Friday, February 18, 2005

Lien du jour: Books on Philippine languages

My friend/publisher/mentor/etc. Jason Lobel has opened a new website for his inventory of books he authored about the languages of the Philippines. Jason is currently obtaining his Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and has spent mid-2004 doing tons of linguistic research in the Central Philippines.

The URL is:

His newest book is Bikol Literature Anthology Volume Two, which he published along with my In Bahasa Sug book. I have volume 1 of his book and let me tell you it was a fascinating read. Jason went to libraries in the Bicol region and scoured decades-old, long-forgotten literary Bikol magazines to put into his anthology. These pieces were written from a different view and are thus of historical value especially for those, like myself, who have roots in Bicol.

Of greater historic interest are the old grammars and dictionaries authored by the Spanish centuries ago. Jason has archived them in CD form. There are CDs for Kapampangan, Cebuano , Pangasinan, and of course Bikol. The oldest of which is BergaƱo's 1732 Kapampangan dictionary and 1736 grammar. I've only looked at similar publications for Tagalog and Waray-Waray, and it's interesting to see how much these languages have changed over the centuries.

Jason also has put books that he intends on publishing in the future. There's a polyglot Visayas phrasebook in the works; it'll include the three most-spoken Visayan languages - Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Waray-Waray. I personally am looking forward to his book about the languages of Romblon.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Lien du jour: Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database

I recently borrowed Dr. Zorc's Core Etymological Dictionary of Filipino, which Sauvage Noble mentioned in his blog. Fascinating read and quite a refreshing change from poking my nose in non-linguistics textbooks for school. ;-) There are some Tagalog words that I hadn't realized were foreign borrowings via Malay (though can't remember them offhand...).


Here's today's link of the day (or at the frequency I post, perhaps link of the month!):

I saw it mentioned in an AN-LANG post by Simon Greenhill. It is the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database. Even if it just opened up, it seems to be very comprehensive!

It is basically a database of common vocabulary words of Austronesian languages such as Philippine languages like Tagalog & Ibanag to non-Philippine ones like Madurese, Paiwan, and Hawaiian. Heck there's even Proto-Austronesian and Proto-Central Malayo-Polynesian.

The full list is here and as of now there are 282 languages, though there are new languages being added regularly. I hope it grows some more! Apparently many of the sources were culled from works by Drs. Bob Blust, Laurie Reid, David Zorc, and other Austronesian linguists.

And just for a start, you can see what the word for day is in other Austronesian languages.