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Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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de    di    do    dr    du    

(Dempwolff: *Ta(r)ik ‘round dance’)

dance:   round dance

Tagalog pag-talíkartistic movement of the hands, as in folk dancing
Javanese ṭarik-ṭarikset out in neat rows (as corn in a field)

Chance. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *Ta(r)ik ‘round dance’ (Reigen), but nothing of the kind appears to be justified.


Mongondow bambeʔhang, hang up (as on a rope)
Wolio babedangle, hang loosely
Manggarai babek, babikhanging down loosely, swaying

Chance. Manggarai babek may be a loan from a southern Sulawesi source.

day, sun, light

Simalur balal, falalday, sun
Nias baladay
Mongondow bayaglight, radiance
Molima valasun(light), day(light)

Chance. Kähler (1961) cites this comparison, but Mongondow y can only reflect *d, *r, or *y, none of which are regular sources of Simalur, Nias -l-.

dazzle, flash

Ilokano irapto dazzle
PMic iralight, flash, lightning

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(Dempwolff: *ki(n)cu ‘deceit, fraud’)

deceit, fraud

Malay kicuswindle, cheating
Toba Batak hinsuclosed, locked
Javanese kecuthief, one who breaks in by force

Also Toba Batak hunsi ‘closed, locked’, a borrowing of Malay kunci ‘lock or bolt’, metathesized in hinsu. Dempwolff (1938) posited *ki(n)cu ‘deceit, fraud’.

(Dempwolff: *tubiR ‘deep place in the water’)

deep place in water

Tagalog túbigwater
Bikol túbigwater; a pond, puddle, pool
Bikol ma-túbigwatery
Tausug tubigwater, juice (of a fruit), (with mata) tears
Tausug ma-tubigwatery, (of fruit) juicy
Malay tubirdeclivity; cliff; steep river bank; very sloping beach
Mongondow tubigwater, moisture, juice

Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tubiR ‘deep place in the water’ (Wassertiefe), but the meaning in Central Philippine languages is consistently ‘water’ or ‘juice’, and no forms have been found that might be used to bridge the gap to the semantics of the Malay term.

definite article

Chamorro idefinite article
Nggela ni(preposition with many meanings)
Nggela ia prefix to some nouns, probably a form of
Arosi idefinite article used with nouns, verbs treated as nouns, and pronouns.

Probably a reflex of *qi 'genitive marker' in Nggela and Arosi. I assume that the similarity to Chamorro i is due to chance.

(Dempwolff: *laba(r) ‘pleasant flavor’)

delicacy of pounded foods

Malay mə-lawarto slice fish or buffalo meat into very thin slices before spicing, salting and drying it for preservation
Malay lawar-lawarfood so prepared
Toba Batak maŋa-rabarprepare fruit or meat by pounding it and then adding citrus peel, pepper and salt
PSS la(b) a(ɣ)dish made of raw meat/fish seasoned with lemon juice, spices, etc.
Sa'a lahaa pudding of grated yams and new nuts pounded and mixed with the pudding; coconut cream added if necessary

Dempwolff (1938) posited Uraustronesisch *laba(r) ‘pleasant flavor’ (Wohlgeschmack). However, if the Toba Batak, South Sulawesi and Malay forms are related it is probably through borrowing, and the similarity to Sa'a laha is best attributed to chance.

dense, close together

Kankanaey balídclose-woven
Paiwan validthick (forest), dense, closely planted

dense vegetation

Sa'a pupuluthick, dense (as branches)
Tuvaluan pupuimpenetrable (of forest)

design:   plan, design, project

Ilokano balálaplan, project; a way proposed to carry out a design
Makassarese balabalaplan, design, project

(Dempwolff: *teges ‘to mark, designate’)

designate:   to mark, designate

Toba Batak togosconsecrated, dedicated
Old Javanese təgəsclearness; meaning, explanation
Old Javanese ma-nəgəsto make clear, explain
Javanese təgəsmeaning, significance, sense
Fijian dokato respect or honor

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *teges ‘to mark, designate’ (bezeichnen).

