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Dictionary of Netwar (Lenakel language)

This is the first ever extensive dictionary of Netwar language (western Tanna, Republic of Vanuatu) published online. It is the fruit of several years of my work among the inhabitants of the island of Tanna. It contains translations of local expressions, pronunciation recordings and photographic documentation. Its purpose is to help in the preservation of the language and in passing it to the young generation.

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  •  (generic term) n nek 
    whatever kind excluding bamboos, grasses and vines.
  •  n niapur generic term for several species of bushes with colorful leaves, it is often planted around graves and as a live fence. The colorful leaves are used to make necklaces.
  •  n nemaur maur  (Aamaranthus viridis), leaves change their color to red by the time of yam harvest. Used with 'numanpwilpas' to decorate the first yams presented during 'kamaru nuw'. Boiled leaves are eaten.
  •  n numa le Nesé  (Euodia hortensis), plant with fragrant leaves worn by men and women during ceremonies. Its name reminds of 'Nesé', a young woman from a local legend.
  •  n numanséi  (Euodia hortensis), shortened and badly pronounced name of 'numa le Nesé'. The term is however used by some nowadays.
  •  n niapur ieni napuk 
    species of 'niapur', used by special men who compose local songs as after chewing its leaves they can hear melodies and lyrics in natural noises and birdsongs.
  •  n napaguw species toxic for the fish. It is used for fishing in tide pools, where the branches are rubbed against the rocks in the water to release the toxin.
  •  n sapru ata species with edible fruit.
  •  n nekus iawin species, lit. "tail of 'iawin' pigeon".
  •  n nawitalegen luw species, lit. "the ear of the 'luw' fish".
  •  n naiaw amimera species, used to treat furuncles. The furuncle is cut open, it is covered with the leaf of this plant and the leaf is struck with its petiole in order to let the blood and the pus come out.
  •  n nekolaug nek afwil species.
  •  n naknau léwléw  (Acalypha sp. (?)), species.
  •  n nyo lakelak species.
  •  n nepleg awhia  (Polyscias sp.), species.
  •  n namelamel species.
  •  n kléplépen tuan species.
  •  n nekeli tapatapa species.
  •  n numatalegen amer species. In ancient times the leaves were worn as earrings. Petioles are inserted into the ears.
  •  n nauhwil species. Its crushed leaves are used as soap when one takes his bath in the sea. In family with 'namulat'.
  •  n nepleg akhar  (Polyscias scutellaria), species. Its leaves are cooked and given every day to babies who have delayed speech development to stimulate them to talk.
  •  n nekoumas species. Its leaves are used to decorate yams during the ceremony of 'niél'.
  •  n nekolaug nek species. Using its branch with many fruits hanging on it the vines of cucumbers and pumpkins are pierced so that their crop is plentiful.
  •  n naiaw afwil species. When a cat or a dog miscarries often, the juice of its leaves is added to their food to prevent further miscarriage. It is also used to treat furuncles. The furuncle is cut open, it is covered with the leaf of this plant and the leaf is struck with its petiole in order to let the blood and the pus come out.
  •  n natkig species. Young branches are chewed and the juice is swallowed in cases of food poisoning.
  •  n nepleg afwil  (Polyscias guilfoylei), species. Young leaves are boiled and consumed.
  •  n numanesé Ienatem  (Euodia hortensis), variant from Anatom.
  •  n nekelkeli nam  (Euodia hortensis), variant of 'numa le Nesé'. The shape of the leaves are similar to the shape of a fish 'nam'.
  •  n nowait  (Polyscias fruticosa), young leaves are cooked and incorporated in soups.

Speaker: Clément Kapalu (Lowanatom) , Noël Yeru (Lowanatom) , Sylvano Kapalu (Ipai)

Thematic dictionary