a word from Vocabulary Hup
|Word meaning:||be alive, raw (meat or fish)|
The limited data and lack of any text record has made the dating of words in the database difficult. Relative dates were established using several criteria. First, comparison of word lists across the Nadahup family, and particularly the reconstructions in Martins (2005), were used to determine whether a given word was cognate across two or more Nadahup languages (and thus appears to reconstruct to Proto-Nadahup, Proto-Hup-Yuhup-Dâw, etc.); however, these lists included only a fraction of the words in the database, and intra-family borrowing cannot always be ruled out. Other words, particularly loanwords of Portuguese origin, are dated within a general range of 100 to 10 years ago, on the basis of their formal accommodation and the best guess at when the concept became known to Hup speakers generally (for example, Hup speakers obtained items like knives and axes through trade long before they entered into direct contact with non-Indians, whereas other things like ice, wheat bread, and canned beer are very recent and still rarely encountered).
The numerical dates assigned to these relative periods are very approximate and should be understood as little more than wild guesses. For example, the age of Proto-Nadahup is given at between -500 and 1200 CE, but even this wide range could be incorrect if the rate of change in the Vaupés is significantly slower or faster than that of other better-understood language families, such as Romance. The age of many words in the database is indicated as ‘no information’; this simply means that the Hup words have no known cognates, which is in most cases due to an unavailability of lexical data on all three sister languages is unavailable for that meaning. Since the Hup data itself is only a few years old, a date of ‘since 2000 CE’ for the first attestation of these words seems pointless, so no date is given.