Language Name: Ifugao
Location: Ifugao Province, Luzon Island, Philippines.
Number of Speakers: 1990 Census: 167,503 [Amganad 27,000; Batad 43,000; Mayoyao 40,000; Tuwali 25,000]
Dialects: Four divergent dialects: Amganad, Batad, Mayoyao, Tuwali, each with distinct varieties: Amganad: Burnay Ifugao, Banaue Ifugao; Batad: Ayangan Ifugao, Batad Ifugao, Ducligan Ifugao; Tuwali: Apao Ifugao, Hungduan Ifugao, Lagawe Ifugao.

Data from this sketch reflect BATAD IFUGAO and are extracted from Newell and Poligon (1993).


Voiceless stops: p, t (alveolar), k (back velar), ‘ (glottal/pharyngeal)
Voiced stops: b, d, g
Nasals: m, n, ng (velar)
Oral Sonorants: w, l, y
Fricative: h (pharyngeal); s only occurs in borrowed words

Allophonic Variation:
Voiced stops have syllable-initial variants consisting of a voceless stop + a fricative release: b > p+velar fricative; d > t+palatal spiral release (like English sh); g > aspirated released g.
Lateral sonorant l has three variants. L = alveolar flap preceding front vowels i and e; at the end of syllables, it is a retroflexed vocoid like English r with the tongue position the same as the preceding vowel; elsewhere it is pronounced like an alveolar lateral.
H is pronounced as a pharyngeal fricative at the end of words or at the end of a reduplicated syllable, e.g. maluh ‘will pass by’

  Front Central Back
Hi i E (schwa) u
Low e a o
* Dialects Bayninan and Gohang only have a 5-vowel system, without E

Vowel length (written here as vowel + underscore) is phonemic, e.g. gumilit ‘crowd each other’ vs. gumi_lit ‘stips rice grains’. Length, when it occurs, is on the penultimate vowel of a closed syllable, it may shift one syllable with suffixation, but not enclitics.

Morphophonemic Rules:

Affixes ending in N.

N > m / _ [labials b, p, m], e.g. muN- + buhug = mumbuhug
N > ng / _ [velarsg, k, ng, or w], e.g. hiN + gamal = hinggamal
N > n / _ [d, h, n, t, y, ‘ + vowel], e.g. hiN- + titlu = hintitlu
N > l / _ [l, n], e.g. iN- + luwag = inluwag or illuwag

Stem vowel loss (happens most commonly with o)
banoh + -um- = bumnoh; bogah + ma- = mabgah; tupig + i- = itpig.

Lowering of affix vowel with stem vowel drop
i + aban = eban; bohat + -iN- = benhat; lotop + i- = eltop.

Influence of stem vowel on vowel of prefix or infix:

Stem vowels e or o may cause the affix i to become e or u to become o:
deggop + i- = edeggop
elah + -um- = omelah

Affix umi-. Vowel i of umi- lowers to e with stem vowel drop. The resultant stem vowel e then lowers the first vowel of the affix u to become o:
alo’ + umi- = omelo’; goday + umi- = omegday

Suffix influence on stem vowels. Stem vowels a and o are affected with suffixation of –an or –on. With –an a stem vowel becomes a, and with –on, a stem vowel becomes o.
algaw + -on = algawon or algowon
banong + -on = banngon or bonngon
okak + -an = akakan
gu_oy + -an = gua_yan

Stem vowels e and o. Stem vowels e and o of closed syllables become i and u when the closed syllables become open with suffixation. The vowel i or u occurring in open syllables is lengthened:
a_.en + -an = a.i_.han
ag.leh _ -on = ag.li_.hon

Grammar Sketch

Four major parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs. Nouns occur as the head of a phrase following a determiner, many occur as simple roots, but can also be derived from verbs.
  Verbs are inflected for tense (nonpast of past), and in the case of stative verbs, future vs. present state, and derive to reflect role relationships. Adjectives are not inflected for tense.
  Adverbs can modify verbs or sentences. Unlike nouns, adjectives, and verbs, adverbs do not occur as predicates.

Determiners: (reflect role relationships of nouns)
Common noun determiners: ah, hay, di (-y after vowel); hi (-h after vowel), han, hinan (-h nan after vowel), hanan, nan.
Personal noun determiners: hi (-h after vowel), da, ay (-n after vowel), ay da (-n da after vowel).


Nonplural: tun, heten (-h ten after vowel), nen; din henen (-h nen after vowel), den, han tun, heden (-h den after vowel), hitun (-h tun after vowel), han din, ten, hidin (-h din after vowel).

