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Ricardo Ma. Nolasco, PhD
Associate Professor
UP Diliman
Prototypical characteristics of
Philippine-type languages
a) syllable-timed speech rhythm

b) affix dependent word formation

c) predicate-initial word order

d) ergative morpho-syntax
Speech rhythm
a) stress timed - intervals between
stresses or rhythmic feet are said to
be near equal length.
b) syllable-timed - successive syllables
are said to be near-equal length.
c) mora-timed - contain sub-syllabic
units called morae which are more or
less equal in duration
Syllable-timed languages
In most languages, the more syllables there
are, the longer it takes to say something.
Each syllable is more or less the same
length as other syllables.
Usa nga dlaw, may usa nga lalki nga
nangungha sang baybas.
Stress-timed languages
In English, the syllables are not similar in
length. It is not each syllable which
receives equal time in pronunciation but
each segment bounded by primary stresses.

Dnt pay any attn tion to

what thers say.

English is a stress-timed language

English as a stress-timed
In English, the amount of time it takes to say
something does not depend on the number
of syllables.
a. Dogs chase cats
b. The dogs chase cats.
c. The dogs chase the cats.
d. The dogs will chase the cats.
e. The dogs will be chasing the cats.
Language classification
according to speech rhythm
Precategoriality in Philippine-
type languages
a) Roots - any form to which an affix
may be added (e.g. bhay, bong)
b) Affixes - dependent forms (e.g. -in)
c) Particles - forms to which you cannot
add an affix (e.g. daw, manen, diay)
You can only know the parts of speech
membership of a form when you use it
in speech or add an affix
Waray balay Tag ganda Ilk taray

To what parts of speech do the following

roots belong?

Answer: All these forms can be used as

nouns, adjectives or verbs.
What are the parts of speech
in Philippine-type languages?
Cross-linguistic categories:
nouns verbs linkers
pronouns numerals conjunctions
case markers particles

And maybe adjectives, although they may

also be classified as stative verbs.
How about adverbs and
In Philippine type languages, some words
which are translated into adverbs or
prepositions in other languages are
Nouns: English: under the table
Tag: sa ilalim ng mesa
Adjectives: English: He left quickly.
Tag Mabilis siyang umalis.
Root-based and Stem-based
morphological analysis
How do we analyze forms like:

Tag pag-aralan
Waray ikalipay
Ilk kinapintas
Root based vs. stem based
morphological analysis
Root based: Tag [pag--an] + aral
Waray [ika-] + lipay
Ilk [kina-] + pintas
Stem based: Tag [pag-aral] + -an
Waray [i-] + [kalipay]
Ilk [-in-] + [kapintas]

What is a stem?
A stem is a form to which the last affix is
beautifully = beautiful + ly
not: beauty + fully
beautiful = beauty + ful

Sapin-sapin hypothesis = a word has a

layered structure.
Some advantages of stem-
based analysis
1. Captures formal relationship among affixed
Example: Seb ikalipay ( i- + kalipay)
nalipay (n- + kalipay)

Ilk kinapintas (-in- + kapintas)

napintas (n- + kapintas)
Some advantages of stem
based analysis
2. Simplified analysis
Traditional Sapin-sapin
mang- + root > m- + pang- stem
mag- + root > m- + pag- stem
maka- + root > m- + paka- stem
maki- + root > m- + paki- stem
ma- + root > m- + ka- stem
Quiz 1:
What are the stems in the following group
of words?
1. maloy, ikaloy, kaly-an
2. maningkmut, paningkamtan
3. mabalka, ikabalka, kabalk-an
Two kinds of clauses

1. Dumalgan hi Juan.
Tumakbo si Juan.
2. Gindalagnan ni Juan hi Maria.
Tinakbuhan ni Juan si Maria.
S, A, O (and OBL)
S = the only argument of an intransitive
A = the most agentive argument of a
transitive verb
O = the most patientive argument of a
transitive verb
OBL = all others which are not S, A or O
Word Order
Predicate Initial = PS, PAO (e.g.
Sugbuanong Binisaya)

Predicate Medial = SP, APO (e.g.


Predicate Final = SP, AOP (e.g.

