How to read an entry in this dictionary
When you look in the dictionary, you will see many lines of words. Many look similar to the example below:
dɔkɔ [ ˗ ˉ ] M,H n 1) descendant 2) kind or type of something (lit. head seed)
Here’s what the words mean:
- The word dɔkɔ in bold is called the ‘entry’. All the words after it give information about this word. All entries are listed according to the order of the ꞌBëlï alphabet letters. See the ꞌBëlï Aphlabet Order below for the list of letters in order.
- Next, we read [ ˗ ˉ ] M,H which tells us the entry said by itself has Mid, High tone. There are many entries which have the same letters and only differ by tone. For these entries, the tone can help a speaker hear the difference between the entries. The Reading and Writing ꞌBëlï Book 2 explains how rising and falling tone makes the word have a long (doubled) vowel.
- Next, the letter n tells us the word category (type of word) of the entry is a noun. See below for a list of all possible word category abbreviations.
- Next, we read 1) descendant 2) kind or type of something
These are two definitions (meanings) of the entry. 1) descendant is the most common meaning. 2) kind or type of something is a less common meaning.
- The words (lit. head seed) give the literal meaning and show which words the entry comes from. The entry dɔko comes from the words dɔ ꞌheadꞌ and kö ꞌseedꞌ.
Now look at another example entry.
jɔ̱jɔ [ ˗ ˉ ] M,H v 1) try, test mojɔ̱jɔ 2) teach (jɔ̱ say, tell)
- This entry jɔ̱jɔ has the same tone [ ˗ ˉ ] M,H as the first entry. But it has a different word category v that means it is a verb. Verbs entries are the command form of the verb. The Reading and Writing ꞌBëlï Book 2 explains how the first root vowel of each verb is underlined. The ꞌBëlï Grammar Book explains about command verbs.
- This entry also has two definitions. After the first definition 1) try, test we have the word mojɔ̱jɔ that is a subentry of (entry related to) jɔ̱jɔ. You can find mojɔ̱jɔ in the dictionary with other words that begin with the letter m. There you will find mojɔ̱jɔ is an adverb meaning ꞌbeing temptedꞌ.
- The words (jɔ̱ say, tell) show that jɔ̱jɔ is listed as a subentry under the entry jɔ̱. This means the original (most basic) verb is jɔ̱, and jɔ̱jɔ comes from jɔ̱.
Here is another example entry.
li̱ya2 [ ˗ ˉ ] M,H v be same li̱ya a ne ti not same as him
- There is a small number 2 after the entry li̱ya2. This means there is another word li̱ya1 that has the same letters but a completely different meaning. The word li̱ya1 means ꞌyellꞌ and li̱ya2 means ꞌbe sameꞌ. The two words are not related, and just happen to have the same spelling.
- The words li̱ya a ne ti give an example of how the entry li̱ya2 can be used in a sentence. After the ꞌBëlï example sentence, the English meaning is given.
Here is one further example entry.
tiyarabw (Arabic) n airplane
- The words bw (Arabic) show this entry tiyara is borrowed from Arabic.