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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary

Cognate Sets


na    ne    ni    no    nu    




































*na₁ common noun article


PMP     *na₁ common noun article

Malagasy niarticle (ni andro ‘the weather’, ni dite ‘the tea’)
Kambera nadefinite article (na uma ‘the house’)
Tigak naarticle before proper and kinship nouns
Tolai nadefinite and indefinite article: the, a, an
Vitu naarticle with common nouns
Lakalai laarticle prefixed to the majority of nouns
Mbula nadeterminer; bound relic of the Proto-Oceanic article *na occurring on some nouns, most of which are probably borrowed from the Maleu language of northwest New Britain
Motu nademonstrative adjective, used in place of the definite article
Roviana nathe (na vetu ‘the house’)
Eddystone/Mandegusu naarticle and demonstrative, the, this
Bugotu naindefinite article, a; precedes nouns and gerundives (na tinoni ‘a man’)
Nggela nanominal article, a, the (na tinoni ‘a man, the man’)
Lau nathe, a (na noni-na ‘his/her body’, na kui ‘a dog’)
Arosi naarticle with common nouns, used with subject rather than object
Wayan naprenominal particle; marks a nominal as 1. common, as opposed to proper or local, and 2. specific, as opposed to generic; a variant ne occurs directly before nominals beginning with the noun-deriving prefix i-
Fijian nathe common article: the, a; neither use is always in accord with the English practice


*na₂ linker marking emphatic attribution


PAN     *na₂ linker marking emphatic attribution

Thao nalinker between heads and attributes used to signal emphatic attribution (in contrast with a, linker between heads and attributes used to signal neutral or unmarked attribution)
Puyuma naparticle linking nominal heads and attributes
Tagalog nalinker between heads and attributes: ma-tákaw na táo 'a greedy person' = 'greedy LINK person' (Schachter and Otanes 1972:118)
Bikol nagrammatical linker used in adjectival phrases; grammatical connector equivalent to 'that'
Toba Batak narelative pronoun, often used to give emphasis (van der Tuuk 1971 [1864-1867]:369); attributive preposition linking a nominal head with an attributive adjective, verb, numeral, or a phrase : hau na tibbo tall tree = tree LINK tall, halak na modom the sleeping man = man LINK sleep, dakdanak na dua i the two children = children LINK two DEICTIC, halak na manuhor bukku the man who bought the book = man LINK buy book, jabu na di huta the house in the village = house LINK PREP village (Nababan 1981:81)
Chamorro naparticle used 1. to link a modifier with a following noun, 2. to link demonstratives with the nouns or noun phrases that follow, 3. to connect the numbers beyond the number ‘one’ with the following noun, 4. to link certain question words with the following noun, 5. to connect a complement clause with a main clause, thus functioning as a complementizer (Topping 1973:138-141)

Note:   Both *a and *na must be reconstructed as linkers between PAn nominal heads and their lexical or phrasal attributes. The question naturally arises what relationship these forms had. In some attested languages (Tagalog, Bikol) na is one of two phonologically conditioned allomorphs of a single morpheme, and it is conceivable that a similar relationship existed for PAn *a and *na.

What is striking about the distribution of these forms is that outside Taiwan reflexes have never been reported in the same language (thus some languages reflect *a, while others reflect *na). However, in Thao of central Taiwan reflexes of both *a and *na are found as fully functional linkers. While native speakers insist that a and na are ‘the same’, grammaticality judgements for phrases which contain one or the other particle show that they are not fully interchangeable. In a handful of critical examples it is reasonably clear that a signals what might be called ‘neutral’ or ‘unmarked’ attribution (e.g. ma-tubu a saran ‘a wet road’ = ‘wet LINK road’, while na signals what might be called ‘contrastive’ or ‘emphatic’ attribution (e.g. Q: ‘which road did you come on?’, A: ma-tubu na saran ‘the WET road’). Since van der Tuuk (1971 [1864-1867]) also treats the Toba Batak linker or relativizer na as an ‘emphasizer’ it appears likely that the situation in Thao is conservative, reflecting a PAn distinction which has been lost in almost all other Austronesian languages.


*na₃ genitive of plural personal names


PAN     *na₃ genitive of plural personal names

Kavalan nagenitive of common nouns
Saisiyat nagenitive of plural personal nouns
Atayal nagenitive of common nouns
Amis (Central) nagenitive of plural personal nouns
Paiwan nagenitive case marker for common nouns
Ibanag nagenitive case marker for common nouns
Agta (Central Cagayan) nagenitive of common nouns
Bikol (East Miraya) nagenitive of persons (plural)
Bantuqanon nagenitive case marker for plural personal names
Old Cebuano nagenitive case marker for plural personal names
Kadazan (Kimanis) nogenitive of personal names (plural)
Sungai Kuamut nagenitive of personal names (plural)
Lobu Lanas genitive of personal names (plural)
Buol nagenitive case marker for common nouns
Tolai namarker of part-whole relationships, as in mata na u ‘nipple’ [eye of breast]

Note:   For further details on this comparison cf. Blust (2005a). The three Sabahan forms cited here (Kadazan (Kimanis), Lobu Lanas and Sungai Kuamut), which have been added to the database since the appearance of Blust (2005a), are from Lobel (2014).


*-na distal spatio-temporal deixis: that, there; then


PAN     *-na distal spatio-temporal deixis: that, there; then

Amis o-nathis
Kanakanabu saː-nathere (yonder)
Bontok nathis; here; now
Kenyah (Long Wat) nahthere
Ngadha ke-nathat
Wuvulu fe-nathat
Tongan nathat, those, esp. near you
Samoan le-nāthat
Anuta e-nathat, there


PMP     *i-na that, there

Agta (Central Cagayan) s-inathere (2p)
Ifugaw h-ináthat, there (2p)
Casiguran Dumagat inathat, there (2p)
Bisaya inothat
Kelabit inehthat
Kenyah (Long Wat) inahthat
Kenyah (Long Anap) inathat
  d-inathere (location)
  k-inathere (direction)
Bintulu inəhthat (3p)
  d-inəhthere (location)
  t-inəhthere (direction)
Lampung inothat
Rembong inathat (2p); then
Li'o inathis
Watubela ine <Athat
Kowiai/Koiwai inathis
Mbula inathat (anaphoric)
Suau inathis
Motu inathis
Dobuan n-inathat
Chuukese inathere it is (by you)
Nakanamanga wa-inathat (distant)


PWMP     *sa-na there

Bontok sánathat one, close to hearer; there, close to hearer
Kankanaey sánathat; there, thither. What is near the person one speaks to; demonstrative and adverb of place
Malay sanayonder; over there; yon

Note:   Also Aklanon ináʔ ‘there (2p)’, Samihim inaʔ ‘this’, with presumably secondary final glottal stop.


*nabuq to fall


PMP     *nabuq to fall     [doublet: *dabuq, *labuq]

Kapampangan nabúʔto fall
Manobo (Kalamansig Cotabato) nabuʔto fall
Sangir nawoto fall
Uma nawuʔto fall
Kambera ka-nabuto fall
Kemak me-nahuto fall
Paulohi ma-nahuto fall
Alune nabuto fall, drop


*nadi hard stone used to make tools


POC     *nadi hard stone used to make tools

Motu nadia stone
Cheke Holo nadirock which is smooth, sharp and clear in color, probably quartz, used to make adze blades
Bugotu nadiflint
Nggela nandiflint
Lau (fou) nagiflint
Toqabaqita nagichert, flint; in earlier times used to make cutters and adzes and to strike fire; also used to break canarium nuts (still used in this function)
Arosi nagiflint, obsidian

Note:   Also Sa'a ŋädi ‘flint’.


*nago face; front; prow of canoe


POC     *nago face; front; prow of canoe

Gedaged nao-nface, countenance, visage, feature, appearance, aspect; front, forepart, first line; the outside of something, exterior
Gitua nagoface; bow or stern of canoe
Bugotu nagobefore, in front, first
  nago-ito precede, go before
Nggela nagoface; prow of canoe; in front of; before, formerly
  nago-vito be first on the road; to be first to capture or do something
Kwaio naʔobefore, first, in front of (usually preceded by “i” directional particle)
Lau naoface; in front of; before; first
  nao-naoformer, earlier
'Āre'āre i naʔo-kubefore my time
  naʔo-na lorathe stem, bow of a canoe
  naʔo-hiabefore, preparatory to
  i naʔo-ibefore, in front of; in former times
Sa'a naʔofront; before
Arosi naʔoformer period of time; to go before, to steer for; the front part of a thing, not of a man (rarely used)
  naʔo-hito steer for
  naʔo-naprincipal, chief; the genital organs of a man
Mota nago-iface, front, cutting edge
  nago-mateof quiet countenance; abashed
  nago-maurof bold countenance
Araki nahoface
  naho danimorning (‘face of the day’)
  naho hocofront teeth, including canines and incisors


*nai woman’s grass skirt


POC     *nai woman’s grass skirt

Loniu nayshort ornamented skirt
Lele naytraditional grass skirt
Lindrou naywoman’s dress
Gedaged naia skirt of fibers of mataen palm, etc., petticoat; the nai for small girls is only a narrow apron in front; older girls before marriage wear a nai with the back part narrower than the front; after marriage a nai with the back part wider is worn

Note:   A slightly longer version of this comparison was first published by Osmond and Ross (1998:99).


*najam accustomed to, familiar with; tame


PAN     *najam accustomed to, familiar with; tame

Amis nanamto be familiar with, accustomed to
Mansaka naramto domesticate; to tame; to train
Tiruray noromtame, gentle
Sangir naraŋcustom, habit
Tae' naramtame
Makassarese naraŋaccustomed; tame, of animals


PAN     *ma-najam accustomed to, familiar with; tame

Amis ma-nanamtamed
Bunun ma-namtamed
Puyuma (Tamalakaw) ma-nadamaccustomed (= tamed)
Sangir ma-naraŋbe accustomed


POC     *ma-nacam tame, docile

Gedaged mánantame, docile (mostly in reference to animals), peaceful, obedient, trained
Motu manadaeven, smooth, gentle
  manada-iabe accustomed to, be tame
Sa'a manatato be taught, quiet, of animals, broken in, tamed; nature, disposition, custom
  manata-ito know, be accustomed
Arosi manatatame, trained, gentle, of man or animal
  manatatame, trained, gentle, of man or animal

Note:   Also Tsou a-hmohmo, Saaroa ma-ɬaɬamə, Favorlang/Babuza ma-darram, Pazeh daxam ‘accustomed to’, Pangasinan lamlám ‘become accustomed to something’, Maranao tagam ‘tame’, Roviana manavasa ‘tame, subdued, at home, be used to’. Tsuchida (1976:142) assigns the Amis, Bunun, Saaroa, Tsou, and Pangasinan forms to "Proto-Hesperonesian" *La(m)Lam, but reflexes in most languages are regularly derivable from *najam. Mills (1981) proposes PAn *na(n)jam ‘domesticated, tame; clever’; however, he cites no Formosan cognates apart from Siraya ma-dagam ‘to accustom’, a form that cannot regularly reflect *najam.