(Dempwolff: *walat 'destruction')


Tagalog wálatbe destroyed
Tagalog walátdestroyed
Javanese walatheaven-sent retribution

Chance. Dempwolff (1934-38) compared the above terms and Tongan, Futunan, Samoan mala 'misfortune, bad luck, scourge, plague'. He recognized that the Polynesian forms cannot regularly reflect *walat, but failed to recognize that Javanese walat is also irregular, since *wa- became Javanese o- (*wada > ora 'not', Old Javanese wwalu > Mod. Javanese wolu/ 'eight'). Javanese Nalat has no known etymology (Madurese balat 'misfortune' presumably is a loan), but must derive from earlier *balat.


Motu hunudew
Roviana punidew

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dig, dig up

Kambera ákidig, dig up
Manam okidig, break up grass-soil

dig, dig up

Kambera ákidig, dig up
Manam okidig, break up grass-soil

dig up the soil

Hanunóo buwákany hole in the ground into which taro, yams, and other root crops are placed, i.e. for planting
Tae' buakdig up the soil with a digging stick

(Dempwolff: *buŋkar)

dig up the soil

Tagalog buŋkáldug out (said of stones and soil); tilled (said of soil)
Bikol buŋkálturn over the soil, break ground; dig something out of the ground; uproot
Ngaju Dayak buŋkar, uŋkarunpack (a chest), unload (a boat)
Malay boŋkarheaving up, raising up something heavy
Toba Batak buŋkartake apart
Javanese buŋkardisassembled parts; unload things from a vehicle

dig up

Ilokano i-kalkágto bump something against the ground (in order to remove the dirt)
Bikol mag-kalkágto dig up, to exhume


Ilokano bulíkadto dilate, open wide (the eyes); view with close attention, fix the eyes on
Bikol buríkatdilated, wide open (the eyes)
Cebuano bulíkatspread the labia of the vagina apart with the fingers

(Dempwolff: *sukar ‘dirt, filth’)

dirt, filth

Tagalog súkalrubbish; garbage; dirt; flotsam; scattered weeds
Javanese se-sukerexcrement

Dempwolff (1938) posited *sukar ‘dirt, filth’ on the basis of these two forms, but the sound correspondences are irregular, and there is no known support from other languages.

(Dempwolff: *laŋes ‘dirt, filth’)

dirt filth

Isneg laŋsíthe smell of fish, of blood, etc.
Ifugaw (Batad) laŋhiodor produced by fishes
Tagalog laŋísoil; lubricant oil; unction, the oil for anointing
Javanese laŋessoot from the smoke of an oil lamp
Javanese ŋe-laŋesto give off sooty smoke

Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *laŋes ‘dirt, filth’ (Schmutz). The Isneg and Ifugaw words form a ‘near comparison’ with Central Philippine forms such as Cebuano laŋsá ‘having a fishy smell or the taste of blood’.

disaster:   evil, harm, disaster

Tagalog sáholdeficiency; lack of something;; state of being subdued or defeated
Tagalog sahólsubjugated; subdued; wanting; lacking
Malagasy sonadeath wail
Javanese so-sollose one’s head

Dempwolff (1938) proposed this comparison, which appears to be a collection of unrelated forms in all three languages. I am unable to find sona in Richardson (1885), and the closest form I can find to his so-sol is sol ‘uprooted (by storm)’ in Pigeaud (1938).

