Friday, February 8, 2008

Apatani language - Body parts 2 - the hand

The 5 fingers (lachi bungohe/lachi yangohe)
lanii : thumb
ladii : index finger
laso : middle finger
lanu : ring finger
lachi anyan : little finger

Other parts
lapyo : palm of the hand
lapin : back of the hand (not including fingers)

? : flat of the hand

lachi : finger
lachi mitu : fingertip
lahin/layin : finger nail
? : finger phalanx/segment
lachi paban : knuckle (
joint of the finger)
(lapyo daka) rinii : line of hand

Other words related to the hand
lapu : fist
langa : wrist
gyaye, gonge, siite : handful
lata : to open hand
lapu : to close hand
yulyin : to take one's hand out (eg. of one's pocket)
yuha : to put one's hand in (eg. one's pocket)

What most of these words have in common is their first syllable, LA-, from ALA, "hand". As already mentioned in an older post, the second syllable -or root- of the word ALA is used as a prefix for most words related to the hand, or depicting parts of the hand. This very typical feature of word construction in Tanii seems to be shared with other languages of the Tani family (Nyishi, Galo, Tagin, Miri, Adi, Mishing...). The words for 'left' and 'right' in Tanii, LACHI and LABI, are also constructed with this prefix. This implicitly suggests that the left/right distinction is made by reference to the left hand and right hand.

Measure words for expressing 'a handful' vary according to the context and action considered :

Apin gonge ahisiito => put one handful of (cooked) rice to the mouth !
Embin gonge piito pe => pick a handful of (husked) rice (for me) !
Apin gyaye gyato => throw a handful of (cooked) rice, or take a handful of rice (from some cookware) !
Endi siite je buto => unroot a handful of paddy !


Anonymous said...

whose work is this? PB or GT?

tdtara said...

It would be more meaningful if you point out error in the post and help in improving it,then asking "who did this ? "...(i feel).