daniel kaufman dan_kaufman at
Wed Dec 1 13:29:37 UTC 1999

A few minor corrections and comparatively insignificant notes on the
on-going discussion. First of all the observation that no Tagalog word ends
in a vowel (from Jean-Paul's Nov.22 posting) is in fact an incorrect
conclusion based on Bowen's orthography (if he was the first to suggest it)
which attempts to solve a purely morphological phenomenon and does not
reflect any phonological reality at all. This orthography, which was
unfortunately adopted by many in the field, simplifies the derivation of the
intervocalic _h_ which appears with suffixes /-in/ and /-an/ on stems which
do not contain a final glottal stop in Philippine languages. The absence of
a final post-vocalic _h_ is further evidenced by the lack of its appearence
when followed by full words which are vowel initial, even in rapid speech.
The use of this final _h_ in Philippine orthography only distorts the larger
picture wherein there exist many languages which posess an audible final
Waruno's very interesting obervation that the presence of a final glottal
stop in many Philippine words of Sanskrit origin could be the result of
transmission through a Malay dialect with this feature requires slight
qualification. The nature of these loan words must also be taken into
account; although explaining the presence of such trade related words as
/mutya'/-"pearl", we would be hard-pressed to account for the transmission
through a primarily trading relationship of lexical items such as
/budhi'/-"conscience", /katha'/-"literary work", /diwa'/-"soul" and many
others. It would seem that the final glottal stop in these words is more
likely the result of assimilation though the general phonlogical tendencies
of Philippine languages. We will notice that, at least in Tagalog, the
phonological pattern CVCCV occurs much more frequently with a final glottal
stop than it does without one.
Now, concerning the etymology of "tagalog" (from Jean-Paul's nov.27
posting), I would have to say that the commonly accepted taga + ilog is by
far the most convincing. "Folk etymolgies" of appelations for ethnic groups
seem to be far more reliant in the Philippines then folk etymologies of
place names which are almost always erroneous. We observe that other ethnic
groups in the Philippines most often take on names which relate the group
geographically to either rivers, mountain or forests. The sheer number of
ethnic groups with names relating to rivers, especially the upper/lower
river distinction is evidence enough to make taga-ilog plausible.
Furthermore, in Philippine languages, the combination of the affix taga-
with a "verbal" stem is completely unattested for.
For one last minor pedantic correction I will add that the name "kalinga"
referring to an ethnic group of the Cordillera mountains, is not as Waruno
mentioned, an example of a group adopting a name of a prestigious culture
center but rather it is a name given to the ethnic group by a neighbouring
tribe meaning "enemy" (/ka-/ reciprocal affix + /lingga/-"hatred").
Thank you both for the interesting discussion and regards to all,
Daniel Kaufman

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