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Teodoro A. Llamzon
Proto-Philippine Phonology
In: Archipel. Volume 9, 1975. pp. 29-42.
1. Teodoro Llamzon (Universiti Sains Malaysia), famous for his linguistic studies of the regional languages of the Philippine
Islands, proposes some phonological reconstructions of the Proto-Austrone- sian language.
1. Teodoro LJamzon (Universitî Sains Malaysia), yang terkenal mengenai bahasa-bahasa daerah Filipina, mengemukakan
rekonstitusi bahasa proto-Filipina.
1. Teodoro Llamzon (Universiti Sains Malaysia), bien connu pour ses études linguistiques sur les parlers des Philippines,
propose quelques reconstitutions phonologiques du proto-philippin.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Llamzon Teodoro A. Proto-Philippine Phonology. In: Archipel. Volume 9, 1975. pp. 29-42.
doi : 10.3406/arch.1975.1214
by Teodoro A. LLAMZON
There seems to be agreement among Malayopolynesianists that
the 100 to 150 languages spoken in the Philippine Islands today belong
to a subgroup of the Austronesian languages. It seems clear, too, that
the members of this group are not confined to the political boundaries
of this Republic. Such speech communities as Yami on Botel Tobago
island off the coast of Formosa (E. Asai, 1936), Palau on Palau island
off the coast of Mindanao (A. Capell, 1949), Chamoro on the
of Guam (H. Costenoble, 1940), and Sangir on Celebes island (N. Ad-
riani, 1893) are some of the better studied languages whose structures
suggest subgrouping relationships to the Philippine languages. Un
doubtedly, more will be added to this group in time, as more languages
are discovered and studied.
1. Scope. This paper is an attempt to reconstruct Photo-Philippine
phonology on the basis of evidence from nine languages. This work
is conceived as the first phase of a three-phased project. The con
clusions reached in this first phase will be tested in the second phase
with evidence from other Philippine languages to see whether the
phonemes of these languages can be traced back to the proto-phonemes
which have been reconstructed to date. The third phase of the project
is concerned with establishing subgrouping relationships between these
Here, only the results of the first phase of this project are report
ed. Since the reconstruction is based on evidence from nine langua
ges only, it is necessarily tentative and limited. Moreover, the
evidence presents a number of difficulties that must first be settled 30
before more definitive statements can be made. Finally, this phonol
ogical reconstruction will include only phonemes of Proto-Phillippines.
2. Nine Philippine Languages. The nine Philippine languages chosen
for this study are the following : (a) TAGALOG (Tg.) — the basis for
Pilipino, the national language of the Republic, which
Dempwolff included in his recontruction of Proto-Austronesian; this
language is now spoken by the majority of Filipinos almost throughout
the Philippines; (b) CEBUANO (Ce.) — the language spoken by
more than six million mostly on the islands of Cebu, Negros Oriental,
and Mindanao ; (c) HILIGAYNON (Hi.) — the mother tongue of more
than three million people on the islands of Panay, Negros Occidental
and Masbate ; (d) WARAY (Wa.) — the language spoken by more
than one million on the islands of Samar and Leyte ; (e) BICOL (Bi.)
— the language spoken on the southern tip of Luzon island by more
than two million people ; (f) ILOCANO (II.) — the lingua franca
of northern Luzon and spoken by more than three million mother-tongue
speakers ; the dialect used here is that of La Union ; (g) IBANAG
(Ib.) — the language spoken in the Cagayan valley by less that five
thousand ; the dialect used here is that of Tuguegarao ; (h) IFUGAO
(If.) — spoken by the builders of the famous rice terraces ; and (î)
KANKANAY (Ka.) — the language spoken by the neighbors of the
Ifugaos ; the variety spoken at Bauco is used here ; these last two
languages are spoken by less than 10,000 people.
The reason for choosing these languages is that they have relati
vely better structural description and vocabularies than the other
Philippine languages.
The phonological structures of Cebuano (Ce.), Hiligaynon (Hi.)»
Waray (Wa.), and Bicol (Bi.) show an identical inventory of phone
mes, namely: 3 vowels /a, i, u/; 14 consonants /p, t, k, q, b, d, g, m,
n, ng, s, h, 1, r/; and 2 semi-vowels /w, y/. Tagalog (Tg.) has ident
ical consonants, and ; but its vowels are /a, e, i, o, u/.
