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Jonathan Chang wrote:

>In a message dated 2000/06/14 01:52:34 PM, John Cowan wrote:
>
>>("Pidgin", BTW, is Chinese Pidgin English for "business".)
>
>    Yep Yep. Even today I hear Cantonese-speakers & Hakka-speakers here in
>Chinatown saying the English word "business" as _pidjin_ or _pidsin_.
>
I'm told it's _bidnis_ in Texas ;-)

Interesting to note the /dZ/ for borrowed /z/-- Malay did the same-- Port.
mesa 'table',  Ml. meja;  jam 'hour', jaman or educated zaman 'era',
probably from Arabic; et al.

Re _grass bilong hed_:  (If my earlier post shows up, sorry for the
duplication; I think my ISP was having weather problems)

Not surprising to me that they adapted grass for hair-- bear in mind that
Caucasian/Chinese/Malay hair is straight-- "grassy"if you will-- while
Papuan/Melanesians/Australoids tend to have kinky, wooly hair.

Malay also distinguishes head-hair (rambut) from body-hair (bulu-- which is
also the word for feather.  Always amused me, but I think it's fairly
common)