Created: 23 October 2000
Modified: 25 October 2001

Laves inferred abbreviations and symbols

This page was created before Laves' own explanation of his symbols was found.  It will be superseded by an exapnded listing of his symbols, which for now are reproduced in facsimile only, at the page Laves Abbreviations and symbols.

= i.e. as, e.g. yaribar bagulbagul gulu || that! flat ( rectangular) container    [enlarged: ]
Notation for complete words etc:

(stem 1 sf.)
(stem + stem + sf.) (stem + sf ...) indicates several sf. ..
To indicate importance of stem, in other words to suggest that one or other stem is prefixal or suffixal write bilibagulmba ("flatten all around") where bagul is central idea, or "root". [lit. 'around-flat-tr.verbaliser'  -S Morelli]

Abbreviation: | symbolism of relation  [enlarged] as used by Laves in these two contrasting comments:

In ya wa.gai barli. dyulu || ya is thought of as being related to wa.gai only

['this firewood burnt top side' - S Morelli]
In ya wa.gai barli. dyulu || where ya is expresses relation for the entire "sentence"


Symbols in transcriptions, with interpretations

Work in progress, with interpretative hypotheses so far from Gavan Breen, David Nash, Barry Alpher, and  the late Franklin Zandvoort.

This is based on an inventory of handwritten symbols compiled from three parts of Laves' notes:

  • Cloncurry language (Mayi-Thakurti), by Gavan Breen <>, 19 October 2000.  Pages 6676-6723.  Following a page number is the decimal fraction down the page (or B bottom, T top).  IL = interlinear
  • Anjumarla notes, by David Nash [DGN], November 2000.
  • Athima, Weipa language "Kuku-Pi'umu" (2 informants; 6745-6764), Herberton-Ravenshoe (Dyirbal) materials (pages 6610-6647 and 6652-6655), and Mayi-Thakurti, by Barry Alpher <> [BJA], 1-2 December 2000.
  • Matngele ('Emdil') notes, studied by Franklin Zandvoort.
  • Page numbers are those assigned to the photocopied notebooks at AIATSIS.  If given, the notebook page number follows the AIATSIS page number after a slash /.  Comments are by Gavan Breen for #1 to #25, and by Barry Alpher for #26 to #30.

    Still being incorporated: analyses and further symbols noted by Franklin Zandvoort [FZ].

    Symbols in Laves' manuscript field notes
    symbol hypothesised meaning [by whom] instances, comment
    past tense [BJA, FZ] in IL after a word, 6676.7; ardi.n '#29 climb', Athima 6742/33; cf. symbol reversed #2
    future tense [BJA, FZ]
    [JGB:] a couple of times present, once future, once imperative (?)
    in IL before a word, 6676B x2; after 11 (= 1sg) 6719T; following #3 as a gloss, 6719.1; cf. symbol reversed #1]
    3 see 2
    phonemic transcription before and after an utterance, 6676, 77, 83
    5 new item not previously glossed [BJA] following the word uminj is the gloss 4 (but looking more like a Y) then an arrow < and this sign, 6678.3; also (same one?) followedby -2, 6723.5, preceding #15 6718.6 (same one?), preceding a gloss 6723.3 (same one?); see also 24, 26
    6 preceding 4 (? like Y) as gloss of uminj, 6678.5; could be 'or' 6715.2
    7 introduces English free translation (of something already glossed word by word) at the beginning of a translation (almost always of a sentence or clause), 40 odd examples
    8 beginning of an IL line, 6679.3
    9 object [FZ]; genitive or allative [JGB]; hence, oblique? [DGN] follows 11 (1sg, but not the nominative form here) 6680B; follows #11 and 21 (2sg, prob genitive) 6684.9; follows 121 (1du. prob genitive) 6713.7
    10 under i and u of mati umil and matiumil, 6683B / 6684T
    11 see #9; also followed by pelican, 6699
    12 translation before a translation of a phrase, 6684B; beginning of IL line 6693.5 (same?)
    13 reduplication
    (scope of reduplicand is underlined if not clear)
    [BJA: could this be a reversed script capital R?]
    precedes full stop at end of a lg line 6685B / 6686.1, 6686.9, 6687T; in language line 6716.9, 6724.9; always follow an underlined language word; possibly a variant of #22
    Anjumarla kujarra #13 'four' cf. kujarra 'two'
    14 possible; context [FZ] above re in [re. girl] 6683B, 6685B/6686T; introducing background info 6717.8/6718T; introducing explanation 6715B, 6723.6; (same one?) precedes a gloss 6721.2; precedes an explanation 6722.7; follows #7 6723.5, 6723.9, 6724.7
    15 implies [FZ] precedes a variant or alternative form 6687T, 6721.2, 6723.2, 6718.6 (with #5 preceding)
    16 possibly 'a pair of synonyms follows' [BJA], cf. #27 followed by 22 as gloss of 2du. pronoun also glossed as "us twofellow" [sic], 6686.6
    17 followed by when as a gloss, 6688.3
    18 above a lg word, may be raised d, 6692B/6693.5
    raised ° between the a and following i of yaba°iri (r, now typed as rr), 6713.1
    20 possibly cf, 6713B
    21 cpt in IL line, 6714.6; most likely means 'complement'
    22 reduplication ? in language line, 6718.7, 6719.9/6720.2; possibly a variant of #13
    23 looks like possibly a reference to note 1 but there isn't one, 6720.5
    24 = #5 followed by ", precedes a gloss, 6721.4
    25 seems to include #5, precedes a gloss, 6723.5
    first gloss [BJA] possibly the same as #5; before 'on top' gloss of abumba, Athima 6742/33
    synonym pair follows [BJA], cf. #16 Weipa 6764:
    gunu    pa'indu
    'I been come out of water'
    #27 gunu = anga

    [= is EQUIVALENCE SIGN, like = but 3 bars]

    root, or original meaning [BJA] ulgun 'hill #28 rock', Athima 6742/33
    29 form as spoken at regular tempo, with sandhi [BJA] yi na imil 'you go spear!' #29 in imil, Athima 6741/32
    interjection or ideophone ? [BJA] 6292 and T271/6300

    Cf. Laves' phonetic symbols

    Laves page

    © 2001