Bikol Phrase Markers, Part 2

This is a continuation of an earlier post.


In Another Look at the Marking of Plural Personal Noun Constructions in Austronesian Languages, Laurence Reid mentions some Bikol dialects that distinguishes nonpast/nonreferential vs. past/referential phrase markers:

”some of the dialects of Southern Bikol in the Central Philippines, part of a different primary branch of Austronesian, have a “virtually identical system” of genitive marking: nu ‘genitive of common nouns, +referential ~ +past’, ni ‘genitive of persons (singular)’, na ‘genitive of persons (plural)’.” 

Chris Sundita calls this “something that was already mentioned”. Malcolm Mintz also mentioned that

nin nonsubject agent and object marker occurring before general nouns and marking those nouns as nonspecific; may also be used to express the concept ‘some’ ..also used with si as nin si to show possession by s/o or s/t previously referred to in a conversation or known by both speaker and listener, and to make nonsubject objects specific]”.

This is referred to by Matthew Dryer as an aphoric function:

There are, broadly speaking, two functions associated with definite articles. One of these is an anaphoric function, to refer back to something mentioned in the preceding discourse. The other is a nonanaphoric function, to refer to something not mentioned in the preceding discourse but whose existence is something that the speaker assumes is known to the hearer. This assumed knowledge may be based on general knowledge (as in the sun) or it may be based on inferences that the hearer can make in context (for example, inferring from mention of a house that the house has a door, thus making it possible to use a definite article in referring to the door of the house). In some languages, the morphemes treated here as definite articles appear to be restricted to anaphoric usage in that descriptions assign them translations like ‘previously mentioned’.”

These anaphoric forms in Bikol are:

  Nominative Genitive Non-Definite Genitive Definite
  NonAnaphoric Anaphoric NonAnaphoric Anaphoric NonAnaphoric Anaphoric
Naga an si nin nin si kan kan si
kaso (past)
an su nin nin su kan kan su
kaso (past)
Guinobatan an su nin nu kan ??
Rinconada a su ki / kin ?? ka ku (past)



In On Reconstructing the Morphosyntax of Proto-Northern Luzon, Lawrence Reid described some languages north of Bikol with phrase markers that distinguishes +remote and –remote, which may be analogous with either anaphoric vc. non-anaphoric or definite vs. indefinite based on the descriptions of usage.

(a) Casiguran Dumagat – found in east coast of Luzon, Aurora Province.


“Headland and Headland (1974) has two distinct sets of common noun markers. The singular Nominative forms are i and tu. The distinction between these forms is somewhat complex. The first marks nouns that are “alive, known, actual, in sight, present in time…” (ex. ??). The second set marks nouns that are “dead, unknown, out of sight, past in time…” (ex. ??) (ibid p. xxxii). In addition Headland (p.c.) notes that "these definitions are grossly inadequate and in some contexts these labels are not only incorrect, but the opposite of what they imply." Thus although i is said to mark nouns that are general, and tu marks those that are specific, it is tu that marks indefinite nouns after existential verbs (ex. ??), but i which marks indefinite nouns when they are first introduced into a discourse. Furthermore although i is said to mark nouns that are general, the enclitic determiners =eh and =a occur only on nouns that are marked with i. The clitic “adds the meaning of definiteness or exactness to the thing or place referred to.” Casiguran Dumagat genitive no and locative to appear to have developed from sequences of *na+u and *ta+u respectively, rather than from *nu and *tu with vowel lowering, since high vowel lowering only occurred when the vowel was stressed.”

(b) Paranan – found in the east coast of Isabela.  A few description by Reid in “Historical linguistics and Philippine hunter-gatherers” of Paranan:

“Paranan, on the other hand, although showing considerable influence from Tagalog, with 45 percent shared vocabulary (Headland 1975), clearly retains case markers and pronouns which are very conservative. Specifically, it appears to be the only language in Luzon that still retains a di locative preposition for common noun phrases, e.g., di bilay ‘to the house’, alongside proper noun locations, such as di Manila ‘to Manila’ (Finkbeiner 1983:6). Although di occurs in many languages with various other case-marking functions and occurs widely as the initial formative of locative adverbs and demonstratives, it is as a locative preposition that it is reconstructible for Proto-Extra-Formosan.”


“In Paranan (Finkbeiner 1983:9) i marks nominative common noun phrases whose referents are "present, seen, specific, or actual". These features define what I referred to above as PROXIMATE. On the other hand, nominative common noun phrases that are "absent, not seen, unspecific, or non- actual", features which define REMOTE, are marked by en.”