*nakaw steal


PMP     *nakaw steal     [doublet: *Cakaw]

Kapampangan nákosteal
Tagalog nákawstolen, pilfered; thing stolen or pilfered
Buhid ag-naáwsteal
Ngadha nakasteal; secret, clandestine, illicit, illegal
Li'o nakasteal
Hawu naʔosteal
Rotinese nakosteal
Tetun naʔo-ksteal
Proto-Ambon *nakawsteal
Nusa Laut mu-natato steal


*nákem will; intellect; reasoning, intention, mental presence, mind


PPh     *nákem will; intellect; reasoning, intention, mental presence, mind

Yami nakemintention, meaning
  aro so nakemdisciplined, cultured
  nak-nakm-ento think, remember
  nakm-ento want
Itbayaten nakemconscience, consciousness, faculty of memory, reason, thought, mind
  pa-nakm-ento remind
Ibatan nákemkeep someone in mind, remember
Ilokano nákemmind; will, free will; intellect, sense, reasoning, good mental capacity
  ag-nákemto be reasonable, to have sense
  na-nakm-anwise, using good judgement, prudent
  paki-nákemwill, intention, thought
Isneg nákamwill, mind, intellect, sense, judgment, idea
  paki-naʔm-anto think, propose, intend
Sambal (Botolan) nákemseat of the emotions
Palawano nakemspirit; mind
Central Tagbanwa nakɨmthought, state of mind


PPh     *ma-nákem (gloss uncertain)

Yami ma-nakemremember, think of
Itbayaten ma-nakemto recall, being recalled, being remembered
Ilokano ma- nákemwise, using good judgement
Isneg ma- nákamparents; older brother; older sister; ancestors; wise people; elders


*namaw sheltered water: deep place in a river; cove, harbor, lagoon


PMP     *namaw sheltered water: deep place in a river; cove, harbor, lagoon

Casiguran Dumagat namawcoral reef
Karo Batak namodeep place in a river, generally where it makes a bend and the water moves slowly (common in place names)
Palauan ləmáusmall, deep spot within shallow area inside reef
Tetun namo-nbay, harbor
Yamdena namedeep sea channel in the reef
Proto-Ambon *nama(w)bay, harbor
Buruese namalevel stretch in a stream's course; cove, bay, harbor


POC     *namo lagoon

Wuvulu namolagoon
Kwaio namolake, pool, deep place in river
Lau namothe lagoon inside a reef, near the reef (the deep) pools towards the shore
Arosi namoa landlocked, shallow lagoon near the shore
Pohnpeian nahmwdeep place within the barrier reef; lagoon
Tongan namolagoon
Niue namolake, pond

Note:   Mills (1981) posits PAn *namaw, but cites only CMP and OC witnesses.


*namut an evergreen tree with decorative flowers: Cynometra ramiflora L.


PMP     *namut an evergreen tree with decorative flowers: Cynometra ramiflora L.

Ilokano namota tree: Cynometra ramiflora L. (Madulid 2001)
Cebuano namuta tree: Cynometra ramiflora L. (Madulid 2001)
Wahai lamuta tree: Cynometra ramiflora L (Ludeking 1868)
Larike lamutaa tree: Cynometra ramiflora L (Ludeking 1868)


*namut-namut a tree: Cynometra spp.


PMP     *namut-namut a tree: Cynometra spp.

Cebuano namut-namuta tree: Cynometra iripa Kostel, Fabaceae
  namot-namotCynometra iripa, Fabaceae
Subanen/Subanun namut-namuta tree: Cynometra ramiflora Linn., Fabaceae
Wolio namu-namukind of tree and its edible fruit: Cynometra cauliflora
Nusa Laut namu-namukind of bean: Cynometra spp.
Batu Merah namu-namu huanukind of bean: Cynometra spp.

Note:   Also Cebuano namut ‘a tree: Cynometra elmeri Merr., Fabaceae’. The Philippine forms are from Madulid (2001), the Moluccan from Ludeking (1868).


*-nan that


PWMP     *-nan that

Murik inanthat one
Melanau (Sarikei) inan idunthere


PWMP     *a-nan that

Maranao ananthat
Kayan (Long Atip) ananthat


*nana₁ that, those


POC     *nana₁ that, those

Eddystone/Mandegusu nanathat, that one; there
Lau nanathat, those
Woleaian laal (laala)demonstrative (close to hearer); that, those


*nana₂ term of address for older female relative


PPh     *nana₂ term of address for older female relative

Ilokano nánamother; aunt
Bikol nánatitle for a mother, aunt, or godmother
Agutaynen nanagrandma (term of reference and address)
Cebuano nánatitle for grandparents or women of an older generation, or for one’s elder sister


*nanaw look over a wide area, search for something with the eyes while standing in place


PPh     *nanaw look over a wide area, search for something with the eyes while standing in place

Ilokano nánawto look at something submerged
Cebuano nánawto gaze over a wide area; scan an area to search for something
Mansaka nanawto look all around searching for something; to search carefully


*naNaq pus


PAN     *naNaq pus

Kavalan ku-nanipus
  k<m>u-nanito have pus
Seediq (Truku) nalaqpus
  m-nalaqbe purulent, infected
Thao nazaqpus
  kit-nazaqbe purulent, full of pus
Bunun nanaqpus (Li 2004)


PMP     *nanaq pus

Itbayaten nanapus
  om-nanato be removed of its pus
Ilokano nánapus
Isneg nánapus, matter
Kapampangan nanaʔpus
Tagalog nánaʔpus, matter
Bikol nánaʔpus
Hanunóo nánaʔpus
Masbatenyo nánaʔpus
Aklanon nánaʔpus
Waray-Waray nánaʔpus; abscess
Agutaynen nanakpus
Cebuano nánaʔpus; be filled with pus; give off pus
  hi-nánaʔtake out pus
Maranao nanaʔpus
Binukid nánaʔpus; give off pus, have pus (in a sore, etc.)
  tag-nanaʔto suppurate (as a boil that has burst)
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) nanaʔpus
Mansaka nánaʔpus
Tiruray nanaʔpus
  mege-nanaʔ(of a sore) producing much pus
Mapun nanaʔpus from an infection; to develop pus
Yakan nanaʔpus
Tboli nanakpus; to have a core, as a boil; to be full of pus; a pocket of pus
Tausug nanaʔpus
Kadazan Dusun nanaʔpus, matter (as in a wound or boil)
Ida'an Begak nanaʔpus
Kelabit nanaʔpus
Sa'ban lanaʔpus
Bintulu nanəʔpus
Melanau (Mukah) nanaʔpus
  pə-nanaʔto suppurate, of a wound
Iban nanahpus, matter
Tsat lə¹¹ na⁵⁵pus
Malay nanahmatter, pus
  me-nanahto suppurate, to come to a head (of a boil)
  luka luka ber-nanahsuppurating wounds
Simalur nanapus
Karo Batak nanahpus
Toba Batak nanapus
Nias nanapus
  mo-nanato fester, suppurate
Rejang naneaʔpus
Sundanese nanahpus
Old Javanese wūk nanahliquid oozing from corpses or any putrescent matter, pus; always in the combination wūk nanah
Javanese nanahpus
Balinese nanahpus, matter
Sasak nanaʔpus
  be-nanaʔto fester, suppurate
Totoli nanapus
Uma nanaʔpus
  mo-nanaʔto fester, suppurate
Bare'e nanapus
  me-nanato fester, suppurate
Tae' nanapus
  maʔ-nanato fester, suppurate
Proto-Bungku-Tolaki *nanaqpus
Mori Bawah nanapus
Makassarese nanapus
Wolio nanapus, suppuration
Palauan láləʔpus
Li'o nanasap, latex
Leti nanna (< nana-na)pus
Waropen nanapus
Nauna nana-npus
Bipi nana-npus
Seimat nana-npus
Wuvulu nanapus
Bali (Uneapa) nanakapus
Wogeo nanapus
Manam nanapus
Takia nanpus
Gapapaiwa nanapus
Nggela nanapus in a sore
Kwaio nanapus, suppurate
Lau nanapus, matter
  nana-lahaving pus, full of pus
Arosi nanapus of a sore
Proto-Micronesian *nanapus
Mota nanapus, matter
Avava a-nanpus
Fijian nanapus, matter; to fester, suppurate
  vaka-nanahaving pus


PWMP     *maR-nanaq to suppurate, ooze pus

Ilokano ag-nánato fester (wounds, boils)
Tagalog mag-nánaʔto suppurate, form pus
Bikol mag-nánaʔto become pussy (a wound)
Yakan mag-nanaʔto develop pus (of an inflamed wound or boil)
Tausug mag-nanaʔto have or develop pus
Toba Batak mar-nanato suppurate, ooze pus


PWMP     *nanaq-an having pus

Bikol ma-nanáʔ-anto secrete pus, to fester
Mapun nanaʔ-anhaving pus
Sundanese nanah-anto suppurate, have or produce pus; pussy


PWMP     *nanaq-en to suppurate, of a wound

Masbatenyo nánaʔ-ónpus-stained
Karo Batak nanah-ento suppurate, of a wound
Javanese nanah-ento have a pus-filled infection
Palauan bə-llaʔ-əlpurulent, festering

Note:   Also Saisiyat naniʔ, Pazeh laŋa ‘pus’, maxa-laŋa ‘to produce pus’, Kavalan kunani ‘pus’, Rukai (Tanan) naná ‘pus’, Rukai (Budai) nána ‘pus’, Casiguran Dumagat nəna ‘pus; to ooze pus (from a sore)’, Ifugaw noná ‘pus, purulent discharge’, Ifugaw (Batad) noná ‘pus, produced under a scab or the skin, as a result of suppuration; for an infection to suppurate, to secrete pus’, Pangasinan nenná ‘pus, matter in wound or sore’, Mapun neneʔ ‘pus from an infection’, Maranao danaʔ, Bintulu nanəʔ ‘pus’, Manggarai nunu ‘pus; sap’, Tubetube nane ‘liquid pus’. The assignment of Palauan be-llaʔ-el ‘purulent, festering’ to *nanaq-en rather than *nanaq-an is arbitrary, as it could reflect either reconstruction.


*naŋa₁ estuary, mouth of a river


PMP     *naŋa₁ estuary, mouth of a river     [doublet: *minaŋa, *binaŋa]

Ma'anyan naŋeriver mouth
Manggarai naŋaestuary, coast, beach, anchorage
Ngadha naŋabay, marine estuary, harbor
Buruese naŋa-n(esp. a river's) mouth


*naŋa₂ kind of thick rattan


PMP     *naŋa₂ kind of thick rattan

Casiguran Dumagat naŋaspecies of rattan Calamus usitatus (leaves are used for roofing)
Maranao naŋahard rattan
Tiruray noŋoa rattan: Calamus sp.
Sangir ue naŋarattan sp.
Mongondow naŋakind of very thick rattan
Manggarai naŋakind of large rattan

Note:   Also Kayan naŋaʔ ‘wild sago palm’.


*nara a tree: Pterocarpus indica


PMP     *nara a tree: Pterocarpus indica     [doublet: *naRah]

Itbayaten naraa tree: Pterocarpus indica Willd.
Tagalog náraa tree: Pterocarpus spp.
Bikol náraa tree: Pterocarpus spp.
Agutaynen naraNarra tree or wood; this is a forest tree whose wood is yellowish-red and is used for furniture (now protected)
Cebuano náraa tree: Pterocarpus spp.
Maranao naraa tree: Pterocarpus indica
Bimanese naratree from which the aŋsana wood comes (Pterocarpus indicus)
Proto-Ambon *naraa tree: Pterocarpus indica


*naRa to wait


PAN     *naRa to wait     [doublet: *taRah]

Saisiyat (Tungho) may-naato wait
Atayal (Squliq) mə-nagato wait
Yami (Imorod) mapa-nalato wait
  pa-nala-ento wait
Itbayaten ma-na-nayacan wait
  na-naya-enwatch and wait for
Kapampangan ma-náyawaiting for someone or something
  pa-náya-nwait for someone


*naRah a tree: Pterocarpus indica


PMP     *naRah a tree: Pterocarpus indica     [doublet: *nara]

Ilokano narráleguminous trees with yellow flowers and orbicular pods which yield a valuable timber for construction, etc.: Pterocarpus spp.
Ayta Abellan nayahNarra tree: Pterocarpus indica
Tagalog nágaspecies of the narra-tree family
Bikol nágaNarra tree: Pterocarpus indica
Hanunóo nágaNarra tree: Pterocarpus indica; the sap is used as a medicament for application to cold sores in the mouth
Cebuano nágalarge forest tree yielding a hard, red wood, highly prized for furniture-making: Pterocarpus indicus
Tiruray naraa tree: Pterocarpus indica
Palauan lasa timber tree: Pterocarpus indicus (L.)
Manggarai naraa tree: Pterocarpus indicus
Rotinese natree with red wood: Pterocarpus indica
Tetun ai narosewood tree (Pterocarpus indicus?), a good timber for furniture
Paulohi nalaa tree: Pterocarpus indica
Wahai nalaa tree: Pterocarpus indica
Motu naraa tree: Pterocarpus indicus


*nasi fermented rice


PWMP     *nasi fermented rice

Bikol násirice which is fermented to produce the rice wine called paŋási
Malay nasicooked rice
Old Javanese nasicooked rice

Note:   Also Kapampangan nasiɁ ‘cooked (boiled) rice’, Iban asiɁ ‘cooked rice’. The Bikol forms nási and paŋási suggest that this reconstruction probably is *in-asi, from a base *asi that is still to be reconstructed.


