Abellen language

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Abellen
Ayta Abellen
Native to Philippines
Region Tarlac
Ethnicity 5,000 Aeta (2008?)[1]
Native speakers
3,000 (2008)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 abp
Glottolog aben1249[3]

Abellen, Abenlen, Aburlin, or Ayta Abellen, is a Sambalic language. It has about 3,500 speakers and is spoken in a few Aeta communities in Tarlac province, Philippines[4] Ayta Abellen itself is part of the Sambalic language family in the Philippines and is closely related to not only the 5 other Ayta dialects, but also the Botolan dialect of Sambal.

History[edit]

Early History[edit]

The Ayta Abellen people are historically a semi-nomadic people. Also known as Negritos, they are said to be descendants of the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, dating back to the late Pleistocene Era.[5] The Ayta Abellen are distinguishable by their curly black hair, and darker skin tone as compared to other Filipinos.[6] Since their language is similar to Austronesian languages, there is a theory of an Austronesian migration that occurred. In this theory, there were two different migrations, one from the southern coast of Sundaland eastward and from Wallacea to Mindanao, causing there to be a separation of Ayta people and the Mamanwa for about 20,000 to 30,000 years. Prior to the Austronesian migration, there was not much similarity between the original languages of the Negritos.[5]

Modern History and Revitalization[edit]

After the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the 1990s, some of the Ayta Abellen have rellocated from the mountains and have intermarried and mixed in with the local Ilocano people.[7] As a result, there are Ilocano loan words in the language.[6] Much of the population also speaks Ilocano as a second language along with Tagalog as well. They Ayta people rely on natural resources, however, due to shrinking forests, it has become harder to sustain that life style. This problem along with diseases, and its remoteness from modern health care centers are correlated with the higher death rate as compared to birth rate in the Ayta Abellen people[8]

Currently, Elizabeth City State University Professors John Luton Jose Gil are helping Wycliffe Global Alliance translate the Bible in hopes to preserve the language. The translation process is also aided by a linguist missionary, Robert Stone, who is on the field. The text is first translated from Ayta Abellen to Simple English, which is then fact checked in the United States to the Hebrew and Greek versions of the Bible, and afterwards, translated back into Ayta Abellen.[9]

Phonology[edit]

Phonemes Orthographic symbols
/p/ P
/b/ B
/t/ T
/d/ D
/k/ K
/g/ G
/?/ -
/h/ H
/m/ M
/n/ N
/N/ Ng
/l/ L
/w/ W
/y/ Y
/i/ I
/a/ A
/a/ Ā
/«/ E
/o/ O

[10]

Additionally, s, r, c (for [k]), j,among other phonemes are used in loan words and names.[6] In Sambal and Ayta languages, the glottal stop tends to replace a word final non-obstruent when proceeded by a stressed high central vowel.

Grammar[edit]

Ayta Abellen shares the same Verb-Subject-Object sentence structure as other languages in the Philippines.[6] It shares similar phonology with other Ayta dialects as well as Botolan Sambal. Not only does it share an identical pronoun system with other Sambalic languages, but between other Ayta languages, it is around 70% similar.[11] This language is a CV(consonant and vowel) and CVC language, although sometimes, it is ambiguously a VC and V language. In this language, vowel deletion as well as consonant deletion are evident when words are combined.[6] In this language, placement of stress can be unpredictable. Poly-syllabic words have primary stress whereas words with more than three syllables contain a secondary stress. However, suffixation also causes a shift in stress placement.[6]

Writing System[edit]

Ayta Abellen is written using Latin text.[10] Ilocano is a second language to much of the Abellen and the lingua franca of where many of the Abellen people reside, while Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines, transcribers are trying to document the language in text that is similar to both Ilocano and Tagalog. Much of the hymnals used in that area are written in Botolan Sambal, and thus they are also trying to have Ayta Abellen orthography conform to it as well.[6]

Locations[edit]

Abellen Ayta speakers in the following locations of

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abellen language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Abellen at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Abenlen Ayta". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Hammarstrom, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastion, eds. (2016). "Ayta Abellen"
  5. ^ a b Reid, L. (1987). "The Early Switch Hypothesis: Linguistic Evidence for Contact between the Negritos and the Austronesians". Man and Culture in Oceania 3, Special Issue.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Nitsch, W. Stone, R. (2013) An Introduction to Ayta Abellen Morphology and Syntax. Retrieved from SIL Philippines.
  7. ^ [1]Abellen at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  8. ^ Curtis, B.(2011, November 15). Ayta Abellen.mov.[Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1akrbADrqi4
  9. ^ Goldstein Staff Writer zgoldstein@coxnc.com, Z. (2008, Feb 10). ECSU profs hope to save Philippine dialect - Luton, Gil look to help Ayta Abellen. Daily Advance, The (Elizabeth City, NC). Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/news/11EB9DCC10BE7020?p=AWNB
  10. ^ a b Stone, R. (2013). Ayta Abellen Orthography Fact Sheet.[Working Paper]. Retrieved from http://www.pnglanguages.org/asia/Philippines/show_work.asp?pubs=onlinehtml&id=928474551911&Lang=eng
  11. ^ Stone, R. (2008). The Sambalic Languages of Central Luzon. Studies in Philippine Languages and Cultures, Volume 19. Retrieved from http://www-01.sil.org/asia/Philippines/splc/SPLC19-10_Stone.pdf
  12. ^ a b c Abellen at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)