The Filipino Conlang

As i have mentioned in my earlier post, I will be creating a conlang for the Philippines since the current Filipino language to me is still very much Tagalog. So here is the outline of this Filipino conlang. I will be filling up each section as I go along.


The script to be used is the same as I have described in my posts

  1. New Bikol Orthography – Part 1
  2. New Bikol Orthography – Part 2
  3. New Bikol Orthography – Part 3


The words of the conlang will be as I described in my Post “Conlang

As of the moment, it will have the same base words as the reconstructed Austronesian root words.

Here are good references for reconstructed root words:

1. Proto-Austronesian –  by Blust, by Zorc,

2. Proto-MalayoPolynesian – by Blust, by Zorc

3. Proto-Philippine – by Paz

4. Proto Greater Central Philippines – by Blust,

5. Proto-Bisayan– by Zorc

Blust’s full reconstructions are here for Proto-Austronesian, Proto-MalayoPolynesian, Proto Western MalayoPolynesian ,Proto-Philippines.



Pronunciation will be based on the reconstructed words.

1. Retention of –r-, –ɨ-, -ч-, etc.

   Bikol and Samarnon retained –r-, while Hiligaynon, Tagalog and Sugbuhanon changed it to –l-. Additionally, Tagalog and Sugbuhanon dropped or changed –l- to –w-, –h-. Tagalog also removed -ч- word internally or finally.

   Tagalog changed –ɨ– into –i-, Bikol into –a- and –o-/–u-, Kapampangan into –a-, and Sugbuhanon, Hiligaynon and Samarnon into –o-/-u-. Some dialects of Ilokano, Bikol, and Samarnon and the languages Kiniray-a and Pangasinan retained the –ɨ-.



Content words



Grammatical case will not be marked on the word, but as Adpositions or case markers preposed to the word. See the subtopic Phrase (Case) Markers below.


Plural of the noun will be signalled using the plural word marker ‘manga’ found in Tagalog, Bikol, Sugbuhanon, Samarnon, Hiligaynon and Kapampangan instead of using the 3rd person plural pronoun like in Ilokano.

Some nouns will have reduplication in the form CV like Ilokano to signal plural meaning. I will expand this later.

       Gender & Noun Classes

No gender and noun class distinctions will be added to the conlang.


       Valency & Transitivity


       Tense & Aspect

The conlang will not have tense, like other natural Philippine languages and will have aspect instead. The values of the aspectual system will be NonProgressive and Progressive. We will not be using Imperfective since that includes the Habitual and Continuous NonProgressive aspects. Continuous Progressive aspect “expresses processes, not states; expresses the dynamic quality of actions that are in progress”, while Continuous NonProgressive aspect  “expresses the state of the subject that is continuing the action” . When we use the term Non-Progressive by itself, we mean “all aspects excludes Continuous Progressive, and is not limited to just Continuous Non-Progressive”.

The Progressive Aspect is indicated by reduplicating the first CVC of the base word, roughly corresponding to the first syllable, somewhat similar to Ilocano reduplication. The difference is that the glottal stop (ч) is never lost, unlike in Ilokano. This is quite similar to Manide progressive form but different in that if the first syllable is CV, an -h is suffixed to it, so the form is now CVh for open first syllables. Samples below.

Base word Reduplicated word
ka.чɨn kah.ka.чɨn
bag.sak bag.bag.sak
suч.lot suч.suч.lot

The reduplication of word stem is done in Ilokano, Kapampangan, Tagalog, Bikol and Samarnon and has more claim to being original. We will not signal Progressive by infixing with –a-  like Sugbuhanon, Hiligaynon, Samarnon or Kiniray-a.

       Voice, Focus & Control

We will be using as well the 4 argument focuses, with 2 paradigm for their conjugations distinguishing NonActor Argument Focus and Actor Argument Focus.  NonActor Argument Focus has –g-/pag/mag  in their conjugation. Samarnon will provide the template for the conjugation. Here is also an alternate table.

With Control/ AAF






NonProgressive Realis gin……ɨn igin…… gin… minag…..
Progressive Realis gin.R……ɨn igin.R…… gin.R… minag.R..…
NonProgressive Irrealis pag…..ɨn ig…… pag..…an mag…..
Progressive Irrealis pag.R..…ɨn ig.R…… pag.R… mag.R…..
NonProgressive Subjunctive pag.…i pag……an pag…..i pag….
Progressive Subjunctive pag.R…….i pag.R..….an pag.R…..i pag.R….

Without Control / NAAF






NonProgressive Realis in……ɨn…… in… .umin….
Progressive Realis in.R…..ɨn…… in.R… .umin.R….
NonProgressive Irrealis …..ɨn i……    ..…an…..
Progressive Irrealis .R..…ɨn i.R…… .R… .um.R….
NonProgressive Subjunctive .…a ……an …..i …..
Progressive Subjunctive .R…….a .R..….an .R…..i .R….

