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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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in    ir    is    

I:   I don't know

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

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(Dempwolff: *baya(q) ‘neglect’)

ignore, neglect

PPh bayqaignore, neglect
Ilokano bayʔápermit, allow, let; leave alone, neglect
Isneg bayʔáleave off, desist from, cease, forbear
Tagalog báyaʔallow or tolerate (a situation); leave someone alone
Bikol báyaʔstop doing something, abandon, disregard, dispense with, forego, leave off, relinquish, renounce; concede (as defeat)
Hanunóo báyʔaʔabandonment, neglect, act of forsaking (someone)
Aklanon bayáʔto ignore
Cebuano báyaʔleave something exposed
Cebuano pa-báyaʔpay something no mind
Malagasy vazadisdain, contempt

Dempwolff compared the Tagalog form with Malagasy vaza ‘disdain, contempt’ and proposed *baya(q) ‘neglect’, but this is best considered a chance resemblance, and the form reconstructed only for Proto-Philippines.

iguana, eel

Bugotu vavamonitor lizard
Arosi hahaiguana
Rarotongan aasea eel

Bugotu and Arosi point to PSES *papa; the resemblance of Rarotongan aa to these forms is attributed to chance.

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included with

Maranao tampilincluded with, identified with; favor one side
Iban tampiljoin, attach, tie on; relative by marriage; graft, bud graft

(Dempwolff: *labaq ‘increase, growth’)

increase:   growth, increase

Tagalog labáʔincrease, growth; usurious interest
Toba Batak labaprofit, yield, benefit

Based on the comparison of these forms plus Ngaju Dayak laba ‘have a result’, and Javanese labah ‘addition, supplement’ (Zusatz), Dempwolff (1938) posited Uraustronesisch *labaq ‘increase, growth’. However, Hardeland (1859) gives Ngaju Dayak laba ‘exceptionally lucky’ (vorzugsweise glücklich), and I am unable to find a similar Javanese form in either Horne (1974) or Pigeaud (1938). Given the collapse of the rest of his comparison and the absence of newer support the relationship between the Tagalog and Toba Batak forms given here is best attributed to chance.

(Dempwolff: *tiwas ‘disastrous, incurable’)

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.

indica:   tree sp.: Erythrina indica

Ilokano bagbafgErythrina indica Lam
Label balbala tree: Erythrina indica
Gedaged baza tree: Erythrina variegata
Gitua barama tree: Erythrina indica

Gedaged baz, Gitua baram 'k.o. tree: Erythrina indica' probably are cognate. The similarity of these to the other forms cited here is attributed to chance.


Rotinese buinflated, as the cheeks when blowing
Rotinese fukind of fish that puffs up its belly when it comes onto dry land
Nukuoro buubladder, balloon, ball; head of the octopus; conch shell trumpet, or any other round, hollow, inflatable object

insect sp.

Hanunóo waŋwáŋant sp.
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) waŋwaŋcicada

(Dempwolff: *ancam)


Tagalog asámfeeling of anticipation
Ngaju Dayak ancamintention, plan (usually with the secondary sense: futile)
Malay ancamthreat; menace
Javanese ancamthreat; threaten verbally

(Dempwolff: *bulus)

intention, purpose

Tagalog búlossecond helping or ration of food
Malagasy vólo-vólointention, purpose, relation, likelihood


Tagalog sabalásNortheast; Northeast wind
Toba Batak bagashouse; deep

For reasons that remain unclear Dempwolff (1934-38) compared these disparate forms, which he assumed to be connected through the common meaning ‘interior’ (given by him as ‘interior of the land = Northwest’, ‘interior of the house = dwelling’). Entirely apart from the error in the directionality of the Tagalog term this is an uncharacteristically uncontrolled piece of etymological speculation for a scholar who was generally much more cautious.


Banjarese hiapcry out, shout
Sundanese hiapinterjection used to call someone: come here!
Tolai a iapinterjection: make haste!


Maranao antaiwho?
Makassarese antewhere?

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iron (metal)

Palawan Batak baribáriiron, metal
Iban besi baristeel

Richards (1981:28) compares the Iban form with Malay keris bahari ‘kris with a long, narrow, straight blade’. Other terms that may be related are Thao balis ‘iron (metal)’, and Kavalan baris ‘nail’. However, the Thao word is clearly a loan, probably from Bunun (although our lexicographic resources for the latter are insufficient to determine this with certainty), and the semantically deviant Kavalan form evidently reflects a prototype with medial *l rather than *r or *R (Li and Tsuchida 2006:8). By way of counterbalancing these problems, there is a second comparison (Palawan Batak karát ‘rusty’, Malay karat ‘rust’) which provides independent support for an early knowledge of iron. On balance, this is perhaps best regarded as a chance resemblance, but the number of suggestive forms and the potential value of a comparison with this meaning keeps hope alive. The term *bari is discussed at some length in Blust (1976) and Blust (1999), where it is suggested that it may have referred to meteoric iron.

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Fordata vuarmountain, hill
Asilulu huʔalland mass, island
Buruese bualisland
Tanga buelmountain
Label bualbush
Tolai bualthe bush, a vague word for any place; be full of weeds
Tolai bual kutuiisland

The Label, RALU and perhaps Tanga words are related through direct inheritance from a common proto-form, and the Asilulu and Buruese words are related through borrowing. The similarity between these two sets and between either of them and Fordata vuar appears to be due to chance.

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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_i.htm

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