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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


As originally conceived, the ACD excluded cognate sets that are confined to the Formosan languages. Since Taiwan is a relatively small island that has been inhabited by Austronesian speaking peoples for at least 5,500 years, it was felt that early loanwords that have spread fairly widely among the languages might be difficult to distinguish from forms that were actually present in PAN. I have now reversed that decision on the grounds that it causes too many interesting and potentially valuable comparisons to be ignored. Cognate sets that are fairly widely distributed among Formosan languages belonging to different primary branches of Austronesian are now taken as evidence for PAN etyma. The only cases where I have maintained the original policy is where a cognate set is restricted to geographically contiguous languages and the probability of borrowing cannot easily be excluded. However, given the greater likelihood that undetected early loans might be attributed to PAN if they are attested only in Formosan languages, I have distinguished 'Formosan-only’ cognate sets as a separate module of the ACD.

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*adaS bring, take along

*ajem heart; mind

*aki grandfather

*alim forget

*alujah ant sp.

*apa₂ carry on the back

*asaŋ₂ village

*baCaR broomcorn millet: Panicum miliaceum

*bajiw edible mushroom sp.

*baki₂ grandfather

*bali₃ wind

*baliw₃ buy, sell

*baŋaS a tree: Melia azedarach

*baŋeS skin

*baŋun the Japanese cypress: Chamaecyparis obtusa

*baqeSiŋ sneeze

*baRaŋ rib (?)

*baRat₂ cucumber: Cucumis sativus

*benan deer of the genus Cervus, either the sika deer or sambar deer

*beNbeN banana: Musa sapientum L.

*beRuS a plant: Rhus semialata

*biliN to follow after someone, walk behind

*bukuN back (anat.)

*bula₂ to give

*bunuR₁ to swell; swollen

*bunuS machete

*buRay flower

*Cabu to wrap

*Cali cultivated taro: Colocasia esculenta

*Capuh sweep

*CawiN year

*CebuN smoke

*Cebuŋ to meet, come together

*Ceked to rest, take a break from work or other activity

*CekeS kind of very slender bamboo

*Cemel grass, herbs; medicine

*Cumay Formosan black bear

*dakeS a tree: the camphor laurel: Cinnamomum spp.

*damuq₁ menstrual blood?

*daqu₂ soapberry: Sapindus mukrossi, S. saponaria

*daRa₁ Formosan maple: Liquidambar formosana

*daRiq soil, probably clay

*dawiN far

*diNaŋ rust; hematite

*dua over there, yonder

*dukduk₁ ginger

*gumuN body hair

*ini negative marker: no, not

*iuk citrus fruit (both orange and pomelo?)

*kabaR clothing

*kabus₂ shrimp, lobster

*kahuS scoop up

*kakaCu spider

*kaluŋkuŋ deep resounding sound

*kapua silk cotton, kapok

*kawaS₁ year, season; sky, heaven

*kawaS₂ talk, talk about, discuss

*kaway₃ net bag used by men for carrying things on back

*kawkaw₁ sickle for harvesting grain

*keRiw hemp plant; hemp

*ketun cut, sever

*kiRim seek, search, look for

*kuCkuC roll up, curl up tightly

*kulay₁ worm, insect

*kumeS pubic hair

*kumiS pubic hair

*kuNkuN Formosan hill partridge

*kuRi rake

*kuti vulva, vagina

*kuya defect, bad, defective

*lahuN steam, vapor

*lapis flying squirrel

*lawaR flying squirrel

*lebleb₁ foggy, misty, overcast, gloomy, of weather preceding rain

*likeS mosquito

*lukeNaw Formosan clouded leopard

*lupas₁ peach

*lutuk₁ the Formosan hare: Lepus sinensis formosus

*maNaŋ sharp

*maqaw a plant: Litsea cubeba (Lour.)

*mumu Formosan blind mole: Talpa micrura insularis (Swinhoe)

*nay deictic particle: this

*nema what thing?

*Namat iron (metal)

*Naqeji boundary between adjacent rice fields

*Nibu lair, den of an animal

*Nihib rock shelter, cave under a rock

*NuqeS bone marrow

*Nutud join two things to give added length (rope, bamboo, etc.)

*ŋiSŋiS beard

*ŋuSuN nosebleed

*pajiS enemy

*paNiŋ door

*paqeju gall, gall bladder

*pataS tattoo

*pedel to wring out, as water from wet clothes

*peSiq squeeze out juice; squirt out

*pi- causative of location

*piad dish, plate

*pu- causative of motion

*puja navel, umbilical cord

*pujek navel, umbilical cord

*pukaw₁ night-blindness, nyctalopia

*punuq brain, marrow

*puNi whiteness

*puSaN twice

*qa₂ interrogative particle

*qadiS hawk sp. (harrier?)

