Bontoc language

Region Philippines, Mountain Province
Native speakers
41,000 (2007 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bncinclusive code
Individual codes:
lbk  Central Bontok
ebk  Eastern Bontok
rbk  Northern Bontok
obk  Southern Bontok
vbk  Southwestern Bontok
Glottolog bont1247[2]

Area where Bontoc is spoken according to Ethnologue

Bontoc (Bontok) /bɒnˈtɒk/[3] (also called Finallig) is the native language of the indigenous Bontoc people of the Mountain Province, in the northern part of the Philippines.


Consonant phonemes[4]
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n   ŋ  
Plosive p b t d   k ɡ ʔ
Fricative   s      
Rhotic   ɻ~ɺ      
Approximant     j    

The archiphoneme /r/ has [l], [ɻ], and [ɺ] as its allophones.[4] The allophone [l] occurs word-initially, adjacent to /i/, as the second member of a consonant cluster consisting of a coronal consonant and /r/, and as the second member of any consonant cluster preceded by /i/. [ɻ] occurs in free variation with [l] word-initially, but otherwise occurs in complementary distribution with it. [ɺ] occurs in free variation with [l] and [ɻ] word-initially, and with [ɻ] elsewhere.
The plosives /t/, /ɡ/, /b/, and /d/ have, respectively, [] (representing an interdental consonant), [], [f], and [t͡s] as their syllable-initial allophones.[4]
The voiced stop /b/ also has [] and [v] as its allophones.[4] Both of these allophones occur as the first member of a geminate cluster. They are in free variation.
The approximant /j/ has one allophone: [ɥ]. [ɥ] occurs after /o/.[4]

Vowel phonemes[4]
Front Back
High i
Mid ɥ o
Close ɡ

/ɥ/ becomes a slightly centralized [] when in a syllable whose coda is /k/.[4] When in the nucleus, /ɡ/ and /o/ are slightly raised and /i/ is lowered. [4]

There are two degrees of stress in Bontoc: primary and secondary. Primary stress is phonemic and secondary stress is predictable. Both types are right-oriented and occur on one of the last three syllables. Stress's effects include higher pitch, louder volume, and lengthening of the syllable nucleus, though these are all subject to certain rules pertaining to word prosody. [4]

Example Text

The Lord's Prayer
English Bontoc [5]
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Ama id chaya machad-ayaw nan ngachanmo.
Omali nan en-ap-apowam.
Maangnen nan nemnemmo isnan lofong ay kag id chaya.
Ichowam nan kanenmi isnan kawakawakas.
Pakawanem nan fasolmi,
tay pinakawanmi akhes nan finmasol ken chakami.
Ad-im ogkhayen chakami isnan maawisanmi ay enfasol,
mod-i ket isas alakam chakami isnan ngaag.


  1. Bontoc at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Central Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Eastern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Northern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Southern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Southwestern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Bontok". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Lawrence A. Reid, "The phonology of Central Bontoc", The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 1963
  5. Nan Kalin Apo Dios, International Bible Society, 1992

External links

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