PNCV *koro / *qoro root, "to fence"

Waruno Mahdi mahdi at FHI-Berlin.MPG.DE
Sun Apr 25 20:00:48 UTC 1999

The form indeed seems at a glance to answer to the protoform *kurung,
reconctructed by Otto Dempwolff (1938) for:

Tagalog kulong 'pen, enclosure', bang-kulong 'trap',
Toba-Batak hurung 'put in captivity', Javanese kurung 'pen, enclosure'
Malay kurung 'enclose, pen in', Ngaju-Dayak kurong 'penned, enclosed'
Merina-Malagasy horona 'confined, enclosed';

Mark Harvey (1982, "Subgroups in Austronesian", pp. 47-99 in Amran Halim,
             Lois Carrington, S.A. Wurm [eds], Papers from the Third
             International Conference on Austronesian Linghuistics,
             vol. 2, Pacific Linguistics Series C-75. Canberra:ANU,
             see there p. 56)
included *kurung as proposed evidence for recognizing *r as PAN phoneme,
and cited:

Paiwan kurung 'wooden fram for carrying firewood',
Tsou t-h-i-krungu 'surrounding walls of a pig pen',
     re-krungv-a 'mosquito net'
Tagalog kulóng, Ilokano, Bikol kurúng 'fortress', Tausug ku:ngan 'cage'
Tonga kolo 'fortress, temporary fence of native cloth around a grave'
Samoa ?olo 'fort';  where: ó is o with acute accent,
                           ú is u with acute accent.

However, I generally agree with John Wolff that *r was probably not an
original feature of the phoneme system of PAN, and therefore pleaded for
regarding PAN reconstructs containing *r with skepsis (1994, 'Some AN
maverick protoforms - I", Oceanic Lingustics 33: 167-229, see there
endnote 9 on p. 201).

I think that the reflexes assigned to *kurung actually reflect two
protoforms, one authentic and one secondary or "doublet". The
primary protoform (probably not PAN but PMP), I think, was:

*kuDung > Malay k_er_udung (ifix -er-) 'veil, lamp shade',
          Kroe-Lampung kudung 'closed up, closed in',
          Sundanese kudung 'cloth to cover or wrap around the head'
Old Javanese a-kurung 'be closed in, pent up',
New Javanese kurung 'confine, enclose, pen up',
             kurungan 'cage',
Madurese kòDung 'wear over one's head',
Balinese kuDung 'head covering (of women), veil, cap',
where ò is o with grave accent,
      D is d with dot under it (except *D which is the PAN reconstruct).

The secondary protoform *kurung.... was probably at first a borrowing
from Javanese into Malay, and then spread as Malay feature along
the Java Sea-Strait of Makassar-Celebes Sea-Philippines-Taiwan route,
resulting in the Western Austronesian reflexes ascribed to *kurung
above by Dempwolf and Harvey. The one or other of the Philippine
cognates could however directly reflect *kuDung (compare the meaning
of the Kroe-Lampung reflex, which cannot be reconciled with a *kurung,
but must reflect *kuDung). The Merina-Malagasy cited form could also
reflect *kuDung.

The following Javanese reflexes (perhaps also Sundanese kudung above),
must be seen as borrowings from Malay kudung < *kuDung:

Old Javanese kuDung 'veil, hood',
New Javanese kuDung 'cloth to cover or wrap around the head, cover, lid'

(the Madurese and Balinese cognates with _D_ must be original, because
loans from Malay would probably have given a different reflex for donor
_d_ of Malay in these languages).

The regular Javanese reflex for *D in non-postconsonantal position is
_r_, and the typical Javanese reflex in borrowings for a _d_ of the
donor language is _D_ (the latter first noted by Isidore Dyen, 1947,
"The Tagalog Reflexes of Malayo-Plynesian *D", Language 23: 227-238,
see there #2.4).

The Oceanic cognates should in my opinion be seen as reflexes of
*kuDung, and most East Indonesian cognate probably also.
It is interesting, that the Oceanic forms semantically reflect the
'enclosure' meaning -- as indicated above for Kroe-Lampung and Javanese
reflexes of *kuDung -- as well as the 'cloth wrap-around' and 'cover, lid'
meanings of some other Western reflexes of that protoform.

Regards,   Waruno

Waruno Mahdi                  tel:   +49 30 8413-5411
Faradayweg 4-6                fax:   +49 30 8413-3155
14195 Berlin                  email: mahdi at
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