Sunday, November 28, 2004

Waray-Waray articles

In this issue of Salita Blog, we'll explore the wonderful world of Waray-Waray markers and how they compare with other Philippine languages.

To put this into perspective, Tagalog has three markers that each fit into three categories: absolutive, which is represented by ang; ergative (genitive), which is represented by ng; and oblique, which is sa. We'll just concern ourselves with the first two categories. These are further divided into common and personal classes, and the ones I listed are the common ones which this blog entry will focus on.

For more information on Tagalog markers, check out the Wikipedia article I wrote about Tagalog grammar. But here are some examples:

Ang Republika ng Pilipinas. (The Republic of the Philippines)
Kumain ng mansanas ang lalaki. (The man ate some apples [actor focus])
Kinain ng lalaki ang mansanas. (The man ate some [object focus])

Ilokano has a simpler system. Ti covers both absolutive and ergative case when the verb is not in the actor focus. On the other hand iti is usually the oblique but if there is an actor focus verb, it marks the object.

Ti Republika ti Pilipinas.
Nangan ti lalaki iti mansanas. (actor focus)
Kinnan ti lalaki ti mansanas. (object focus)

Bikol has a more expanded system. an and si are both absolutive with si being the most "specific" of the two. Usually it refers to something that was already mentioned. nin and kan are the ergative counterparts, respectively. Tagalog has a similar system but on an ostensibly colloquial level; yung and nung. Examples for Bikol:

An Republika kan Pilipinas.
Nagkakan an lalaki nin mansanas. (The man ate some apples.)
Nagkakan si lalaki nin mansanas. (The man ate some apples. [This refers to a man that was already mentioned.])
Kinakan nin lalaki an mansanas. (The man ate the apple.)
Kinakan kan lalaki an mansanas. (The man ate the apple. [again, refering to a previously-mentioned man.)
Siisay an maduman sa Maynila?

Hiligaynon has only ang in the absolutive case but sing and sang in the ergative. Sing is indefinite while sang is definite.

Hiligaynon's system appears to be the norm among Visayan languages.

Ang Republika sang Pilipinas.
Nagkaon ang lalaki sing mansanas. (apples, indefinite)
Ginkaon sang lalaki ang mansanas. (man, definite)

Cebuano has what I find to be a peculiar system. ang is the absolutive marker but the indefinite one is 'y and appears only in certain constructions such as interrogative words. ug is the ergative marker and usually found when the verb is in the actor focus. Sa is the definitive ergative marker and the one used in genitive constructions. It is also the oblique marker, so from my Tagalog perspective it sounds odd to me.

Ang Republika sa Pilipinas.
Mikaon ang lalaki ug mansanas.
Gikaon sa lalaki ang mansanas.
Unsa'y gikaon nimo? (What did you eat?)

Now, on to Waray-Waray's very interesting system.

Waray-Waray not only has an definite and indefinite distinction, but also a temporal one! This means a distinction between past and the non-past.

Here's a run-down:

in - indefinite (all times)
an - definite past
it - definite non-past (present and future)

The genitive forms are simply the addition of h or s, depending on the dialect. I will use h since that is used in Tacloban.

In Tagalog, to express "a man called" one could say may tumawag na lalaki or tumawag ang isang lalaki; and yes, tumawag ang lalaki is also possible. In Waray-Waray, the indefinite article gets rid of the ambiguity, it'd be tinmawag in lalaki. May-ada tinmawag nga lalaki is also possible.

If it's definite, you say tinmawag an lalaki (The man called).

Other translations.

Natawag an lalaki = The man was calling. (note an, past definite)
Natawag it lalaki = The man is calling. (note it, non-past definite)
Matawag it lalaki = The man will call.

Matawag an lalaki is also possible and it could imply that the person being spoken to knows the man.

Translations of the phrases I used for other languages:

An Republika han Pilipinas.
Kinmaon an lalaki hin mansanas. (The man ate some apples).
Kinmaon an lalaki han mansanas. (The man ate the apples).
Kinaon han lalaki an mansanas. (The man ate the apples).

I find this really cool. I think it'd be great if Tagalog had a system (or dare I say had conserved a system?) like this. It's the complex things in a language which attract (and oftentimes, frustrate) me.

And that concludes today's entry, folks!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Excellent news!!

Dimatung na in mga buk ku!
Nag-abot na an sakuyang mga libro!
Simmangpeten dagiti librok!
Miabot na ang akong mga libro!
Sinmabi la saray librok!
Nag-abot na ang akon mga libro!
Dinatang na la reng libru ko!
Inmabot na an ak mga libro!
Dungmating na ang aking mga aklat!
Dumating na ang aking mga libro!

You can find out what the languages above are at the bottom of this post.


If you understood at least one of those sentences above, my Tausug books finally came! They came several days ago just as Jason and I were going to begin the process to submit the insurance claim and have a tracer investigation done at the post office. I'm so glad that we don't have to do that anymore. I was just jumping for joy when I saw the "you have a package" ticket at the post office.

I noticed the post office inspected my package, because it said so on a stamp. I am betting that was the cause for the delay. But I learned my lesson; opt for a more faster delivery method if ordering from Hawai'i.

In any case, the books are wonderful. The printer and the guy who did the covers did a great job! I really love looking at my books and have been showing them off to friends and relatives.

I am in the process of making a web page so it'll have all the pricing and shipping info. It will be ready by Tuesday.

For those of you who have requested to be on a waiting list for the books, I will contact you this week.

I've not had a lot of time lately, so I am glad that I have a four-day weekend coming up.

Of course, a very big thank you to Jason Lobel who's been with me on this project since day one, which was almost three years ago. The book started out as a very crude 4-page article back in March of 2002. Eventually it became an 80-page "monster." He suggested that I turn it into a book and he took care of having it published out in Camarines Sur then bringing them all the way to Hawai'i and ultimately here. I can never thank him enough.

I am extremely happy.

And the languages above are: Tausug, Bikol, Ilokano, Cebuano, Pangasinan, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Waray-Waray, 17th century Tagalog, and modern Tagalog. Corrections and additions (like other languages) would be appreciated. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bummed... and link of the day.

The Tausug books I wrote still have not arrived. This coming Saturday will be week 7 already. I had a talk with the postal worker at my local post office and he said that was kind of odd, even for a package coming from Honolulu. He said to consider it lost and file the insurance claim.

And now I'm depressed about this.

But there is hope! I got in contact with eBay sellers who have experience mailing stuff; they have familiarity with how the US Postal Service operates. They said to fill out a "tracer" or more specifically, PS Form 1510 Mail Loss/Rifling Report. USPS will conduct an investigation to see where my package went. Usually they'll find the package in a back room, forgotten, or whatever.

In any case, the person who sent it, my friend Jason Lobel, has to initiate the search and I've already passed on the information to him on his voice mail last night.

I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am just glad I put insurance on it as well as a delivery confirmation number on it so I can make sure, via USPS's website, that it was not mistakenly delivered to whomever.

But seriously, how the hell can you lose 31 lbs of books!? This has been a frustrating experience for me. I've learned my lesson. Ship UPS or FEDEX.

And so sorry for the negative post, to make up for it I'll show you what I found last night:

It's a grammar of Cebuano that was written in 1904. It was translated from Spanish to English. Very interesting. And when I have more time, I'll read it over more in depth.