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Near Equivalences (=) in Nabaloi

“AH, ITAKA GAYAM. Ampet ondidikked ka didja baley e maaahkhang ka! (Lit. transl: “So, you’re here. Only when you’re near hungry that you come by the house!”), a middle-aged father of traditional Karangjan household was heard saying.

INFRONT OF HIS other family members as they finished dining, he was saying same to his son – who has been absent for some time during mealtimes, but now present again; sheepishly smiling as he receives his father’s words.

AMPAY TO MANGO’Y moha pangwan gwanshagi? (Trans. “Now, where have you been wandering about?”).

SHI SHALUPIRIP, AMA. Nak aki aadivai (Transl. “In Dalupirip, father. I went there friend-missioning”).

JET GWARA Y inon-an mo? Mapteng a no shiman. Masdo eray bivii d man! (Transl. “It’s good if there. Industrious are the women thereat!”).

* * * * * * * * * *

A MOTHER-AFTER overhearing the conversations of her daughter with some peers, in the living room, commented:

AJJO, TAMALAY KOWAN mo d ta istodja yo ni ehkai yi: ‘ngahngah n aso! Ngapul eh kowan sha ni hamman . No to-o: ngahngah; no aso: ngapul; no manok: kepkep, tan eshom pay (tshp.).

(TRANSL: “EXPR, that which you were saying in your narrations as ‘child of a dog.’ Ngapul is what they call that. If a person: child; if a dog: Ngapul; if a chicken; chicks, et cetera!”).

ONE OF THE listening peers, barkada, queried: piyan ton asden, auntie, kamali e ngahngah ni baka? (Transl: “it means, dear aunt, it is wrong to say child of a cow?”).

WEN, ANAK KO. Kehlau e ngahngah ni baka. No aabaleg: Bumedassang ono: Bumalo. (Transl: “Yes, ‘my child’. Kehlau is the child of a cow. If it is bigger: Bumedassang (i.e. ‘female calf’) or: Bumalo (i.e. ‘male calf’).

NO AABALEG GA biin Kehlau bengat e Bumeddasang (Transl: “If and only if it is a young, but bigger, female, calf must it be called Bumedassang.”).

* * * * * * * * * *

IN AN UMA-UMAT – or informal narrative gathering, an elderly teacher was saying:

TAMALA Y JOHA pan ibaga no man enges e marihit tan makelting (Transl: “that which you were asking if: marihit is same as makelting”).

“I DON’T KNOW this time… in some other areas. But originally, they’re not. The term marihit is almost the same as “young miss” – as opposed to balodaki =int “young man/male”.

IF MAKELTING, ON THE other hand carries with it – for its required meaning, the following features: 1) fair in complexion; 2) female (but can also be male) 3) Nimble (or yet-nimble); and 4) Young (or even: not so old). So,

IN ENGLISH EMANTICS, you can define Makelting as: “+ human, + fair (n.b. ‘– fair’ is Sasademsen), ± male, +nimble, and + adult.”

NO AYSHI ERAJAY, egmo maka usal e Makelting! (Transl: “If these (features) aren’t there, you can’t use Makelting!”).

* * * * * * * * * *

IN CLASSICAL NABALOI Oral Literature, as in the cases of the Angba (Sacred Songs) and the Bahdiw (Oral spontaneous Poetry). (near) Equivalence terms are preferred, over direct or colloquial words and expressions.

IN THE 22ND stanza of the Bendian Angba for instance: Amonin i dadan, Amonin i apotan. Makalabtoi daguay;Makalabtoi sabwan. Ya Mahanto maata; Mahanto dadalaan.

[TRANSLATED BY Moss (1905) as: The civet cat is brave. The civet cat is active. It climbs the daguay; it climbs the sabuan. It eats raw meat. It eats it bloody.

IN THE FIRST two lines, Amonin is the symbolic equivalent/near equivalent (≡/n≡) of Ib.warrior or fighter; then, ‘climbs’ ≡/n≡ attacks or faces; then, daguay and sabuan ≡/n≡ (literal: wild, strong-kinds of trees, but symbolic:) the foes or enemies; then, ‘raw’ (and) ‘bloody’, the symbolic equivalents/or near-equivalents of: fresh, strong, aggressive, etc., antagonists.

SIMILAR EQUIVALENCES OR near-equivalences obtain in the Bahdiw (or Ba-diw), for instance:

IN A WEDDING, you may not hear the regular, everyday term nan kasal, i.e. ‘Wedded ones’; instead you hear its Bahdiw ≡/n≡ which is: nan tippon; nor Balodaki mi, ‘our groom’; instead you hear its ≡/n≡ which is bumalo ni, ‘our bull’; and so on.

IN HISTORICAL BAHDIWS, if you do not hear Baguio or Bagiw, listen further, and when you hear Kafagway, that is it! That is Baguio’s Bahdiw ≡/n≡! Ayuhh!

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