(Dempwolff: *tiwas ‘disastrous, incurable’)

disastrous, incurable

Tagalog tiwáshaving the rear end higher than the front (instead of being level)
Ngaju Dayak tiwasguilty, be guilty of something
Sundanese tiwasbe struck by misfortune or disaster
Old Javanese tiwasfailing, coming to nothing, being a disappointment; broken down, defeated, ruined, dead
Javanese tiwasdead; to die
Balinese tiwasbe poor, be needy; poverty, need
Tongan ma-sivapoor, needy, in want
Samoan ma-tivabe poor; poverty; lack, want

Also Fijian dewa ‘to spread abroad, e.g. of a disease that becomes epidemic’. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tiwas ‘disastrous, incurable’, but despite some marginal plausibility this comparison seems best attributed to chance.

disease:   skin disease

Maranao bodokskin on the head which is scaly, skin lesion
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) buzukskin disease on the scalp which forms large scabby areas
Malay bodokleprosy in its early stage
Old Javanese wuḍugleprosy
Javanese buḍugleprosy
Javanese buḍug-enhave/get leprosy

Malay bodok is assumed to be a loan from Javanese. The similarity of the Philippine forms to those in western Indonesia is attributed to chance.

(Dempwolff: *seba(r) ‘disseminate, strew around’)

disseminate, strew around

Ngaju Dayak sawarscattered, of seeds that are planted in the holes made with a dibble stick
Malay me-ñəbarto sow
Malay səbar-anseed
Javanese ñəbarto spread, scatter; to distribute
Javanese sebar-andistributed, spread about
Fijian covapour out

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *seba(r) ‘disseminate, strew around’, but plausible cognates are found only in western Indonesia, where they may be borrowings from Malay. Fijian cova does not appear in Capell (1968).

(Dempwolff: *ali)

dissention:   argue, quarrel, dissention

Tagalog alievil influence; demoniac or diabolic urge
Malagasy adya fight, combat, quarrel, contention, battle, dispute, contest, attack, assault, war


Maranao tembordive in water, immerse self in water
Rotuman joputo dive, swim under water
Fijian tobu-rakato plunge (a bucket, etc.) into water

Proposed in Blust (1970) as *(CtT)eŋbur ‘dive’, but this now seems misguided, as the initial consonant of Rotuman jopu reflects the nasal grade of *s-, and Fijian tobu-raka reflects PAn *Cebuj ‘natural spring, fresh water spring’.

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Ngaju Dayak awiimperative of the verb mawi: do, make, manufacture
Nias hawiperform something with vehemence
Balinese awiperform, carry out, do; compose (writings)

do, perform

Wetan iado, make, deal with, become
Fijian iado, perform, carry out

don't:   I don't know

Manggarai aikI don't know
Duke of York aiinterjection: I don't know


Malay babaŋagape, wide open
Banggai mbambadoor
Buginese babaŋdoor
Kwaio baba (ni fonoŋa)flat slab used to close door
Lau babadoor

Also: Malay pintu gerbaŋ 'lynch-gate', Rejang baŋ/ 'door'. Chance, with possible convergence based on a common root *-baŋ 'open out'. Lau, Kwaio baba may reflect *papan 'plank, board'.

door opening

Kayan bawindow or door opening
Sika wadoor opening

Chance (cp. Kayan ba 'mouth', evidently the primary sense of the term).

down:   bite down on

Ifugaw (Batad) ītibclench the teeth, bite down on something
Cebuano itlíbbite gently with the front teeth; nibble at

down:   press down

Kayan jekerect or jolt a post into the ground
Madurese ejektrample until crushed
Balinese enjektread on, stand on, stamp on
Sasak enjekpress under, submerge

down:   split down the center

Tolai palaŋsplit down the center, as a bamboo
Maori parahalf of a tree which has been split down the middle

down:   throw down

Maranao ampasdrop, fall down
Maranao ampas-ampasshake off all or most of the fruit of a tree to the ground
Malay hempasdashing down, hurling against. Of a man flinging down a burden, flinging himself down, slamming a door, etc.
Minangkabau ampasdashing down


Aklanon búnokrain heavily, rain "cats and dogs"
Hiligaynon bunúkheavy rain, downpour
Cebuano búnukfor rain to fall in torrents
Malay hujan bunutcontinuous rain
Manggarai benektoo much (of something prepared), excess; in close sequence (of the birth of children)

