New Bikol Orthography – Part 1




I am currently working on a new orthography that can be used for both Coastal Bikol and Inland Bikol. My intent is to use this for the macro-language as well as the individual languages themselves and their dialects. All my works on these languages will use this new orthography.

What is are the features of this new orthography? The most important feature, which I will show in this Part 1, is the principle of regular 1-to-1 correspondence between the letters of the alphabet and each phonemic sounds.

  1. The following symbols will remain in use and unchanged: m n p b t d k g s h l r w y a e i o u.
  2. The digraph “ng” will be replaced by the IPA symbol “ŋ”.
  3. Phonemes not currently represented by any letter will be provided with one. The glottal stop by “ч” and word stress, which is phonemic, by a raised dot “•”.
  4. The glottal stop will be represented in word initial and intervocalic positions. H will be represented in word final position.
  5. Other member languages of the Bikol macrolanguage can use this as well. I have added the lateral “λ” for the Southern Catanduanes dialect of Coastal Bikol, and the schwa (represented as “ɷ”) for Iriga, Buhi and Miraya dialects and the velar fricative “ƥ” for Buhi dialect, all dialects of Inland Bikol.

Examples:

Coastal Bikol (all dialects)

English Current Proposed
Meaning Orthography Orthography
name ngaran ŋa•ran
wrong sala salaч
head payo payoh
dirt on face musing muчsiŋ
wave alon чa•lon

Coastal Bikol, Southern Catanduanes dialect

English Current Proposed
Meaning Orthography Orthography
study adal чa•daλ
sour alsom чaλsom
buy bakal bakaλ
bring dara daλah
run dalagan daλa•gan
tall halangkaw haλaŋkaw
wait halat haλat
fight iwal чi•waλ
man lalaki laλa•kih
walk lakaw λakaw
one saro saλoч
talk taram taλam
three tulo tuλoh
cockpit bulangan buλaŋan

Inland Bikol, Iriga & Miraya dialects

English Current Proposed
Meaning Orthography Orthography
rice bugas bɷgas
blade tarum tarɷm
rice plant paroy pa•rɷy
black itum чitɷm

Inland Bikol, Buhi dialect

English Current Proposed
Meaning Orthography Orthography
itch gatol gatɷƥ
long duration aloy чaƥɷy
repent solsol sɷƥsɷƥ
wait ulat чɷƥat
sour alsom чaƥsɷm
snake alas чa•ƥas
worry andal чandaƥ

This is in essence my proposed orthography, when rendering native words in each of the dialects and individual languages of the Bikol macrolanguage. I will be posting samples of Bikol songs, poetry, and other literature written in this new orthography in the future to exemplify its usage.

If there is any wrong word, spelling or stress for some of the dialects’ words, I would welcome any corrections. I welcome other words which you might want to contribute showing the same sounds too.

The other features of this new orthography I will explain in succeeding posts. Part 2 of my proposal will deal with the orthography of the Bikol macrolanguage, not the dialects and individual member languages, which was discussed here. Part 3 will discuss handling loan words or borrowed words from any language. This part is very important as Bikol has substantial borrowings from Castellano and English. Part 4 will be about obligatory word edge phonemes as well as stress. Part 5 will be about pronunciation and order of all the letters and origin of the new ones and any other sundry items depending on what questions and clarifications will be raised through comments. Cheers.