Sanskrit R in Tagalog

potetjp potetjp at
Sun Nov 21 18:01:49 UTC 1999

[stress]; q = final (phonemic) glottal stop
Waruno Mahdi says: "_l_ is the regular Tagalog and Cebuano reflex of _r_ in
loans from Malay (also Sanskrit loans which were mostly probably acquired
via Malay)."
I beg to disagree.
    First, my impression is that the great majority of Sanskrit loanwords in
Tagalog were borrowed directly from Sanskrit, not via Malay, otherwise such
terms would have a Malay form. For instance, Sans. _buddhi_ > Tag.
_bud[hiq]_, but Malay _budi_ "thought, conscience etc.". It would have been
impossible for Tagalog speakers to reconstitute the /h/ from the Malay form.
    Second, from my corpus, mainly based now on Noceda y Sanlucar (1754,
1860), _Vocabulario de la lengua tagala_, Sans. /r/ is reflexed as /l/ in
Tagalog, not as /r/.
initial position
    Tag. [la]hoq < Sans. ra:hu "eclipse"
    Tag. [la]sa > Sans. rasa "taste, savor"
intervocalic position
    Tag. bat[ha]laq "God" < Sans. bhat.t.a:ra "lord"
    Tag. [da]la < Sans. ja:la "fishnet"
    Tag. ma[li]sa < Sans. marica "pepper shrub"
    Tag. sala[piq] < Sans. ru:pya "money"
with an epenthetic vowel
    Tag. ganta[la] (obsolete) "spinning wheel" < ? < Sans. yantra "machine"
    Tag. man[ta]laq (obsolete) "conjuration, incantation"  > Sans. mantra
"sacred text, prayer"
without any epenthetic vowel
    Tag. sak[laq] (obsolete?) "ringlet round a knife handle" < Sans. cakra
    Tag. sut[laq] "silk" < Sans. s.u:tra "thread"
Conversely, both Sans. and Tag. intervocalic /d/s are realized as [r].
    Tag. paru[kaq] (obsolete) < Sans. pa:duka: "shoe"
    cf. Tag. [du]mi "dirt" > ma[ru]mi "dirty"
In the 20th Century, Filipino intellectuals, then endorsed by the Institute
of National Language, Manila, re-entered terms already present in the
language, but altogether forgotten. The striking feature of such reentries
is that they are borrowed either from Spanish or from Malay, the /r/ of the
intermediate language being preserved in today's Tagalog.
    Tag. lad[ya] (obsolete) < Sans. ra:ja "king"  is currently replaced by
Tag. [ra]ha < Span. raha < Sans. ra:ja.
    Tag. gu[loq] < Sans. guru "teacher" is currently replaced by Tag.
[gu]ro(q) < Mal. guru < Sans. guru.
    With my best regards to Waruno Mahdi.
Jean-Paul G. POTET. B. P. 46. 92114 CLICHY CEDEX. FRANCE.
P.S. The Yokohama slang term _se/arampan/ng_ cannot have been borrowed from
Tagalog because Tag. _salapang_ has no _m_ before the _p_.

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