Demonstrative Pronouns
  Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 (to that far..)
that far one hede de ede
that near one hene ne ene
this one hete te ete
those far ones ha_di, dade dade ay dade
those near ones ha_na, dane dane ay dane
these ones ha_tu, date date ay date

  Full Genitive Topic
1s ha’’in -‘u, -‘ -a’
2s he’’a, da’a -mu, -m -‘a
3s hiya -na 0 unmarked
1dual (you and I) dita -ta -ta
1 exclusive da’mi -mi ami
1 inclusive ditu’u tu’u tu’u
2p da’yu -yu ayu
3p dida -da -da

Verb Classes
Nonpast/Past Tense Affix Role Affix Resultant Affix
Nongenitive (Actor) m-/n- paN- (agent) maN-/naN-
m-/n- puN- (agent) muN-/nuN-
0/-iN- -um- (actor) -um-/-inum-/-imm-
m-/n- a- (patient) ma-/na-
m-/n- i- (theme) mi-/ni-
m-/n- a-an (loc ref) ma-an/na-an
m-/n- i-an (beneficiary) mi-an/ni-an
Genitive (NonActor) 0/n- paN- 2, puN- 2 (instrument) paN-/naN-, puN-/nuN-
0/-iN- -on (patient) -on/-iN-
0/-iN- i- (theme) i-/-iN-
0/-iN- -an (loc ref) -an/-iN-an
0/n- paN- 3, puN- (manner) paN-/naN-, puN-, nuN-

Negation. Negative optionally occurs before the verbs and agrees with the tense of the verb as either past or nonpast, e.g. agguy ‘didn’t’ vs. adi ‘won’t’.

Lexical Substitution

Use of some words is forbidden (pa_wa) in the evening. The Ifugao believe verbalizing such words may cause the speaker of hearer to dream about the referent being mentioned, which may result in terrible consequences:
Word avoided at night Substitute Word Nature of Dream What Dream Portends
apuy ‘fire’ danum ‘water’ burning mountain rice will not develop
ba_buy ‘pig’ allama ‘crab’ killing a pig child will die; size of pig = age of child
batu ‘stone’ dapu_lin - -
goday ‘landslide’ lonah ‘landslide’ slides into ravine family member will die; crop failure
la_man ‘wild pig’ ba_ngul ‘wild pig’ killing wild pig child will die
nuwang ‘carabao’ dappug carabao lying down grazing grass will have arthritis in old age; rats eat growing rice
pa_guy ‘growing rice’ gu_lun ‘spear grass’ weeding growing rice rats will eat growing rice
pu_ul ‘torch area’ la_ah ‘torch an area’ burning mountain rice will not develop
uma ‘make upland field’ balahban ‘slash and burn’ making upland field rice will be harvested by rats

Likewise, some words cannot be vocalized far from home, especially on trails leading from the village or in forests and upland fields. Speakers who utter these words can be punished by worker spirits (ba_gawah) who inflect sickness:
Words Avoided Substitute Words
ga_yang ‘crow’, pu’ti_aw ‘falcon’ hamuti ‘bird’
ga_’ad ‘forest pineapple plant’ hubit ‘pineapple plant’
la_man ‘wild pig’, ba_buy ‘pig’ manu’ ‘chicken’

Example Sentences:

1. Damu_nad ugwan nan umaan Inggu_lun. What Inggu_lun is clearing of vegetation is wide now.
2 Wa_day u_ung ad ugwan ti Panaba. There are mushrooms now because it’s the month of Panaba.
3 Binada_ngan da Uma_ngob dida. Uma_ngob and others helped them.
4 Adi da’mi mah’aw ad ugwan. We are not cold now.
5 Undan amuy ayud ugwan? Will you go now? [undan = question particle]
6 ‘Umuda’udan ‘ad ‘ugwan ti lawang. It rains frequently now because it’s the rainy season. [CVCV- reduplication for habitual aspect]
7 Numpanga’a_li nan tata_gu ti waday palti_onda. Many people came because there was something to be butchered.
8 Pagag’al Maladyu nan tongal di manu’ hinan ka_huna. Maladyu will let the chicken bones be chewed by her dog.
9 Madi_kit nan tulun bala_hang an imbaluy nan a_li. The 3 young ladies who were the king’s daughters were beautiful.
10 Hi Titti_long anu ya un momollo’ ede han nihina_na. As for Titti_long, they say, he just kept on sleeping there where he stayed. [anu = hearsay particle]

Ifugao Bibliography

Barton, Roy Franklin. 1942. First Ifugao-English wordbook. Four thousand wordbases and affixes. 102pp. MS Baguio Internment Camp.
Conklin, Harold C. 1967. Ifugao ethnobotony 1905-1965. Economic Botany 21:3:243-272.
Conklin, Harold C. 1980. Ethnographic Atlas of Ifugao: a study of environment, culture and society in Northern Luzon. New York: Yale University Press.
Conklin, Harold C. 1991. A systematic orthography for writing Ifugao. Philippine Journal of Linguistics 22:1-2:31-35.
Geladé, George. 1961. Composite Ifugao-Flemish vocabulary, 364 pp. MS. Banaue.
Hohulin, Richard M, and E. Lou Hohulin. 1993. Tuwali (Kiangan) Ifugao-English dictionary. 497 pp. SIL MS.
Lambrecht, Frans Hubert. 1978 [1980]. Ifugaw-English Dictionary. Baguio: Catholic Vicar Apostolic of the Mountain Province.
Malumbres, Julian. 1911. Vocabulario en Castellano, Inglés e Ifugao del Quiangan. Manila: Tip. de Santo Tomás.
Newell, Leonard E. 1970. Phonology of Batad Ifugao. Philippine Journal of Linguistics 1:1:101-117.
Newell, Leonard E. and Francis Bon’og Poligon. 1993. Batad Ifugao Dictionary with Ethnographic Notes. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines.
West, Anne. 1984. Amganad Ifugao-English Dictionary. 491 pp. MS. Manila: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

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