Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...

Ang Tagalog
Ang Tagalog

Bustling Manila where Tagalog is used
among people of numerous ethnic and
linguistic backgrounds

Language information: Tagalog is one of the Philippines’s over 170 languages. In its “purer” forms it is the language of ethnic Tagalogs (taga-ilog “river natives”). Tagalog is one of the Central Philippine languages, assumedly originating from northeastern Mindanao or the eastern Visayas. Since its migration north to and around Luzon, Tagalog has been variously influenced by North Philippine languages, especially by Kapampangan, due to trading also by Malay (which brought also Sanskrit loans) and Arabic, in the wake of colonization by Spanish, Fukienese (Chinese) and English as well.
     The Tagalog-based variety that is now one of the national languages of the Philippines and is therefore often referred to as “Filipino” or “Pilipino” is somewhat different, having absorbed particularly many words from English (which is also an official language throughout the country), formerly also from Spanish (the erstwhile colonial language), and it has also taken on influences from other Philippine languages. “Filipino” may thus be described as being a rather neutralized (or “nationalized”) Tagalog-derived interethnic language. Being used as a second language by numerous Filipinos it influences other languages of the country, including actual, “pure” Tagalog. Thus, the distinction between “pure” Tagalog and Filipino is not a very clear one.
     ALL languages and dialects are beautiful, precious gifts. So cherish yours and others! Share them with the world!Adding to this highly complex situation is rampant code switching. Especially when speaking Filipino, people frequently switch back and forth between this language and English, even in mid-sentence, and in various localities code switching involves other languages as well. (This situation is similar to that of India, involving Hindi, English and other Indian languages.) Extensive use of English loans and phrases in Filipino, or more specifically in what is known as “Taglish” (“Tagalog” + “English”), is in part due to the powerful influences of English, which is a mandatory school subject throughout the country, and it is in part due to attempts to facilitate comprehension for non-Tagalogs. This is further complicated by the common erroneous assumption that “Filipino” and “Manila Tagalog” are two names for the same language variety.
     Like several other languages of the Philippines, Tagalog used to be written with the Baybayin script (which is more popularly known as Alibata), one of several syllabaries used on the Philippine Islands since pre-colonial times. Its closest relative appears to be the Tagbanwa script of the Philippines’ Palawan Island. These scripts appear to be at least partly derived from the Jawi script of Java, Bali and Sumatra, which is derived from the Brahmi-derived Pallava script of Southern India. Even now, some Baybayin letters resemble letters in other Filipino and Indonesian scripts, in the Lao, Khmer and Cham scripts as well as in South Indic scripts such as the ones used for Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada. In its pre-colonial form, the Baybayin script omits all syllable-final consonants. The colonial Spanish administration introduced a revised version that sought to remedy this. Though there are people who wish to continue the Baybayin tradition, the script is now practically defunct and is used mostly for decorative purposes. Closely related to the Baybayin script but with an angular appearance is the Buhid (or Mangyan) script used to write Tagalog among the Mindoro people.

Genealogy: Austronesian > Malayo-Polynesian > Western > Philippines > Central

Historical Lowlands language contacts: English

    Click to open the translations: [General 1] [General 2] [Manila] [S. Metro Manila] [Nueva Écija]Click here for different versions. >

    Other Philippine language varieties: [Click]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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