The vocabulary contains 1262 meaning-word pairs ("entries") corresponding to core LWT meanings from the recipient language Iraqw. The corresponding text chapter was published in the book Loanwords in the World's Languages. The language page Iraqw contains a list of all loanwords arranged by donor languoid.
The basis of the database is Mous, Qorro and Kießling (2002). In the summer of 2005 Dr. Martha Qorro (native speaker and linguist from University of Dar es Salaam) and Maarten Mous went through the whole list together and discussed all problematic entries.
Many noun forms are in fact derived but these are not marked as analyzable. Since most nouns contain a number suffix we have decided not to mark these as analyzed. Also words that contain grammatical morphemes that are reconstructable in that form (with the suffix) are not considered analyzable. However words that contain a wordclass changing derivation and words that warrant a separate entry in the dictionary are given as analyzable. Semi-analyzable was used for those words that contain lexicalised derivations that seemed to be of interest to present.
Age indications are based on Kießling & Mous (2003). What is reconstructable to Proto Iraqwoid level (Iraqw+Gorwa) is indicated as –200; for proto Northern West Rift (Iraqw, Gorwa; Alagwa) as –300 and as proto West-Rift (Iraqw, Gorwa, Alagwa, Burunge) as –500. These dates are very tentative guesses and not based on any external evidence. We have not indicated age beyond the West-Rift period because we do not know yet how the South Cushitic Rift languages fit into the wider (Eastern) Cushitic picture. Colonial is used for the colonial period and recent for the post-colonial period. The distinction is not always easy to make and the division between these two is not rigid.
-500 at times of proto West Rift
There was no need to use W23 (register), W3 (original script), and no possiblity to indicate Frequency (W13).
It is quite straightforward to recognise borrowings because Iraqw (Cushitic, Afroasiatic) is in a different language phylum from its major lenders, Swahili (Bantu, Niger Congo) and Datooga (Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan). Borrowed words are nearly always of the category “Clearly borrowed”. In one or two cases this is not so clear and for those cases, the reason is given in the database. Thus borrowed status is usually clear.
Ehret, Christopher 1980. The Historical Reconstruction of Southern Cushitic Phonology and Vocabulary. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.
COLL = collective
INDEF = indefinite
N.AG. = Nomen agentis
SGLTV = singulative
VBLZ = verbalizer
The following glosses are used in the Morpheme By Morpheme Gloss: ADJective, APPLicative, CAUSative, COLLective, DEMonstrative, INDEFinite, NMLZ nominalizer, N.AG. Nomen agentis, POSSessive, SGLTV singulative, Q question word marker, VBLZ verbalizer.