• Lara

Comparisons of Malayo-Polynesian Noun Cognates

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017




I put together a little cognate set that I found most interesting from a few Malayo-Polynesian languages. Many know of English being a Germanic language but the Filipino-Malay connection to the Oceanic language branch is understated. I chose words that are very basic in nature and common to all cultures, as well as nouns that have a particular usage in the Malayo-Polynesian cultures such as fish, island, bird/chicken. It is interesting to note that the word for “moon/month” is the same word for both concepts, they are not distinguished by the usage of a different word. This may allude the Malayo-Polynesian tradition of tracking the rotation of the moon to mark the passing of the months. The same can be said for the words “day/sun” which in many languages are two distinct (yet of course related concepts). However in the listed Malayo-Polynesian languages the same word is used for both.

I also had trouble finding the words for “cook” and “meal/eat/food” in most of the Polynesian/Oceanic languages, which was interesting as I thought that that would be a common word. It’s also interesting to note the more unchanged cognates of particular words, for example the words for “fish”, “coconut”, “drink/to drink”, “chicken/bird”, and “fire” tended to show the greatest similarities between the languages, ie. the less change had taken place over time regardless of the separation of time and geography. Note the interchangeable usage of “chicken” and “bird” which is shows constant cognates between each language. For example if I was unable to find a cognate between the languages for the word “bird”, I would find the similarity in that language’s word for “chicken” instead.


FISH Tagalog: isda Ilokano: ikan/sida Malay: ikan Indonesian: ikan Javanese: iwak Samoan: i’a, i?a Maranao: s’da Tahitian: i’a, eiya Maori: ika Hawaiian: i’a, ka i’a Rapanui: ika Fijian: ika, siwa (to try to catch fish) Tongan: ika


ISLAND Tagalog: pulo Ilokano: poro Malay: pulau Indonesian: pulau Javanese: pulo Samoan: motu Maranao: polo Tahitian: motu Maori: motu Hawaiian: moku, mokupuni(?) Rapanui: motu Fijian: yanuyan, Tongan: motu


HOUSE Tagalog: bahay Ilokano: balay Malay: rumah? Old Javanese: – Indonesian: rumah Samoan: fale Tahitian: fare Maranao: walay Maori: whare Hawaiian: hale Rapanui: hare Fijian: vale Tongan: fale


ROAD Tagalog: daan, landas (path/way) Ilokano: dalan Malay: jalan Indonesian: jalan Javanese: dalan/gili Samoan: ala, Tahitian: e’a, ea’tia Maranao: lalan Maori: ara Hawaiian: ala nui, alanui Rapauniu: ara Fijian: sala Tongan: hala


DAY/SUN Tagalog: araw Ilokano: init (also means heat), aldaw (day) Malay: hari (Sanskrit origin?) Indonesian: hari/matahari (Sanskrit origin?) Samoan: aso, la (sun) Tahitian: mahana, ao Maranao: longan/alongan (day, sun), daondaw (day, daylight) Maori: ra Hawaiian: lā, ka lā (sun) Rapanui: mahana, raá Fijian: siga Tongan: ‘aho, la’a (sun)


COCONUT Tagalog: niyog, buko Ilokano: niug Malay: kelapa? Indonesian: kelapa? Samoan: niu Tahitian: niu Maranao: niog, niyog Maori: koko, kokonati? Hawaiian: ka niu Rapanui: niu Fijian: niu Tongan: niu


FLOWER Tagalog: bulaklak Ilokano: sabong Malay: bunga Indonesian: bunga, Samoan: fuga Tahitian: pua, tiare, ‘ua’a Maranao: pidandang Maori: puawai Hawaiian: pua Rapanui: pua, tiare Fijian: senikau Tongan: kakala


BIRD/CHICKEN Tagalog: ibon, manok (chicken) Ilokano: bilit, manok (chicken) Malay: burung, ayam (chicken) Javanese: manuk (bird) Indonesian: burung, ayam (chicken) Samoan: manu, moa (chicken) Tahitian: manu Maranao: manok (chicken), papanok, sampiri Maori: manu, heihei (chicken) Hawaiian: manu, ka moa (chicken) Rapanui: manu, moa (chicken) Fijian: manu/mahumanu/manumanu, toa (chicken) Tongan: manu, moa (chicken)


