There are nineteen significant and contrastive sounds in the Romblomanon system. Sixteen are consonants and three are vowels. In addition, there is a significant feature of length which is found on all vowels. It is verbalized as a single vowel with two moras of length in contrast to one with a single mora of length.
Consonants are divided into obstruents and sonorants on the basis of articulation.
Bilabial Alveolar Velar Pharyngeal
Obstruents: voiceless voiced
glottal stop (ˆ)
Sonorants: nasal oral voiced oral voiceless
n l r s
Figure 1. Consonant chart
Obstruents are characterized by complete closure of the glottis or of the nasal cavity and points of articulation in the mouth. There are four voiceless obstruents, p, t, k and glottal stop (ˆ), and three voiced obstruents, b, d and g. Paired obstruents have contrastive articulation: p and b are characterized by bilabial articulation; t and d by alveolar articulation; and k and g by velar articulation. The glottal stop (ˆ) is characterized by pharyngeal articulation. There is little discernable variation in the pronunciation of obstruents within the context of syllables, words or other larger sound segments. At the beginning of utterances and between vowels, the glottal stop varies from a little more than a hiatus, through varying degrees of glottal stricture, to complete closure of the glottis in deliberate and slow speech. At the end of an utterance or next to a consonant, this sound is produced with complete closure of the glottis.
In contrast to obstruents, sonorants are pronounced with uninterrupted airflow. There are two kinds: nasal sonorants m, n and ng are pronounced with air flow through the nose with the oral cavity closed; oral sonorants w, l, r, y and h are pronounced with air flow through the mouth with the nasal cavity closed. Sonorants do not have significant pronunciation variants.
22.214.171.124 Consonant distribution
Consonants occur (generally unrestricted) preceding, following, or both preceding and following vowels. The phoneme h, however, is restricted to syllable initial position and is not found in clusters with other consonants. Extensive word appropriations from other languages, chiefly Spanish and English, have resulted in initial and final consonant clusters and word medial clusters involving three consonants. Initial syllable vowel loss of indigenous words has also established word-initial consonant clusters.
A. Word-initial clusters
Bilabial, alveolar and velar obstruents and sonorants l, m, n and s occur as the first consonant of a word-initial cluster (e.g., byanwag ‘swordfish’; dram ‘washwater storage barrel’; gwardya ‘a guard’; klasmit ‘classmate’; lyãki ‘male’; myagbagu ‘coral rabbitfish’; nwaybi ‘nine’; plastãda ‘position’; sya ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’; trabãhu ‘work’).
B. Word-final clusters of two consonants
Word-final clusters are found only in words appropriated from other languages. Phonemes g, h, ng, w, y and ˆ do not occur as the second consonant of a word-final cluster (e.g., gawn ‘party dress’; midwayp ‘midwife’; plaslayt ‘flashlight’; ˆubirtaym ‘works overtime’).
C. Clusters of three consonants
Clusters of three consonants are not common; they have not been found in word-initial or word-final position. They occur medially only in words appropriated from other languages (e.g., kumplÿtu ‘complete’; mintras ‘until, while’; plantya ‘clothes’; ˆasimbli ‘assembly’; ˆiskwÿla ‘student’.
There are three vowel phonemes. The pronunciation of words appropriated from other languages also follows this three-vowel pattern.
Front Central Back
High i u
Figure 2. Vowel chart
1.1.3 Vowel Length
Length is a phonemic feature of Romblomanon. It occurs, with accompanying stress, on the penult (second to last syllable) of some words. The last vowel of words with no discernable length is commonly stressed. Stress is recognized as an articulatory feature of length. Length has an important function in Romblomanon and is consistently signaled in this dictionary (e.g., bituˆun ‘a butong tree’; bitýˆun ‘star’; maguyang ‘older sibling’; magýyang ‘mature’, ‘old’; ˆunu ‘what does someone do?’; ˆýnu ‘one’.
Sounds are phonemically symbolized in all occurrences as indicated in the consonant and vowel charts (Figures 1 and 2). Phonetic variation of phonemes is minimal. There is audible variation between e and i and between o and u in some contexts. In others, a choice of either e or i, or of o or u is preferred. However, these are sub-phonemic features that do not involve meaning distinctions. We have chosen a phonemic spelling of words to aid learners of Romblomanon in correct pronunciation and to simplify the dictionary’s use by linguists as a tool of linguistic research and comparison with other languages. Because the material is written phonemically with few sub-phonemic features, pronunciation is not further indicated. 1.2.1 Symbolization of velar nasalN A digraph ng is used to symbolize this single sound, paralleling its symbolization in other Philippine languages and in English words such as ‘sing’ or ‘ring’.
1.2.2 Symbolization of length
Length is symbolized as a macron over a lengthened vowel.
ˆibãbaw ‘a position above’ pãhid ‘rubs something’
1.2.3 Alphabetical order of orthographic symbols
The following is the order of the orthographic symbols used in the dictionary: a, ã, b, d, g, h, i, ÿ, k, l, m, n, ng, p, r, s, t, u, ý, w, y and glottal stop (ˆ).
