PNCV *koro / *qoro root,

Chaumont Devin devil at
Tue Apr 27 10:01:15 UTC 1999

"Alexandre FRANCOIS" <alex_francois at>:

> ... Nevertheless, I may venture to tell frankly Chaumont
>that, even though I know very little about Indonesian languages or AN
>etymology, I could hardly be convinced at all by the relevance of
>those dozens of words he lists in Buru. I may belong to the horrific
>race of rationalistic scientists that he obviously can't put up with,
>but I don't think we are likely to find anything worthwhile in
>languages, if we start providing fuzzy roots with fuzzy meanings.

You asked for information.  Will you now bite the hand that provides it
because it doesn't fit your scientific paradigm?  Fascinating stuff!

> ... Thus it is pointless to me, to underline hundreds of words in a
>language (Buru) just because they roughly look akin : how can one put
>into the same basket, FOR A SINGLE LANGUAGE, such different words as
>/terun ...

Because words meaning "to cover" were under discussion, including, I
believe, something akin to Malay "tudung", which is apparently a reflex of
the same proto word as "terun".  This is because for Malay words in which
a 'd' sound occurs embedded within the word, the 'd' appears as 'r' in
Buru, whereas the 'r' in Malay words is represented by an 'h' in Buru.

> eskohon ...

because the proto root for this one is "koho" or "kuru", and if memory
serves, Ross Clark specifically mentioned the coconut grater.  How the
ancient words are related is not 100% clear, but if you leave a split
coconut to dry in the sun, the meat inside warps free of the shell in
places and can be scooped out.  The grater doesn't scoop nowadays, but
this may be where the meaning came from.

karan ...

Because deer horns branch, and as I recall both the "branching" and the
"kinking" meaning were under discussion.

karasena ...

Because in Buru "kara" never seems to appear as meaning "snake" by itself,
and yet appears as a prefix in words for various kinds of snakes, all of
which kink and bend and coil.

galan ...

Because "galan" means "bracelet", and bracelets form coils about the

humkolon ...

Because the prefix, "hum" means "house", but the original meaning of the
"kolon" part is obscure and may be related to the meaning of "koro" under

kuluh ...

Because in Buru, the 'u' in such words is usually interchangeable with
'o', so that the proto root would be "kolo" or "kulu", and the meaning,
"to open" was under discussion.

> .. regardless of any (historical) phonetic rules ? [Yes, languages do
>have rules, which were not invented by idle psychotic linguists ...

How insulting.  What gives you the right to insult me?  Because I am not
recognized as a linguist? I have not asked to be.  You asked for
information, and I gave it.

Linguists, like most of us, like cozy and predictable patterns.  The
danger is when (in the name of good science) we attempt to rigorously
impose the patterns we have discovered where they may not fit.  In the
region of the world under discussion people have been moving back and
forth for thousands of years, so that although it is possible to document
language-specific sound changes in a broad sense, a bewildering amount of
borrowing has taken place.  So when we consider word similarities, we
cannot just take the words that fit the sound-change patterns we have
discovered and discard the rest, but we must consider ALL the words that
are related.

To accuse a man like me of being unscientific and psychotic is a pretty
stupid mistake, but, count on it, somebody has written to you about me, so
that my reputation goeth before me.  This is just fine with me, because
instead of really saying anything about me, it speaks loudly for the
present state of linguistic "science".  Let the mush of their accusations
stand up to the steel of my reason--if it can (he-heh).  But DO BE
CAREFUL, because as Waruno well knows, I do love a good fight, and I am
the very Devil himself to beat!  Iff you can insult me, then I can insult
you.  However, instead of calling you "psychotic", "hysterical", or
"unscientific", I will simply let your own words make an ass and an idiot
out of you.

> ... as a pastime, but instead are being continuously operated by
> simply to get understood].

And this is precisely why I have given you all of these words.  Human
beings are busily altering words and spinning fresh linguistic phenomena
everyday.  In fact there seems to be buried in our clearest and youngest
minds a deep-seated drive to do this, and this is why we have slang.
Instead of attacking me as "psychotic", you might have done better to
study the words I gave you carefully and to try to see how and if they fit
together.  Some people do science only for academic recognition.  I study
Austronesian languages from time to time because I love them and derive
pleasure from them.

An interesting linguistic phenomenon is the switching of first and second
syllables in bisyllabic Austronesian words to create "Pig Latin" like
results.  This has been observed in several places, and has been used by
Chuck Grimes to scientifically prove something I once mentioned about Buru
Language.  I refrained from introducing this, because I had presented
enough material for study already, but in Buru there is a word, "lakat",
the root of which, if put through this processes, would be "kala", which
may be related.  "Lakat" means "thorn" in Buru.  If in fact "karan" and
"lakat" are related in this way, then it would not be the first time such
a thing has happened.

And don't preach to me about how the 'r' must come from proto 'd', and
thus cannot be the same as 'l', etc., because although I recognize the
documented sound changes for Buru, this does not necessarily mean that
modern 'r' and 'l' are not sometimes related (in other words that they
cannot both come from the same original sound).  All we can really say is
that they cannot be related by the currently recognized sound-change

>And if there's no certainty with the "signifiants" (the forms), how
>one could reasonably equate so diverse "signifies" (meanings) as
>"snake" / "loose" / "warped" / "bracelet"/ "deer horn"/ "summon" /
"scrape"=85 ? Is it a joke ? I'm afraid I'll have to be convinced by
>better ways, Chaumont ; ...

But you are putting words into my mouth.  I did not try to convince you of
anything.  You asked for similar words and meanings, and I simply provided
words which may or may not be related.  And now you seem to be showing the
limits of your own imagination by trying to make an ass out of me for it.
Who put you up to this, anyway?  Will you tell me, or shall I guess?

>a general rule with science (sorry for my
>serious tone) is that any assertion should be verifiable; ...

And would you cast aspersions upon my science for giving you words?

> and nobody
> could verify the relation between, say, /godok/ "blunted" and
> /karapapa/ "python".

The relation that I suspect (and cannot prove or disprove because I no
longer have access to native speakers in Buru, where I would probably be
gunned down by the Indonesian military were I to show up) is that there
may be some kind of "warp" or "become curved" meaning that links these two

>And what does all this have to do with the
>"fence" meaning ?

Because of the similarity between the "warp", "curl up", and "encircle"
meanings under discussion and all the similar words that encode these
meanings in the modern languages.

>Well, I won't deny that there may be great range of forms for a
>single root, ACROSS LANGUAGES (but not so much within one sole
>language), and conversely, that a SINGLE FORM (within one language)
>may have dozens of meanings, although apparently very different ; and
>that's precisely the point with the Motlav word /goy/ I am interested
>in, for it displays a lot of senses that are difficult to correlate
>to one another.

Yeah.  Did you ever consider English "curl", "coil", "curve", "cover",
etc., which also have similar meanings and sounds?  Probably just
coincidence, but then who knows?  Waruno maybe?


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