In the early years of the Yakan language project Dietlinde Behrens worked alongside Janet Perssons, and later Betty Peterson in the towns of Badja and Lamitan on the eastern side of Basilan.
Miss Behrens expresses her appreciation to all:
Many different Yakan people have contributed in significant ways to this dictionary. They would be too many to mention all by name. Many people from Badja and the surrounding villages helped me to get an initial grasp of their language. Many others from Lamitan town and the 'Yakan village' in Calarian, Zamboanga City, answered numerous questions about their language, particularly in the area of specialized vocabulary such as carpentry, medical terms, religious terminology, plants and animals. My thanks goes to all of them.
But one person must be singled out for special recognition. Mrs. Tawira Ilul from Bohe Ibu, Lamitan, Basilan has worked with me from 1975 until the present time. She patiently shared her extensive knowledge of the language and culture with me and pointed me to other people with expert knowledge in specialized fields. Her friendship has been a great source of encouragement to me. I don't know how I can adequately thank her.
My co-workers in SIL have contributed in various ways. Mrs. Meriam Bayo initially keyboarded several thousand dictionary entries from handwritten filing cards! She and other colleagues in the SIL computer department provided programs and assistance for the whole process including typesetting and printing. Many colleagues were willing to discuss my questions from the background of their knowledge of other Philippine languages. (Not to mention my questions on proper or idiomatic English!) The "Lexicography Handbook" written by Dr. Leonard Newell was of tremendous help. As my consultant he made many valuable suggestions which improved the entries.
To all of these and many others not mentioned above I am deeply indebted and express my heartfelt thanks.
Dietlinde Behrens, 2002