|Region||southern parts of Bukidnon province, Mindanao|
Matigsalug (Matig-Salug Manobo) is a Manobo language of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is a Central Philippine language that belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian language family. There are four major dialects: Kulamanen, Tigwa, Tala Ingod, and Matigsalug Proper. Dialects are divergent, such that Tigwa has marginal intelligibility of Matigsalug, and only Tala Ingod may have adequate intelligibility of Matigsalug. There are approximately 5,000 monolinguals, but have at least 50,000 speakers; most of whom are concentrated in Mindanao, notably in south central Bukidnon, North Cotabato (northeast), and northwestern Davao del Sur provinces.
The Matigsalug alphabet consists of eighteen graphemes: a, b, d, e, g, h, i, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, u, w, y. The graphemes c, f, j, o, q, v, x, z are used in recently borrowed words and the names of people and places. Punctuation standards follow those of the Philippine national language. The glottal stop is represented by a hyphen when it occurs word medially, but not where it occurs intervocalically. For example, the word [manʔeʔ] 'again' is written as man-e, while the word [tiʔaŋ] 'carry on the shoulder' is written as tiang.
Long vowels do occur in Matigsalug, albeit rarely. The orthographic convention for long vowels is to write two vowel segments. For example, the word [pa:n] 'bread' is written as paan. This convention, however, may cause some confusion among non-expert speakers of the language. Instead of a long vowel, they might parse the VV-grapheme sequence as two vocalic segments with a glottal stop. That is, they might read paan as [paʔan].
There are 14 Matigsalug consonants. All the stops are unaspirated. The velar nasal occurs in all positions including at the beginning of a word.
Stress in Matigsalug always occurs penultimately, that is, on the second-to-last vowel. Because it is completely predictable, stress is not marked orthographically.
Matigsalug does have small one-syllable clitics. When these phonologically join to the previous word, they cause the stress to shift in order to maintain penultimate stress. For example, the word for 'father' is ámey; when the possessive determiner rin 'his/her' is added, the stress shifts to the second syllable of the word for 'father': améy rin
Nouns are preceded by a case marker. There are three types of case markers in Matigsalug.
First, similar to the better-studied ang-marking in Tagalog, the language also employs a case-marking reserved for the noun with which the verb agrees (via focus/voice morphology). This marker exhibits allomorphy depending on whether the noun is a proper noun or a common noun. Si is the allomorph used when the noun is a proper noun or a kinship term; ka is used when the noun is a common noun or a possessive noun phrase.
si Inday/Anggam Focus Inday/uncle
ka tirè/geyinawa rin Focus sugar cane/breath his
- 'the sugar cane/his breath'
Second, when the verb shows agreement with any other noun other than the agent/experiencer, the agent/experiencer is marked with a separate case marking. In other words, this would be comparable with the by-phrase in an English passive. This case marking also exhibits allomorphy depending on whether the agent/experiencer is a proper or a common noun. Ni is the allomorph used when the noun is a proper noun or a kinship term; te is used when the noun is a common noun or a possessive noun phrase.
ni Inday/Anggam NonFocus(Ag) Inday/uncle
- 'by Inday/uncle'
te lukes NonFocus(Ag) man
- 'by the man'
Lastly, there is case marking reserved for non-focused non-agent/experiencer roles in the clause. This case marking also exhibits allomorphy depending on whether the agent/experiencer is a proper or a common noun. Ki is the allomorph used when the noun is a proper noun or a kinship term; te is used when the noun is a common noun or a possessive noun phrase.
ki Inday/Anggam NonFocus Inday/uncle
- 'to/from Inday/uncle'
te lukes NonFocus man
- 'to/from the man'
Characteristic of Philippine-type languages, Matigsalug verbs carry what is known in the literature as focus morphology. This piece of morphology indicates the semantic roles of the participants in the clause with respect to the verb. Matigsalug can put the agent/experiencer (AF), goal (GF), location (LF), and instrument (IF) into direct focus.
In the first example, the prefix eg- indicates that the ka-marked noun functions as the agent, that is, the entity doing the kicking. In the second example, the prefix eg- in combination with the suffix -en together indicate that the ka-marked noun is the goal, that is, the entity being kicked.
Egsipè ka kuddè te kuddè NonPast-kick-Agent Focus horse NonFocus child
- 'The horse kicks the child'
Egsipeen ka kuddè te kuddè NonPast-kick-Agent Focus horse NonFocus(Ag) child
- 'The child kicks the horse'
Most of the information here were adapted from Wang, P., Hunt, R., McGriff, J., & Elkins, R.E. (2006). The Grammar of Matigsalug Manobo. Summer Institute of Linguistics. Retrieved from www.sil.org/asia/philippines/plb_download.html
- Matigsalug at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Matigsalug Manobo". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Lewis, M.P., Simons, G.F., & Fennig, C.D. (2014). Manobo, Matigsalug. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/language/mbt
- Wang, P. (1991). The phonemics and morphophonemics of Matig-Salug Manobo. Philippine Journal of Linguistics, 22(1-2), 1-29.