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Reviewed by:
  • Léxico bilingüe: Aparai-português/português-aparai by Eliane Camargo
  • Joseph T. Farquharson
Léxico bilingüe: Aparai-português/português-aparai. By Eliane Camargo. Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2002. Pp. 133. ISBN 3895863068. $45(Hb).

With the overwhelming struggle to save and/or document the world’s numerous languages on the brink of extinction, the Léxico bilingüe: Aparaiportuguês/português-aparai (LBAP) offers the linguistic world a useful work which the author rightly identifies as a ‘contribution towards the documentation of (the) Amazonian languages’ (1) (translation mine). Camargo must be lauded for attempting something that is rarely done for dictionaries/glossaries of lesser-known languages, viz. providing not only a gloss of the language being studied in the working language (Portuguese), but also adding a section giving the focus language gloss of words from the working language.

The work is divided into two sections: first, a concise overview of some aspects of the morphophonology of Aparai (5–23); second, the lexicon proper, which is itself further subdivided into Aparai-Portuguese (25–102) and Portuguese-Aparai sections (103–33). The author also provides a useful map on p. 24 which helps the reader identify the location of Aparai speakers in Brazil. In the first section, the Aparai-speaking community is located geographically, a brief overview of past scholarship is provided, and a short description of LBAP’s contribution to the documentation of Amazonian languages is given. C then moves on to a discussion of the morphophonology of Aparai, including an outline of allomorphy and word order. This section ends with an explanation of the organization of the entries in the lexicon.

The lexicon itself is organized in a straightforward manner with headwords given in bold with accompanying hyphens where necessary to indicate what kind of affixation the word will allow. For example, -akoro-‘brother, sibling of the same sex’ indicates that the word will take both an affix and a suffix (jakorony ‘my brother’). In the Aparai-Portuguese section, C includes illustrative sentences for most of the entries and provides Portuguese translations of each sentence. Word classes/grammatical categories are also identified by way of abbreviations.

The Portuguese-Aparai section is not as extensive as the Aparai-Portuguese one, and no illustrative quotations are given. C continues the practice of indicating the affixation type that the Aparai equivalents will allow.

This lexicon is a tangible contribution to the ongoing project of documenting Amazonian languages and should serve as a good reference for anthropologists, morphologists, phonologists, and those specifically interested in understudied languages.

Joseph T. Farquharson
University of the West Indies, Mona


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