*nasuk cook by boiling


PAN     *nasuk cook by boiling     [doublet: *Nasu]

Paiwan pi-natukto boil
Kelabit naukbubbling, starting to boil
Gedaged naikcooking, boiling


*natek palm flour


PWMP     *natek palm flour

Cebuano natúkpowdery starch of any sort that has been obtained by soaking the source in water and letting it settle
Maranao natekstarch from palm tree
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) nateksago, a starchy food prepared from the juice of the trunk of certain palms; the liquid is evaporated and an edible starch remains
Mansaka natukpalm flour
Tombonuwo natoksago
Murut (Timugon) natoksago flour


*nati young of animals


PMP     *nati young of animals

Cebuano natiyoung of a pasture animal: calf or kid
Maranao naticalf
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) natiyoung horse, carabao or cow
Tolai nati-nathe young of animals
  natchild; the young of any animal; the suffix -una (natu-na ‘his/her child’) is applied only to persons,ina (nati-na ‘its calf, etc.’) to the lower animals

Note:   Evidently distinct from PMP *ñatu(q) ‘ovary, egg, baby bird’.


*natu child, offspring


PEMP     *natu child, offspring

Gimán tuchild
Sawai ntuchild
Buli ntuchild; young
Arguni natusmall
Nauna nɔtchild
Lou noru-child
Nali noru-child
Titan natchild
Leipon netu-child
Seimat natu-child
Wuvulu naʔu-child
Mussau natu-child
Tigak natu-child
Mendak natchild
Tolai natu-nachild (human)
  nati-nayoung of any animal
Arop natu-child
Biliau naluchild
Lusi natuchild
Kove natuchild
Lakalai e-latuchild; child of Ego’s sibling
Sobei natuchild
Wogeo natu-child
Manam natu-child (to the age of 15 years)
  natu-mito adopt (him/her)
  natu-rato be childish
Sio natu-child
Gitua natu-child, son/daughter
Yabem latuchild
Watut naru-child
Wampar naro-nchild
Ubir natu-child
Gapapaiwa natu-child
Suau natu-child
Bunama natu-naoffspring
Magori natuchild
Keapara nauchild
Hula nahuchild
Motu natu-nachild; the young of animals
  natu-ato adopt a child
Pokau nakuoffspring
Kilivila latu-child
Tawala natu-child
Tubetube natuchild
Sudest nari-child
Uruava tu-child
Mono-Alu natu-child
Eddystone/Mandegusu natu-nachild
Lau nau ni touachildish
Proto-Micronesian *natuchild; classifier for cherished possessions
Chuukese naawchild
Mota natu-ia child, young of anything
Vatrata niʔi-child
Mosina nutu-child
Lakona natu-child
Cape Cumberland natu-child
Piamatsina natu-child
Nokuku notu-child
Malmariv natu-child
Lametin nat-child
Mafea natu-child
Amblong natu-child
Araki naru-child (of someone)
Marino natu-child
Baetora natu-child
Apma nucuchild
Vao natu-child
Atchin natu-child
Uripiv natu-child
Leviamp a-natəchild
Axamb næru-child
Maxbaxo naru-child
Vowa natu-child
Sie nitu-child
Iaai noko-child

Note:   Also Loniu ñetu-, Likum nahatu-, Raga nitu- ‘child’.


*natuq ovary of an an oviparous animal


PMP     *natuq ovary of an an oviparous animal

Ilokano nátobird ovary
Casiguran Dumagat natóegg yolk
Tiruray natuʔegg yolk
Rotinese natu-kovary, roe, spawn
Roviana natupart of a female crab or turtle, the ovum

Note:   Also Mongondow natu ‘egg’.


*nau to teach, show someone how to do something


PPh     *nau to teach, show someone how to do something

Yami na-naoto teach
Itbayaten nawothe act of studying
  na-nawolesson, instruction (teaching)
  na-naw-ento teach, to show how
Binukid nauto teach, instruct (someone), to help (someone) to learn


*nawnáw to dissolve something in water; swish around in water


PPh     *nawnáw to dissolve something in water; swish around in water

Ilokano nawnáwto dissolve; melt; to dilute in liquids
Ibaloy nawnaw-anto swish, move water around in a container (as basin, pot) to give it a cursory cleaning
  nawnaw-ento dissolve something --- esp. of something that requires little stirring (as starch into water, scrambling eggs)
Pangasinan nawnáwdissolve, diminish in volume, as sugar, salt, etc. when exposed to the atmosphere
Cebuano nawnáwput something in a liquid and swish it around (as clothes in soapy water)


(Formosan only)

*nay deictic particle: this


PAN     *nay deictic particle: this

Kavalan naythat
Thao i-nayhere, this, these
  ki-naynext to, by; stay by

TOP      na    ne    ni    no    nu    







*neknek gnat, sandfly, fruit fly


PMP     *neknek gnat, sandfly, fruit fly     [doublet: *ñikñik]

Bikol nuknókgnat, fruit fly
Palawano nekneksmall mangrove fly, gnat


POC     *nonok gnat, sandfly

Wuvulu nonosandfly
Sa'a nono äsimidge, sandfly
Arosi nonoa fly
  nono iasisandfly, midge
Tongan nonofruit fly
Niue nonosmall beetle
Rennellese nonokind of small fly, as on rotten bananas

Note:   Also Kaniet (Thilenius) ñoyo ‘midge, sandfly’. This suggests that the shape of the reconstruction should be *ñekñek, although to date support for a palatal nasal is limited to this slender bit of evidence and the doublet *ñikñik.


(Formosan only)

*nema what thing?


PAN     *nema what thing?

Favorlang/Babuza nummawhat?
  naan o nummawhat name?
  ta o nummawhat country?
Thao numawhat? why?
  ma-i-numafor what reason?
  malhka-ka-numado what? perform what?
  ma-numa-numasomething, anything
  min-numabecome what?
Rukai ma-nəmawhat? (Ferrell 1969)
Puyuma ma-nəmawhat? (Ferrell 1969)
Paiwan a-nemawhat? what thing?
  nema-ŋaa thing
  a-nema-tsuwhat is this?
  se-nemabelonging to what place (village, nation)?
  na-nema-nema-ŋaeverything, all sorts of things

Note:   The PAn interrogative system does not appear to have had a one-to-one correspondence with that of English. The interrogative morpheme *-nu combined with *a- in *anu to form the indefinite or reflexive interrogative ‘what-cha-ma-callit’ (in which the speaker, in effect, asks in soliloquy what it is he is trying to recall), with *i- ‘locative’ in *inu to form ‘where?’, and in individual languages with other elements to form various interrogative expressions, as with Atayal (Squliq) nanu ‘what?’, Siraya manno ‘when?’ or Yami sinu ‘who?’. The word reconstructed here differs from these in lacking *-nu, and possibly in referring only to nouns (cp. the ‘thing’ sense in Thao ma-numa-numa and various of the Paiwan derivatives). The change *e > u/__m is recurrent in both Thao and Favorlang/Babuza/BABZ, as *lemlem ‘dark’ > Thao ma-rumrum ‘dim, unlit’, and *dalem > Favorlang/Babuza/BABZ lallum (/lalum/) ‘inside’.


*nemnem think


PAN     *nemnem think     [doublet: *demdem₃]

Paiwan ki-nemnemthink, cogitate, pay close attention to
Ilokano nemnémdissimulate, dissemble, refrain from divulging one's thoughts, keep silent
  pa-nemnem-énconsider, fix the mind on, think on
Kankanaey nemnémintellect, intelligence, reason; thought, idea, mind; memory, imagination
Ifugaw nomnomconveys the idea of thinking, of being mindful
Ilongot nɨmnɨmto think (Rosaldo 1980)


POC     *nonom to think

Mota nonomto think

Note:   Also Fordata nanaŋ ‘remember, remember sadly’, Toak nenem-i ‘think’. Cf. Zorc (n.d.) PPh *nemnem ‘think, remember’.


*nepuq stonefish


PMP     *nepuq stonefish

Nias nõfukind of fish
Sangir nəpofish the color of coral stone (two types); these move very little and slowly, and have dorsal spines that cause violent pain to one who is pricked by them
Bare'e nopukind of fish
Wolio nopufish with poisonous spines
Muna nopustonefish (fish with very poisonous spike on its back)
Chamorro nufoʔstonefish, scorpionfish (highly poisonout if dorsal spines penetrate the skin)
Sawai nofkind of fish
Buli nofkind of poisonous fish


POC     *nopuq stonefish

Loniu nohlionfish
Likum nohstonefish, lionfish
Seimat nohstonefish
Wuvulu nofustonefish
Motu nohustinging fish
Kilivila noustonefish
Molima nowupoisonous fish
Roviana novurockfish: Synanceja horrida, dreaded on account of its poisonous spikes
Eddystone/Mandegusu novufish with sting on the back
Nggela novufish sp.: Peptoscopus
Arosi nohufish with spiny ridge
Proto-Micronesian *nowuscorpion fish, stonefish
Chuukese noowscorpion fish; spotten rockfish
Fijian novufish of an ashen color resembling a stone, and possessing a very rough, horny skin
Samoan nofutoadfishes of genera Scorpaenopsis and Synanceja, some of which have poisonous spines
Hawaiian nohuScorpaeinidae, fish with poisonous spines

Note:   Also Palawano lapuɁ ‘stonefish (very venomous)’, Simalur nəpo ‘kind of fish’, Malay lepu ‘generic for a number of fishes with venomous spines’, Mongondow nohu ‘kind of sea fish’.

TOP      na    ne    ni    no    nu    





















*-ni proximal spatio-temporal deixis: this, here; now


PAN     *-ni proximal spatio-temporal deixis: this, here; now

Seediq (Truku) niihere, now, this
Bisaya nihthat
Berawan (Long Terawan) nihthat (sp)
Berawan (Long Jegan) naythat
Malagasy ito-nythis
Adonara nithis
Duke of York nithis
Uruava nithis
Tongan nithis, these; now


PAN     *di-ni here

Seediq (Truku) d-niithe group here
Pazeh di-nihere
Tagalog diníhere
Mamanwa dinihere
Blaan (Koronadal) dinihere
Kenyah (Long Anap) d-inihere (= 'at here'; cp. k-ini 'to here')


PAN     *i-ni this, here

Saisiyat h-inithis, here
Pazeh im-inithis
Amis inihere, near at hand
Rukai (Budai) ku-inithat (near hearer)
Rukai (Tona) ak-inithat (near hearer)
Proto-Puyuma *inithis
Kapampangan iníthis
Bikol iníthis, these
Hiligaynon iníthis
Palawan Batak ʔinihere
Cebuano ínibe here
Maranao inithis, these
Kalagan inithis, here
Kelabit inihthis
Kenyah inithis
Malagasy inythat, this. It is always used of something thoroughly known to both speaker and spoken to
Tsat ni³³this
Malay inidemonstrative suggesting precision or nearness
Sundanese inithis
Sasak inithis
Sangir inithis, these
Muna inithis
Chamorro guinihere, in this place
Adonara nithis
Fordata inithis; here
Nggela inithese
Sa'a inithat
Arosi inithis; here
Marshallese inthis


PAN     *ia-ni this; here

Atayal ianithis; here; now
Mansaka yanithis
Malagasy izanythat; this; these
Nggela ianihere; like this
Anuta ie-nihere, in this place


PWMP     *ka-i-ni now (?)

