December 10, 2022

FIRST, OUR TITLE. Adahai (or Adakai, or Adaxai in deeper Nabaloi) and Naama are alternate terms for reference (though sometimes for address too) to mean: “old/aged/seasoned/matured/etc. man”. the Nabaloi for ‘et cetera’.
IF USED AS address terminology, they’re rendered: Dahai (plus name) like Dahai Ambo Layu, i.e. “old man Ambo Layu”; and Naaman (plus name) like Naaman Andares(“old man Andres”).
THE ‘EQUIVALENT’ TERM – for female aged, old, etc., is Abahkol – and rendered Bahkol (plus name) like Bahkol Rogera i.e. “old woman Rogera”. So, only one term Abahkol or Bahkol (plus name). Now, back to the Reference and/or Address terminologies for the aged male. Main Question is: if there are two terms, why, when – or how, are these applied? What happens if they’re not used ‘accordingly’, and so forth? First, Adahai.
IT IS DERIVED from dahai = int (equals by interpretation) “an old man”. The prefix a- (or eh- in some ‘still deeper’ speakers), gives the adjective ingredient; ergo, Adahai/or Ehdahai) can be best meant: “the aged male/man”, or thereabouts.
[BEFORE ANY FURTHER, let it be known that parallel or similar uses/applications obtain in laguages neighbouring Nabaloi, viz. Iluko: lakay, Kankana-ey Southern: Nakay, Kankana-ey Northern, Am ama, et cetera]. And then, second: Naama
IT IS DERIVED from Ama = int (equals by interpretation) “father”. The prefix Na- makes it an adjective; ergo, Naama has the bearings of any – or all, of the following: “like a father”; or, “has become in words or in deeds, a father; or, “a father truly he is”; and so on. Now, the appropriate (or ‘right/correct’) applications of the two ‘alternating’ terms.
IF YOU WERE not from the village, and you’re looking for one Mr. Polano, do you refer to him as Naaman~ or Dahai~? And if you were from the village?? Here: your first ‘clue’ is to ask your guides which address – or reference terminology, does Mr. Polano (adopted by the way, from Spanish Señor Fulano which means in English: ‘Mr. So and So’) prefer, and you please be the good one: follow what they say. But suppose, you have no guide(s) or prior info on those things, what now? Your second clue:
ADDRESS HIM IN a ‘neutral’ language like: Iluko or English; and say (either: ) “Apo (or Mr.) Polano, my name is xxx”.
BUT IF, EAGER as you are to ‘discover’ which term is really preferred and convenient with Mr. Polano, use both terms – in free Sequence or Alternation; plus the terms of the ‘neutral’ language.
BEFORE YOU KNOW it, the old, aged man himself shall be telling you how he prefers to be addressed, e.g. he’ll say: “just call me ama~ (or Lakay~ or Tatang~ n.b. another term for “father”); you may drop repeating the name”; and so on.
WHERE I WAS raised, they use Naama n~ for reference and Ama~ for direct address; especially if the referred to, or addressed one, is of ‘established’ stature: name, influence, age, etc. They mostly use Adahai (reference) and Dahai~ (direct address) in ‘informal’ or ‘neutral’ conversations Dahai in old Nabaloi = int ‘growing-up boy’. Ayo, Ayo, Ino
SOME YOUNGER AND/OR ‘liberated’ ones say ‘there is no-difference’, whether you use Adahai or Naama, but with such Stance, you also run the ‘risk’ of being corrected – or re-directed by the sharp, sensitive, audience – as well as the culturally-attuned referred-to individual; or, the addressed one himself! Ayuhh, tet-ewa!