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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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le    li    lo    

(Dempwolff: *tumbak ‘crab claw, lance’ )

lance:   crab claw, lance

Ngaju Dayak tumbaklance
Malay tombakspear, lance
Old Javanese tumbaklance
Javanese tumbakspear, lance
Tongan tupakind of land crab
Niue tupaa crab; a slave
Futunan tupakind of land crab
Samoan tupabeach crab, Cardisoma sp.
Kapingamarangi dubeland crab

This is one of the most remarkably speculative of all Dempwolff etymologies. The forms in western Indonesia refer exclusively to spears or lances, and those in Polynesian languages to land crabs, but here he has tried to force a connection by assuming that the primary reference in the latter case is to the claw of the crab, imagined as somehow believed to be lance-like (rather than pincer-like, which is far more likely). Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tumbak ‘crab claw, lance’ (Krebsschere, Lanze).


Isneg abátto be late
Aklanon ábota late-comer to dinner (or any meal)


Ifugaw kíkimanner of laughing, applied to women and children (onomatopoetic)
Ifugaw (Batad) kikia laugh
Kayan kikika shout or yell (of pleasure)

(Dempwolff: *eneb 'settle, clear, of liquids')

layer, stratum

Isneg annāplayer, stratum, bed (e.g. the leaves that cover the bottom of the hearth, etc.)
Malay enaptailings, alluvial deposit
Old Javanese enebthat which has settled on the bottom

TOP      le    li    lo    


leaf:   pulpy leaf

Tagalog balábaʔpulpy leaf or joint of plants such as the banana
Tae' balaʔbaʔfrond of the sugar palm the leaves of which are twisted together

Chance. Although this item might be considered a doublet of *palacipaq, Tae' balaʔbaʔ appears to derive from an infixed form of *bejbej (cf. Tae' baʔbaʔ).


Kwaio ofalarge lean-to, temporary shelter
Kosraean ohplean-to roof

TOP      le    li    lo    


lie above

Toba Batak lindito add, annex
Javanese kə-lindihovercome, defeated

Best treated as a chance resemblance. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed Uraustronesisch *lindiq ‘lie above’ (obenliegen).

light:   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-.

lightning:   to flash, of lightning

PAmb itito lighten; flash, of lightning
Gilbertese itilightning, thunderbolt, electricity, light
Tuvaluan itielectricity

Ranby (1980) gives NANU iti as a borrowing from English, but Gilbertese iti would appear to be a more likely source. The resemblance of these forms to Proto-Ambon *iti is regarded as a product of chance.

lining, mat

Bikol hápinlining; insulation, padding; layer, ply, veneer; to line (as shelves, boxes)
Kelabit epinsleeping mat

liquid:   fluid, liquid

Bikol antáʔjuice of fruits of the citrus family
Hanunóo ʔántaʔjuice, as from citrus fruits
Aklanon átaʔfluid, potion, liquids, semen
Cebuano átaʔink of squids and similar creatures
Mansaka ataʔfluid ejected by octopus/squid
Kayan ataʔwater

TOP      le    li    lo    


lock of hair

Tolai ipa curl of the head, lock of hair
Maori iholock of hair

(Dempwolff: *buntu)

lock up

Malay buntublocked; not admitting further ingress (of a cave walled up, a drain choked, a blind alley, etc.)
Sundanese buntunot permitting egress, dead-end (of a road, etc.), not able to continue through or move forward; something (such as a commercial transaction) which because of a hindrance cannot be carried out
Old Javanese wuntufull, blocked, clogged
Javanese buntustopped at one end; clogged; fig. bogged down
Javanese jalan buntudead-end road
Sasak buntustopped, plugged up, of anything that is tube-shaped
Bare'e buntuunable to go further; leave behind (as a travelling companion),
Fijian butu-yaenclose in a net, as fish; bring things together to meet, as of the thatch on the roof of a house

(Dempwolff: *piŋgaŋ ‘loins’)


Malagasy fiŋganaa trip up, a stroke by which a person is tripped up
Malay piŋgaŋwaist; loins
Javanese piŋgaŋloins

Based on this comparison Dempwolff (1938) posited Uraustronesisch *piŋgaŋ ‘loins’. The Javanese word probably is a Malay loan, and the Malagasy word, which Dempwolff glossed ‘move the legs’ (Bein stellen) is best ignored.

(Dempwolff: *lawas ‘long duration’)

long duration

Ngaju Dayak lawasinternode, the part between two joints or knuckles (of fingers, sugarcane, bamboo, rattan, etc.)
Malagasy lavalong, tall; without interruption
Malay lawasclear; open; unobstructed (of an open field, a coconut palm stripped of its coconuts, a comfortable feeling after the stomach has been rid of a heavy meal
Toba Batak laoscontinue, walk on; go around
Old Javanese lawaslength of time, duration

Based on the first four members of this comparison Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *lawas ‘long duration’ (lange Dauer). However, there is little semantic coherence in this comparison, and it is best treated as a product of chance until better evidence can be found to support it.

(Dempwolff: *luga(r) ‘sparse, not dense’)

loose sparse roomy

Malay loŋgarloose-fitting; loose and shaking (of a that needs a wedge to prevent its wobbling, a kris too small for its scabbard, of breaking up earth
Javanese loŋgarhaving enough room, having leeway
Fijian loŋgasparse, not dense

A product of chance. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *luga(r) ‘sparse, not dense’ (undicht).

lose:   to lose

Maranao ilapto lose
Old Javanese ilepto lose

lose consciousness

Mansaka ayabafraid of heights
Ngaju Dayak hayapfainting spell
Bidayuh (Bukar-Sadong) ayabconfused, muddled up, wandering of the mind

(Dempwolff: *upaw)

lose hair or feathers

Tagalog úpawbald
Bikol úpawbald, shaved to baldness
Aklanon úpawfall out (said of hair)
Cebuano upáwbald, lacking hair on the head; devoid of vegetation; infertile
Maranao opawshave hair; bald head
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) upewbald
Tiruray ʔufawa bald head
Malagasy ofoscaling off
Malagasy mi-ofoto scale off, to cast the skin or slough

Tiruray ufaw is assumed to be a GCPh loan; the relationship of Malagasy ofo to the Philippine forms is attributed to chance.

low:   to low, moo

Ilokano úgato low, to moo (cows); the cry of the deer
Tagalog uŋáʔlowing of cattle
Bikol úŋaʔmooing, lowing of a cow
Cebuano úŋaʔlowing, mooing sound of cows and buffalos; low, moo, bawl as if mooing
Rarotongan uŋōto low, as cattle, to bray, as an ass

The resemblance of Ilokano úga and of Rarotongan uŋō/ to the other forms and to one another is attributed to chance.

low rumble

Malay leram(onom.) low rumble
Tolai lorto bark, of a dog; to grunt, of a pig

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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_l.htm

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