Spoken by over 28 million people around the world, Tagalog is the national language and one of two official languages in the Philippines, the other being English. Tagalog, is also referred to as Filipino, it is considered the most important of the many tongues and dialects throughout the Philippines, because it is the most understood and has the most development. It is mainly spoken in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and the surrounding eight provinces around it including the provinces of Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro, Marinduque, and Bulacan. It is also spoken in many outer-lying islands and seaport towns throughout the archipelago. Today, ...view middle of the document...
Quite a few, but not a lot of Tagalog contains Arabic words. Spanish had greatly influence the Tagalog language, containing numerous among of words that can been thoroughly naturalized. Surprisingly, English, Japanese, and Chinese has contributed either few or none to the Tagalog language.
BASIC GRAMMAR STRUCTURE
In the Tagalog language, there are sixteen consonant sounds, five vowels sounds, and six diphthongs. The syllables are either stress (’) or unstressed. Stress in Tagalog is usually in the last two syllables of the word. The Tagalog consonants are b, d, k, g, h, l, m, n, ng, ’, p, r, s, t, w, and y. ‘Ng’ represents the velar nasal sound and ’ represents the glottal stop. The glottal stop represented by ’ is a key feature of the Tagalog language, because the absence or presence of it as the final sound may have a difference in meaning. The velar nasal sound, ‘ng’, is difficult for most non-native speakers to pronounce, because the initial position of the syllable is not common found in most languages. Most may substitute the pronunciation of ‘ng’ with the letter, ‘n’, but in most cases this may change the pronunciation. For example, the word nawá means ‘may it be so’ while the word ngawá’ means ‘to howl’. Another key feature of Tagalog consonants is the initial voiceless stops of p, t, and k. In Tagalog, p, t, and k in word initial position are not aspirated, meaning they are pronounced with a puff of air. In comparison, English does aspirate these letters but aspirating these particular consonants will not change the meaning. Tagalog vowels are I, e, a o, and u. Tagalog diphthongs are iw, ey, ay, aw, oy, and uy. Dipthongs are complex sounds, which are a combination of simple vowel sounds and semi-vowels. All Tagalog diphthongs have their corresponding sounds in English, except for iw and uy. Originally Tagalog did not have consonant clusters, but due to assimilated borrowed words from the Spanish as the result of their conquest, Tagalog now does have initial consonant clusters. Only s, l, r, l, w, and y can occur as the second consonant with s and t only occurring as the first consonant. An example would be tsinélas, which means ‘slippers’.
The spread and growth of Tagalog as the dominant language of the Philippines is greatly contributed by the Spanish reign in the late 1500s. For the Spanish conquistadores and missionaries who arrived in the Philippines, figuring out the language seemed complex. With over several different dialects existing within the Philippines, Tagalog was not the only language present on ever-single island. The was a great motivation to learn and study the different dialects and language, with the first Tagalog grammar dictionary being written by Friar Juan de Quinones.
The further growth of Tagalog occurred after the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in 1935. The first president, Manuel L. Quezon, wanted establish one of its own native languages as the country's common national...