Bikol ka-iníthis, these
Cebuano kiníthis
Subanun (Sindangan) k-inithis
Kelabit kinihnow; this way
Kenyah k-iniin this place
Kenyah (Long Anap) k-inihere (= 'to here')
Malay kini, ka-inithis; thus; thus far; now


PAN     *qa-ni this; here

Atayal qanithis, these; here
Kayan (Uma Juman) anihthis
Malagasy ánythere (distant and unseen)
Arosi anithat one; there (referring to objects out of sight)


PWMP     *si-ni here

Aborlan Tagbanwa s-inihere
Sangil s-inihere
Kayan (Uma Juman) hini-hhere
Malay sinihere; this way; this place

Note:   Also Proto-Puyuma *kani ‘here’, Tsou, Kisar, Nggela eni ‘this’ (all from *ia-ni with sporadic contraction?), Numfor ine ‘these; this’, Wuvulu feni ‘this’. Chamorro ini ‘this (demonstrative pronoun)’ appears to reflect *qini, but may show irregular resistance to gw-epenthesis which is motivated by a need to distinguish the demonstrative and adverbial senses of earlier *i-ni. Proto-Puyuma *kani ‘here’, Cebuano anhi ‘here, in this place’, may reflect *ka-ni, a form that was identical to *ka-i-ni, without the generic locative marker *i, and *si-ni may derive form *sa ‘nonfocus marker of location’ plus *i-ni.


*ni genitive case marker for singular personal names and pronouns; marker of possession, part-to-whole relationships, and agency of a non-actor voice verb


PAN     *ni genitive case marker for singular personal names and pronouns; marker of possession, part-to-whole relationships, and agency of a non-actor voice verb

Kavalan nipersonal genitive marker (all known examples are with singular referents)
Saisiyat nigenitive of singular personal nouns (marks possession, and agency of an undergoer voice verb)
Pazeh nigenitive marker, possessive marker (appears to be restricted to human referents)
Amis (Central) nigenitive of singular personal names
Puyuma nigenitive case marker for singular personal nouns
Paiwan niof, by, belonging to (with personal name)
Yami nigenitive marker for personal names and kinship terms
Itbayaten nipersonal article
Ilokano nisingular of the personal article, used before names of people and intelligent animals (pets); possessive proper article
Agta (Dupaningan) nimarker of (singular) personal names
Isneg nithe genitive of the personal article, sometimes taking the form níyin in songs, or nim before a word that begins with b or p
Casiguran Dumagat niattributive marker for singular personal nouns
Ibaloy nini and its inflected forms (niya, nita, nima) and its specific form nonta are together the source set of articles; at the clause level, indicates that the part of the clause that is marked by the ni article is non-topic and non-location, or is a time phrase; in genitive (or qualifying) phrases marks part-whole relations (e.g. atep ni baley ‘roof of the house’)
Tagalog nipreposition used before a person’s name or names to connote possessive case; may also indicate the doer of a certain action [after a non-actor voice verb]
Bikol nisingular ni class marker occurring before names; by (as in ‘written by’) [marker of the agent of a non-actor voice verb]
Hanunóo niof, by [indicator of possession and agency of a non-actor voice verb]
Romblomanon nithe action, state, possession of someone; a particular action is performed by a named person (ni is followed by a personal noun)
Masbatenyo niintroduces the personal genitive noun phrase; also introduces the out-of-focus agent of a verbal action
Aklanon nisingular associate marker for the name of a person or a pet, used in postpositive position [marks possession]
Waray-Waray nidenotes possession, and is always followed by the name of the possessor
Cebuano nigenitive marker before names or titles [marker of possession and agency of a non-actor voice verb]
Central Tagbanwa nipersonal noun phrase marker, genitive case; marks the proper noun as a nonfocused participant in the clause; also marks possession
Mansaka nisubstantive relational marker; personal, relative
Mapun niprefix with the emphatic set of pronouns to indicate possession (mine/yours/his/hers/ours/theirs), and to indicate non-focus beneficiary outside the core of the clause, i.e. to or for me/you/him/her/us/them; this can also mean from or with me/you/him/her/us/them
Molbog nimarker of the genitive case of singular personal names
Kadazan (Papar) nimarker of the genitive case of singular personal names
Sungai Beluran nimarker of the genitive case of singular personal names
Tidung Bengawong nimarker of the genitive case of singular personal names
Bisaya (Lotud) nimarker of the genitive case of singular personal names
Gayō nigenitive marker, marker of possession
Karo Batak nigenitive marker, marker of possession
Toba Batak nimarker of the genitive; includes possession, part-to-whole relationships, and agency of a passive verb
Lampung nipossessive marker
Uma nipersonal article
Bugotu nigenitive; used only in certain phrases (puku ni mana ‘source of power’, pau ni mane ‘an elder’)
Nggela nia preposition with many meanings, but the chief ones are: 1. belonging to, of (mane ni Nggela ‘a native of Nggela’); 2. to (ndutu ni mate ‘near (to) death’); 3. as (kambu ni vunagi ‘dwell as a king’); 4. for; in order to (mbutu ni tarai ‘come to teach’); 5. with; 6. on account of; 7. concerning, about; 8. with, by (instrumental); 9. it makes possessive pronouns: ninggua, nimua, nina, etc.
Lau niof, belonging to (fote ni fera ‘native paddle’ [paddle of home]; in order to, for; according to, in the matter of, with; forms adverbs
'Āre'āre nigenitive particle: of, belonging to (rata-na ni hanua ‘clan name’, waisia ni hanua ‘land animals’)
Sa'a nigenitive: of; expresses purpose; expresses condition
Arosi niof, belonging to; showing genitive relation
Proto-Micronesian *-niof, pertaining to, often referred to as “the construct suffix”
Gilbertese -n(i)of, in, by, for, with. in order to
Kosraean -nof, pertaining to
Marshallese -nof, pertaining to
Pohnpeian -nconstruct suffix: of; this suffix is written together with the preceding word if that word is one syllable long or ends in a vowel; otherwise, it is written as the separate word en
Chuukese -n3sg possessive pronoun: of her, him, it (used in partitive construction in many expressions where it would not appear in English, as in expressions of time, but not consistently)
Woleaian -litransitive verb suffix; to own, have, possess (permanently)
Pileni ni-akumine
Araki -n(i)construct suffix, always followed by a noun phrase referring to possessor
Northeast Ambae -(n)iconstruct suffix (gamali-ni Robert ‘Robert’s clubhouse’, leo-ni tama-ku ‘My father’s language’)
Nakanamanga nigenitive marker: of (e-lagi ni naati ‘top of banana’, na-aleati-a ni tuai ‘days of old, olden days’)
Anejom -iconstruct suffix: of (inja era-i pikad ‘blood of a pig’ [blood passive.possessive-construct suffix pig]
Wayan niparticle which connects two common nouns in a genitive construction; the first noun may related to the second noun in one of the following partially distinct senses: 1. purpose, use, function; for, of, 2. belonging to, 3. inherent part or attribute of, 4. originating from, belonging to a place, 5. consequence, result: for, of, as a consequence of, 6. connects a nominalized verb denoting an action or process with a noun which, in an equivalent verbal construction, would be the direct object of the verb
Fijian nipreposition, sign of possession; used before common nouns and names of places, but before names of persons replaced by i or nei, and in some expressions not used at all

Note:   It is clear from exact cross-linguistic agreements between the three-way system of genitive case markers in Amis (Central), Miraya Bikol and various languages of Sabah, that PAn *ni marked the genitive case of singular personal names/nouns. As such it signalled both possessors and non-subject agents. This dual function was retained in most Philippine-type languages in Taiwan, the Philippines and northern Borneo, as well as in the Batak languages of northern Sumatra, and indirectly through the genitive suffix *-ña (< *ni-á) in Chamorro, and in western Indonesian languages that have reduced the four-voice system of PAn to a simple active-passive dichotomy, as in Bintulu of Borneo, or Malay. The agent-marking function of *ni evidently was lost in all CEMP languages, leaving it only as a genitive of general possession or part-to-whole relationships. In Oceanic languages that have lost final vowels the –n that occurs between nouns that stand in a genitive relationship is often glossed as ‘3sg’, as in Naman jëbë-n nevdoro ‘the woman’s grandfather’ [grandfather-3sg woman] (Crowley 2006:71). Whether the single-consonant suffix in such cases reflects POc *ni ‘genitive’ or *-ña ‘3sg possessor’ it’s ultimate origin must be traced to PAn *ni.


*niket sticky, adhesive


PMP     *niket sticky, adhesive     [doublet: *ña(ŋ)ket]

Yami niketa plant: Ilex integra; its sap can be used to catch the takoyab bird
Itbayaten nichetsticky substance, wax of tree, including such trees as morni (rubber tree), valiti (Ficus, banyan), breadfruit (used for violin strings)
Isneg níkatresin; a herbaceous vine that grows in forests: its sticky fruits are pounded for birdlime
Kankanaey níketresin
Casiguran Dumagat nikəthoney (archaic word)
Manggarai niketmushy (of rice, etc.), thick (of liquids), viscous, sticky (as gruel)

Note:   With root PAn *-keC, PMP *-ket ‘adhesive, sticky’. Casiguran Dumagat niket ‘honey (archaic)’ can reflect either *ña(ŋ)ket or *niket.


*nilaw bright light


PMP     *nilaw bright light

Toba Batak niloshine, glitter
Bimanese lino <Msmooth, shiny
Sika niloto shine, of a lamp, the moon, etc.

Note:   With root *-law ‘dazzling light’.


*nilu intense sensation in teeth when eating sour fruit; for teeth to be on edge


PMP     *nilu intense sensation in teeth when eating sour fruit; for teeth to be on edge     [doublet: *ŋilu]

Malay nilunerve-pain
Rembong nilusour sensation (in teeth, bones)
Wahai ma-ninosour


*nimas bailer in a canoe


PAN     *nimas bailer in a canoe     [doublet: *limas]

Kavalan n-nimasto clean out (water from a boat), dredge
Palauan mə-límətbail; scoop dirt out of
  o-límətinstrument for bailing


POC     *nimas bailer; to bail water from a canoe

Yapese niimbailer
Kairiru limbailer (used for bailing out canoes)
Mbula niimiget rid of something, remove water, bail out (water), scoop out (as in bailing out a canoe); take all of someone’s possessions, use up all of what someone has
Selau nəmsabailer, to bail out a canoe
Gilbertese a-nimaa utensil for bailing out a canoe; to bail out
Kosraean i-niimdip out, scoop out, bail
Chuukese numbe bailed, as a boat
  numo-numkeep bailing
Puluwat niimcanoe bailer
  nime-yto bail water out of a canoe
Wayan nimabe baled out, have water baled out
  i-nimabaler, bailer, anything used to bail
  nima-tibail something out (object the boat or the water)
  nima-nimato bale, keep bailing
Fijian nimato bale out a canoe
  i-nimaa baler (instrument)
  nima-nimaa mode of fishing by bailing out the water from a hole and taking the fish in it

Note:   Also Palauan məŋ-ímət ‘empty a house of persons’. Dempwolff (1938) posited *limas ‘bailer (for a boat)’. Since most Oceanic languages reflect *nimas and most non-Oceanic languages reflect *limas, one might consider positing PMP *limas and assuming a sporadic manner assimilation of *l to the following nasal in POc. However, Palauan agrees with Oceanic languages in supporting *nimas, and Kairiru, Nehan, Halia, Pohnpeian and Mokilese agree with non-Oceanic languages in supporting *limas, so it appears best to reconstruct PMP doublets which have a skewed distribution across major subgroups. In addition to this core meaning and its verbal counterpart reflexes in Bikol, Sasak and Fijian suggest that PMP *limas/*nimas also designated a method of fishing in which water was drained from a pond so that the fish could be taken by hand.


*ninih shake, tremble, rock


PMP     *ninih shake, tremble, rock

Itbayaten ninihearthquake


PCEMP     *nini shake, tremble, rock

Sula ninearthquake
Paulohi ma-ninishudder, shiver
Gedaged niniswing, oscillate, shake, rock
Fijian ninitremble, quake with fear or anger
Rarotongan ninivertigo, a sensation of giddiness, dizziness; giddy, dizzy, unsteady’
  taka-ninito whirl around giddily
Rapanui ninispin, roll

Note:   Also Sundanese lini ‘earthquake’, li-lini-ɨn ‘(of the body) shake, tremble, quake’.


*niniq₁ plant sp.: Donax canniformis, used as material for making baskets


PMP     *niniq₁ plant sp.: Donax canniformis, used as material for making baskets

Yami niniDonax cannaeformis (plant used to make karapal, or flat basket) (Kano and Segawa:386)
Itbayaten ninisp. of plant (Marantaceae, Donax cannaeformis Schum.), a sp. of reed family
Manggarai ninikind of plant material used in basket-making: Donax canniformis
Rembong niniʔa plant: Donax canniformis
Nggela ninisp. of bush used in wristlets
Lau ninisp. of shrub; stems used in thatching

Note:   Verheijen (1984), following an earlier suggestion of mine, gives PCEMP *niniq ‘Donax canniformis’. The Philippine forms reported here justify an attribution to PMP. Verheijen (1984) reports Rembong niniʔ, but this form does not appear in Verheijen (1977).


