The headache of having no more fluent speakers of Hanis is,while going through century old written materials, I run across questions about differences in meaning between words that have similar, or on the surface even identical definitions.
I ran across one today in St Clair. There is a verb I’d seen before in other sources, tlqai- meaning ‘to break’:
ntlqaits nji’lech-I broke my leg
tlqaitsu – (the waves) broke
Then in St Clair there appear to be two (though related) verb roots for ‘to break’:
ntlqaits=I broke it clean off (n=I, tlqai=to break, -ts=transitive suffix)
tlkilixtii-it is broken up (tlkilixt-to break(?), -ii=mediopassive)
ntlkilixtit-I broke it (n=I, tlkilixt=to break(?), -t=transitive suffix)
So in addition to tlqai- there is now the similar but different looking verb stem tlkilixt- both defined as ‘to break’. But there seems to be a little difference. St Clair defined tlqai as ‘broken clean off’. Reading between the lines (as it were) he seems to imply that tlkilixt- can mean broken up in pieces (or at least not completely broken off, like tlqai-).
I wish I could go back to someone like Jim Buchanan or Martha Harney Johnson and ask some questions, and figure out distinctions of meaning between words. But alas, I was born a few decades to late for that. So I am left with trying to ‘read between the lines’.