Pangasinan language

Pangasinan language

region=Ilocos Region and Central Luzon
speakers=2 million
fam4=Northern Luzon
fam5=South Cordilleran
script=Latin (Pangasinan variant);
"Historically written in Baybayin"
nation=Regional language in the Philippines
agency=Komisyon sa Salitang Filipino
(Commission on the Filipino Language)
The Pangasinan language (Pangasinan: "salitan Pangasinan"; Spanish: "idioma pangasinense", sometimes called Panggalatok) belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages branch of the Austronesian languages family. [ cite web |author=Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. |title=Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. |url= ] [ cite web |author=Fox, James J. |url= |title=Current Developments in Comparative Austronesian Studies |date=August 19-20, 2004 ] Pangasinan is spoken by more than two million Pangasinan people in the province of Pangasinan, in other Pangasinan communities in the Philippines, and by a significant numberquantify|date=August 2008 of Pangasinan immigrants in the United States. Pangasinan is the primary language in the province of Pangasinan, located on the west central area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf. It is the language spoken by most people in central Pangasinan. It is the official regional language in the province of Pangasinan.

The Pangasinan language is one of the twelve major languages in the Philippines. The total population of the province of Pangasinan is 2,434,086 (National Statistics Office: 2000 Census). The estimated population of the indigenous speakers of the Pangasinan language in Pangasinan is 1.5 million.


The Pangasinan language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages branch of the Austronesian languages family. Pangasinan is similar to the Tagalog and Ilocano languages that are spoken in the Philippines, Indonesian in Indonesia, Malay in Malaysia, and Malagasy in Madagascar. [ cite web |author=Greenhill, S. J., Blust. R, & Gray, R.D. (2003-2008) |title=The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database. |url= ] The Pangasinan language is very closely related to the Ibaloi language spoken in the neighboring province of Benguet and Baguio City, located north of Pangasinan. The Pangasinan language is classified under the Pangasinic group of languages. The Pangasinic languages are:
* Pangasinan
* Ibaloi
* Karao
* I-wak
* Kalanguya
* Keley-I
* Kallahan
* Kayapa
* TinocThe Pangasinic languages are spoken primarily in the provinces of Pangasinan and Benguet, and in some areas of the neighboring provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Ifugao.

Pangasinan is an agglutinative language.


Pangasinan is the primary language of the province of Pangasinan, located on the west central area of the island of Luzon along Lingayen Gulf. The province has a total population of 2,343,086 (2000), of which 1.5 million speak Pangasinan. Speakers of the language are concentrated mostly in central Pangasinan. Pangasinan is spoken in other Pangasinan communities in the Philippines, mostly in some areas of the neighboring provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Benguet, and by a significant number of Pangasinan immigrants in the United States.


Austronesian-language speakers settled in Maritime Southeast Asia during prehistoric times, perhaps more than 5,000 years ago. The indigenous speakers of the Pangasinan language are descended from these prehistoric settlers, who were probably part of the prehistoric human migration that is widely believed to have originated from Africa about 100 to 200 thousand years ago.

The word "Pangasinan", means “land of salt” or “place of salt-making”; it is derived from the root word "asin," the word for "salt" in the Pangasinan language. "Pangasinan" could also refer to a “container of salt or salted-products”; it refers to the ceramic jar for storage of salt or salted-products or its contents.


entence Structure

Like other Malayo-Polynesian languages, Pangasinan language has a Verb–Subject–Object word order.



Ordinal Numbers:

Ordinal numbers are formed with prefix KUMA- (KA- plus infix -UM). Example: "kumadua", second.

Associative Numbers:

Associative numbers are formed with prefix KA-. Example: "katlo", third of a group of three.


Fraction numbers are formed with prefix KA- and an associative number. Example: "kakatlo", third part.


Multiplicative ordinal numbers are formed with prefix PI- and a cardinal number from two to four or PIN- for other numbers except for number one. Example: "kasia", first time; "pidua", second time; "pinlima", fifth time.

Multiplicative cardinal numbers are formed with prefix MAN- (MAMI- or MAMIN- for present or future tense, and AMI- or AMIN- for the past tense) to the corresponding multiplicative ordinal number. Example: "aminsan", once; "amidua", twice; "mamitlo", thrice.


Distributive cardinal numbers are formed with prefixes SAN-, TAG-, or TUNGGAL and a cardinal number. Example: "sansakey", one each; "sanderua", two each.

Distributive multiplicative numbers are formed with prefix MAGSI-, TUNGGAL, or BALANGSAKEY and a multiplicative cardinal number. Example: "tunggal pamidua", twice each; "magsi-pamidua", each twice.


Traditional Pangasinan has fifteen consonants: p, t, k, b, d, g, m, n, ng, s, h, w, l, r and y. There are five vowels: a, e, i, o, and u. This is one of the Philippine languages which is excluded from IPA| [ɾ] - [d] allophone. Modern Pangasinan has incorporated from English and Spanish the following seven consonants: c, f, j, q, v, x, and z.


Modern Pangasinan consists of 27 letters, which include the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet and the Pangasinan letter "NG":


The ancient people of Pangasinan used an indigenous writing system. The ancient Pangasinan script, which is related to the Tagalog Baybayin script, was derived from the Javanese Kawi script of Indonesia and the Vatteluttu or Pallava script of South India.

The Latin alphabet was introduced during the Spanish colonial period. Pangasinan literature, using the indigenous syllabary and the Latin alphabet, continued to flourish during the Spanish and American colonial period. Pangasinan acquired many Spanish and English words, and some indigenous words were Hispanicized or Anglicized. However, use of the ancient syllabary has declined, and not much literature written in it has survived.

