February 1, 2023

SIMPLIFYING DEFINITIONS, LINGUISTS say: “when two words are rendered (pronounced, spelled, used, etc.) similarly in two the same in two or more languages, and the meanings are the same, they must be ‘true cognates’; if the meanings differ, they’re ‘false’ cognates”.
EVEN IN OUR own local scene, we got a lot of these ‘false’, and ‘true’ cognates. For samples of false ones, we have:
IN TAGALOG, THE word wala =int “none”; but in Pangasinan, said word means “there is”;
IN KAPAMPANGAN, THE word for “egg” is ibon; but the word stands for “bird” in the National Language;
IN PANGASINAN, ALEG! =int “Don’t”; but in Nabaloi, =int “[watch out, your] running nose!”
IN ILOKANO, UTONG is that innocent string (or French) beans; but in other Philippine tongues, it may stand for some sensitive part(s) of the body. And ‘true’ cognates, we have ready samples:
DANUM IS SAME word used in Iluko, Kapampangan and a lot of the Cordilleran languages except Nabaloi (it uses: shanum or xanum).. all to mean “water” or H2o. Wada, =int “there is”, is widely used among the Cordis, in their languages respective – except: Nabaloi, which uses wara or gwara; Ikarao, Igwan; and Iowak, aremat.
SOME ‘SOUND-SHIFTS’ TOO; but still ‘tending’ or classifiable as ‘true’ cognates, to wit: abalbaleg =int “big” or “large” in Pangasinan, and ehbaddeg (usually, but sometimes also:) ehbabaddeg in Nabaloi;
ADU =INT “MANY” or “a lot” in Iluko, and sound-shifts (or still, ‘true-cognatizes’) with several Cordi languages to: adu-adu, achu, at achu, et cetera; though
IFUGAO AND NABALOI, partner in sound-shifting for their own renditions of aforesaid =int “many”, viz.
EHSHAKEL (NAB.) AND Dakol (If.). Note too: some Informants indicate the use of Etchakel among allied villages of the Igwak (Iowak) and the Ikarao of narrative Yore.
THOSE ARE INSTANCES ‘undeniable’ in our local – even beyond-provincial, and ‘regional, boundaries. They’re also ‘putative’ or historical; and not withstandingly: technically documentable for accuracy, as well as for Contemporary purposes.
IF WE GO beyond the Philippines, we are still amazed – or captivated: there are yet these ‘instances undeniable’ that haunt us so – even without known, historical, or reputed connexions of the languages (or the peoples who respectively speak them) – where belong the now juxtaposed words or expressions, to wit:
THE IKARAO NAT~ is ‘equals by interpretation (=int) the English NEG-marker not~ as in:
IK. Nat banay and Engl. Not big; Ik. Nat si-katha and Engl. not us/we (dual); and so forth.
THE KAPAMPANGAN ~NE? at the end of the sentence is the same Tag Question (– to mean: Isn’t it? Aren’t they? Do you? etc., in English) – used in Nihongo, to wit:
KAP: NGENING YALDO ING Nihongo tamo, ne?
NIH: KYOO WA WATAKUSHITACHI no Nihongo, ne?
ENGL: THIS DAY/TODAY is our Japanese (language), isn’t it?
THE CEBUANO CONNECTOR -ug- and the Norwegian counterpart -og-; in both usages to mean or signify the English “and”. Note:
CEB: Banna ug asawa.
NORW: Ektermann og kone.
ENGL: Husband “and” wife.
AND THEN, A North-Central language in the Cordilleras uses -AD-; in the same way as Latin does, nl. to stand for the English preposition: “to”; e.g.
NCC: (North-central Cordilleran): Entako ad Session Rd. LATIN: Eamos ad via Session. ENGL: “Let’s go to Session Road.” Note: the NCC -ad¬- is contracted to ‘d in rapid Speech; so, you’ll sometimes hear Entako’d. So, now:
GOING THROUGH OUR samples and thereafter re-capitulating, we posit the following:
THE CASES OF True and False cognates in the Philippines must have been due to: influence, or borrowing; or else, Divergence (cf. Dyen, et. al. ‘law’).
EVEN IN PRESENT Time, the Influence and Borrowing processes thrives on. Note, for instance:
TRABAJANTE AND “BREAKFAST” – more easily used in TV and among Speakers of Pilipino o.v.e.r. their supposed-to-be ‘regular’ forms, viz. Mangagawa and Agahan. (cf. their Spanish and English ‘new’ or ‘current’ forms, Supra).
THE AFORE-CITED cases parallel the Baguio Iluko speaker using Ania ti nangyari (from Tagalog) o.v.e.r the would-have been ‘regular’ form, Ania ti napasamak? (Transl: “What happened?”). Or, inversely, the ‘borrowed’ special TV Tagalog: para kayong mga buwang xxx instead of, or o.v.e.r the usual, regular: para kayong mga bwi … xxx.
THE NEAR-TRUE COGNATES and Sound-Shifting ones between some of our local languages vis-à-vis some hardly historical ‘allies’ or whatever, suggest (?) those matched languages (or their speakers respective) had had commerce, trade, encounters, etc. un-recorded? Or, are the semblances ‘purely’ coincidentals? Ayuh-yuh!