Ilocano (II.) has 4 vowels /a, 9, i, u/ ; 13 consonants /p, t, k, q, b,
d, g, m, n, ng, s, 1, r/ ; and 2 semi-vowels /w, y/. Kankanay (Ka.)
has an identical inventory of phonemes, except that it has /h/ for
Ilocano /s/.
Ibanag (Ib.) has 6 vowels: /a, e, i, o, u, a/; 13 consonants /p, t,
k, q, b, d, g, m, n, ng, s, 1, r/; 2 semi-vowels /y, w/. In final position,
the archiphonemes /P, T, K/ occur, which are the result of the neutral
ization of the phonemes /p, t, k, ?/,
Ifugao (If.) has 5 vowels /a, e, i, o, u/ ; 12 consonants /p, t, k, q,
b, d, g, m, n, ng, h, 1/; and 2 semi-vowels /y, w/. 31
AU nine languages have one prosodie feature of accent / '/, whose
component features are stress, duration, and pitch. The occurrences
of these acoustic component features in specific environments are
statable ; e.g. in an open penultimate syllable, the stress is louder, the
duration is longer, and the pitch higher than in a closed penultimate
3. The Reflexes of PAN. The reflexes in these nine languages of
Proto-Austronesian (PAN), as these phonemes were reconstructed by
Otto Dempwolff (1934-38) and modified by Isidore Dyen (1947, 1951,
1953a, 1953b, 3962), are fairly well attested. There are a few except
ions, of course, which will be pointed out below.
The following equations present evidence for the chart of regular
reflexes of PAN in these languages. An asterisk before a word indi
cates that the word is a reconstructed PAN word, e.g. *inum. A double
cross bar after a word means that the word is a probable cognate, but
requires further explanation because it does not have the regular
reflexes expected ; the discrepancy is underlined.
abo 'ash' * q2abu?e * [Jajan: Tg. âlan 'name Tg. ng
Ce. Ce. âlan „ abu „ ng
Hi. Hi. „ abu „ ng
Wa. Wa. abu „ âran „ ng
Bi. Bi. „ abu „ ng 'ash-gray' 11. âbu 11. âdan „ ng
'ash' Ib. abu Ib. âgan „ ng
If. If. âdan „ ng
abû 'dust' Ka. Ka. „ ng
'dew' 'ford' Tg. h * [ ] amuRa : Tg. aluRa amôg âlog
Ce. Ce. amûg „ y
Hi. âlug 'river cur- Hi. h „
Wa. Wa. y amûg „
Bi. 11. àmu
alug# 'pool' 11. Ib. n | àmug „
If. If. alug 'catarrh'#
asâwa 'spouse' âpog 'lime' ♦ [a] sawa : Tg. âpuRe Tg.
Ce. Ce. asâwa „ âpug „
Hi. Hi. „ apug „
Wa. Wa. asâwa „ „
Bi. Bi. „ apug „ 32
II. âpug aime' 11. asâwa 'spouse'
lb. âpug » lb. atâwa »
If. apol# » If. ahâwa h
Ka. âpug » Ka. asâwa »
* azar: Tg. aral lesson' * babuy : Tg. bâboy 'pig'
Ce. Ce. bâbuy ii
Hi. Hi. h
Wa. Wa. bâbuy a
Bi. âdal lesson' Bi. h
11. âdal 'stud/ 11. bâbuy h
lb. âral 'lesson' lb. bâbi ii
If. âdal lesson' If. bâbuy h
Ka. 'savant' Ka.
* []besuR2 :Tg. busôg 'satisfied' * biRia : Tg. bigâ 'homalo-
Ce. busûg » Ce. biga plant' 'a tuberous
Hi. busûg »» Hi. bigaq 'a planf
Wa. »» Wa.
Bi. basûg »> Bi. bigaq 'an herb'
'alocasia 11. bussûg# »» 11. biga
lb. battûg »> lb.
If. bûhug M If. bfla 'taro plant'
Ka. busûg » Ka.
* deRias : Tg. dagâs 'quickly' * dila : Tg. dilaq 'tongue'
Ce. Ce. dilaq h
Hi. Hi. ii
Wa. Wa. dilaq h
Bi. Bi. h
11. daras# 'quickly' 11. dila »
lb. dâgat quickly' 'do it If. lb. dila dilâ it h
Ka. dalàs# 'quickl/ Ka. dila »
* DapûR3 : Tg. dapôg Oiearth' * e(m)pa :Tg. ipâ 'rice chaff
Ce. dapûg »» Ce. upâ 'bagasse'
Hi. h Hi. upâ »i
Wa. dapûg a Wa. upâ »
Bi. » Bi. ata# » 33
'hearth' II. dapûg II. itta# grains' 'stray palay
Ib. dapûg „ Ib. atta# husk' 'palay
If. dâpol# If.