*niniq₂ sandfly


PMP     *niniq₂ sandfly     [doublet: *niknik]

Bisaya keliah niniʔsandfly
Hawu ninivery small kind of midge
Waropen ninimosquito


*niŋal echo


PMP     *niŋal echo

Bikol ani-niŋalecho
Hanunóo ʔa-niŋalecho
Asilulu niŋalecho

Note:   This word probably took the *qali-, *kali- prefix.


*niŋniŋ clear, of water


PMP     *niŋniŋ clear, of water

Tagalog niŋníŋbrilliance, sparkle


PCEMP     *niniŋ clear, of water

Soboyo ma-niniŋclear, of water

Note:   Also Javanese niŋ, beniŋ ‘bright, clear’, Balinese niŋ ‘clear, pure’, yēh niŋ ‘clear water’.


*nipaq a swamp palm: Nipa fruticans


PMP     *nipaq a swamp palm: Nipa fruticans

Ilokano nípathe nipa palm whose leaves are used for thatching; the alcoholic beverage distilled from this palm
Ibanag a-nipaa palm: Nypa fruticans (Madulid 2001)
Bikol nípaʔpalm sp. possessing leaves used for roofing and walls, and from whose sap a wine and vinegar may be fermented: Nypa fruticans
Aklanon nípaʔpalm --- used for roofing or siding: Nipa fruticans
  ka-nípáʔ-annipa swamp
Cebuano nípaʔpalm of great commercial importance growing along tidal streams and in dense stands in brackish swamps; the leaves are used mainly for thatching, but also for bags, hats, and handicrafts; the sap is fermented into toddy and distilled into a stronger liquor called manyan: Nypa fruticans
Maranao nipaʔNipa fruticans Thunb. – nipa palm
Binukid nipaʔcreeping palm (the leaves of which are used extensively for thatching)
Mapun nipaʔa kind of palm tree or its leaves that are used for roofing material
Yakan nipaʔnipa palm; palm shingles: Nipa Fruticans. It makes good roofing material; the leaflets are cut off from the midrib and individually folded over a strip of bamboo in such a way that one end is a bit longer than the other.
Tausug nipaʔnipa palm: Nipa fruticans (used for roofing and walling)
Kiput nipaaʔa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans
Melanau (Mukah) ñipaʔa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans
Iban nipaha palm: Nipa fruticans
Malay nipahthatch palm, Nipa fruticans
  ular nipaha snake frequenting nipah swamp; sp. unident.
Karo Batak nipahkind of palm tree that yields roofing material and the wrapping for nipa cigarettes
Old Javanese nipaha particular kind of palm tree (in swamps)
Javanese nipahswamp palm tree
Mongondow nipaʔa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans
Pendau nipaa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans
Boano nipaʔa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans
Balaesang nipaa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans
Bare'e nipathe nipa palm, Nipa fruticans, very common in the coastal swamps of central Sulawesi; on the coast the leaves are used as roof thatch
Tae' nipathe swamp palm, Nipa fruticans
  papa daun niparoof thatch made from the leaves of this swamp palm
Makassarese nipaa swamp palm: Nipa fruticans, the leaves of which are used as roof thatch
Nggela nivaa species of sago palm smaller than sao (the latter is not identified by Fox 1955)

Note:   Also Tagalog nípa ‘nipa; an East Indian palm’, Agutaynen nipa ‘a kind of palm; the leaves are used for roofing’, Hanunóo nípa ‘nipa palm (Nipa fruticans Wurmb.); the leaves are used for thatch’, Hiligaynon nípa ‘nipa palm, swampy palm’, Ngaju Dayak ipah ‘kind of palm that grows near the seashore; from its leaves, which are longer and wider than those of the coconut palm roofing material is made for houses and certain types of boats’. Ibanag anipa suggests an original trisyllable, but since no other language that retains prepenultimate initial vowels supports this analysis I assume that the base was *nipaq and that the Ibanag form contains an unidentified morpheme in initial position. A number of other languages show an irregular loss of *-q, which may indicate borrowing from Malay. However, this seems inherently unlikely, given the ubiquitous presence of this tree in swampy coastal regions of much of insular Southeast Asia, where its leaves provide the most common type of thatching material for house roofs and walls.


*nipay snake


PMP     *nipay snake

Maranao nipaysnake, serpent
Maguindanao nípaysnake
Karo Batak nipesnake
Ngadha nipalarge snake
  nipa téécentipede, millipede
Lamboya nipesnake
Wetan nipaysnake
Yamdena nifekind of large snake
Fordata nifasnake
Teluti nifarsnake
Paulohi nifasnake
  nifa nitucentipede, millipede
Proto-Sub-Ambon *nipa(y)snake


POC     *nipe snake

Mono-Alu nifesnake


*nipen tooth


PAN     *nipen tooth     [doublet: *qipen, *lipen, *ŋipen]

Thao nipintooth
Bunun nipuntooth
Bunun (Isbukun) nipuntooth
Palawan Batak nipɨntooth
Aborlan Tagbanwa nipɨntooth
Molbog nipontooth
Dumpas nipontooth
Kujau nipəntooth
Minokok nipəntooth
Ida'an Begak nipontooth
Belait nipantooth
Narum nipantooth
Bintulu ñipəntooth
Lahanan ñipəntooth
Chamorro nifentooth
Kemak nipa-rtooth
Mambai nifa-ntooth
Tugun nitooth
Kisar nihantooth
Roma nihə-tooth
Luang nihətooth
Watubela nifotooth
Bobot nihantooth
Masiwang nifa-ntooth
Saparua niotooth
Sekar nifantooth
Mayá ꞌka-liꞌ³ftooth


POC     *nipon tooth

Marau₂ nihotooth
Numbami niwotooth
Adzera nipu-ntooth; mouth
Tawala niwotooth
Takuu nihotooth
Luangiua ŋihotooth
Mono-Alu nihotooth
Kwaio nifotooth
Chuukese niitooth
Pileni nihotooth
Makatea nifotooth
Tongan nifotooth
Niue nifotooth; tenon
Samoan nifotooth
  faʔa-nifotooth of cogwheel, thread of a screw, tenon
Tuvaluan nifotooth; tusk of a pig
Nukuoro nihotooth
Rennellese nihotooth
  haka-nihomake a fringe; be fringed, as a mat; saw (tool); to saw
  niho maŋooshark tooth razor (a shark tooth was lashed by hibiscus fiber to a twig, and one man shaved another with a rapid downward stroke)
Anuta nipotooth, teeth
Rarotongan niʔotooth, teeth
Maori nihotooth; thorn; edge of a tool or weapon
Hawaiian nihotooth

Note:   Also Saisiyat nəpən, Kapingamarangi niha ‘tooth’. Thao nipin, Chuukese nii and Hawaiian niho are ambiguous for *nipen or *ŋipen. Based on unambiguous reflexes in their nearest relatives it is likely that Chuukese nii reflects *ŋipen and that Hawaiian niho reflects *nipen, but no clear decision can be made for Thao nipin, which is arbitrarily assigned to the present comparison.


*niRab yesterday


PWMP     *niRab yesterday     [doublet: *neRab]

Kadazan Dusun ko-niabyesterday
Bisaya (Limbang) ke-niab *R > Ø sporadicyesterday
Palauan elísəbyesterday
Chamorro nigapyesterday

Note:   Also Kavalan siːRab ‘yesterday’.


*nisnís to wipe, rub, scrub


PPh     *nisnís to wipe, rub, scrub

Itbayaten nisnis-iWipe it! (imper.)
Ilokano nisnísa rag used to wipe dirty things (pots, etc.)
Ibaloy nisnis-ento wipe something off of something else (as water, dust from chair)
Pangasinan nisnísbroom, brush
Cebuano nisnísclean or smooth something by rubbing something back and forth over it (as in rubbing wood smooth before painting it)
Mansaka nisnisto brush, as the teeth, or a table top to clean it off
Proto-Minahasan *nisnisto wipe, brush
Proto-Gorontalic *ninisoscour, rub clean (as a table top)


PPh     *nisnis-an to wipe away, wipe off

Itbayaten nisnis-anto wipe away, to remove by wiping; to mop, to wipe off
Ilokano nisnis-ánto wipe with a rag
Ibaloy nisnis-anto wipe something clean

Note:   Also Ibaloy nasnas ‘to wipe something off of something else’.


*nituq a fern: Lygodium spp.


PMP     *nituq a fern: Lygodium spp.

Ilokano nítofern used in basket and hat making: Lygodium flexuosum, Lygodium japonicum
Tagalog nítoʔsp. of forest vine with strong fibers used for hatmaking, basketmaking, etc.
Bikol nítoʔblack fern
Hanunóo nítuʔa climbing fern (Lygodium circinnatum Swartz); the twining, vinelike dark stems are used extensively in basketry overlay work
Cebuano nítuʔscrambling ferns, the stems of which are used in weaving baskets, hats, boxes: Lygodium spp.
Rembong nintuʔkind of fern: Lygodium circinnatum
Ngadha nitutree sp.

Note:   Also Palauan ŋídech ‘climbing fern (Lygodium circinnatum (Burm. f.) Sw.); large food basket made from ŋidech plant’, Rembong mintuʔ (more common variant of nintuʔ). The core of this comparison was first recognized in print by Verheijen (1984).