*qanus₁ a plant: Begonia aptera (Hay)

*qaNa stranger; enemy

*qaRidaŋ bean, pea (generic)

*qaRiw dry

*qeCeŋeN black

*qelqel chew, gnaw on

*qelud housepost, pillar

*qemu sticky rice cake

*qiNaS moon, month

*qubiS pubic hair

*qudaS gray hair

*qulas dewdrop

*quyaS to sing; song, tune, melody

*riSriS hoe up weeds; weed a garden

*RabiS small knife

*Rahap seeds for sowing

*RameC root

*RamiS root

*Ribawa swell; swelling, tumor

*Rimeja sword grass: Imperata cylindrica

*RiNaS long feathers used for personal adornment

*Ritu loquat tree and fruit: Eriobotrya deflexa

*Rubu nest, lair

*RuSRuS to scrape smooth, to plane a surface

*sakay₂ walk

*sakeC muntjac, barking deer

*sakut to carry, transport, move something

*salaw to pour, of heavy rain

*samaq remnant, leftover

*saNiw whetstone

*sequŋ horn of an animal

*sihikay maggot

*siRa₁ yesterday

*supay whetting, sharpening

*Samaq a plant: Lactuca indica Linn., and Sonchus oleraceus Linn.

*Samud a plant, sesame: Sesamum indicum

*Sanaq river otter

*Sawiki betel nut: nut of Areca catechu

*Seked stop an activity, take a break, rest

*Seŋad to breathe

*Sidi Formosan serow, mountain goat

*Sijap broom

*Sikad ashamed; shy

*Sina a plant: Erechtites spp.

*SipuR to count

*SiSiN omen bird: Alcippe spp.

*Suaw yawn

*SulSul to masturbate

*SuReNa snow

*tabi plough

*tadaw kind of large knife

*takis sword

*tanaq a plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)

*tanayan bamboo sp.

*taNah red

*taRuqan field hut; temporary shelter used when working for extended periods in fields far from the village

*tatak hoe

*tenem sea, ocean

*teñeb dive, submerge

*timu salt

*timuRmuR rinse the mouth

*tumaNa to hear, listen

*timaNa to hear, listen

*tuquN an evergreen tree, probably Acacia confusa

*tuRukuk chicken

*uka₂ negative existential: there is none

*umaS to pickle, preserve meat or fish

*uŋay ritually sacrificed monkey?

*uSa go

*waCaN deep pool or pond

*walay thread

*waNiS tusk of wild boar

*waNu honeybee

*waqit barb, point; canine tooth?

*waSaw leaf

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*adaS bring, take along


PAN     *adaS bring, take along

Atayal arastake, take along, bring
Kavalan azasto bring (people), to take something/someone along


PAN     *um-adaS bring

Atayal m-arastake, take along, bring
Saisiyat maraʃbring
Bunun madastake along, take
Kavalan m-azasto bring people, to take something/someone along

Note:   Although Bunun madas appears to be an affixed form of a base /adas/ Jeng (1972) gives the base as /madas/ because of affixed forms like /madas-in/. It is unclear whether the same is true of Saisiyat.

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*ajem heart; mind


PAN     *ajem heart; mind

Saisiyat (Taai) azemheart (mind)
  maL-ʔaz-ʔazemto think
Basai anemliver
Kavalan anemheart, mind
  kasi-anemto think
  si-anemto remember

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*aki grandfather


PAN     *aki grandfather, ancestor   [doublet: *baki]

Atayal akiʔpaternal or maternal grandmother
Thao akigrandfather
Tsou akʔigrandfather
Molbog akigrandfather
Murut (Timugon) akigrandfather
Tatana aki ~ yakigrandfather
Mongondow akigrandfather
Lolak akigrandfather

Note:   Thanks to Jason Lobel for pointing out the reflexes of this form in Sabah and northern Sulawesi. Also Yami Ivatan akay, Isneg akáy, Agta (Dupaningan) kakay ‘grandfather’. With unexplained postconsonantal glottal stop in Tsou. Since a non-problematic reflex of *aki is not available in at least two primary branches of Austronesian this might be considered a ‘near comparison’. However, since it is found next to the doublet *baki, which can be reconstructed without issues it is posited here.

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*alim forget


PAN     *alim forget

Kavalan marimforget for a moment, slip one’s mind
Paiwan alimforget something/someone
  m-alimforget (object/person)
  ma-alimbe forgotten; be caused to forget
  s-alimbusy, preoccupied

Note:   Kavalan marim is assumed to contain a prefix that is either fossilized, or attached to a base that was not elicited by Li and Tsuchida (2006).


*alujah ant sp.


PAN     *alujah ant sp.

Saisiyat ʔæL-ʔæLozæhant sp.
Amis (Kiwit) alunahlarge variety of ant

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*apa₂ carry on the back


PAN     *apa₂ carry on the back

Seediq apaload; act of carrying
  m-apato carry
Pazeh m-apacarry on one’s back
Thao apacarry on the back
  m-apacarry on the back, as a load of wood or a child

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*asaŋ₂ village


PAN     *asaŋ₃ village

Saisiyat asaŋvillage
Bunun asaŋvillage

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Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, web edition
Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel
2010: revision 6/21/2020
email: Blust (content) – Trussel (production)