Phonology and Grammar 9
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126.96.36.199 Alphabetizing ng
The diphthong ng is treated as a single unit, not as n followed alphabetically by g as in English dictionaries. Thus, hagýnuy occurs alphabetically before hãgung because n, with any symbol following it, occurs before ng. For the same reason panyuˆ occurs before pangabay.
188.8.131.52 Alphabetizing the glottal stop
The glottal stop (ˆ) occurs as the last symbol of the alphabet. Content words in Romblomanon, as in most other Philippine languages, do not occur with word-initial vowels. Some affixes (e.g., -a, -an1, -an2, -i, -in-1, -in-2, -um-, -un) do have initial vowels and are found in alphabetical order in this dictionary. Glottal stop is symbolized in word-initial position. For this reason, there are no content words symbolized or alphabetized beginning with a, i or u. Words beginning with ˆa, ˆi or ˆu are found towards the end of the dictionary under the section of words beginning with glottal stop. Since y occurs alphabetically before glottal stop and intervocalic glottal stop is written, the word layaˆ, for example, is found in the dictionary before laˆas.
184.108.40.206 Alphabetizing lengthened vowels
A vowel without length occurs before a vowel of the same quality with length. Thus, bituˆun is positioned alphabetically before bitýˆun, maguyang before magýyang and ˆunu before ˆýnu.
1.3 Sound Changes
It is common for sound changes (morphophonemic changes) to occur when bases (including roots) are affixed.
1.3.1 Suffixes -a, -an, -anan, -anun, -i and -un with length change or length and vowel loss
The following are general rules involving suffixes:
1) Length on roots and stems commonly shifts one syllable to the right when suffixed by -a, -an, -i or -un and two syllables to the right when suffixed by -anan or -anun (with restrictions described below). 2) When a root or stem ends in a vowel which is retained when suffixed, the suffix is usually preceded by h ( i.e., the suffix form is -han, -hanan, -hun, etc.) In a few cases glottal stop (ˆ) occurs instead of h. 3) When the vowel of the ultima of a root or stem ending in a vowel is lost when suffixed (see description of vowel loss below), a consonant cluster results, the second consonant of which is usually the h of the suffix (-han, hanan, -hun, etc.). In a few cases glottal stop (ˆ) rather than h is the second consonant.
220.127.116.11 Word patterns CVCVC and CVCV
A. Verb forms with -an or -un
Commonly there are two forms with no contrast in meaning, one involving vowel loss. No vowel loss has been found with vowel sequences a-i, u-i, and i-a. No pattern has been found to predict vowel retention or loss. In some cases, vowel loss does not occur to avoid uncommon consonant clusters; in others, the consonant sequence is metathesized to conform to more common clusters (see sec. 18.104.22.168).
Root Vowel of ultima retained Vowel of ultima lost
baba babahun babˆun
bara barahun —
bira birahan birhan
bubuˆ — bubˆan
bunit bunitan —
dahil dahilan —
daya dayahan dayhan, dayˆan
gataˆ ginagataˆan ginagatˆan
gisa gisahun —
hanaˆ hanaˆan —
higut higutan higtan
hilas hilasan —
laba labahan labhan
lakut lakutan laktan
pisa pisahun —
sabat sabatun sabtun
sakay sakayan sakyan
sugut — ginakasugtan
sukut sukutun suktun
taˆu taˆuhan tawˆan
tiˆis tiˆisan tisˆan
wayaˆ mawayaˆan mawadˆan
ˆabat — ˆabtun
B. Noun forms with -an (variant -anan) or -un (variant -anun) plus vowel length
Commonly there are two forms, one with either -an or -un and the other with vowel loss and either -anan or -anun with no contrast in meaning. No vowel loss with the variants -anan or -anun has been found with vowel sequences a-i, u-i, and i-a.
Root Vowel of ultima retained Vowel of ultima lost
bakay — balakyãnun
bunit bunÿtan —
huyaˆ — kahuyãnan
laba labãhan —
salaˆ — kasalˆãnan
sugut — ginakasugtãnan
takus takýsan —
tanum tanýman —
tapa tapãhan —
taˆu — tyawˆãnan
ˆabit ˆabÿtan —
ˆinum ˆinýmun ˆilimnãnun
22.214.171.124 Word patterns CVCCV and CVCCVC
Words with this pattern have no variants involving vowel loss. The vowel of the ultima is never lost (a cluster of three consonants does not occur). Nouns (as in sec. 2.1.1) are indicated by the addition of length on the vowel of the root or stem ultima. Variant affixes -anan and -anun do not occur.