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drill:   bore a hole, drill

Tolai barbara-bara/ bore a hole, punch
Eddystone/Mandegusu vala-valathe bow by which a drill is rotated; to drill a hole
Nggela valopierce a hole in porpoise tooth
Kwaio falodrill a hole
Sa'a haloto bore, to drill
Arosi haroto bore, twist a stick in making a hole


Mota imato drink
Seediq (Truku) imaxto drink

(Dempwolff: *luRuq ‘to drizzle’)

drizzle, trickle

Tagalog lugoʔdrizzle, trickle
Malay lurohdropping, being shed, esp. of leaves and fruit

Chance. I cannot find a Tagalog word of this shape with the stated meaning in any modern dictionary. Based on these two forms, and Javanese luh ‘tears’, which clearly reflects PAn *luSeq, Dempwolff (1938) nonetheless proposed Uraustronesisch *luRuq ‘to drizzle’.

(Dempwolff: *tabuq ‘drumstick’)


Tagalog tambóʔreed; a kind of tall grass with a hollow stalk that grows in wet places, and used in making brooms
Malay tabohstriker for the keys or surface of a musical instrument, such as the gong, signal drum or mosque drum
Old Javanese tabəhbeating, striking (esp. a musical instrument); the stick or hammer for this
Javanese tabuhmallet or hammer for striking percussion instruments; the playing of gamelan music
Balinese tabuhhammer (gong, etc.)
Balinese nabuhto strike (gong, drum, etc.)

Based on a comparison of the above Tagalog, Malay, and Javanese words, together with Toba Batak tabu ‘alarm drum’, Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed PAn *tabuq ‘drumstick’. He then extended this inference to *tabuqan ‘yellowjacket wasp’ by suggesting that the latter is *tabuq-an, and is semantically linked with *tabuq through the drumming sound that the yellowjacket wasp reportedly makes. However, I find nothing like the Toba Batak word he cites in Warneck (1906), or in dictionaries of any other Batak language, and the Tagalog word is semantically very distant from the forms in western Indonesia. In short, I consider this whole enterprise fanciful, since there is no sound evidence for *tabuq ‘drumstick’, and without this as a beginning the analysis of *tabuqan --- which is highly questionable on morphological and semantic grounds in any case --- is vacuous.


Tae' baradry (areca nuts, fruits)
Manam baradry
Kwaio baladried out, of wood or tobacco
RALU (DY) wāradry in the sun

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(Dempwolff: *tibag ‘dug out, excavated’)

dug out, excavated

Tagalog tibágcutting; an excavation through high ground; landslide from a hill; erosion of soil from a river bank; excavated, quarried
Malay tebaka heavy cutting or chopping blow
Malay sa-tebaka fragment lopped off
Malay tebak tanahto dig out earth with a caŋkul (hoe); in pantuns (oral poems) tebak suggests clumsiness, a blow that does more harm than good

Probably a chance resemblance. Dempwolff (1938) proposed PAn *tibag ‘dug out, excavated’.

dull resounding sound

Itbayaten m-aʔbeŋresounding (of low-pitched tone)
Bidayuh (Bukar-Sadong) abuŋswish of horsefly, gnat; buzz of flies, mosquitos or bees

Probably convergent innovation from a common root *-beŋ₃ 'dull resounding sound'.

(Dempwolff: *calcal ‘to hack off’)

dull, blunt

Tagalog salsáldull or blunt at the end; not pointed
Ngaju Dayak tasalhammer
Javanese cacalchipped, marred

Based on this comparison Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *calcal ‘to hack off’.


Sangir ebuŋdust
Ngadha evusawdust

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Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, web edition
Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel
2010: revision 6/21/2020
email: Blust (content) – Trussel (production)
D:\Users\Stephen\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\prjACD\prjACD\bin\Debug\acd-n_d.htm

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