*niuR coconut


PMP     *niuR coconut

Itbayaten niyoycoconut tree, coconut fruit: Palmae Cocos nucifera Linn.; the oil is rubbed on the body of a baby after taking a bath to prevent cold and heat; rubbed on mosquito bites; meat of a naturally cracked coconut is grated, mixed with water and applied to the body of a spirit-possessed person
Ivatan (Isamorong) ñioycoconut
Ilokano niógcoconut (tree or fruit): Cocos nucifera
  ka-niug-ancoconut grove
Agta (Dupaningan) niyógcoconut
Bontok ʔinyug <Mcoconut, Cocos nucifera L.
Ifugaw niyúgoconut palm, Cocos nucifera L.; coconut fruit; a coconut cup may be called niyúg, but exceptionally
Casiguran Dumagat niyógcoconut palm and its fruit
  ka-niyóg-encoconut grove
Ibaloy niyogcoconut tree and fruit
Pangasinan niógcoconut
Tagalog niyógcoconut palm tree and fruit
  niyug-áncoconut plantation
Bikol niyógcoconut palm and fruit
  niyog-áncoconut plantation
Hanunóo niyúgcoconut palm and fruit (Cocos nucifera Linn.); the roots are boiled and the resulting decoction is drunk for urinary disorders
  niyúg-ancoconut grove
Aklanon niyógcoconut tree and fruit
  ka-nyog-áncoconut plantation, coconut grove
Hiligaynon niyúgcoconut
Palawan Batak niyógcoconut, coconut tree
Maranao niogcoconut, Cocos nucifera L.
Mapun niyugcoconut (six growth stages are terminologically recognized); coconut tree; coconut plantation; copra
  mag-niyugto make one’s living from copra
Tausug niyugCocos nucifera, the coconut tree (not included semantically under generic kahuy); five growth stages of the coconut fruit are terminologically recognized
Tombonuwo niuwcoconut palm
Ida'an Begak niugcoconut
Basap niurcoconut
Kayan ñohcoconut palm
  bua ñohcoconut
Bintulu bə-ñucoconut
Melanau (Mukah) buaʔ bə-ñucoconut
Lahanan ñucoconut
Ngaju Dayak eñohcoconut palm and fruit
Ma'anyan niuycoconut
Iban niurcoconut palm: Cocos nucifera L.
  buah niurcoconut
  aiʔ niurwater from green nut
  niur undaŋhead trophy (poetic; undaŋ = ‘visit and return’)
Moken niuncoconut
Malay ñiurcoconut, Cocos nucifera, but especially the fresh coconut in contrast to copra (kelapa); at least eleven varieties are named
  ñiur nipaha species of coconut palm with a very short trunk (nipah = the nipa palm, Nipa fruticans)
  ñiur bawaŋcoconut with edible husk
  ñiur maniscoconut with edible husk
Balinese ñuhcoconut (generic)
Totoli niugcoconut
Pendau niucoconut
Balantak nuurcoconut
Palauan líuscoconut (tree)
Chamorro niyokcoconut tree and fruit: Cocos nucifera
Komodo niuthe coconut palm, Cocos nucifera
Rembong nioʔthe coconut palm, Cocos nucifera
Rotinese nococonut tree and fruit
  no oecoconut water
  no nituksago palm
Erai nococonut tree and fruit
  no ercoconut water
Talur nococonut
Tugun norcoconut
East Damar nurucoconut
West Damar nuhococonut
Leti nuracoconut tree and fruit
Wetan noracoconut tree and fruit
Yamdena nurecoconut tree and fruit
Dobel norcoconut
Teluti nuelococonut
Paulohi nuelecoconut palm, Cocos nucifera
Gah niulacoconut
Alune nikwelecoconut
Wahai niercoconut
Proto-Ambon *niwərcoconut
Asilulu niwelcoconut, Cocos nucifera
Batu Merah niwelicoconut
Morella niwilcoconut
Buruese niwecoconut
Sula nui <Mcoconut
Kowiai/Koiwai niu(r)coconut
Mayá ꞌnu³coconut
Moor néracoconut
Waropen niwarococonut
Ahus niwcoconut palm
Lele niwcoconut palm
Yapese niiwcoconut tree and fruit
Mussau niucoconut tree
Tigak nikcoconut tree and fruit
Lusi niucoconut
Kove niucoconut
Lakalai la liucoconut tree, Cocos nucifera
Kairiru niucoconut
Manam niucoconut tree and fruit
  niu daŋcoconut water
Gedaged niucoconut tree and fruit
  niu tuzutiremove all the coconuts (this is done to all the coconut palms of a dead person when the time of mourning is at an end)
Mbula nicoconut
Gitua niucoconut
  niu matacoconut eye
Labu nicoconut
Hula niucoconut
Motu niucoconut tree and mature fruit: Cocos nucifera
Gabadi niucoconut
Kilivila nuyacoconut tree and fruit
Molima niu ~ niulacoconut
Tubetube niucoconut (mature ones)
Takuu nui <Mcoconut
Bugotu niucoconut tree and fruit
Nggela niucoconut palm; the nut
Kwaio niucoconut palm and fruit; stones, symbolic of coconuts, placed ritually at living site as consecration to ancestors, to ensure permanence
Lau niucoconut tree and fruit
  niu-niu-latasting of pork or coconut
Toqabaqita niucoconut tree and fruit
  Maameqe niufeast to worship an ancestral spirit: a quantity of coconuts is collected for the purpose
'Āre'āre niucoconut tree and fruit
  niu mānaa coconut over which incantations are said, and the cream of which is used to wash the region of the eyes of a corpse
  niu ni taohaa palm, Nipa fruticans taoha = ‘canoe house; shrine on the beach’)
  pwela ni niu1,000 coconuts
Sa'a niuthe coconut palm, Cocos nucifera,
Arosi niucoconut tree and fruit
  niu taohaa species of palm, Nipa fruticans
Gilbertese nicoconut tree
  uaa nifruit of coconut
Marshallese nigeneral term for all varieties of coconut trees and fruit
Pohnpeian nihcoconut palm, Cocos nucifera
Mokilese nicoconut tree (six named varieties listed)
Woleaian liucoconut tree
  paa-niucoconut leaf, coconut frond
Pileni niucoconut
Aore niudry coconut
Rano na-nidry coconut
Avava a-nicoconut
Southeast Ambrym nigreen coconut
Pwele na-niucoconut palm
Lelepa na-nucoconut palm
Efate (South) na-niucoconut
Canala coconut
Rotuman niucoconut, copra
Wayan niucoconut tree and fruit
  vua ni niucoconut; at least eleven named varieties of fruit
  vū ni niua particular coconut palm
Fijian niuthe coconut tree, Cocos nucifera; at least eleven named varieties of fruit
  niu yabiaarrowroot palm
  niu-niuVeitchia filifera
Tongan fuʔu niucoconut tree
  foʔi niucoconut fruit
  niu kafakind of coconut; the fruit is very long and is mostly husk --- the best kind for making sennit (kafa)
Niue niucoconut palm (13 varieties listed); copra
  fua niuthe fruit of the coconut
  mata niuthe “eye” of a coconut
  niu-niua grove of coconuts
Futunan niucoconut tree, Cocos nucifera L.
  niu matayoung coconut with very soft meat
Samoan niugeneral name for palms, especially the coconut palm, many of the varieties and forms of which are known by name
  niu mataimmature coconut (at the stage at which it can be drunk)
Tuvaluan niucoconut tree, Cocos nucifera; mature coconut; copra
Kapingamarangi niucoconut tree, Cocos nucifera
  niu maaŋalacoconut tree which bears edible husks
Rennellese niuthe coconut tree, Cocos nucifera; libations of fresh water or water squeezed from a banana stalk … and poured ceremonially from a coconut shell with ritual formulas, so as to cure sickness or cleanse a garden of evil gods
Anuta niucoconut tree and fruit
  niu matayoung coconut
Hawaiian niucoconut tree, Cocos nucifera
  wai niucoconut water

Note:   Also Itawis íyug ‘coconut tree and fruit’, Ifugaw (Batad) liyúg ‘coconut tree, Cocos nucifera; coconut fruit (of little cultural value; the meat sometimes is grated, added to glutinous rice and sugar, wrapped in banana leaves, and cooked and eaten as a delicacy’, Mansaka iyog ‘coconut’, iyog-an ‘coconut grove’, Bimanese niʔu ‘coconut’, Manggarai nio ‘coconut’, Tetun nuu ‘coconut palm and fruit’. A number of languages in the central Moluccas and at least Waropen in the South Halmahera-West New Guinea group, point to *niwəR rather than *niuR. Given its distribution across a major subgroup boundary in a geographically contiguous area I assume that this development is due to areal influence.

Two other observations about this data set seem noteworthy. The first is that the coconut was used for ceremonial purposes in a traditional context, including healing rituals (cf. glosses in Itbayaten, Gedaged, Kwaio, Toqabaqita, 'Āre'āre, and Rennellese The second is that the nipa palm (Nipa fruticans) is recurrently referenced through a reflex of *niuR (reflexes in Malagasy, 'Āre'āre, and Arosi), even though a PMP reconstruction (*nipa) clearly must be posited.

TOP      na    ne    ni    no    nu    






*nofo sit; stay or stop moving; reside


POC     *nofo sit; stay or stop moving; reside

Motu nohoto dwell
Rotuman nohoto sit; to dwell, live, reside, stay, remain, etc.
Wayan novokeep still, be motionless, stay without moving; keep quiet, be subdued, acquiescent, peaceful
  novoc-istay fixed in a place, not move from a place
  novo-novostay firmly in place, stick fast, as an anchor which can’t be moved
Tongan nofoto sit; to stay, live, dwell, reside (at or in or on)
  no-nofoto live together in one house or as one community; to live together as husband and wife
Niue nofoto sit; to dwell; to become established
  nofo-aa seat, chair
Samoan nofolive, dwell; stay, remain; sit (down, up, straight, etc.); (of a woman or a couple), be married
Kapingamarangi nohoto sit; to stay; to dwell
Rennellese nohoresting place, home, grave, residence, chair, pew; staying
Anuta nopoto dwell; to sit; to be alive
Rarotongan noʔoto stay or stop moving, to cease from moving; sit down, remain, stop, settle, dwell, live or stay or remain at or upon, inhabit a place
Maori nohosit; stay, remain; settle, dwell, live; lie, be located
  noho-iabe inhabited, frequented; be kept or celebrated
Hawaiian nohoseat, chair, stool, bench, saddle; to live, dwell; to be in session; to stay, tarry; to marry; possession of a medium by a spirit or god

Note:   Also Tuvaluan noho (expected **nofo) ‘dwell; sit; remain’. Motu noho is clearly cognate with the similar Rotuman, Fijian and Polynesian forms, thus supporting a POc reconstruction. However, it is surprisingly difficult to find other cognates outside the proposed Central Pacific group.


*noku bend, fold


POC     *noku bend, fold

'Āre'āre noku(-mia)to fold, crease, entwine
Tongan nokuto bend one’s body, stoop, crouch
Samoan noʔu(of body) be bent

Note:   Possibly a chance resemblance.


*nopo-nopo to fear, be intimidated by


POC     *nopo-nopo to fear, be intimidated by

Loniu noho-noafraid
Nali noho-ayfear (n.)
  in-noh‘he is afraid’
Ere nohafraid
Likum nohafraid
Sori nopafraid
Lindrou nohafraid
Bipi nohafraid
Arosi noho-nohoto fear, be in awe of, be shy of, as tame pigs of wild or Melanesians of Englishmen

Note:   This form appears to be in competition with POc *matakut ‘fear, be afraid’, but whereas the latter form may have indicated fear in a generic sense, *nopo-nopo seems to have meant something closer to intimidation.

TOP      na    ne    ni    no    nu    

























*nu- future marker with words for days


PAN     *nu- future marker with words for days

Paiwan nu-tiawtomorrow (cp. ka-tiaw ‘yesterday’)
Sambal (Bolinaw) nu-kamakarwaday after tomorrow
Sambal (Botolan) nu-búkahtomorrow
Bikol (Naga) nu-saróʔday after tomorrow
Buhid nu-marúmtomorrow
Murut (Paluan) nu-suabtomorrow
Murut (Kolod) nu-suabtomorrow
  nu-malasday after tomorrow
Tingalan (West) nu-nsuabtomorrow
  nu-laasday after tomorrow

Note:   I am indebted to Jason Lobel for providing the Philippine and North Borneo examples of this affix.


*nu₁ if, when (in future)


PAN     *nu₁ if, when (in future)

Paiwan nuif, when (in future)
Yami nowhen, if
Ilokano noif, when (in the future)
Atta (Pamplona) nuif
Isneg noif
Ilongot nuif
Sambal (Botolan) noif
Hanunóo nuif; when, during, in (with forms denoting periods of time)

Note:   Also Kavalan anu ‘if; when’.


*nu₂ 2sg.; you


PWMP     *nu₂ 2sg.; you

Balangaw -no2sg. minimal postnominal possessor; your
Binukid -nu2sg. non-topic pronoun; you, your
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) -nu2sg. non-topic pronoun
Bintulu -nəw2sg. possessor and agent of passive verb
Mentawai nuyou; your (as nominal postclitic)
Kulawi nu-, -nu2sg. pronoun

Note:   The relationship of this postnominal possessive marker to PMP *-mu ‘2sg. possessor’ remains unclear.


*nu₃ genitive case marker for common nouns (cf. *na, *ni)


PAN     *nu₃ genitive case marker for common nouns (cf. *na, *ni)

Pazeh nugenitive marker (rare)
Amis nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Bikol (Miraya dialects) nugenitive of common nouns, + referential ~ + past
Yami nogenitive case marker for common nouns
Ivatan nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Yogad nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Ilongot nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Lingkabau nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Bisaya (Lotud) nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Tatana nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Sungai Kuamut nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Murut (Tagol) nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Tingalan (West) nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Lobu Lanas nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Karo Batak numarker of the genitive
Toratán nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Lauje nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Ampibabo-Lauje nugenitive case marker for common nouns
Bare'e nugenitive case marker for common nouns

Note:   This form completes the trilogy for the genitive case markers of PAn: *ni ‘genitive of singular personal names’, *na ‘genitive of plural personal names’, *nu ‘genitive of common nouns’.