The Realis Mood NonProgressive Aspect conjugation of –um- was taken from Bikol, which spells out the two affixes, instead of Tagalog –um-, which is indistinguishable from the infinitive. In Samarnon –inm- , –imn-  and Sugbuhanon mi- , those features are fused.  The Realis Mood Progressive Aspect conjugation of –um- would be –umin-R , which is found in Hiligaynon, but in the form ..inm.R…..(ex: sinmusulat) or Tagalog …ungm.R…..(ex: pungmapasok, gungmagawa). The addition of suffix –ɨn in the Realis Mood of the conjugation, which exists in some Formosan languages Saisiat, Pazeh, Thao and Siraya. The use of minag- is found in Casiguran Dumagat.


       Number and Pluractionality

There will be no subject number marker on the verb which indicate that the plurality of participants. What will be marked on the verb is a form of pluractional number, which indicate plurality of actions. Bikol has an infix to signal pluractional verbs: –Vr-. This is also present in Samarnon and  Aklanon with limited productivity and in frozen forms in most languages.

A plural subject will almost always have a pluractional verb, but a single subject can also have a pluractional verb. I will expand this section later.

       Iterativity, Frequentativity and Intensity

Again, Bikol will provide the template for this feature.

       Verbal Affixes



       Degree of Comparison


We will use Bikol, Samarnon, Sugbuhanon ‘ha-‘ instead of Tagalog ma- for spatio-temporal adjectives, like hataas, hababa. Ma- is to be used for all other adjectives, like maganda, matanda.



Function Words

Construction Markers

       Phrase (Case) Markers

Case Topic
Nominative Genitive Objective
(Dative /
Form i si ni ki di

1. Locative Case Marker. Use of  (Agta, Cordilleran, Ivatan, Malay, Toba Batak) ‘di’ as a locative marker, instead of most ‘sa’. The use of locative ‘di’ is inline with demonstrative dito, dine, diyan, and (Samarnon, Sugbuhanon) diin instead of (Tagalog) ‘saan’, (Bikol) ‘saen’. This is not yet fully thought out. I might retain the ‘sa’ case marker for object locative and di for place locatives. on further analysis.

2. Genitive Case Markers will be using (Tagalog) nang (definite) and (Bikol) ning (indefinite) instead of (Hiligaynon, Samarnon) sang and sing.  Nominative markers (Samarnon) ‘ang’ and ‘ing’ will be adopted as well. Tagalog ‘nang’ (so that) will be replaced with Bikol ‘ngani’ + nga. ‘Nang’ will not have a meaning ‘while’ or ‘when’, so use ‘habang’. some use of ‘nang’ can be broken down into ‘na’+nga.

3. The Personal case markers (si, ni, di) will have a counterpart (su, nu, du) for out of sight referents, like in Ivatan.

       Topic Marker

We will use Aklanon ‘hay’ instead of Tagalog ‘ay’. This is because Tagalog changes ‘h’ to a glottal stop, like (Bikol, Bisayan) hipos > (Tagalog) ipis; (Bikol) hutok, (Itbayaten) hotek > (Kapampangan, Tagalog) utak, (Sugbuhanon) utuk. In the same way, halis would be used instead of (Tagalog) alis, (Bikol) hale.

       Ligature or Linker

We will use Ilokano, Sugbuhanon, Samarnon, Hiligaynon ‘nga’ instead of Tagalog, Bikol, Toba Batak ‘na’ or Ilokano, Maranao ‘a”. The reason we will be using ‘nga’ and not ‘na’ is that the case markers end in ‘-ng’, not ‘-n’, like ang, ing, nang, ning, not an, in, nin, nan. The ligature or linker may be joined to the preceding word only if it ends in a vowel  ant not in glottal (h,ч) like Bikol or Bisayan, nor in –n like Tagalog, nor does it changes into an ‘a’ if the succeeding word begins with a vowel, like Ilokano. Some base words that orthographically ends in a vowel actually ends in an –h. We will use Aklanon and Itbayaten to distinguish which words ends in a vowel.

       Coordinating Conjunctions


       Subordinating Conjunctions



The pronouns in the conlang will be as described in another post here and the table is reproduced below.

Number Person (enclitic) Topic
Objective [ki]
(Dative /
Minimal 1 (singular) -ko iko siko* niko* kiko diko
1+2 (dual) -ta ita* sita* nita* kita# dita
2 (singular) -mo imo# simo# nimo* kimo dimo
3 (singular) -ya iya# siya* niya* kiya* diya
Augmented 1 (plural) to ito sito nito kito dito
1+2 (plural) -mi imi simi nimi* kimi dimi
2 (plural) -yo iyo siyo* niyo* kiyo diyo
3 (plural) -ra ira# sira* nira* kira* dira

       Case. This follows the phrase (case) markers above, where case marker + enclitic forms forms all the independent particle forms. See the explanation above for the different case markers.

       Number &  Clusivity.

       Person. The person is the same as the other Philippine type languages.

Check link here for the explanation of the different persons, clusivity.





Polarity & Negation


Other Particles for Evidentiality, Mirativity, etc.


Syntax & Word Order





Sentence Types


Semantic Alignment

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