Ilokano *kali/qali words

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A significant number of Ilokano (also spelled Ilocano) words begin with the Proto-Austronesian prefix *kali/qali, which are described by Blust (2009:368) as implying a "sensitive connection with the spirit world." The *kali/qali words present in the modern-day Ilokano language are a legacy of the Ilokano people's animist past.

The Ilokano *kali/qali words below have been selected from Carl Rubino's Ilocano dictionary and grammar: Ilocano-English, English-Ilocano (2000).



*kali/qali words are widespread among Austronesian languages, and are found from Taiwan to Oceania. The majority of these words are four syllables long (Blust 2001).


  • al-aliá - ghost. Root: aliá [cf. Thao qali 'spirit, ghost'; PAN *qanitu 'spirit, soul' (Zorc)]. [Tag. multó, mumo'; Png. aniáni; Knk. aliliá]
  • alamáam - echo; turning head to hear better
  • alamangá (var. of amanga) - awe, wonder
  • alangaáng - sacrum bone: upper thigh (bikini line)
  • alang-áng - whine of a dog
  • alas-ás - fallen dry leaves (as-as; kariskis) [Tag. pagaspás]
  • alat-át - to snatch off; tear off (lapsi) [Tag. balták]
  • alawáaw - empty; meaningless; without purpose
  • alawáo - nose of the hornbill (kalaw)
  • aláwig - whirlwind; cyclone; hurricane (bagio); (fig.) hardships in life. [Tag. buhawi', ipuipo]
  • aliáw - horror, fright (amés, buteng; alingget); a kind of tree [Tag. takót]
  • alibadáw (var. of amangaw) - delirium
  • alibadbád - suddenly, unexpectedly (apagdarikmat; bigla) [Tag. biglá']
  • alibét - to kill or knock down at the first stroke
  • alibnúno - whirlpool; eddy of water (alikuno)
  • alibudábod - sediment; dregs. Var.: alibúdbud. [Tag. latak]
  • alibukáy (var. of libukay) - beginning of menstruation
  • alibunó (var. of alikuno) - whirlpool (alinuno)
  • alibungúbong - vapor, steam (sengngaw, alingasaw) [Tag. singáw]
  • alibúob - steam [Tag. singáw]
  • alibúyong - cloudy, overcast (lulem, etc.) [Tag. kulimlím]
  • alibták - clever
  • alibtók - to disappear; lose oneself in a crowd (agawan); tramp, vagabond (baligawgaw; bayanggudaw) [Tag. mawalá']
  • alidabdáb - var. of alidukdók
  • alidukdók - nausea, nauseous feeling
  • alidungdóng - head cloth; bandana [Tag. talukbóng]
  • alidungét - moodiness; boredom; gloominess (alipunget; sidunget) [Tag. sungit]
  • aligagáw - fear, fright (buteng, amak; aligaget; alingget) [Png. takót; Tag. takot]
  • aligusgús (colloquial var. of alipuspus) - whorl in the hair [Tag. puyó]
  • alikádkad (var.: alikád) - restlessness; mischief. (alikuteg). Verb: to be mischievous. [Tag. likót]
  • alikáka - concern, care
  • alikaká - timidity, shyness; excessive care. (annad) Adjective (naalikaka): careful; bashful. [Tag. hiyá']
  • alikámen(1) - furniture; tools; implements [Lubuangan Kalinga alikamon; Tag. kagamitan]
  • alikámen(2) - magical charm; amulet.
  • al-alikamen - amulet, charm. (anting-anting; babato; tagiruot)
  • alikawkáw - var. of salikawkáw
  • alikenkén - a kind of dance. Verb (alikenkenen): to gather miplaced things and arrange them (alikomkom). [Tag. yukyók (crouch)]
  • alikeskés - root of umal-alikeskes: to cower in the corner; to shrink in cowardice (shy children); embrace someone's bosom for protection.
  • alikubéng - eddy. (alipugpog) Verb (agalikubeng): to fly round about
  • alikubkób - encircling whirlwind. Verb (alikubkuban): to fence around; surround; encircle (lawlaw; likmot). [Tag. kubkób]

See also


<references />
  • Blust, Robert A. 2001. "Historical morphology and the spirit world: *qali/kali-prefixes in Austronesian languages." In John Bradshaw and Kenneth L. Rehg (eds.) Issues in Austronesian Morphology. A festschrift for Byron W. Bender. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 15-73.
  • Blust, Robert A. 2009. The Austronesian Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0858836025, 978-0858836020.
  • Rubino, Carl R. Galvez. 2000. Ilocano dictionary and grammar: Ilocano-English, English-Ilocano. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.



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