Kagayanen language

The Kagayanen language is spoken in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It belongs to the Manobo subgroup of the Austronesian language family, and is the only member of this subgroup that is not spoken on Mindanao or nearby islands.

Native toPhilippines
Regioneastern Palawan
Native speakers
30,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3cgc


Kagayanen is spoken in the following areas (Ethnologue).


Kagayanen consonant phonemes[3]
Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop pb td kg ʔ
Fricative s (h)
ð̞ j w
Rhotic r

[h] occurs only in loan words, proper names, or in words that have [h] in the cognates of neighboring languages.[4] Outside of loanwords, /d/ becomes [r] between vowels.[5]

Comparative and historical evidence suggests that /ð̞/ and /l/ were in complementary distribution before a split occurred with pressure from contact with English, Spanish, and Tagalog.[6]

Vowels of Kagayanen[7]
Front Central Back
Close iəu
Open a

/i/ ranges between [i] and [e], except in unstressed syllables (as well as before consonant clusters) where it lowers to [ɪ] or [ɛ].[8] Similarly, /u/ lowers to [ʊ] in unstressed syllables, before consonant clusters, and word-finally. It is otherwise [u].[9]


  1. Kagayanen at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kagayanen". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Olson et al. (2010:206)
  4. Olson et al. (2010:206), citing MacGregor (1995:365)
  5. Olson et al. (2010:207)
  6. Olson et al. (2010:207–209)
  7. Olson & Mielke (2007)
  8. Olson & Mielke (2007:845)
  9. Olson & Mielke (2007:847)


  • MacGregor, Louise A. (1995), "Kagayanen: Introduction and wordlist", in Tryon, Darrell T. (ed.), Comparative Austronesian dictionary: An introduction to Austronesian studies, part 1: fascicle 1, Trends in Linguistics., 10, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 363–368
  • Olson, Kenneth S.; Mielke, Jeff (2007), "Acoustic properties of the Kagayanen vowel space" (PDF), in Trouvain, Jürgen; Barry, William (eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Universität des Saarlandes, pp. 845–848, retrieved 2009-03-15
  • Olson, Kenneth; Mielke, Jeff; Sanicas-Daguman, Josephine; Pebley, Carol Jean; Paterson, Hugh J., III (2010), "The phonetic status of the (inter)dental approximant", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40 (2): 199–215, doi:10.1017/S0025100309990296

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