Ka. Ka. dâpug
'one' * gading * ?esâ? : Tg. gâring 'ivory7 Tg isâ
Ce. usa Ce. „
Hi. isa# Hi. gâring „
Wa. usa Wa. „
Bi. isâ# Bi. gâding „
II. may |sâ# If. „
Ib. itté# Ib.
If. oha If. gâdeng# 'brass wire'
Ka. asâ Ka. gâding 'copper
jar' gariq# 'saw7 * guci : []gazi: Tg. la Tg. gûsiq 'china
Ce. la Ce. gâriq# „
Hi. la Hi. „
Wa. la gâdi Wa.
Bi. la gâdi Bi.
II. gûsi 'china jar' II. ra | gâdi
Ib. gusi jar' Ib.
If. If. la j gâdi
Ka. gusi 'earthen jar' Ka. la | gâdi „
Tg. apoy 'fire' Tg. higop 'gulp, aip' *Xiapûye
Ce. Ce. hïgup „
Hi. Hi. higup „
Wa. Wa. „
Bi. apûy 'fire' Bi. higup „
II. igup# „ II. apûy „
Ib. igôp 'sip soup' Ib. „
If. igup# 'drink If. apûy „
marna ??o)'
Ka. igup# 'drink, Ka. apey# „
suck in'
'four' Tg. dnum# 'six' * ?enéme * x2epate : Tg. dpat# Ce. unûm 'six' Ce. upât
'four' Hi. dnim# 'six' Hi. dpat# 34
'four' Wa. ûnum 'six' Wa. upât Bi. anum 'six' Bi. apat
'four' II. inném 'six' uppat# II.
'four7 Ib. annâm 'six' appâT Ib.
'four' If. onom 'six' If. opât Ka. aném 'six' upat# Ka.
* ganud Tg. ânod 'drift' ♦ qanahaw : Tg. anâhaw 'kind of
Ce. anâhaw 'kind of Ce. ânud 'driff
Hi. ânud 'drift' Hi. anâhaw 'kind palm' of
Wa. anâhaw 'kind of Wa. ânud 'driff
Bi. ânud 'drift' Bi. anâhaw 'kind palm' of
II. ânud 'drift' H. anâhaw Trind of
Ib. andw# 'kind of Ib. ânud 'driff
If. ânud 'drift' If. anàw 'kind of
Ka. ânud 'drift' Ka.
'flow* 'drink' * ?inûm qâRus Tg. âgos Tg. inôm
'stream' Ce.Ce. inum 'drink' Hi. âgos Hi. 'rivei/ Wa.Wa. inum
'drink' Bi. âgos 'currenf Bi. 'current^ II.inum 11.
'drink' Ib. âgiT# Ib. 'stream 'flow' If. âyuh If. inum
'flow' 'drink' Ka.Ka.
tree' * jaR3ami : Tg. dayami# 'straw' Tg. ipil 'kind of
tree' Ce. dagâmiCe. ipil of
tree' Hi. 'straw' Hi. ipil 'kind of
tree' Wa. dagâmiWa. ipil of Bi. 'straw' Bi. ipil 'kind of
tree' II. garamiII. ipil of Ib. ipil 'kind of Ib.
tree' If. dagâmi 'straw' If. ipil Trind of
Ka. Ka. 35
kagât 'bite' kâhoy 'tree' ♦ kaRjwâCe :Tg. ♦ kâS2iu?e : Tg. kâhuy Ce. Ce.
'tree' kagât T>ite' Hi. Hi. 'bite' Wa. Wa. kâhuy
'tree' kagât kâyu Bi. Bi. T>ite' II. II.
'tree' kagât l)ite' kâyu Ib. Ib. kalât 'bite' If. kâyiw If.
'tree' kâiw Ka. Ka.
'thunder' kambâl# 'twin' ♦ ksmbar : Tg. * kuDug : Tg. kulôg
kambâl Ce. Ce. d | al | ugdûg#
Hi. Hi.
Wa. Wa. d 'thunder' | al ugdûg#
Bi. Bi. dag 'thunder' | u 1 1 1 dûl#
kambâl# 'double II. n. grurruûd# 'thunder' yolk (egg)'
Ib. a | rugûk Ib.
If. If.
'alike' Ka. kambâl Ka.