Motivations for altering word
a) Clitics

b) Scene setting function

c) Listing

d) Exclusive contrast
Clitic word order
1. a) Pag-ndam kamu. (PS)
`You (pl.) get ready.
b) Ayaw kamu pag-ndam. (SP)
`Dont you (pl.) get ready.
Clitic Word Order
2. a) Luta nyu an sd. (PAO)
`You (pl.) cook the fish.)
b) Ayaw nyu pagluta an sd. (APO)
`Dont you (pl.) cook the fish.
Clitic Order
3. a) Luta nyu ini. (PAO)
`You cook this.
b) Ayaw nyu ini pagluta. (AOP)
`Dont you cook this.
Scene setting function
1. Maya-maya pay nagpasya na ring
bumab ang mestisahing babe. (Tag)
2. Waray kaha, nblik hi Huwan. (Waray)
3. Paglabay sa panahon, gitawg sa tong
Ginoo si San Pedro. (Bis)
Yung isang friend ko, nag-boyfriend.
Nagkaanak lang. Tinakbuhan. Yung isa
pa, dadalawang taon pa lang na
nakakasal, hiwalay na. At yong isa pa,
nagtitiis na lang para hindi sila
maghiwalay. Dalawa na kasing anak,
e. Pero ang dalas mabugbog!
Exclusive contrast
1. (Seb) Nan, amerikna ug saptos ko, kamo
may gisilbihan ni hring Wat. O
2. (War) Hiya an nagdl-ung han ya patud.
3. (Tag) Napagkayarian (na si Luz ang pipili
ng petsa ng kasal ) S P
How has Philippine
morphosyntax been analyzed?
a) Nominative accusative subject-object
and active-passive constructs are
b) Ergative-absolutive - subject is not
meaningful because of patient primacy;
what is important is the most affected
c) None of the above (the "focus" analysis)
Earlier studies
Earlier studies used to describe the Philippine
voice system in terms of the active-passive,
and of the notion of subject.

Recent studies have shown that that the two

systems are incommensurable to each other,
and that the subject relation does not exist in
Philippine languages
The starting point relation
In English, it is the starting point relation (or
what is known as the subject) which
is embedded into the grammar. Consider
the following:
(1) a. The pilot flew the plane to safety.
b. The plane was flown to safety.
(2) a. The policeman caught the criminal.
b. The criminal was caught redhanded.
Quiz # 2 Anu an boot ipasabot
sa matag paris?
1. a) Sumalpok ang lon sa bangk. (Tag)
b) Sinalpok ng lon ang bangk. (Tag)
2. a) Ginbsa ko an libro. (Hil)
b) Nagbsa ako sang libro. (Hil)
3. a) Gikaguol nko ang yang paglakaw. (Seb)
b) Naguol ko sa yang paglakaw. (Seb)
4. a) Nagtanom siya sin mais sa yang uma.
b) Gintmnan niya sin mais an yang uma.
5. a) Isublim ti nagastok iti panagadalna.
b) Mangisubli ka iti nagastok ti panagadal na.
Definition of Transitivity in the
Philippine context
a) An intransitive construction is one
where the source of the action is also
the most affected entity, the S.
Example: Sumikat ang araw.

b) The S is marked by the absolutive case

c) The verb is marked by um- or m-
Transitive constructions
a) A transitive construction is one where
the source of the action (A) is distinct
from the most affected entitiy (O).
Ex. Hinawakan ko siya.
b) The A is marked by the ergative case
(ng/ni, han/hi), and the O is marked by
the absolutive case (ang/si, an/hi);
c) Verb is marked by in/-en, -an or i-.
Transitivity High Low
A. Arguments Distinct A and O Distinct S
B. Kinesis Action State
C. Aspect Telic Atelic
D. Punctuality Punctual Non-punctual
E. Intentionality Deliberate Volitional
F. Particularity Particular General
G. Directionality External Internal
H. Effort Effortful Effortless
I. Affectedness of Fully Affected Partially Affected
J. Exclusivity Exclusive O Non-Exclusive
Case Forms in Three (3)
Philippine Languages
Case Determiners in Three (3)
Philippine Languages
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Dm nga salmat!
Dios Mabalos!
Daghang salmat!
Dios ti agngina!
Maraming salamat po!