*-nu₁ marker of uncertainty


PAN     *-nu₁ marker of uncertainty

Seediq ma-nuwhat, which? (much used relative or interrogative pronoun)
Favorlang/Babuza sban-nowhen?
Thao mi-nuwhy?
Siraya hi-nowhere?
Itbayaten di-no-hwhere, wherever, at which place?
Ibanag so-nu anniwhen?
Agta (Central Cagayan) e-nuwhat?
Balangaw he-nowho?
Ifugaw (Bayninan) ŋa-nuwhat?
Kapampangan ní-nuwho?
Kalamian Tagbanwa sa-nu pawhen?
  ti-nu pawho?
Palawan Batak saʔ-nuwhen?
Mamanwa o-no sawhat?
Manobo (Dibabawon) kaga-nuwhen?
Bonggi o-nuwhat?
Tausug u-nuhwhat?
Ida'an Begak nuwhat?
  nu kidanwhen (future)?
Kayan (Uma Juman) hi-noʔwhere?
Melanau Dalat newwhat?
Malay nuthat there; yon (Kedah)
Kaidipang ṛoo-nuwhen?


PMP     *a-nu thing whose name is unknown, avoided, or cannot be remembered: what?

Itneg (Binongan) a-nowhat?
Bontok ʔanu-kaan empty form substituting in any form class when the normal form is inappropriate or when it cannot be recalled; what's-it; what-you-may-call-it
Ifugaw a-nu-káthing ... may be used in the sense of adultery in the case that the speaker avoids using the real word
Ifugaw (Amganad) a-nú-nawhen?
Tagalog a-nówhat?
Bikol a-nówhat
Aklanon a-nó(h)what?; do what? (particle that can be used as any part of speech)
Hiligaynon a-núwhat?
Cebuano a-núwhat?
Aborlan Tagbanwa a-nuwhatchamacallit
Sangil a-nu-iwhatchamacallit
Samal a-nuwhatchamacallit
Murik a-noʔwhich, which one; thing mentioned
Kayan a-noʔwhich?; the one that
Bintulu a-nəwthing mentioned, whatchamacallit
  a-nəw inəhwhat?
  a-nəw nasəkclothing
Ngaju Dayak a-nua certain (person, etc.)
Malagasy á-no-nasuch a one, such a thing, so-and-so
Iban a-nuʔsome(thing), i.e. not specified
Moken a-no-ŋwhat
Malay a-nuSo-and-So-, such-and-such
Acehnese a-nòwhatchamacallit, a certain, someone, something that one does not want to, or cannot name
Karo Batak a-nuindefinite pronoun, a certain; indicating for a person whose name one doesn't know, or doesn't want to say
Sundanese a-nurelative pronoun: this, that, which, that which, what; he/she who
Old Javanese a-nusomeone (something, somewhere) or other, So-and-So, What's the name, you-know-who (-what, -where)
  aŋ-a-nudo something or other, do you-know-what
  a-nu-ŋsomething that ... In practice it is comparable to ikaŋ: who, which; or (a)siŋ: whoever, whatever
Javanese a-nuum, uh (representing a pause to collect one's thoughts); substitution for a word that has slipped the mind; expressing vagueness rather than definiteness; sex organ (euphemistic)
Balinese a-nuone, a certain one'; di dina anu 'on a certain day
  a-nu-n(preceding a personal name) the one belonging to, that of
  uman tyaŋé limaŋ anun i rakathe field of me (is) five (times) that of I Raka
Sasak a-nuʔindefinite pronoun (something); used to form possessive pronouns; used also for the genitalia; do something with someone
Sangir a-nuindefinite pronoun: whatchamacallit, word used to indicate something for which one will not or cannot use the proper name
Tontemboan a-nuword used to indicate something indefinite, used both for persons and for things; thing, whatchamacallit
  u-a-nua demonstrative word, connected with something that has not yet been named, but which presently shall be named, a certain someone, also used to indicate possession
Mongondow o-nuwhat, which, how?
Kaidipang a-nu-kowhat?
Banggai anuwhatchamacallit
Uma a-nuwhatchamacallit; possessions
  meʔ-anudo something (unstated)
Bare'e a-nuindefinite pronoun, word used to indicate something for which one will not or cannot use the proper name
Mori Bawah anuwhatsit, whatchamacallit
Wolio a-nuproperty
Chamorro am-anuwhere, which?
  m-anuwhich, whichever?
Soboyo anua certain; word used for persons the speaker doesn’t know


PCEMP     *anu thing whose name is unknown

Tolai anused when either there is no verb to express the idea or the spreaker is unable to recall the correct verb, so-and-so; thine, anything


PWMP     *maŋ-anu do such-and-such (action unspecified)

Malagasy man-àno-naliterally to "so-and-so" anything
Old Javanese aŋ-anudo something or other, do you-know-what
Sangir maŋ-anuverb which can be used as an indefinite substitute for any other verb
Mongondow moŋ-onuwhat are you doing?; why?


PWMP     *sa-anu (gloss uncertain)

Old Javanese s-ānubeing connected with something, or in some way possessing something
Tontemboan sa-anuperhaps


PWMP     *i-anu, si-anu person whose name is avoided or cannot be remembered: So-and-so

Itneg (Binongan) si-anowho?
Malagasy i-àno-nawhat's-his-name
Iban s-anuʔSo-and-so
Malay si anuSo-and-So
Karo Batak si anuSo-and-So
Toba Batak si anuSo-and-So, name of someone whom one does not wish to, or cannot name
Balinese i anuSo-and-So, an unknown and unnamed person


PMP     *sanu person whose name is avoided or cannot be remembered: So-and-so

Singhi Land Dayak soni ~ oniso-and-so
Cheke Holo hanuword used to replace a taboo word or name
Roviana sanua term used instead of a particular name--- So-and-so
Bugotu hanuthing
  a hanuthe person, he who
Nggela hanuindefinite pronoun. Replaces an unremembered name of a person or thing. Someone, so-and-so; do so and so, thus, in such a way
  a hanuwhat's his name!
  na hanuthe thing whose name I can't remember

Note:   This word seems to derive ultimately from *si anu, although the contracted form may already have existed in PMP.


PWMP     *in-anu to have had something done with it

Bikol daʔí in-anóintact, untouched
Old Javanese in-anudo something or other, do you-know-what


PMP     *a-nu-ku my unnamed thing: mine

Kayan anu-kmine
Sasak anuʔ kumine
Sangir anu-kumine
  i anu-kumy friend (male or female)
Tontemboan anu-kumine
Wolio o anu-kumine
Label anu-kmine


PMP     *a-nu-mu your unnamed thing: yours

Kayan anu-myours
[Sasak anuʔ dayours]
Sangir anu-myours
Tontemboan anu-muyours
Wolio o anu-muyours
Label anu-myours


PMP     *a-nu-ni a his/her unnamed thing: his/hers

Kayan anu-n naʔhis/hers
Sundanese anu-nahis, hers
Sasak anuʔ niahis/hers
Sangir anu-nehis/hers
Tontemboan anu-nahis/hers
Wolio o anu-nahis/hers/theirs


POC     *anu-ña his/her unnamed thing: his/hers

Label anu-nahis/hers


PAN     *i-nu place which is unknown or cannot be remembered: where?

Saisiyat ha-inowhere?
Atayal i-nuwhere, anywhere?
Seediq i-nowhere? (especially interrogative)
Paiwan inuwhere?
Binukid inuwhat, which
Kenyah (Long Anap) i-nuwhat?
Melanau (Mukah) uaʔ i-newwhat?


PAN     *ka-nu₁ interrogative; probably 'when?'

Saisiyat ka-nowhat?


PMP     *ka-nu₂ when?

[Ilokano ka-anówhen?]
Agta (Central Cagayan) ka-nuwhen?
Bikol ka-anóánowhat is the relationship to?
Mansaka a-ka-nuwhen? (past)
Kalagan ka-nuwhen?
  kinu-nuwhen? (future)
Manobo (Sarangani) ka-nowhen?
Samal ka-nuwhen?
[Kaidipang ka-anu-kowhere?]


PAN     *na-nu what(?)

Atayal na-nuwhy, anyhow, what, anything, to do what?
Kanakanabu na-nuwhere? (Ferrell 1969)
Aklanon ná-nowhat (noun form only)
Subanen/Subanun na-nuwhen?


PPh     *si-nu person whose name is unknown, avoided or cannot be remembered: who?

Yami si-nuwho?
Itbayaten si-nowho?
Ilokano si-nnówho?
Kalinga (Guinaang) si-nuwho?
Bontok sí-nuwho; what?
Kankanaey si-nówho?, which?, what?
Sambal (Botolan) hi-nowho?
Tagalog sí-nowho?
  sí-no mananyone, whoever
Kalamian Tagbanwa tinu pawho?
Agutaynen si-no-pawho (singular; da-no-pa = ‘who?, plural’)
Subanon si-nuwho?
Binukid sinʔuwho?


PPh     *anu-en how? In what way?

Ilokano an-ano-énhow? what is the use of?
Hiligaynon anu-unbecome, do with
Mongondow onu-onwhat must be done?


PWMP     *anu-anu thing of uncertainty

Ilokano an-ano-énHow? What is the use of? What can (I, etc.) do with?
Bikol mag-ka-anó-ánobe related to each other in what way?
Malagasy ano anopraise, blessing; a guess, anything done at random
Javanese anu anuotherwise; had something happened
Wolio anu anuderide, mock, ridicule

Note:   Also Tsou ánʔo ‘where is?’, Itbayaten sinoh ‘who?’, Bontok annoka ‘an empty form substituting in any form class when the normal form is inappropriate or when it cannot be recalled; what's-it; what-you-may-call-it’, Aklanon kánʔo ‘when (in the past)?’, Aklanon sínʔo ‘who?, whom?’, Mamanwa sinʔo ‘who?’, Manobo (Western Bukidnon) me-nu ‘how? what?’, Tontemboan ma-anu ‘have sex with a woman’. Philippine forms such as Itbayaten sinoh and Aklanon sinʔuh suggest *-nuh, but the final consonant is not supported by Atayal, Saisiyat or other Formosan languages. In addition, since *si-nu seems clearly to be formed from *si ‘nominative case of singular personal names’ + *nu ‘marker of uncertainty’ I assume that the glottal stop in some Philippine forms is a secondary development.

It is unclear whether this morpheme could occur in isolation in PAn, since such reflexes as Melanau Dalat (Kampung Kekan) new ‘what?’ could be products of secondary reduction. *-nuh was a formative in many interrogative words, but apparently was not an interrogative marker itself, as there is no comparative evidence that it could be used to transform declarative into interrogative expressions. Rather, it is perhaps most accurately characterized as a marker of uncertainty or deliberate obscurity. For the morphological parallel of *maŋ- + ‘what?’ = ‘why?’ cp. Mongondow moŋ-onu and Malay meŋ-apa ‘why?’.


*-nu₂ 2sg possessor and non-subject agent


PAN     *-nu₂ 2sg possessor and non-subject agent

Puyuma nu-you, bound pronoun, 2sg agentive (Cauquelin 2015); 2sg. genitive, indicating both non-subject actor and possessor (Teng 2009:826)
Kalinga -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Itneg (Binongan) -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Balangaw -no2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Manobo (Ata) -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Binukid -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Mapun -nuyou; your (second person singular non-focus pronoun or possessive pronoun)
Yakan -nuyou (second person singular ergative pronoun); your (second person singular possessive pronoun)
Bonggi -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Manobo (Sarangani) -no2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Sama (Central) -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Rungus Dusun -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Tobilung Dusun -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Minokok -nu2sg possessor and non-subject agent
Bintulu -nəw2sg. possessor and agent of passive verb
Melanau (Mukah) -nəw2sg. possessor, agent of passive verb, and object pronoun
Mentawai -nuyou; your
Uma -nu2sg possessor
Makassarese -nu2sg possessor

Note:   This form appears to be functionally equivalent to PMP *-mu ‘2sg possessor and non-subject agent’, and the factors that governed their use remain to be determined.


*nues squid


PMP     *nues squid

Waray-Waray nuóssquid
Malay (Kedah) nusa generic name for cephalopods
Acehnese nòhsquid, cuttlefish, octopus
Javanese nussquid, cuttlefish
Chamorro nosnossquid, cuttlefish
Sika nukind of polyp on the reef
Rotinese nusoctopus, squid

Note:   Also Itbayaten anos ‘squid, small cuttlefish, medium-sized cuttlefish’, Agutaynen loko ‘squid’, Cebuano núkus, Binukid nukus, Simalur nunu ‘bones of the octopus, which sometimes wash up in large heaps on the beach’, Chamorro nosŋos ‘squid, cuttlefish’, Palauan lúut, Bipi ñu, Sori ñuw ‘small shellless squid’, Loniu ñuk ‘small reef squid’, Pak nuy, Lou niy ‘small shellless squid’, Puluwat ŋiit ‘cuttlefish’, Woleaian ŋit ‘squid’, Rennellese ŋuu-heke ‘squid’, Maori ŋūSepia apama, squid’.

