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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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te    ti    tu    


*tabi plough


PAN     *tabi plough

Seediq tabeplough; a very simple tool made of a stake (now iron-shod), inserted at a 60 degree angle into a long wooden frame pulled by a buffalo or a man
Kavalan tabia plough
  t<m>abito till the land

Note:   Possibly a loan distribution, as ploughing by Formosan aborigines probably was first acquired after contact with the Chinese. However, a loan source is yet to be identified, and Kavalan and Seediq, although geographically not distant from one another, had very little known contact during historical times.


*tadaw kind of large knife


PAN     *tadaw kind of large knife

Pazeh tadawknife (for fighting, hunting)
Puyuma taɖawa large knife, single-edged knife with a wooden handle


*takis sword


PAN     *takis sword

Taokas takishsword
Paiwan tjakitlarge knife, sword; sickle (Western dialect)

Note:   Taokas material in Tsuchida (1982) is drawn from several sources, each of which is carefully labeled. The form takish was recorded by the pioneering Formosanist Naoyoshi Ogawa in 1901. Since the few relevant examples from the same source suggest that Taokas reflects *s as h before a vowel and as zero word-finally (*susu > huhu ‘breast’, *timus > timu ‘salt’), the implied change *-s > -sh in this form may indicate that it is a loan distribution, although the languages in which it is found have not been in contact within the historical period and the transfer between languages would have to have taken place before *s > -t in Paiwan.


*tanaq a plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)


PAN     *tanaq a plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)

Pazeh tanaa plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)
Thao ta-tanaqa tiny plant with thorny stem and dark green pointed aromatic leaves that are used both as seasoning in cooking and as medicine in the treatement of fevers, colds and respiratory problems: Aralia decaisneana
Tsou tnooa plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)
Kanakanabu tanaʔea plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)
Saaroa tanaʔea plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)
Rukai (Budai) tanaa plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)
Kavalan tania plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)
Paiwan tjanaqAralia decaisneana

Note:   Also Atayal (Mayrinax), Bunun (Takituduh) tanaʔ ‘a plant: Aralia decaisneana (Hance)’. This comparison was first noted by Li (1994).


*tanayan bamboo sp.


PAN     *tanayan bamboo sp.

Saisiyat tanayankind of bamboo
Basai tenayanbamboo, bamboo fence
Kavalan tenayanbamboo (generic)


*taNah red


PAN     *taNah red

Atayal (Squliq) m-talahred
Atayal (Mayrinax) ma-tanahred
Atayal (Palŋawan) ma-tanahred
Seediq (Toŋan) ma-tanahred
Taokas ma-tanared

Note:   Possibly an Atayalic loanword in the now extinct Taokas. Weighing against this interpretation is the observation that Atayalic languages seem to have been moving northward from central Taiwan (present Nantou county) during the past several centuries, indicating that there probably was greater distance between them and the Taokas during the time period when borrowing might have occurred.


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


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

Saisiyat taLœʔænhouse
Pazeh taxuanhut, shack, shelter
Thao talhuqantemporary hut used when spending extended periods in the fields for agricultural work
Bunun taluqanhunter’s hut; a hut or place in which to dream an omen about wars or hunting
Amis taloʔanhut, temporary shelter for use in the fields

Note:   Also Amis talokan ‘a chicken coop’. Throughout that part of the Austronesian world in which grain crops are grown it is common for workers to sleep overnight in fieldhuts when engaged in agricultural work at some distance from the home village. No equivalent of this term has been found in Malayo-Polynesian languages, although the practice of using field huts is common in areas such as Borneo or Sumatra.


*tatak hoe


PAN     *tatak hoe

Pazeh tatakhoe
  taa-tatakis cutting down tall grass or shrubs with a scythe or a machete by holding in aloft and swinging down
Pazeh (Kahabu) tatakhoe
Kavalan tatakhoe
  t<m>atakto hoe, dig earth with a hoe
  sa-t<m>a-t<m>atakto pretend to hoe, pretend to work with a hoe

Note:   Kavalan normally reflects *k as /q/, but Li and Tsuchida (2006:7) observe that *k sometimes became /k/ in words that do not appear to be borrowed, as in *likud ‘back’ > ku-rikuz ‘follow’ or *siku > siku ‘elbow’.

