Native speakers of most Bisayan languages, especially Cebuano
, not only refer to their language by their local name, but also by Bisaya
, meaning Bisayan language
. This is misleading or may lead to confusion as different languages may be called Bisaya
by their respective speakers despite their languages being mutually unintelligible
. However, languages that are classified within the Bisayan language family but spoken natively in places outside of the Visayas
do not use the self-reference Bisaya
. To speakers of Cuyonon
, the term Visayan
usually refers to either Cebuano or Hiligaynon.
There have been no proven accounts to verify the origins of Bisaya
. However, there is an ethnic group in Malaysia
who call themselves with the same name
. However, these ethnic groups in the Philippines must not be confused with those in Borneo
David Zorc lists the following innovations as features defining the Bisayan languages as a group (Zorc 1977:241).
Tausug is noted to have diverged early from the group and may have avoided some sound changes that affected the others.
- *lC, *Cl > *Cl (where C is any consonant not *h, *q, or *l)
- *qC, *Cq > *Cq (MOST) *qC, *Cq > *qC (Tausug, and most Bik)
Reflexes of PCPh and PPh
David Zorc gives the following internal classification for the Bisayan languages (Zorc 1977:32).
The five primary branches are South, Cebuan, Central, Banton, and West. However, Zorc notes that the Bisayan language family is more like a dialect continuum
rather than a set of readily distinguishable languages. The South Bisayan languages are considered to have diverged first, followed by Cebuan and then the rest of the three branches. Also, in the Visayas section, the province of Romblon
has the most linguistic diversity, as languages from three primary Bisayan branches are spoken there: Romblomanon
from Central Bisayan, Inunhan
from Western Bisayan and Banton
(which has an independent Bisayan branch).
substrata, indicating a more widespread distribution of Waray before Cebuano speakers started to expand considerably starting from the mid-1800s.
A total of 36 varieties are listed below. Individual languages are marked by italics.
The auxiliary language of Eskayan
is grammatically Bisayan, but has essentially no Bisayan (or Philippine) vocabulary.
classifies the 25 Bisayan languages into five subgroups:
Names and locations
Zorc (1977: 14-15) lists the following names and locations of Bisayan languages. The recently documented languages Karolanos
, and Kabalian
are not listed in Zorc (1977).
The following comparisons are from data gathered by Zorc (1997).
Personal-Noun Case Markers
Common-Name Case Markers
David Zorc's reconstruction of Proto-Bisayan had 15 consonants
and 4 vowels
Vowel length, primary stress (penultimate and ultimate), and secondary stress (pre-penultimate) are also reconstructed by Zorc.
- ^ Adelaar, Alexander (2005). "The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar: a historical perspective". In Adelaar, Alexander; Himmelamnn, Nikolaus (eds.). The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar. London: Routledge. pp. 1–42., page 16.
- ^ a b c Zorc, David Paul (1977). The Bisayan Dialects of the Philippines: Subgrouping and Reconstruction. Canberra, Australia: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. doi:10.15144/PL-C44. ISBN 0858831570.
- ^ Lobel, Jason (2009). Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 914–917.
- ^ Lobel, Jason William. 2013. Philippine and North Bornean languages: issues in description, subgrouping, and reconstruction. Ph.D. dissertation. Manoa: University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Last edited on 22 March 2021, at 08:16
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