|(2.5 million cited 1990 census)|
6th most spoken native language in the Philippines
|Latin (Bikol alphabet)|
Official language in
|Regional language in the Philippines|
|Regulated by||Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino|
Areas where Central Bicolano is spoken in the Philippines
Central Bikol commonly called Bikol Naga, also known simply as Bikol, is an Austronesian language spoken by the Bicolanos, primarily in the Bicol Region of southern Luzon, Philippines. It is spoken in the northern and western part of Camarines Sur, second congressional district of Camarines Norte, eastern part of Albay, northeastern part of Sorsogon, San Pascual town in Masbate, and southwestern part of Catanduanes. Central Bikol speakers can be found in all provinces of Bicol and it is a majority language in Camarines Sur. The standard sprachraum form is based on the Canaman dialect.
Central Bikol features some vocabularies that are not found in other Bikol languages nor to other members of the Central Philippine language family like Tagalog and Cebuano. Examples of these are words the matua and bitis which are the same with Kapampangan words that means older and foot/feet respectively. The word banggi (night) is another example of this as it is different from the usual Bikol word "gab-i" but closer to the word bengi of Kapampangan. There's no formal study about the relationship of the Central Luzon languages to Central Bikol but the latter has several words that are also found in the archaic form of Tagalog spoken in the Rizal and Quezon provinces that are believed to be the home of Central Luzon languages such as Kapampangan in Pampanga and southern Tarlac, and Sambalic languages in Zambales province.
Central Bikol dialects
Because of its broad geographic coverage as compared to other Bikol languages separated by islands and mountains, Central Bikol diverged into 6 dialects, but are still mutually comprehensible. The division of the language into different dialects are mainly because of the influence from other Bikol languages and other non-Bikol languages surrounding the region.
The Canaman dialect, despite being used only by a small number of the population in Camarines Sur, is the standard form of Central Bikol being used in literature, Catholic religious rites and mass media. Naga City dialect is spoken in the first, second, third districts (except in Del Gallego, where residents are mostly Tagalog speakers), and in the western and eastern portions of the 4th district (Caramoan, Garchitorena, Presentacion, Siruma and Tinambac) of Camarines Sur. It is also spoken in San Pascual, Masbate (Burias Island) and southwestern part of Catanduanes. The Partido dialect is spoken in the eastern part of Camarines Sur centered in the southern portion of the 4th districts (Goa, Lagonoy, Sagñay, San Jose, and Tigaon). The Tabaco-Legazpi-Sorsogon (TLS) dialect is spoken in the eastern coast of Albay and the northeastern part of Sorsogon. TLS is the dialect that has been most influenced by the Inland Bikol languages. The Daet dialect on the other hand is spoken in the 2nd district of the province of Camarines Norte. The Virac dialect is spoken around Virac, Catanduanes and surrounding towns on the southeastern part of the island of Catanduanes.
Dialectal comparison of Central Bikol
|Canaman dialect (Standard)||Naga City dialect||Partido dialect||Tabaco - Legazpi - Sorsogon (TLS) dialect||Virac dialect||Daet dialect||Rinconada Bikol language
|Sorsoganon language |
|Tàdaw ta dai luminayog an gamgam ni Pedro dawà na dai nin kandado an hawla?||Tâno daw ta dài naglayog an gamgam ni Pedro dawà na mayò nin kandado si hawla?||Hadáw ta ê naglayog an gamgam ni Pedro maski na mayò nin kandado su hawla?||Natà daw ta dài naglayog an bayong ni Pedro maski na warâ ki kandado su hawla?||Ngatà daw ta dài nagḽayog an gamgam ni Pedro maski na dàing kandado su hawla?||Bakin daw kaya dai naglupad ang ibon ni Pedro maski na mayong kandado si hawla?||Ta'onō/Ŋātâ raw ta diri naglayog adtoŋ bayoŋ ni Pedro dāwâ na ədâ ka kandado su awlā?||Nakay daw kay diri naglupad an tamsi ni Pedro maski na warâ sin kandado su hawla?|
Like other Philippine languages, Bikol has a number of loanwords, largely Spanish as a result of 333 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines. This includes suwerte (suerte, luck), karne (carne, meat), imbestigador (investigador, investigator), litro (liter), pero (but), and krimen (crimen, crime). Another source of loanwords is Sanskrit, with words like hadi (king), bahala (responsibility) and karma.
There are 16 consonants in the Bikol language: /p, b, d, t, k, ɡ, s, h, m, n, ŋ, l, ɾ, j~ʝ, w~ʋ, ʔ/. Eight sounds are borrowed from loanwords: /f, v, tʃ, dʒ, ʃ, ʒ, ʎ, ɲ/.
The sound system of the language according to Mintz in 1971 is as follows.
- ʃ - written as ⟨sy⟩, this is only found only in loan words from English, as in ‘shirt’.
- tʃ - written as ⟨ty⟩, this is found in loan words from Spanish and English and is pronounced like the ch in ‘check’.
- dʒ - written as ⟨dy⟩, this is found basically in loan words from English and is pronounced like the j sound in ‘jeep’.
- ɲ - written as ⟨ny⟩, this is found in loan words from Spanish and is pronounced like the ñ in baños.
- ʎ - written as ⟨ly⟩, this is found in loan words from Spanish and is pronounced like the ll in llave and sencillo (In Spanish dialects without yeísmo).
- h - Due to contact with the nearby Albay Bikol languages, words that start with h in Bikol - Naga, start with ʔ in Bikol - Legazpi
- Ex: "hiling" (look, Bikol - Naga) becomes "iling" (look, Bikol - Legazpi)
Native words exhibit a three-vowel system whose vowels can be noted as /a, i, u/, with /u/ realized as [o] in the final syllable. Due to contact with Spanish, modern Central Bikol has a five-vowel system with /e, o/ distinct from /i, u/.
|Close||i ⟨i⟩||u ⟨u⟩|
|Mid||e ⟨e⟩||o ⟨o⟩|
|1st person singular||akó||ko||sakuya, sakô|
|2nd person singular||iká, ka||mo||saimo, sìmô|
|3rd person singular||siyá||niyá||saiya|
|1st person plural inclusive||kitá||niyatò, tá||satuyà, satô|
|1st person plural exclusive||kamí||niyamò, mi||samuyà, samô|
|2nd person plural||kamó||nindó||saindó|
|3rd person plural||sindá||nindá||saindá|
Like many other Philippine languages, Bikol has a rich set of discourse particles.
- bagá – (Tagalog: diba/nga) used for emphasis determined by context
- bayâ – giving a chance to someone; polite insisting
- dàa – (Tagalog: daw) quoting information from a secondary source
- pati - emphasizing the condition that intensifies the difficulties. (Mauranon pati)
- daw – (Tagalog: ba/kaya) interrogative particle
- dawà/máski - (Tagalog: kahit) although
- dangan - (Tagalog: pagkatapos, bago pa niyan) then, before (doing something)
- garó – (Tagalog: mukhang, parang) likeness or similitude. English: "It looks like, it's as if."
- gáyo – "exactly"
- daing gáyo – "not exactly, not really"
- gayód – (Tagalog: bakâ) "maybe, could be"
- giráray / liwát – (Tagalog: [m]uli) "again"
- kutâ (na) – "I hope (something did / did not happen" ; "If only ..." (conditionality of past events)
- lámang, lang/ saná – (Tagalog: lang) "only, just"
- lugód – hoping that something will happen, or expressing surrender/assent
- man – (Tagalog: din, rin) "also" or "ever" (such as ano man 'whatever' and siisay man 'whoever')
- malà - 1. relenting or agreeing (Mala, dumanan mo siya kun iyan an gusto mo 2. one is yielding (Mala ta nagpahunod na siya) 3. stating what actually happened (Mala ta inabotan mi huruba na baga siya.).
- mûna / ngûna – (Tagalog: muna) "first" or "yet"
- na – (Tagalog: na) "now" or "already"
- naman – (Tagalog: naman) "again"
- nanggad – (Tagalog: talaga, nga) "really, truly, absolutely" (adds a sense of certainty)
- niyako – "I said"
- niyatò - we (inclusive)
- niyamò - we (exclusive)
- nganì – expresses fate ("This is helpless") or a plea for others not to insist
- ngantig – indicates to a person what he should say to another ("ini (ngantig) an dapat gibohon niya")
- ngapit – "in the future", "later" (span of time)
- ngaya – expresses a hypothetical event/situation ("ini man (ngaya) an tagoan ninda")
- pa – (Tagalog: pa) "still"
- palán – (Tagalog: pala) expresses surprise or sudden realization
- tabì – (Tagalog: po) politeness marker; "po" in some Bikol dialects due to the influence of Tagalog.
- túlos (-túlos) – (Tagalog: agad-agad) "immediately, right away"
- talaga – (Tagalog: talaga) "Really," "Truly"
There have exist two names for the numbers in Bicol. The native Bicol and the Spanish names. Generally, Bicolanos use the Spanish terms if they are talking about time like A las singko (5 o'clock)'. However, native terms can be read in literary books. Spanish terms for number can be encounter in pricing.
- Kabangâ / Mediya
- Sarô / Uno / Una (used for time) / Un (used for counting higher numbers)
- Duwá / Dos
- Tuló / Tres
- Apát / Kuwátro
- Limá / Síngko
- Anóm / Sàis
- Pitó / Siyéte
- Waló / Ótso
- Siyám / Nuwébe
- Sampulò. / Diyes
- Kagsarô / Ónse
- Kagduwá / Dóse
- Kagtuló / Trese
- Kag-apát / Katorse
- Kaglimá / Kinse
- Kag-anóm / Diyesisais
- Kagpitó / Diyesisiyete
- Kagwaló / Diyesiotso
- Kagsiyám / Diyesinuwebe
- Duwampulò / Beynte (Baynte)
- Duwampulò may lima / Beynte (Baynte) y singko
- Tulompulò / Treynta (Traynta)
- Tulompulò may lima / Treynta (Traynta) y singko
- Apát na pulò / Kuwarenta
- Apát na pulò may lima / Kuwarenta y singko
- Limampulò / Singkuwenta
- Limampulò may lima / Singkuwenta y singko
- Anóm na pulò / Sesenta
- Anóm na pulò may lima / Sesenta y singko
- Pitompulò / Setenta
- Pitumpulò may lima / Setentá y singkó
- Walompulò / Otsenta
- Walompulò may lima / Otsenta y singko
- Siyam na pulò / Nobenta
- Siyam na pulò may lima / Nobenta y singko
- Sanggatós / Siyen, Siyento
- Sangribo / Mil
- Sangyukot (Old Bikol) / Diyes mil
- Sanglaksâ (Old Bikol) / Milyon
The Tamanggot, Rapsak, or Bicol Angry Register is a way of speaking by Bicolanos in which they can only use those words when they are angry or in a high-pitched voice or shouting. Here are the examples:
|Normal Bicol||Angry Register|
|bado, gubing||la(ma)sdô, gubnit|
|harong (Bikol - Naga), balay (Bikol - Legazpi)||langag|
|ayam, idò||da(ma)yô (Naga),|
|damulag (Bikol - Naga),
karabaw (Bikol - Legazpi)
|magkakan/kumakan (Bikol - Naga),
magkaon/kumaon (Bikol - Legazpi)
|hablô, humablô, habluon, sibà, sumibà, sumibsib|
|burat (Bikol - Naga),
buyong (Bikol - Legazpi)
|lasngag, lusrat, lusyong, bultok|
|kapot, kapotan||kamlô, kamlùon|
|bitis||s(am)ingkil, samail, siki|
|ngusò (Bikol - Naga),
ngimot (Bikol - Legazpi)
|ngurapak, ngaspak, ngislo|
|hawak (Bikol - Naga),
lawas (Bikol - Legazpi)
- Central Bikol at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
- Philippine Census, 2000. Table 11. Household Population by Ethnicity, Sex and Region: 2000
- Lobel, Jason William (2000). An Satuyang Tataramon/A study of the Bikol Language. Tria, Wilmer Joseph S., Carpio, Jose Maria Z. Naga City: Lobel & Tria Partnership. ISBN 971-92226-0-3. OCLC 45883453.
- Mintz, Malcolm W. (1971). Bikol Dictionary. University of Hawaii Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctv9hvs8j. ISBN 978-0-8248-7891-7.
- Lisboa, Márcos de (1865). Vocabulario de la lengua bicol [Vocabulary of the Bicol language] (in Spanish). Manila: Est. Tip. del Colegio de Santo Tomas. pp. 32.
- Lisboa, Márcos de (1865). Vocabulario de la lengua bicol [Vocabulary of the Bicol language] (in Spanish). Manila: Est. Tip. del Colegio de Santo Tomas. pp. 208.
- Lobel, Jason William, Wilmer Joseph S Tria, and Jose Maria Z Carpio. 2000. An satuyang tataramon / A study of the Bikol language. Naga City, Philippines: Lobel & Tria Partnership, Co.: Holy Rosary Minor Seminary.
- Mattes, Veronika. 2014.Types of Reduplication: A Case Study of Bikol. Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.