TOP      te    ti    tu    



*tenem sea, ocean


PAN     *tenem sea, ocean

Kanakanabu tənəməsea
Saaroa tənəməsea
Amis tnemsalty water (as is found in the village of Haciriwan)
Puyuma tənəmthe noise of the sea; a synecdoche in ritual context for the south, where the sea is (Nanwang)
Puyuma (Tamalakaw) tenempond, marsh
Puyuma tənəma crater full of water; in ritual context the shamans use bayaŋ ‘sail of a ship’; təbur ‘south’, as meaphors for sea (Katipul)

Note:   This term was replaced in PMP by *tasik ‘sea, saltwater’.


*teñeb dive, submerge


PAN     *teñeb submerge

Pazeh mu-tenepto drown, submerge, inundate
Ilokano tennébtempering of metals

Note:   Also Puyuma (Tamalakaw) tenep ‘submerge’, Ilokano táneb ‘submerge partly, immerse in part’, ma-tnéb ‘to sink’. With root *-ñeb ‘dive, submerge’.

TOP      te    ti    tu    



*timu salt


PAN     *timu salt

Atayal cimusalt
Seediq (Truku) timusalt
  s-timucrave salt, crave salty things
Saisiyat timosalt
Taokas timusalt
Proto-Rukai *timosalt

Note:   This is a frustrating comparison. First, although *timu appears to be assignable to PAn in the meaning ‘salt’, it is in competition with *qasiRa for this meaning, and the latter form has a far stronger pedigree throughout Austronesian. Second, PAn *timu shows an apparently greater than chance similarity with PWMP *timus, yet no Formosan language reflects *-s. Tentatively, then, PAn *timu and PWMP *timus are treated as chance resemblances, and the semantic distinction between PAn *timu and *qasiRa or PWMP *timus and *qasiRa remains unclear.


*timuRmuR rinse the mouth


PAN     *timuRmuR rinse the mouth

Kavalan timmuRto keep something in one’s mouth (as sugar)
Puyuma TimuRmuRrinse one’s mouth and spit

Note:   With root *-muR ‘gargle, rinse the mouth’.

TOP      te    ti    tu    



*tumaNa to hear, listen


PAN     *tumaNa to hear, listen

Taokas temadato hear
Pazeh tumalato hear, to listen
Thao tmazato hear, listen
Tsou tmaləto hear, listen


PAN     *pa-tumaNa to make someone listen

Pazeh pa-tumalato make someone listen
Thao pa-tmazacause someone to hear something, make someone listen; read to someone
  ta-tmazalisten in on someone, eavesdrop


PAN     *t<um>umaNa to hear, listen

Thao t<un>mazato hear, listen, understand (a language)
Hoanya t<um>mālato hear
Saaroa t<um>imaɬato hear

Note:   Also Bunun (Ferrell 1969) taʔaza ‘to hear’, Saaroa timalha to hear. This is the only known PAn trisyllable which contains the base-internal sequence *um following an initial consonant. It was thus vulnerable to misanalysis as a disyllabic base *taNa, although this type of change evidently was rare (the only known reflex in which the base may have been interpreted as containing the actor voice infix * is Bunun tanʔa (Jeng 1971) ‘to hear’, which is doubly irregular in also containing postconsonantal glottal stop, and so may be a chance resemblance.


*t<um>imaNa to hear, listen


PAN     *timaNa to hear, listen

Thao tmazahear, listen
  pa-tmazamake someone listen; read to someone
  ta-tmazaeavesdrop, listen secretly
Tsou tmaləto hear; accept


PAN     *t<um>imaNa to hear, listen

Thao t<un>mazato hear, listen, understand (a spoken language)
Saaroa t<um>imaɫato hear


*tuquN an evergreen tree, probably Acacia confusa


PAN     *tuquN an evergreen tree, probably Acacia confusa

Pazeh tul ~ tunpine tree
Paiwan tuqulʸa tree: Acacia confusa

Note:   The gloss for Pazeh tul ~ tun is clearly underspecified. However, since PAn *saleŋ meant ‘pine tree’, the best alternative gloss for *tuquN must be the acacia, which as an evergreen, might easily be mislabeled as a pine.


*tuRukuk chicken


PAN     *tuRukuk chicken

Bunun tulukukrooster
Saaroa toroko:kəchicken
Puyuma turukukfowl, poultry

Note:   Also Tsou troʔua, Kanakanabu tarukúuka, Saaroa tarukuuka, Proto-Rukai *tarokoko, Kavalan traquq ‘chicken’. This word undoubtedly is onomatopoetic, and so could have arisen independently through sound-imitation. However, convergent results of onomatopoeia in related languages rarely exhibit regular sound correspondences as in the present case, and a reconstruction therefore appears justified. It is possible that PAn *tuRukuk referred only to roosters.

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