Pangasinan Literature

The Pangasinan language was preserved and kept alive despite the propagation of the Spanish and English languages. Pangasinan written and oral literature flourished during the Spanish and American period. Writers like Juan Saingan, Felipe Quintos, Narciso Corpus, Antonio Solis, Juan Villamil, Juan Mejia, and Maria C. Magsano continued to write and publish in Pangasinan. Felipe Quintos, a Pangasinan officer of the Katipunan, wrote "Sipi Awaray: Gelew Diad Pilipinas (Revolucion Filipina)," a history of the Katipunan revolutionary struggle in Pangasinan and surrounding provinces. Narciso Corpus and Antonio Solis co-wrote "Impanbilay na Manoc a Tortola", a short love story. Juan Villamil translated Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios in Pangasinan. Pablo Mejia edited "Tunong", a news magazine, in the 1920s. Mejia also wrote "Bilay tan Kalkalar nen Rizal", a biography of Jose Rizal. Maria C. Magsano published "Silew", a literary magazine. Magsano also wrote "Samban Agnabenegan", a romance novel. Pangasinan Courier published articles and literary works in Pangasinan. Pioneer Herald published "Sinag", a literary supplement in Pangasinan. Many Christian publications in Pangasinan are widely available.

Many Pangasinans are multilingual and proficient in English; Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines; and Ilokano, a neighboring language. However, the spread and influence of the other languages is contributing to the decline of the Pangasinan language. Some Pangasinans are promoting the use of Pangasinan in the print and broadcast media, Internet, local governments, courts, and schools in Pangasinan. In April 2006, the creation of was proposed, which the Wikimedia Foundation approved for publication in the Internet.

Pangasinan Folk Song: "Malinak lay Labi"

Malinak lay Labi
"A night of calm"
Oras la’y mareen
"An hour of peace"
Mapalpalna’y dagem
"A gentle breeze"
Katekep to’y linaew
"Along with it is the dew"
Samit da’y kugip ko
"So sweet is my dream"
Binangonan kon tampol
"Right away I awake"
Lapu’d say limgas mo
"Because of your beauty"
Sikan sika’y amamayoen
"You are the only one I will love"
Lalo la bilay
"Best of all, my life"
No sika la’y nanengne'ng
"When I see you"
Napunas lan amin
"All wiped away"
So ermen ya akbibiten
"The sorrows that I bear"
No nanonotan
"When I remember"
Ko la'y samit day ugalim
"Your sweet kindness"
Ag ta ka nalingwanan
"I will not forget you
Angga’d kauyos na bilay
"Till life is gone"

List of foreign words

Most of loan words in Pangasinan are Spanish, as the Philippines was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. Examples are "lugar" (place), "poder" (power, care), "kontra" (from "contra", against), "berde" ("verde", green), "espiritu" (spirit), and "santo" (holy, saint).

Dictionaries and further reading

The following is a list of some dictionaries and references:
*Lorenzo Fernández Cosgaya. Diccionario pangasinán-español" and "Vocabulario hispano-pangasinán (Colegio de Santo Tomás, 1865). This is available in the Internet at the University of Michigan's Humanities Text Initiative.
* Anastacio Austria Macaraeg. Vocabulario castellano-pangasinán (1898).
* Mariano Pellicer. Arte de la lengua pangasinán o caboloan (1904).
* Felixberto B. Viray. The Sounds and Sound Symbols of the Pangasinan Language (1927).
* Corporación de PP. Dominicos. Pasion Na Cataoan Tin JesuChristo (U.S.T. Press, 1951).
* Paciencia E. Versoza. Stress and Intonation Difficulties of Pangasinan Learners of English (1961).
* Paul Morris Schachter. A Contrastive Analysis of English and Pangasinan (1968).
* Richard A. Benton. Pangasinan Dictionary (University of Hawaii Press, 1971).
* Richard A. Benton. Pangasinan Reference Grammar (University of Hawaii Press, 1971).
* Richard A. Benton. Spoken Pangasinan (University of Hawaii Press, 1971).
* Richard A. Benton. Phonotactics of Pangasinan (1972).
* Ernesto Constantino. English-Pangasinan Dictionary (1975).
* Julio F. Silverio. New English-Pilipino-Pangasinan Dictionary (1976).
* Alta Grace Q. Garcia. Morphological Analysis of English and Pangasinan Verbs (1981).
* Philippine Bible Society. Say Santa Biblia (Philippine Bible Society, 1982).
* Philippine Bible Society. Maung A Balita Para Sayan Panaon Tayo (Philippine Bible Society and United Bible Societies, 1983).
* Mario "Guese" Tungol. Modern English-Filipino Dictionary (Merriam Webster, 1993).
* Church of Christ. Say Cancanta (Church of Christ, n.d.). Includes translations of English songs like "Joy to the World," and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."
* Emiliano Jovellanos. Pangasinan-English English-Pangasinan Dictionary (2002). The compilation has 20,000 entries.
* Traditional Folk Song. "Malinak Lay Labi" (Calm is the Night).
* Moses Esteban. Editing Pangasinan-English English-Pangasinan Dictionary (2003). The compilation has 20,000 entries.


ee also

* Pangasinan
* Pangasinan people
* Pangasinan literature
* Languages of the Philippines
* Malayo-Polynesian
* Swadesh list

External links

* [ Ethnologue Report for Pangasinan]
* [ Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database]
* [ The "Greater Austric" Hypothesis]
* [ Sunday Punch]
* [ Sun Star Pangasinan]
* [ Pangasinan Star]
* [ Pangasinan: Preservation and Revitalization of the Pangasinan Language and Literature]
* [ Globalization killing Pangasinan language]
* [ Pangasinan language is alive and kicking (Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 8, 2007)]
* [ Dying languages]

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