Robinson and Lobel further comments in The Northeastern Luzon Subgroup of Philippine Languages:

“"The Paranan case markers pose a particular problem. Most of the Paranan forms are similar to forms found in the Agta languages (for example, *i NOM, *ti GEN/OBL), usually Pahanan Agta, but a few of the forms (en‘ NOM.DEF’, nen ‘GEN.DEF’, and ten ‘OBL’) do not appear to have an origin in PNELUZ. Taking into consideration that en, nen, and ten are likely from earlier *in, *nin, and *tin (since Paranan [e] often corresponds to Central Philippine *i in closed syllables), the first two forms (*in and *nin) both have cognates in Central Philippine languages: Old Bikol had both *in ‘ NOM. NONREF’ and *nin‘ GEN.NONREF’, while *in also has cognates in Waray-Waray and other Warayan languages, in Tausug, and in the Kamayo dialect of Barobo town. Genitive *nin has cognates in most Bikol languages and in Romblomanon. The *tin form could be from Pahanan Agta ti, with the final *-n being the result of analogy with the *in and *nin forms. Note that the *ʔ- : *n- : *t- contrast (where *ʔ- corresponds to the phonemically vowel-initial form) is also found in Southern Ibanag, whose case markers are iC ‘ NOM’, nəC ‘GEN’,and təC ‘OBL’ (with the final segment being a copy of the first consonant of the following word). However, the vowels do not match, as Paranan /e/ is not cognate with Ibanag /ə/. final *-n being the result of analogy with the *in and *nin forms. Notethat the *ʔ- : *n- : *t- contrast (where *ʔ- corresponds to the phonemically vowel-initial form) is also found in Southern Ibanag, whose case markers are iC ‘ NOM’, nəC ‘ GEN’,and təC ‘OBL’ (with the final segment being a copy of the first consonant of the following word). However, the vowels do not match, as Paranan /e/ is not cognate with Ibanag /ə/.”

Paranan (as PAR) and Casiguran Dumagat (as CAS) as shown in Robertson and Lobel relabeled and fitted in the same categorization:


Casiguran indefinite tu/no/to functions differently from Paranan definite en/nen/ten.

(c) Isneg or Isnag – found in Northern Apayao, Luzon.


(d) Another possible language is Northern Subanen mentioned by Reid in a footnote:


I have not seen phrase markers in  Sugbuhanon, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan and Ilokano that distinguish anaphoric vs. non-anaphoric or +remote vs. –remote. Tagalog seems to have yung and nung and Samarnon has it and hit.


Examples of usage in the internet are shown below for Coastal Bikol:

from here:

  1. Olay nin si lalaking nagbobonbon pighahapot sya kun anong ginigibo nya kaya nagsimbag "BOMBON".
  2. Kan enot na pagtuntung kan si mga kastila sa lugar na ini, an Bombon bantug na dakulon an mga layas na manok.
  3. Alagad dai ini nahaloy. Huli ta kan dumatung si mga Americano kan Febrero 11, 1990, dakulang pagbabago si nangyari.
  4. Sarong aldaw may lalaking nagbonbon nin paroy nganing magdulok si mga manok.
  5. Hominapot liwat si Kastila kun ano an ngaran kan lugar. Si daraga hona gayod gustong maaraman kun masain sya.
  6. Na kadtong pinag-gigibo pa sana ining kampanaryo kan simbahan si pundasyon nagbaba pasiring sa sarong direksyon kaya bakong tanos.
  7. Si mga tawo nagpetisyon na harahaton tolos ta kun dagoson tibaad ma tumba, alagad si kura paroko nag-insistir na padagosonan trabaho kun kaya nahaman sa bakong tanos na tindog-huraray sa solnopan.

from here:

  1. Kaso sarung aldao. Nag-ataman akong punay. Nakasangle, nakaribay Nin si ogma ko kasakitan
  2. Tominaas, bominaba, Nagtoro si sakung luha.
  3. Dagos ako bangon si sakuyang mata binuklat.
  4. Dae ako pigtao sa nakabakal nin si planta nin cemento, kutana, para na rin akong nagtatrabaho sa abroad. (from here)
  5. Pinahidan mo an sakuyang payo nin si lana (from here)
  6. Magpost ka kuya ning mga picture kan si mga previous na mga andas ni Ina (from here)
  7. Hirak man kan si mga apektado, asin si mga nagadanan. (from here)

from others:

  1. Kaidto may nagpasabong saiya na giraray na ibalik na sana an sira sa danaw, kan su pagbalikan niya, hidaling nag-ulaptik an sira sa tubig asin naglangoy parayo. (from here)
  2. Dai ko malilikayan na dai maghapot kun anong espesyal sa lugar na ini para iyo an tawan kan suanoy na ngaran kan Partido de Tabaco kan su ibang banwa nagsaradiri naman ki pangaran. (from here)
  3. Kan su mga misyonerong Kastila naka–ukod man mag–Bikol, su edukasyon kan mga suanoy na Bikolnon gabos na naiba, tinangad ninda su mga Kastila, napa–ugos sainda.(from here)

Examples of usage in the internet are shown below for Inland Bikol:

from here:

  1. Narigos kami nu akos ko sa solong usad na aldaw.
  2. Sabi nu  pinsan ko, tibad ngaya kuya bogs nasibang?
  3. Bata grabe an pagtipid ta, nakastan pa kita nu bulong.
  4. Bigla ngana nagsabi su para inibang, nasibang ngaya noy si nene mo.
  5. Pakatapos kaito, linayd su duga sa payo.
  6. Su pinaka simple ko sana itao.
  7. Ilalayd ngana su duga sa manlaen-laen na parte nin  lawas kina su narunot na dawn, ibubutang sa  pusod.

from here:

  1. Gusto ko sana kayang mamate su dati kong buway ku panahon na diri pirmi nakaporma o pantalon o sotana.
  2. Di man siguro kaipuwan maggibo kin milagro nganing maitao a pangangaipo ka mga tawo arog ku ginibo ni Hesus.
  3. Ikarwang sinabi ni Hesus ku nakapako siya sa krus
  4. Ku ginibo na si adan saka si eba, ariglado na ngamin.
  5. Ginibo uyan ku parataban.
  6. Sa kadakul na ribok sa palibot ni Hesus ku siya nakapako, usad na boses sana a narungog niya
  7. Bagana sinda su mga disipulos ni Hesus na nagtibwasan ku sya rakupon.
  8. Arog ku pagmate ni Dimas ku siya sinabiwan ni Hesus.
  9. Ading ikarwang sinabi ni hesus ku nakapako siya sa krus, parumrom adi kanato ngamin.
  10. Bisi na naman a mga nganga sa pagbisara na tatawan kana kaipuwan su mga nakanga-nga ta uda na makaon.
  11. Balikan ta su mga nangyari sa daan na tipan.
  12. Pero ngamin uyan nauda kawasa si Adan ag si Eba, mas pinili ninda su pansadiri nindang kagustuwan.
  13. Nagpoon na su kasalan.  Nakamate na sinda kin kadipisilan, nag-alop, nagtios, buko nang magayonm agko na problema, agko na kagranan a tawo.
  14. Su gibo niyang pagsolsol nagdara kanya sa paraiso.
  15. Dapat malinaw a kanatong isip sa pagpili kana mga gusto tang magdara kanato sa paraiso, su mga tawo na pwede man pagsakripisyo nganing mabayad ta su paraiso.
  16. Sari na su katuninongan, hustisya ag pagkaon sa  mga nag-aalop?

from here:

  1. Kakulor nu bandera su bandilyong kaogmahan.
  2. Sa kastigo nin bagyo, su kusog iyong tukod.
  3. Sumirang su liwanag sa kadlagan kan gamgam.
  4. Kan pigsurok nu ulod su kuwebang daing paros.
  5. Buminuklad su dahon sa pisog nin paglalang.
  6. Sa musika nin ogma, su pagmondo nawarak;
  7. Nu Agosto sa oma, binayubo nin paghigos
  8. An atang ka’ning burak bulawan man su kakolor.
  9. Nu Hulyo sa solnupan, paglaom an nagin timon.

from here:

  1. Lin-nuwas su ngaran bigla ku alkalde sadto stage, ku gobernador sadto atop, ku kongresman sadto alad, ku kapitan sadto basuran.
  2. Alagad ku mag-brigada eskwela ku usad na semana, ag gamiton su madyik na pintura na kaamu man sa kolor kadtung sadto pabaloy na kuru-kalinga.

from here:

  1. Su gira nu gitara Pigsusog ta ning kanta (The foottracks of glad guitars We retrace with melodies )
  2. Su hadok nu sampaga Pigsaray ta sa plawta (The kiss of jasmine flowers We treasure in fervent flutes )

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