a word from Vocabulary Saramaccan
The ages were generally enumerated into descriptive categories of lexical strata to which specific years were assigned to at a later stage, with the year spans for different strata completely over-lapping in some cases. This provides a relatively coarse-grained view of the ages of the various lexical items in the database. Some words, undoubtedly, could be given more precise ages, but such work was not attempted here. Age spans were all rounded to fifty-year intervals so as not to give any mistaken impressions of precision for their beginning and end points.
This age label is used for words of Amerindian origin. Amerindian contact is ongoing and dates from the beginning of the Suriname colony’s founding. However, since the Amerindian element in Saramaccan primarily consists of flora and fauna terms it seems likely that these words entered the language relatively early and not in the last century or so. Therefore, the years assigned to this stratum are 1650, i.e., the founding of the Suriname colony, to 1900, an arbitrary relatively conservative “late” date. In all likelihood, however, the Amerindian element is mostly significantly older than this end date suggests.