NEW Tagalog: bago Ilokano: baro Malay: baru Indonesian: baru Samoan: fou, Tahitian: ʻāpī(?) Maranao: bago, baego Maori: hou Hawaiian: hou Rapanui: ho’ou Fijian: vou Tongan: fo’ou


MONTH/MOON Tagalog: buwan/bulan Ilokano: bulan Malay: bulan Indonesian: bulan Samoan: masina Tahitian: marama (moon), ʻāvaʻe Maranao: bolan, olan, olanolan, kaani’ (moon/star) Maori: marama Hawaiian: mahina Rapanui: ava’e, mahima (moon) Fijian: vula Tongan: mahina


DOG Tagalog: aso Ilokano: aso Malay: anjing(?) Old Javanese: asu Indonesian: anjing, orang (person/man/fellow/dog), mengikuti (follow/attend/dog), membuntuti (trail, shadow, tail, heel, dog) Samoan: uli, malle Tahitian: uri Maranao: aso Maori: kuri Hawaiian: ka’īlio Rapanui: paihéŋa, palhenga? Fijian: koli Tongan: kuli


FIRE Tagalog: apoy Ilokano: apuy/apoy Malay: api Javanese: geni Indonesian: api Samoan: afi Tahitian: auahi, auah Maranao: apoy Maori: ahi Hawaiian: ka ahi Rapanui: ahi, afi Fijian: buka, bukawaka Tongan: afi


PERSON Tagalog: tao, katao Ilokano: tao Malay: orang, manusia (human) Indonesian: orang Samoan: tagata Tahitian: ta’ata Maranao: taw, adama’ Maori: tangata Hawaiian: ke kanaka Rapanui: taŋata Fijian: – Tongan: tangata


MAN Tagalog: lalaki Ilokano: lalaki Malay: lelaki Indonesian: manusia Samoan: tagata Tahitian: ta’ata Maranao: mama, adama’, taw Maori: tangata Hawaiian: kanaka Rapanui: tangata, taŋata Fijian: turaga Tongan: tangata (man/person/human being/male), siana (man)


WOMAN Tagalog: babae Ilokano: babai Malay: wanita Indonesian: wanita Samoan: fafine Tahitian: vahine Maranao: bebay/baebay/babay Maori: wahine Hawaiian: wahine Rapanui: vi’e Fijian: marama Tongan: fafine, fefine/fine eiki


CHILD Tagalog: anak, bata, sanggol (baby/fetus) Ilokano: ubing(?) Malay: kanak-kanak, anak (children) Indonesian: anak Samoan: tamaiti (children) tamaitiiti, itiiti (tiny, little small), ataliʻi Tahitian: iti (small, little), tamaiti/tamari’i (child), api (new, young) Maranao: bata, wata’, ikaririga’ Maori: tamaiti, pepe (baby), taitamariki (young) Hawaiian: keiki Rapanui: poki, iti (small, tiny) Fijian: gone, luve- Tongan: tamasi’i, iiki (small/young)


COOK Tagalog: magluto, luto, iluto Ilokano: luto Malay: masak Indonesian: memasak Samoan: umukuka (kitchen) Tahitian: ‘eu Maranao: loto’, kosiniro, patitinda’, tinda’ Maori: tuna Hawaiian: kuke Rapanui: – Fijian: vaka saka, kakana Tongan: –


DRINK Tagalog: inumin, uminom Ilokano: uminum Malay: minum Indonesian: minum Samoan: vasa(?), vaiinu Tahitian: inu Maranao: inom Maori: inu Hawaiian: inu Rapanui: unu/vai Fijian: gunuva/ gunu Tongan: umaki, inu


FOOD Tagalog: kain, pagkain, kaanak (means “flesh” but in modern usage refers to kin/family) Ilokano: makan, kankanen Malay: makanan, makanan, makan Indonesian: makanan, kanan(?) Samoan: mea taumafa, fua Tahitian: – ina’i/eeree (meat) Maranao: ken, kaoyagan (substance/living) Maori: kai Hawaiian: ‘ai (meal), mea’ai (food) Rapanui: kai Fijian: kakana Tongan: meakai

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