Related Ideophonespolan, suni, tsupu, tupu
DefinitionAn energetic bursting out of water by a freshwater dolphin
Sensory ModalityMOVEMENT > Configurational
Initial bilabial is strongly aspirated to imitate an idea of a forceful burst out of water. Final velar fricative is often expressively drawn out to imitate the duration of the movement of what is bursting out of water.
Transcriptionwaɾmi ɾandi tupo, bʰuxx kaɾ
TranslationAnd then the woman, she (fell into the water) tupo, (and burst out) bhuxx, (and traced an arc through the air) kar.
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Bhux is an ideophone that has a meaning which may seem generalizable to any type of fish. Yet, it only occurs in descriptions of freshwater dolphins. It may be considered an antonym of polang, which depicts the moment when something breaks through to the water's surface from underneath, but without any force. It is also an antonym of tupu/tsupo, both of which depict a fall into water, rather than a bursting out of water. Video 1: Luisa Cadena is telling Janis Nuckolls and Alex Rice a traditional story about how the freshwater dolphin came to exist. The story relates how a group of people who cruelly withheld food from poor orphan children were eventually punished by hawks who swooped down upon the stingy people and pecked out their eyes. The stingy ones then fall into a nearby river and become transformed into freshwater dolphins. The video fragment describes the moment when one of the stingy women falls into the water and then bursts forth as a dolphin.

Nuckolls, Janis. 2024. bhux. The Quechua Ideophonic Dictionary. Online: