Maranao language

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Native to Philippines
Region Central Mindanao
Ethnicity Maranao people
Native speakers
unknown (1.03 million cited 1981–1990)[1]
Historically written in Arabic
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
mrw – Maranao
ill – Iranun
Area where Maranao is spoken

Maranao (Maranao [ˈmәranaw] Mëranaw)[2] is an Austronesian language spoken by the Maranao people in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur in the Philippines, and in Sabah, Malaysia.


Below is the sound system of Maranao including underlying phonetic features.[3]


Front Central Back
Close ɪ u
Mid ə o
Open a


Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive Voiceless ʔ
Voiced b d ɡ
Fricative (h)
Flap ɾ
Lateral l
Approximant w j

Velar fricative [h][edit]

According to Lobel (2013), [h] only occurs in a select number of Malay loanwords:

  • tohan 'God'
  • tahon 'astrological sign'
  • hadapan 'in front (of God)'

Consonant elongation[edit]

Consonants are also pronounced longer if preceded with a schwa ə. However, this process is not a form of gemination since consonant elongation in Mëranao is not distinctive as seen in other Philippine languages such as Ilokano and Ibanag. Some of these are:

  • tepad [təpːad] 'get off a vehicle'
  • tekaw [təkːaw] 'starled; surprised'
  • Meranaw is spoken by the Maranao Tribe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maranao at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Iranun at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lobel, Jason William. 2013. Philippine and North Bornean languages: issues in description, subgrouping, and reconstruction. Ph.D. dissertation. Manoa: University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

External links[edit]