Dictionary entries explained

The structure of a dictionary entry

The entries in this Tepehuan–Spanish dictionary are presented in a simple and systematic manner. All Tepehuan citations appear in bold; headwords appear in blue and examples appear in dark blue. All Spanish translations appear in normal type and green. All explanatory portions appear in italics; qualifications about meanings are in yellow, and qualifications about grammatical aspects are in red. For example:

The structure of the entry


All the entries in the dictionary have at least three parts: the headword, its grammatical category and its translation into Spanish. Many entries also include one of the following parts: a qualifying comment, several senses, illustrative sentences in Tepehuán and their corresponding translations into Spanish, a cultural note, linguistic information, references to other words, and at the end, subentries.

Following is an explanation of each of these parts of a dictionary entry.

Simple entry

Most entries begin with a headword, an abbreviation of its grammatical category, and a translation equivalent in Spanish.

Although most of the headwords are simple words, some compound words and some phrases are included. All of these are also assigned a grammatical category.

Some entries are prefixes, suffixes or clitics. If they are used as part of another word, this is indicated by an equal sign on the affix. But if they are used as a separate word, no hyphen is used. These grammatical elements usually carry a short explanation of their meaning.


Homophonous entry words are differentiated with subscript numbers.

Grammatical category

As noted in the previous examples, the abbreviation for the grammatical category of the article entry appears after the headword (see “Abbreviations”). However, if the headword is a pronunciation variant, or if it is a grammatical variant of another word, instead of the grammatical category there is an abbreviation for the type of variant followed by a reference to the word to which it is related.

References to variants, synonyms or antonyms that begin with the same three letters as the entry of the article are not included as headwords, nor are those that begin with the other letter of an alveolar-palatalized pair (see “The Alphabet of Southeastern Tepehuan”). In addition, references that would occur next to the entry in which they are cited are also not included.

Translation equivalent

Following the word in Tepehuan and its grammatical category, the Spanish translation equivalent of the headword is given, as in the previous examples. If the word in Tepehuan has more than one Spanish translation equivalent, they are separated by a comma.

In some cases, the translation equivalent is a phrase instead of a single word.

When the translation equivalent of an adjective has a masculine form and a different feminine form in Spanish, only the masculine form is given. Similarly, when the translation equivalent of a noun has both a singular and plural form in Spanish, only the singular form is given.

But when the translation equivalent of a noun has a masculine form and a different feminine form in Spanish, both are given, unless the word in Tepehuan only means one of the two.

Furthermore, the article is not added to the translation of nouns, unless it is part of the word in Tepehuan.

Qualifying comment


If the meaning of the entry is more restricted than its translation equivalent into Spanish indicates, a qualifying comment is given. This comment appears in italics and parentheses immediately after the translation equivalent.


When a headword has more than one sense, each sense is numbered. Second and subsequent senses start on new lines.

Illustrative sentences

After the translation equivalent of the headword, most entries give a Tepehuan sentence that illustrates its use in a cultural context. All examples are translated into fluent Spanish; occasionally it is necessary to clarify a literal meaning.

Cultural note


Sometimes more information is given about the meaning or use of a word in the illustrative sentence which is related to a local custom. This note appears as a complete sentence, in italics and parentheses, after the Spanish translation of the illustrative sentence to which it applies.

Grammatical information


After the illustrative sentences, some grammatical information about the input word is often given. This information varies according to the grammatical category.


For all non-stative verbs, the headword is cited in the future tense, from which most of the other forms of the verb can be deduced (see “Grammar”). The forms that cannot be deduced so easily from it are given as grammatical information.

Specifically, the forms of the past tense and the present tense of non-stative verbs are usually given. If any of these forms does not appear as grammatical information, it means that such form is not used.

Sometimes the past and present forms are the same or other irregular forms occur.

Sometimes it is necessary to explain an unusual feature of a verb. This grammar note precedes irregular forms.

The entry form stative verbs is the present tense, to which is added the non-present stative clitic for the past and future forms (see “Grammar”).


In the entry for a noun, the plural form is always given when it is used. If there is no plural form, it means that either the noun is not used in the plural, or the same form is used for both the plural and the singular.

In a few cases, there are two possible plural forms.

In addition to the plural of nouns, the forms of possession and location of the third person singular are cited when they exist, since they are often irregular.


In entries for an adjective or a stative verb, the corresponding copulative proclitical is given in parentheses immediately after the headword

Pronunciation variants


When there is variation in the pronunciation of the input word, it appears at the end of the entry preceded by the abbreviation Var. (No regional variants are shown in this dictionary.)

Synonyms and Antonyms

References to synonyms and antonyms are preceded by the abbreviations Sinón and Anton., respectively.

Related forms

Occasional references are made to forms related to one another using Véase (See).


At the end of the article there may be one or more subentries. These are complex forms which are formed from the headword. If the subentry has a grammatical category, it also appears as the headword of its own entry. In those entries, references to components of the complex forms are preceded by the abbreviation Deriv. de (when there is one component) or Comp. de (when there are two or more components).