Proto-Philippine language

The Proto-Philippine language, also called Ancient Filipino, is a proto-language hypothesized to be the common linguistic ancestor of Philippine languages including Old Tagalog (and subsequently Modern Tagalog), the family of Visayan languages, and some languages in Mindanao.

About the language

The words and roots of the Proto-Philippine language are not directly attested to in any written work, but are the result of linguistic reconstruction via the comparative method, which finds regular similarities between languages that cannot be explained by coincidence or word-borrowing, and extrapolates ancient forms from these similarities.[1]

The Proto-Philippine language originated from Proto Malayo-Polynesian which is some words and phrases have similarities with Ancient Malay and other Austronesian languages.


Table of consonant phonemes of Proto-Philippine
Labial Dental/
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d k ɡ ʔ
Fricative s ʃ h
Tap ɾ
Approximant l j w


Proto-Philippine/Austronesian Vowels (Blust)
Height Front Central Back
Close i /i/ u /u/
Mid ə /ə/
Open a /a/

The diphthongs, which are diachronic sources of individual vowels, are:

Example Words

Below is a list of example words in Proto-Philippine language.

Words in Proto-Philippine IPA / PronunciationEquivalent in Classical TagalogTranslation in Modern Tagalog
ᜀᜐᜓ*aʃu (Ashu)AsuAso (dog)
ᜊᜎ*ba̯Lãj (Balai)-Bahay (House /Structure/Buildings)
ᜊᜊᜓ *babə̃j (BabəI)BabuiBaboy (Pig)
ᜊᜌᜓ*bɐRĩỹə̯ (Bariyə)Bagyu / Unus Bagyo / Unos (Storm)
ᜊᜌᜒ*bãjɜ̯ (Bayi)-Babae (Woman/ Girl/ lady)
ᜇᜒᜃᜒ*dəkət (Dəkət)-Dikit (adhesive/stick)
ᜇᜓᜇᜓ*zuRuʔ (Zuru')DuguDugo (Blood)
ᜑᜌᜓ*hajək (Hayək)-Halik (Kiss)
ᜃᜌᜂ*kajɐ̃õ (Kayau)PangangayauPangangaso (to Hunt)
ᜅᜌᜓ*ŋajan (Ngayan)Ngaran Pangalan (Name)
ᜆᜓᜊᜒ*tubiR (Tubir)/*danum (Danum)TubigTubig (Water)
ᜎᜌᜓ*lãɳũj(Lanyui)LanguiLangoy (to Swim)
ᜆᜏᜓ*ʈãœ̃ (Tawu)TauTao (Human)


Proto-Philippine Translation Equivalent in Modern TagalogTranslation in English
ᜈᜊᜓᜃᜈᜊNabuká na ba?Nagbukas na ba?Is it open now?
ᜀᜃᜓᜋᜎᜌᜓAku maR-lanyui.Ako ay lalangoy.I am going to swim.
ᜉᜑᜐᜀᜋᜒᜈᜊᜎPanhik sa amin na balay.Pasok ka sa aming bahay.Come into our house.

See also


[2] [3] [4]

  1. Charles, Mathew (1 January 1974). "Problems in the Reconstruction of Proto-Philippine Phonology and the Subgrouping of the Philippine Languages". Oceanic Linguistics. 13 (1/2): 457–509. doi:10.2307/3622751. JSTOR 3622751.
  2. Llamzon, Teodoro A. Proto-Philippine Phonology
  3. Paz, Consuelo J. The Application of the Comparative Method to Philippine Languages
  4. Liao, Hsiu-chuan. On the Development of Comitative Verbs in Philippine Languages, Language and Linguistics, 2011.
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