The search for a PMP term for ‘squid’ is frustrating, since there are many words with this meaning that show greater than chance phonetic similarity, but few that exhibit recurrent sound correspondences, a situation that obtains even within the Oceanic group (Blust 1978:147, Ross 1988:342, 344). Pawley (2011) reconstructs POc *nusa (doublet *nus) ‘small reef squid (Loligo spp.) and smaller cuttlefish (Sepia spp.)’. While the longer of these doublets is clearly justified, it is the shorter one that appears a priori to have possible cognates outside the Oceanic group. All of the forms cited in the above comparison can reflect *nues, but it is not at all clear that such a PMP etymon existed. Oceanic forms such as Kairiru nus ‘squid’, Mbula nus ‘squid type (smaller-sized), Rotuman ‘squid, small type of cuttlefish’ initially appear to be related, but the first of these is better accounted for by POc *nuso ‘smaller types of reef squid’, and the regular reflex of PMP *nues in Rotuman would be **nuo. Forms in the Admiralty islands which appear to reflect an earlier monosyllable clearly indicate *ñ as the initial consonant, thus conflicting with the evidence of Malay, Acehnese, Javanese and Chamorro, all of which point unambiguously to *n, Adding to the difficulty of Pawley’s (2011) POc *nus ‘squid’ is the extreme rarity (one might even say non-existence) of reconstructed content words at the POc level or higher which are monosyllabic. Finally, additional doublets could be reconstructed based on very slender evidence, as with Pak nuy, Gedaged nui, Manam nuri < *nuRi, or Cebuano núkus, Binukid nukus, Loniu ñuk < *ñukus, but as noted in Blust (1978:147) given the generally chaotic comparative picture presented by phonetically similar but non-corresponding forms beginning with a reflex of *nu-, *ñu- or occasionally *ŋu-, this temptation is best resisted.


*nuka to make hemp yarn


PAN     *nuka to make hemp yarn

Atayal nukaʔhemp which has been through the hatchel; hemp thread; to make hemp thread
Pazeh ka-nukato make hemp yarn
  ma-nukato make hemp yarn
Amis nokato make thread or twine


*numa how?


PAN     *numa how?

Favorlang/Babuza nummawhat?
Thao numawhat? why?
Puyuma numahow much/how many?

Note:   Also Paiwan a-nema ‘what?, what thing?’.


*numi to fold


POC     *numi to fold

Dobuan nu-numito fold a cloth
Proto-Polynesian *numito fold
Tongan numito tuck or pleat; to make a tuck or pleat in; a tuck or pleat
Niue numi-numito crumple
Samoan numito crumple
Tuvaluan numitangled (of a line)
Maori numito bend, fold


*nunu₁ earthquake


POC     *nunu₁ earthquake

Ere nunu-wearthquake
Nehan nunearthquake
Petats nunearthquake
Eddystone/Mandegusu nunuearthquake
Kwaio nuu-nunuearthquake
'Āre'āre nunuquake; loose
Sa'a nunuto quake, of ground; to be loose, unstable, of a post; earthquake
Arosi nunuan earthquake; to quake


POC     *nu-nunu earthquake

Loniu nu-nunearthquake
Sa'a nu-nunuto quake, of ground; to be loose, unstable, of a post; earthquake

Note:   Also Itbayaten ninih, Ivatan ñiʔñiʔ, Lau anuanu ‘to shake, quake; an earthquake’, Toqabaqita anunu ‘earthquake’, Toga rur, Mota rir, Wailengi ruru, Vowa lulu, Makura na-rir, Nakanamanga (Nguna) na-ruru ‘earthquake’.


*nunu₂ to slough, shed the skin, as a snake


POC     *nunu₂ to slough, shed the skin, as a snake

Manam nunuto slough (snake)
Arosi nunubare, stripped of leaves; lose leaves, take off ornaments

Note:   Possibly a chance resemblance.


*nunuh female breast


PAN     *nunuh female breast

Seediq nunuhfemale breast (Ferrell 1969)
Pazeh nunuhbreast (of woman); milk
Tsou nunufemale breast (Ferrell 1969)
Sambal (Botolan) nónoʔfemale breast


POC     *nunu₃ female breast

Hoava nunu-female breast
V'ënen Taut nunufemale breast
Leviamp nunufemale breast
Futuna-Aniwa nunufemale breast

Note:   Also Mono-Alu lulu, Bonga na-mumuh, Makatea mumu, Vinmavis nu-momo-m ‘female breast’. This word must be reconstructed next to the far better-supported PAn *susu ‘female breast’. The semantic distinction is unclear, but *nunuh may have been a term used with young children.


*nunuk a tree: the banyan or strangler fig


PMP     *nunuk a tree: the banyan or strangler fig

Itbayaten nonoka tree: Ficus tinctoria Forst.; goats eat it, and the wood is used to make boat parts, such as paddles
Aklanon nunóktree -- believed to be bewitched or enchanted
Maranao nonokbanyan tree: Ficus sp.
Tiruray nunukgeneric for the strangler fig: Ficus benjamina L.
Basap nunukbanyan tree
Malagasy nónokaa tree, a decoction of the leaves of which is used as a remedy for diarrhea, and also to relieve the pains of childbirth: Ficus melleri Baker
Maloh nunukbanyan
Sundanese nunukname of a fruit tree; ghost in the form of a hunchbacked beldam
Sangir nunuʔkind of waringin or banyan
Mongondow nunukkind of waringin or banyan
Uma nunuʔkind of waringin or banyan
Palauan lulktree in fig family (similar to banyan tree): Ficus microcarpa var. latifolia
Chamorro nunubanyan tree; type of plant: Ficus prolixa
Rotinese nunu(k)kind of waringin or banyan
Erai nunubanyan tree
Leti nunubanyan
Alune nunubanyan
Wahai nunubanyan, fig tree
Proto-Ambon *nunuʔFicus benjamina L
Lenkau nunbanyan
Tolai nunubanyan
Pohnpeian nihna tree: Ficus tinctoria
Fijian nunufig tree sp.

Note:   Cf. Zorc (n.d.) PPh *nunuk ‘tree: Moraceae Ficus sp.’, Mills (1981) Pind *nunuk ‘banyan’. In at least the Philippines, Indonesia and Madagascar the banyan is believed to house mischievous spirits, a belief that very likely arose because the extensive aerial roots at night present a scene of shadowy mystery that causes travellers to keep at a distance.


*nuŋnuŋ stare, look fixedly


PWMP     *nuŋnuŋ stare, look fixedly     [doublet: *NeŋNeŋ]

Kankanaey noŋnóŋsee; look at; behold; observe; view
Malay nonoŋwalk looking fixedly ahead, as a drunkard trying to walk straight
Karo Batak nuŋnuŋmake an examination, try to find out

Note:   Also Malay renoŋ ‘looking fixedly at anything’.


*nupi dream


PWMP     *nupi dream

Kenyah (Long Anap) nupidream
Bintulu nupəya dream; to dream
Ngaju Dayak nupia dream; to dream
  ka-nupi-nupiconstantly confused
Malagasy núfia dream
  ma-nu-núfito dream

Note:   With root *-pi ‘dream’.


*nuRuq luck


PMP     *nuRuq luck

Palauan lúsəʔluck


PMP     *ma-nuRuq lucky

Palauan mə-lúsəʔalways lucky
Tongan monūgood luck, good fortune or privilege
Samoan manūgood luck, good fortune

Note:   First proposed in Geraghty n.d., but with a reconstruction only for POc.


*nus squid, cuttlefish


PMP     *nus squid, cuttlefish     [doublet: *kanuqus]

Malay nusgeneric name for cephalopods
Sika nukind of polyp on the reef
Rotinese nusoctopus, squid


*nusa₁ island


PMP     *nusa₁ island

Maranao nosa(< Malay?) island in Lake Lanao
Mapun nusaa small island, islet
  ka-nusa-ana group of small islands
Malagasy nosyisland
  ta-nosyislander; name of a tribe on the southeast coast
Malay nusaisland (only in island names, not in speaking of an island)
Nias nuzaisland, place
  so-nusanative, indigenous
Mentawai nušaisland
Sundanese nusaisland
Old Javanese nūsaisland
  nūsāntarathe other islands
Javanese nusaisland
Balinese nusaisland
  nusantarafrom another island, foreign
Sangir nusaisland
Bare'e nusaland, district
Komodo nusaisland
Manggarai nunca ~ nucaisland
Rembong nusaisland
Ngadha nusaland, island
Sika nuha-ŋisland
Lamaholot nuhaisland
Kambera nuhaland, island
Rotinese nusa-kisland; state, domain; court-village, court
Tetun nusaisland
Erai nusa-(n)island
Talur nusaisland
East Damar nuhisland
West Damar nudaisland
Leti nusaland, earth
Wetan noaland, island, territory, region
Selaru nusa-reland, district; people
Yamdena nusedistrict; population of a district; people
Teluti nusaisland
Alune nusaisland, land
Wahai lusa-nisland
Saparua nusaisland
Batu Merah nusaisland
Morella nusaisland
Buli nusisland
Irarutu nuisland
Moor nutaisland
Wandamen nuisland
Numfor nuisland, only used in compounds, as Nu-mfor, Nus Mapi, etc.
Waropen nusaisland
Serui-Laut nuisland
Tigak kuru-nusaisland
Mendak nusaisland
Mengen nutaisland
Roviana nusaisland
Eddystone/Mandegusu nusaisland
Arosi nu-nutaan island at the mouth of a stream


POC     *a-nusa small island, islet

Mono-Alu a-nusaisland
Nggela a-nuhaan island (only in names, the usual word being koukomu)
Sa'a Ȁ-nutename of the island of Florida
Arosi a-nutathe name of a small island on the south coast
Woleaian ya-liut(a)small uninhabited island
Fijian ya-nucaproper name of many small islands (Geraghty 1983:128)

Note:   Also Bimanese nisa ‘small island’. This word almost certainly meant ‘island’ in PMP, but in several languages, including at least Malay, Numfor, Nggela, Arosi, and Fijian it has come to apply only to island names, and is distinct from the general term of reference. In several languages (Mapun, Arosi, Woleaian, Fijian) the reference is limited to smaller islands or islets, but if this is a retention from PMP or POc it is difficult to see what it contrasted with. Osmond, Pawley and Ross (2003:42) posit POc *nusa ‘island’, *qa-nusa ‘at our own island’, but no clear evidence is given for the initial consonant of the latter term, and it is at least plausible that the longer word is another example of the ‘adhesive locative’ (Blust 1989a). As noted by Osmond, Pawley and Ross (2003:42), “Anuta, the name of a very small Polynesian island near Tikopia, is probably also cognate.”


*nusa₂ smaller types of reef squid


POC     *nusa₂ smaller types of reef squid     [doublet: *nuso]

Mussau nusasmall squid
Numbami iya-nusasquid (iya = ‘fish’)
Toqabaqita nutaspp. of cuttlefish and squid, relatively small in size

Note:   Reconstructed by Pawley (2011:200), although most of the evidence that he cites points either to *nuso, or fails to agree with either reconstruction.


*nuse smaller types of reef squid


POC     *nuse smaller types of reef squid     [doublet: *nusa, *nuso]

Seimat nussquid
Mbula nussquid type (smaller-sized)
Motu nusea small octopus


*nuso smaller types of reef squid


POC     *nuso smaller types of reef squid     [doublet: *nusa₂]

Seimat nussmall shelless squid
Aua nutosmall squid
Lakalai lusocuttlefish
Cheke Holo nuhocuttlefish
Nggela nuhogeneric for reef squids, Sepioteuthis spp.
Lau nutosquid; smooth, as a squid
'Āre'āre nutocuttlefish, squid
Sa'a nutosquid
Arosi nutonuto

Note:   Also Arosi nito ‘octopus, smaller than monagi = nuto, squid’.

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