Root Suffixed verb form Suffixed noun form
badbad badbarun badbãrun
bagyu bagyuhun bagyýhun
bantay bantayan bantãyan
dapyas dapyasan dapyãsan
dubli dublihun dublÿhun
gabˆi gabˆihan —
ganˆut ganˆutun ganˆýtun
gastu gastuhun gastýhan
hustu hustuhun hustýhun
kabkab kabkaban kabkãban
kanta kantahan kantãhan
libri librihun librÿhun
panday pandayan pandãyan
parti partihan partÿhan
sambat sambatun sambãtun
ˆagbay ˆagbayun ˆagbãyun
126.96.36.199 Word pattern (CV)C-ÐCV1 1
There are two features involved with this pattern:
1) When a given root is involved with both verb and noun forms, there is no loss of the ultima vowel. 2) In verb constructions without vowel loss, length shifts one syllable to the right. Noun constructions occur without length. It is to be noted, therefore, that with roots that have no length (see secs. 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206) the noun form is indicated by the addition of length, and with roots with length (this section) the noun form is indicated by a loss of length.
Root Suffixed verb form Suffixed noun form
barÿta baritãhun baritahun
býla bulãhan bulahan
dãli dalÿhun —
gýna gunãhan gunahan
kãli kalÿhun kalihun
lýya luyãhun —
pãlu palýhan paluhan
ˆãgi ˆagÿhan ˆagihan
ˆãni ˆanÿhan ˆanihan
220.127.116.11 Word pattern C-ÐCVC
The majority of words with this pattern have no variants involving vowel loss. With suffixation of verbs, length shifts one syllable to the right. Noun constructions occur without length as with the pattern (CV)C-VCV (see sec. 18.104.22.168).
Root Suffixed verb form Suffixed noun form
bÿtay bitãyan bitayan
dãyun dayýnan dayunan
gÿhit gihÿtan gihitan
kãˆun kaˆýnan kaˆunan
pãˆis paˆÿsan paˆisan
bÿtay bitãyun bitayun
hÿgup higýpun higupun
tãban tabãnun tabanun
týgun tugýnun tugunun
yýruˆ yurýˆun yuruˆun
In two instances involving verb forms in which the root-medial consonant is a glottal stop, there is a loss of the vowel in the ultima and the resulting consonant cluster is metathesized (see sec. 22.214.171.124).
lãˆum +gina-an = ginalamˆan lýˆuy + ginakama-an = ginakamaluyˆan
126.96.36.199 Root-final d
There are two features involving loss or retention of root-final vowel when the syllable is closed by d.
A. No vowel loss, d is replaced by r
This is the most common sound change involving root-final d.
balÿbad + -an = balibãran baskad + -un = baskarun hangad + ma- + -i = mahangari hýngud + gina-an = ginahungýran huwad + pag-a = pahuwara lÿgad + ginapa-a = ginapaligãra lýmad + magpa-a = magpalumãra
B. Vowel is lost, d is not replaced; resulting consonant cluster is metathesized
Vowel loss in this situation is uncommon. The following roots have been observed with this feature.
nÿˆid + ginapa-an = ginapanidˆan sulud + gina-an = ginasudlan týˆud + napama-an = mapamatudˆan
When a final vowel is lost resulting in a consonant cluster (see sec. 188.8.131.52), and the first consonant of the cluster (root-medial consonant) is either l or glottal stop (ˆ ), metathesis sometimes occurs.
Root Metathesized consonant cluster
The most common pattern, however, is for the vowel to be retained:
Root Vowel of ultima retained
1.3.2 Changes involving the nasal of prefix giN
The nasal of giN- is written as a morphophoneme. Before all root- or stem-initial consonants it may occur as the phoneme ng; and before all consonants except nasals and oral sonorants w and y it may occur as n. This morphophoneme does not occur as the phoneme m.
1.3.3 Changes involving the nasal of prefix hiN
The nasal of hiN- is written as a morphophoneme. The small capital indicates that when the final nasal of the prefix and the initial consonant of a stem or root come together there is coalescence resulting in a single nasal consonant, either m, n or ng. There is insufficient data to allow a clear statement about the occurrence of nasal phonemes. This may be because this affix competes with a verbal lexeme tinguhaˆ ‘tries hard’. However N and a following bilabial consonant, either b or p, are together realized as a single nasal m; N and a following alveolar consonant, either s, t or d, are together realized as a single nasal n; and N and a following velar consonant g or k or pharyngeal consonant, glottal stop (ˆ ), are together realized as a single nasal ng.
1.3.4 Changes involving the nasal of prefix paN
The nasal of paN- is written as a morphophoneme. The capital N indicates that when the final nasal of the prefix and the initial consonant of a stem or root come together, the nasal of the prefix undergoes articulatory change. Before rootor stem-initial consonants it may occur as the phoneme ng; before alveolars d, l and t it occurs as n; and before bilabials b and p it occurs as m.
1.3.5 Changes involving the nasal of prefix of paN
The nasal of the prefix paN-, a variant of paN-, is written as a morphophoneme. As for hiN- (see sec. 1.3.3), the small capital indicates that when the final nasal of the prefix and the initial consonant of a stem or root come together, a single nasal consonant, either m, n, or ng, results. N and a following bilabial consonant, either b or p, are together realized as a single nasal m; N and a following alveolar consonant, either d, s or t, are together realized as a single nasal n; and N and a following velar consonant k or g or pharyngeal consonant, glottal stop (ˆ ), are together realized as a single nasal ng.