The documentation of the Dhao language is a work-in-progress being carried out under the Language and Culture Unit (UBB-GMIT), Kupang. The current preliminary version of the lexicon has just under 1,600 headwords and includes homonyms, subentries, multiple senses, lexical relations, and example sentences. The lexicon was compiled in Toolbox following the MDF conventions (Coward and Grimes 1995, 2000), and ported over to Lexique Pro. As a work-in-progress, some of the entries are more reliable than others.
Copyright ©2008 UBB-GMIT, Kupang. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compilers: Charles E. Grimes, Ph.D. (Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University; and SIL International); Rev. Dr. Ayub Ranoh, Th.D., Helena Aplugi.
Other contributors: Lazarus Aplugi, Drs. Michael
Sina, Lazarus Lusi, Paul Ledo. We have worked with approximately 45
other speakers, male and female, young and old, from the
language has no /nd/ sound or sequence. The spelling and pronunciation as ‘Ndao’
come from the dominant Rote languages on near-by
Dhao consonants are displayed in the figure below (with practical orthography symbols in parentheses) and [loan phonemes in square brackets]. These latter are found mostly in proper names and a few high frequency loans introduced via Malay.
Labial Apical Laminal Dorsal Glottal
Dhao has a six vowel system as displayed in the figure below.
Front Central Back
e ə (è) o
Phonetically long vowels are a sequence of two vowels. There are no single unit diphthongs.
Word stress falls on the penultimate syllable of the word. Each vowel is a syllable nucleus, so stress falls on the penultimate vowel in VV sequences, regardless of whether the two vowels are same or different.
A stressed schwa /ə/ in a VCV# sequence results in phonetic lengthening of the following consonant. Because this is predictable it is not written in either the transcription or the practical orthography
The double vowel onset in the practical orthography noted in the table of consonants is contrastive. But it has extremely limited distribution. It seems to function at a lexical or phrasal level, and hence is not a phoneme of the same sort as the others. This is illustrated in the examples below.
ae ‘many people’
[ɖəu ʁae] dhèu aae ‘king’
[ʔəlːe] èle ‘complete, finished, done’
[ʔele] ele ‘disappear’
[təkːe ʁele] tèke eele ‘abandon s.t., leave s.t. behind’
[ʔiki] iki ‘small’
[ʔana ʁiki] ana iiki ‘small child’
[ʔuru] uru ‘first, prior, preceding’
[nətːi ʔuru ka mai] nèti uru ka mai ‘from long ago’
[ʔana ʁuru] ana uuru ‘eldest child’
[ʁaː] aa ‘and (conjunction)’
[ʁoː] oo ‘also, as well, additionally (adverb)’
Last updated 8 April 2008.
Aplugi, Lazarus, Charles E. Grimes, Ayub Ranoh, and Michael Sina, compilers. 2000. Kamus Pengantar Lii Dhao (Bahasa Ndao). Kupang: Artha Wacana Press. [Introductory dictionary of Dhao.]
Coward, David F. and Charles E. Grimes. 1995, 2000. Making dictionaries: a guide to lexicography and the Multi-Dictionary Formatter. Waxhaw: Summer Institute of Linguistics. www.sil.org/computing/shoebox/mdf.html
Fox, James J. 1977. Harvest
of the palm: ecological change in eastern
Fox, James J. and Charles E. Grimes. 1995. ‘Roti
introduction.’ In Darrell Tryon, ed. Comparative
Austronesian Dictionary; an introduction to Austronesian studies. 4 Parts.
Trends in Linguistics, Documentation 10.
Grimes, Charles E. 1999. ‘Implikasi penelitian fonologis
untuk cara menulis bahasa-bahasa daerah di Kawasan Timur
Charles E. (forthcoming). Hawu and Dhao in eastern
Grimes, Charles E., Tom Therik,
Jacob, June and Charles E. Grimes. 2005. ‘Aspect
and directionality in Kupang Malay serial verb constructions.’ Paper
Jonker, J.C.G. 1903. ‘Iets over de taal van Dao.’ In Album Kern. (Opstellen geschreven ter
eere van Dr. H. Kern).
Ranoh, Ayub, Lazarus Aplugi, Michael Sina, Charles E. Grimes, translators. 2000. Li Lolo Be’a nèti Lamatua Yesus madhutu sasuri Markus. Kupang: Artha Wacana Press. [Gospel of Mark in Dhao, with sketch of phonology in introduction.]
Ranoh, Ayub, Lazarus Aplugi, Michael Sina, Charles E. Grimes, translators. 2004. Lii Lole nèti Ana Pajuu-paleha Lamatua Yesus. Kupang: Artha Wacana Press. [Acts of the Apostles in Dhao.]
Ranoh, Ayub, Lazarus Aplugi, Michael Sina, Charles E. Grimes, translators. 2005. Li Lolo dhu uru tèka. Kupang: Artha Wacana Press. [Genesis in Dhao.]
Ranoh, Ayub, Lazarus Aplugi, Michael Sina, Charles E. Grimes, translators. 2006. Li Holo Nori mi Dhèu Sarani. Kupang: UBB-GMIT. [Pastoral epistles in Dhao.]
Walker, Alan T. 1982. A
Grammar of Sawu. NUSA Linguistic Studies in Indonesian and Languages of