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Cebuano, also known as Sugbuanon, is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 18,000,000 people and is a subgroup or member of Bisaya, Visayan and Binisayâ. The name came from the Philippine island of Cebu, with the Spanish suffix -ano meaning native, of a place, added at the end. Cebuano is given the ISO 639-2 three letter code ceb, but has no ISO 639-1 two letter code.
Cebuano is a member of the Visayan language family.
Cebuano is spoken natively by the inhabitants of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and the people in western Leyte province and northern Mindanao. The language is the second-most spoken language in the Philippines after Tagalog. The dialect used in Bohol is called Boholano and is sometimes considered a separate language.
Cebuano has sixteen consonants: p, t, k, ? (the glottal stop), b, d, g, m, n, ng, s, h, w, l, r and y. There are three vowels: i, a, and u/o. The vowels u and o are allophones, with u always being used when it is the beginning of a syllable, and o always used when it ends a syllable. Accent is also a distinguisher of words, so that dápit means "to invite", while dapít means "place".
Nouns in Cebuano are inflected for person, number, and case, with inclusive and exclusive "we" distinguished. The four cases are nominative, preposed genitive, postposed genitive, and oblique.
Cebuano has long borrowed words from Spanish, such as krus [cruz] (cross) and brilyante [brillante] (brilliant). It has several hundred loan words from English as well, which are altered to conform to the limited phonemic inventory of Cebuano: brislit (bracelet), hayskul (high school), syapin (shopping), dikstrus (dextrose), sipir (zipper), bigsyat (big shot), or prayd tsikin (fried chicken).
The Clamor for recognition of Cebuano
The use of Tagalog as a basis for Pilipino drew criticism from other Philippine linguistic groups. To some extent, there was active resistance shown against its usage. For instance, in the eighties, after an attempt by the Central Government to enforce the use of Tagalog as the language of instruction in all public schools, the governor of Cebu initiated the singing of the Philippine national anthem in Cebuano rather that in Pilipino (Tagalog) in the island province of Cebu. This resistance was not intended to undermine the country's national unity. On the part of the Cebuanos, it was mostly a protest against "imperial Manila" and a clamor for linguistic and regional recognition.
The Cebuano desire for special recognition finds support from the following arguments:
- Historically, Cebu is the first and oldest City in the Philippines. Long before Manila fell into the hands of the Spanish Conquerors in the 16th century, Cebu was already an established trading and military post for the Spaniards. It was the ancient trading hub with the Arabs and the Chinese.
- Linguistically, Cebuano is recently, the country's second most widely used language. During the independence, it was the first largest linguistic group. Cebuano, though originally spoken only in the island of Cebu, is now being spoken in many parts of Mindanao, the eastern part of Negros island, and Bohol.
- Strategically and commercially, due to its geographical location, Cebu is the alternate gateway to Manila adding significance to its language. Cebuano is the native language of more regions than Tagalog, being the language with the most native speakers in Region VII (Central Visayas), Region IX (Western Mindanao), Region X (Northern Mindanao), Region XI (Davao Region), Caraga Region, and Region XII (Southern Mindanao). There are also significant number of speakers in Region VI (Western Visayas, mostly in San Carlos City and neighboring areas) and Region VIII (Eastern Visayas, mostly in western Leyte and Southern Leyte). By comparison, Tagalog is the language of the majority in the NCR, Region IV-A, Region IV-B, and Region III (Central Luzon, where Kapampangan and Ilocano also dominate some areas).
- Politically, since the colonial days of the Spanish and Americans, the Cebuanos have always resented "arrogance" from Manila. In the Marcos years, Cebu, with the exception of Durano-held Danao, was regarded as a staunch center of opposition.
Cebuano words and phrases
- 1 usá
- 2 duhá
- 3 tulú
- 4 upát
- 5 limá
- 6 unúm
- 7 pitú
- 8 walú
- 9 siyám
- 10 napúlu
- 11 napúlu'g usá
- 11 onse (Spanish is frequently used for numbers above 10)
- 25 bentsingko
- 100 usá ka gatos
- 1000 usá ka libo
- May I ask a question? Mahimo bang mangutana? Puwede 'ko mangutana?
- Good Morning! Maayong buntag!
- Where are you going? Asa ka padulong?
- Where is the bathroom? Asa man ang CR(banyo)?
- Where is your bathroom? Asa man ang CR(banyo) 'ninyo?
- What is your name? Unsay ngalan nimo?
- Where is the market? Asa man ang merkado?
- I would like to buy that. Paliton na nako.
- I would like two of those. Gusto ko ug duha ana.
- Hello, my name is John Kumusta, John akong ngalan., or coloquially, "Ako si John"
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