Preface to the Kankanaey-English Dictionary

Kankanaey is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by over 150,000 people of central Luzon in the Philippines. The language area is centered in the province of Benguet and extends northward into Mountain Province and westward into La Union and Ilocos Sur.

Distinct dialect features may be noted in each of the Kankanaey-speaking communities, particularly in regard to intonation patterns and lexical items. Mutual intelligibility varies according to the degree of isolation, previous migration of the family groups, intermarriage, and other factors, but is high throughout the area.

This dictionary is an attempt to represent the dialect spoken in Poblacion, Kibungan, Benguet (16.7167 degrees latitude, 120.65 degrees longitude), a barangay of approximately 2,000 inhabitants, where the author had the privilege of residing for extended periods of time between October, 1974 and May, 1984. Clearly, many areas of vocabulary are only sketchily treated here, and some of the definitions leave much to be desired in terms of accuracy, let alone elegance. It is hoped, nonetheless, that this volume will serve as a useful first step toward the goal of exploring the vocabulary of a rich and fascinating language.

This dictionary is designed to be used by linguists who wish to increase their understanding of the Kankanaey language and culture, and also by Kankanaey speakers who wish to expand their knowledge of English or of their heritage language.