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.
Common Suriname Creole
This age label is used for words which appear to be common retentions among the three related Surinamese creoles—Saramaccan, Sranan, and Ndyuka—but which do not clearly appear to be of English origin. Such retentions were not systematically looked for, however, and just because a word is not assigned to this category does not mean it may not actually belong there. Rather, when, in searching for an etymology of a word, I discovered that an element was common to the three creoles and it did not appear upon quick inspection to be a borrowing from Sranan into the other two creoles, I assigned it to this stratum. As such, it should not be considered a particularly reliable age assignment. This stratum was assigned the time span of 1650–1700, from the beginning of the colony until approximately when the Saramaccans had split off from the plantation society.