'ginger' 'back' * likûDe : Tg. *leqya[?h]: Tg. luya# likôd
Ce. Ce. likûd „ lûyqa „
Hi. Hi. , „
Wa. Wa. lûyqa „ likûd ,
Bi. Bi. „ ,
II. IL likûd , layâ# „
Ib. Ib. layâ „ ,
If. If. laiya# „ leqqdd# ,
Ka. Ka. likûd , layâ# „
'pus' mata 'eye' ♦ mata : Tg. * naqnaq : Tg. nânaq
Ce. Ce. mata „ „
Hi. Hi. „ nânaq „
Wa. Wa. mata „ „
Bi. Bi. „ nânaq „
II. a nâna „ mata „
Ib. „ „ Ib.
If. If. nona# „ mata „
Ka. ngânc „ Ka. „ 36
Tg. namôk 'mosquito' * ngangâ[?h]:Tg. ngangâ 'open' * namûk :
„ Ce. ngangâ 'open' Ce. namûk
„ Hi. ngangâ 'open' Hi. namûk
„ Wa. ngangâ 'open' Wa. namûk
„ Bi. ngangâ 'open' Bi. namûk
„ II. ngangâ 'open' II. namûk
„ Ib. ngangâ 'open' Ib. nammuK#
'pant' If. If. ngangâ
groan' Ka. Ka. nga# 'cry,
patây 'dead' * pelpel : Tg. pilpfl 'heap' pâtèy: Tg.
kill' Ce. Ce. patây 'dead, 'dead' Hi. pilpil 'heap' Hi.
'kill' Wa. Wa. patây
'dead' Bi. Bi.'death' II. palpal 'stuff II. patây Ib. Ib.
'death' If. pâte If.
Ka. pâtay 'sacrifice a Ka. papal 'stuff
'navel' * Riamut Tg. gamot 'medicine' pusieje Tg. pusod
Ce. gamut 'root' Ce. pûsud ,,
Hi.„ Hi. ,,
Wa. pûsud „ Wa. gamut „
Bi. ,, Bi. gamot „
II. ramit „ II. pûsag „
Ib. ganuT# Ib. pûtag „
If. pûhog „ If. lâmut „
Ka. lamût „ Ka. pûsag „
'demolish' * Raâtûs Tg. gatôs 'billion' * R3abaq : Tg. gibâq
'destroy' Ce. gatûs 'hundred' Ce. gubâq
Hi. gatûs „ Hi. „ 'demolish' Wa. „ Wa. gubâq
Bi. gatûs „ Bi. gabâq
II. rabbâ 'wrecked' II. gasût# „ 37
gatuT# 'hundred' gubâq# 'bits of Ib. Ib.
wood in flood'
If. gubâq# 'rotten If. ga7iut# „
(thatched roof)'
'smoulder' Ka. gaba Ka. gasut# „
'thousand' 'gap' w ribu : Tg. lîbo * Ruqang Tg. guwâng
Ce. libu „ Ce. gawang# „
libu Hi. Hi. guqâng „
Wa. ribu Wa. guwâng „
ribu Bi. Bi. gûqang ,,
ribu II. 11. giwâng# „
Ib. dibu „ Ib. „
lîbu If. If. gûwang „
libu Ka. Ka. gûang „
sflaw 'glare' 'mount' * silaw : Tg. Tg. sakay sakây
Ce. sflaw „ Ce. sakây „ bright' 'be Hi. Hi. „ 'glare' Wa. sflaw Wa. sakây „
Bi. silaw „ Bi. „ 'light' II. sflaw 11. sakây „ 'glare' Ib. silaw Ib. takây „ 'torch' hilaw If. If. haké „
sibw If. Ka. sakây „
salamin 'mirror' 'write' * caremin : * surat Tg. Tg. sûlat
Ce. salamtn ,, Ce. „
salaming# „ Hi. Hi. sulât „
Wa. Wa. „ surât „
Bi. salming# „ Bi. sûrat „
11. sarming# „ 11. „
Ib. fcabmmin# „ Ib. tûraT „
If. If. halméng# „ Jcolet# „
sûlat 'paper' Ka. Ka.
takob 'cover7 'ring' * takûb : Tg. Tg. singsiwg# cincin
Ce. takûb „ Ce. singsing# „
Hi. Hi. tâkub ,, „
Wa. Wa. takûb „ „
Bi. tâkub „ Bi. singsing# „
II. 11. smgsing# „ fcâlub# „
tafcfcâb jan^cover Ib. Ib.
dlub# 'cover' If. If. hinghing# „
takûb 'uncover' Ka. Ka.