Types of Borrowings in Tagalog/Filipino

Ekaterina Baklanova


Modern Tagalog, or Filipino as the National Language, is widely famous for its high ability to adopt lexical units from various languages in contact. Through the ages it has assimilated a vast amount of borrowings, primarily from Malay, Sanskrit, Chinese, Arab and later, Spanish and English. Many linguists have contributed so far to the investigation of the borrowings in Tagalog, such as Philippine scholars G. Chan Yap, J. Francisco, A. Gonzalez, R.M. Goulet, C. Lopez, E.A. Manuel, F. Otanes, J. Panganiban, as well as Western linguists K.A. Adelaar, F. Blake, M. Haspelmath, H. Kelz, H. Kern, J.-P. Potet, P. Steinkruger, P. Schachter, T. Stolz, R. Thompson, J. Wolff, D. Zorc, K. Zuraw, and Russian Philippinists V. Makarenko, L. Shkarban, Yu. Studenichnik, and so on. However, there have been lacunas in the overall research: the focus of many works has been set on the phonetic assimilation of the Spanish and English loans, with scarce data on the morphology and semantics, especially of the Asian lexemes. The phenomenon of the borrowings interfering with the recipient system is understudied. A uniform classification of the various borrowed elements is also needed. (I attempted to fill some of the gaps in Baklanova 2004; 2006; 2009). This paper presents a typological classification of borrowings in Tagalog, while the phenomenon of the borrowings interfering with the recipient system will also be considered. Some remarks will be made on the Filipino State Orthography (Ortograpiyang Pambansa 2013) regarding the introduction of foreign letters to the alphabet, and the problem of false cognates in modern Tagalog/Filipino.


assimilation; classification of borrowings; interference; language contact; loanword

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2017.02803