro coconut coir
manave ; nuko ; laba luro coconut skirt
~avo ② husk ‹coconut›
~lu ① grate ‹coconut flesh›
~vei weave*
coconut tree or fruitCocos nucifera.
lusa lusa noun, relational
1slusa ene2slusa eo
1oblig. foll. by possessorshirt, garment worn on the torso
U-la lusa eo i-avo ne tero.Hang your shirt up on the string.
li-asai lusa idigeneric possessorsew a shirt
A-kai lusa ene na pe i-kae?Why did you tear my shirt?
Ni-lateli ne temamene peini lusa ene.I put it away in my suitcase [the basket for my clothes]