Filipino alphabet

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The Filipino alphabet (officially Makabagong alpabetong Filipino; English: Modern Filipino alphabet) is made up of 28 letters, which includes the entire 21-letter set of the Abakada (including ng) and 8 letters from the Spanish alphabet (namely C, F, J, Ñ, Q, V, X and Z). It was once formerly known as the abakada when it was created by Lope K. Santos during the American colonial period. It is used today as the writing system for all autochtonous Austronesian languages in the Philippines and occasionally in writing Chabacano, a Spanish-derived creole.

Contents

Pre-Hispanic writing system

Adoption of the Roman alphabet

When Tagalog was first written in the Roman alphabet, it used Spanish orthography. This alphabet was called the abecedario. Relics of this can still be seen in the way "Castilianized" indigenous and Chinese-origin surnames are written, such as Macasáquit, Guanzón, Dimaculañgan, and others. Many indigenous place names are also written using Spanish orthography, often either coexisting or competing with their native forms if they exist (Bulacán/Bulakan, Caloocan/Kalookan, Taguig/Tagig, etc.). Parañaque would be written in the native system as Paranyake, but the latter spelling is so far unaccepted if at all heard of.

Abakada was the Tagalog alphabet, Tagalog having been selected as the national language in 1935, of 20 letters officially introduced by Lope K. Santos through his Balarila ng Wikang Pambansa (but initially employed by José Rizal who suggested replacing the use of both C and Q by simply K) during the American occupation of the country and adopted by the National Language Institute of the Philippines in 1973. The alphabet was called "abakada" for the letters were pronounced with the sound "a" at the end, for example b was pronounced "ba", l was pronounced "la", and so on. This alphabet of 20 letters has only one letter to represent each distinct sound in Tagalog—unlike, say, the letters 'c' and 'k' in English. The 20 letters of Abakada are written as a b k d e g h i l m n ng (where ng is considered as only one letter.) o p r s t u w y.

The National Language Institute of the Philippines initiated the new language in 1973. In 1976, the alphabet consisted of 31 letters—the 26 letters of the English alphabet, the Spanish ñ, ll, rr, and ch, and the ng of Tagalog. In practice, however, the digraphs are considered as their two constituent letters. In 1973 Pilipino was defined by law as the official language. The national alphabet was again expanded in 1976 to include the letters C, Ch, F, J, Ll, Ñ, Q, Rr, V, X, and Z in order to accommodate words of Spanish and English origin. The alphabet was then later reduced to 28 letters, rr, ll and ch, all of which are of Spanish origin, were removed, leaving 28 letters, in 1987 when Pilipino was renamed Filipino. (Ch, Rr, and Ll were themselves later abolished from the Spanish alphabet.) This current alphabet is basically the entire English alphabet plus the letters Ñ and Ng, alphabetized separately in theory.

Today, there is no one uniform standard of Filipino orthography. Even within standards, inconsistencies abound (such as the lack of rules regarding /nk/ and /ngk/, /sy/ and /siy/, etc.). In 2001 the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) issued a revision of Filipino orthography, dealing primarily with words of Spanish origin (permitting the use of /f/, /v/, and others in words such as Filipinas, revis(i)yon, alfabeto, ventilador, etc.; it should be noted however that [v] does not exist as a separate phoneme in Spanish, and that the implementation of the 2001 spelling revision has been suspended due to opposition from educators and students.<ref>The actual text as retrieved from http://wika.pbwiki.com/ on 2 February 2007:

SUSPENSYON AT PAG-REVIEW SA REVISYON NG ALFABETO AT PATNUBAY SA ISPELING NG WIKANG FILIPINO<p>Bunsod ng negatibong feedback mula sa mga guro, estudyante at iba pang gumagamit ng wika hinggil sa nilalaman ng binagong patnubay sa ispeling, nagpasya ang Lupon ng Komisyoner sa bisa ng Resolusyon Blg. 2006-02 na rebyuhin at ihinto ang implementasyon ng nabanggit na patnubay. Kaugnay pa nito, sa kahilingan sa Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ay ipinalabas ang Kautusang Pangkagawaran Blg. 42 s. 2006 na nagtatadhana ng Pag-review ng 2001 Revisyon ng Alfabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling ng Wikang Filipino.<p>Itinagubilin ng ipinalabas na kautusan ang pagpapatigil sa implementasyon ng nabanggit na revisyon habang sumasailalim ito sa isang pag-aaral. Itinagubilin pa rin na gamitin munang pansamantalang sanggunian ang 1987 Alpabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling para sa paghahanda o pagsulat ng mga sangguniang kagamitin sa pagtuturo at sa mga korespondensya opisyal.</ref> Universities, however, publish the bulk of self-described Filipino-language material, and have each adopted their own approaches as to how the language should be spelled (and indeed, of the nature of the language itself). The University of the Philippines, for one, seems to have taken a more conservative approach compared to the KWF, retaining in its UP Filipino Dictionary (UPDF) the /p/ in assimilated words such as perpeksiyon and pamilya while insisting on /f/ in words such as Filipinas (so as to be consistent with Filipino) and fermentasyon. The UPDF also refuses to transcribe yet unassimilated foreign words (aside from those of Spanish origin) phonetically (e.g. nitrogen, nematocyst), let alone whole phrases (e.g. figure of speech, filing cabinet, noble savage).

Diacritics

Diacritics, or Palatuldikan, are normally not written in everyday usage, be it in publications or personal correspondence. The teaching of diacritics is inconsistent in Philippine schools and many Filipinos do not know how to use them. However, diacritics are normally used in dictionaries and in textbooks aimed at teaching the languages to foreigners.

There are three kinds of diacritics used in Filipino:

Acute accent or pahilís 
Used to indicate primary or secondary stress on a particular syllable. It is usually omitted on words that are stressed on the penultimate syllable; talagá.
Grave accent or paiwà 
Placed only on the last syllable. It indicates that there is a glottal stop at the end of the word and that penultimate syllable receives stress; tadhanà.
Circumflex accent or pakupyâ 
Placed only on the last syllable. It indicates that the final syllable of a word receives stress while there is a glottal stop that follows; sampû.

The letter ng

‘Ng’ originally represented the sequence [ŋg] during the Spanish era. The velar nasal, [ŋ] was represented in a variety of forms, namely: ñg, ng̃, gñ (as in Sagñay), ng͠, , and simply a tilde over the vowel it followed. During the standardization of Tagalog during the early part of the 20th century, ‘ng’ came to represent [ŋ] while [ŋg] was written 'ngg'. Furthermore when the genitive marker ng appears on its own it is pronounced [naŋ]; this was done to differentiate it from the adverbial marker nang.

Other writing systems

Main article: Eskayan

See also

References

  1. ^ The actual text as retrieved from http://wika.pbwiki.com/ on 2 February 2007:

SUSPENSYON AT PAG-REVIEW SA REVISYON NG ALFABETO AT PATNUBAY SA ISPELING NG WIKANG FILIPINO

Bunsod ng negatibong feedback mula sa mga guro, estudyante at iba pang gumagamit ng wika hinggil sa nilalaman ng binagong patnubay sa ispeling, nagpasya ang Lupon ng Komisyoner sa bisa ng Resolusyon Blg. 2006-02 na rebyuhin at ihinto ang implementasyon ng nabanggit na patnubay. Kaugnay pa nito, sa kahilingan sa Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ay ipinalabas ang Kautusang Pangkagawaran Blg. 42 s. 2006 na nagtatadhana ng Pag-review ng 2001 Revisyon ng Alfabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling ng Wikang Filipino.

Itinagubilin ng ipinalabas na kautusan ang pagpapatigil sa implementasyon ng nabanggit na revisyon habang sumasailalim ito sa isang pag-aaral. Itinagubilin pa rin na gamitin munang pansamantalang sanggunian ang 1987 Alpabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling para sa paghahanda o pagsulat ng mga sangguniang kagamitin sa pagtuturo at sa mga korespondensya opisyal.

External links

tl:Palabaybayan ng Filipino