Pangasinan language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Salitan Pangasinan
Pronunciation[paŋɡasiˈnan][1]: 36 
Native toPhilippines
RegionIlocos Region (entirety of Pangasinan, southwestern La Union)
Central Luzon (northern Tarlac, northwestern Nueva Ecija, northern Zambales)
Cordilleras (southwestern Benguet)
Cagayan Valley (southwestern Nueva Vizcaya)
Native speakers
1.8 million (2010)[2][needs update]
8th most spoken native language in the Philippines[3]
Latin (Pangasinan alphabet)
Historically written in: Kurítan
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byKomisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Language codes
ISO 639-2pag
ISO 639-3pag
Areas where Pangasinan is spoken in the Philippines.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Pangasinan (Pangasinense) is an Austronesian language, and one of the eight major languages of the Philippines. It is the primary and predominant language of the entire province of Pangasinan and northern Tarlac, on the northern part of Luzon's central plains geographic region, most of whom belong to the Pangasinan ethnic group. Pangasinan is also spoken in southwestern La Union, as well as in the municipalities of Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales that border Pangasinan. A few Aeta groups and most Sambal in Central Luzon's northern part also understand and even speak Pangasinan as well.[4]


The Pangasinan language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages branch of the Austronesian languages family.[5][6] Pangasinan is similar to other closely related Philippine languages, Malay in Malaysia (as Malaysian), Indonesia (as Indonesian), Brunei, and Singapore, Hawaiian in Hawaii and Malagasy in Madagascar.[7] The Pangasinan language is very closely related to the Ibaloi language spoken in the neighboring province of Benguet, located north of Pangasinan. Pangasinan is classified under the Pangasinic group of languages.[8]

The other Pangasinic languages are:

Geographic distribution[edit]

Pangasinan is the official language of the province of Pangasinan, located on the west central area of the island of Luzon along Lingayen Gulf. The people of Pangasinan are also referred to as Pangasinense. The province has a total population of 2,343,086 (2000), of which 2 million speak Pangasinan. Pangasinan is spoken in other Pangasinan communities in the Philippines, mostly in the neighboring provinces of Benguet, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, and Nueva Vizcaya.


Austronesian speakers settled in Maritime Southeast Asia during prehistoric times, perhaps more than 5,000 years ago. The indigenous speakers of Pangasinan are descendants of these settlers, who were probably part of a wave of prehistoric human migration that is widely believed to have originated from Southern China via Taiwan between 10 and 6 thousand years ago.

The word Pangasinan means 'land of salt' or 'place of salt-making'; it is derived from the root word asin, the word for 'salt' in Pangasinan. Pangasinan could also refer to a 'container of salt or salted products'; it refers to the ceramic jar for storage of salt or salted-products or its contents.


Written Pangasinan and oral literature in the language flourished during the Spanish and American period. Writers like Juan Saingan, Felipe Quintos, Narciso Corpus, Antonio Solis, Juan Villamil, Juan Mejía and María C. Magsano wrote and published in Pangasinan. Felipe Quintos, a Pangasinan officer of the Katipunan, wrote Sipi Awaray: Gelew Diad Pilipinas (Revolución Filipina), a history of the Katipunan revolutionary struggle in Pangasinan and surrounding provinces. Narciso Corpus and Antonio Solis co-wrote Impanbilay na Manoc a Tortola, a short love story. (Lingayen, Pangasinan: Gumawid Press, 1926)

Juan Villamil translated José Rizal's "Mi último adiós" in Pangasinan. Pablo Mejia edited Tunong, a news magazine, in the 1920s. He also wrote Bilay tan Kalkalar nen Rizal, a biography of Rizal. Magsano published Silew, a literary magazine. Magsano also wrote Samban Agnabenegan, a romance novel. Pangasinan Courier published articles and literary works in Pangasinan. Pioneer Herald published Sinag, a literary supplement in Pangasinan. Many Christian publications in Pangasinan are widely available.

Many Pangasinan are multilingual and proficient in English, Filipino, and Ilocano. However, the spread and influence of the other languages is contributing to the decline of the Pangasinan language. Many Pangasinan people, especially the native speakers are promoting the use of Pangasinan in the print and broadcast media, Internet, local governments, courts, public facilities and schools in Pangasinan. In April 2006, the creation of Pangasinan Wikipedia was proposed, which the Wikimedia Foundation approved for publication on the Internet.



Pangasinan has the following vowel phonemes:[8][1]

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Open-Mid (ɛ) (ɔ)
Open a

In native vocabulary, /i/ and /u/ are realized as [i ~ ɪ ~ ɛ] and [u ~ ʊ ~ ɔ]. The close variants [i]/[u] are only used in stressed open syllables, while the open-mid variants [ɛ]/[ɔ] occur in open and closed final syllables before a pause. The default variants [ɪ]/[ʊ] occur in all other environments.[8]

Some speakers have /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ as distinct phonemes, but only in loanwords.[8]


Bilabial Dental /
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative s ʃ h
Flap ɾ
Approximant l j w

Pangasinan is one of the Philippine languages that do not exhibit [ɾ]-[d] allophony, they only contrast before consonants and word-final positions; otherwise, they become allophones where [d] is only located in word-initial positions and after consonants & [ɾ] is only pronounced between vowels. Before consonants and word-final positions, [ɾ] is in free variation with trill [r]. In Spanish loanwords, [d] and [ɾ] contrast in all word positions.

All consonantal phonemes except /h, ʔ/ may be a syllable onset or coda. The phoneme /h/ is a borrowed sound and rarely occurs in coda position. Although the Spanish word reloj 'clock' would have been heard as [re.loh], the final /h/ is dropped resulting in /re.lo/. However, this word also may have entered the Pangasinan lexicon at early enough a time that the word was still pronounced /re.loʒ/, with the j pronounced as in French, resulting in /re.los/ in Pangasinan. As a result, both /re.lo/ and /re.los/ occur.

The glottal stop /ʔ/ is not permissible as coda; it can only occur as onset. Even as an onset, the glottal stop disappears in affixation. Glottal stop /ʔ/ sometimes occurs in coda in words ending in vowels, only before a pause.


Sentence structure[edit]

Like other Malayo-Polynesian languages, Pangasinan has a verb–subject–object word order. Pangasinan is an agglutinative language.



Absolutive Ergative Oblique
Independent Enclitic
1st person singular siák ak -k(o) ed siak
dual sikatá ita, ta -ta ed sikata
plural inclusive sikatayó itayo, tayo -tayo ed sikatayo
exclusive sikamí kamí mi ed sikami
2nd person singular siká ka -m(o) ed sika
plural sikayó kayó yo ed sikayo
3rd person singular sikató -, -a to ed sikato
plural sikara ira, ra da ed sikara

Noun affixes[edit]

Benton (1971)[9] lists a number of affixes for nouns. Benton describes affixes in Pangasinan as either "nominal" (affixes attached directly to nouns) and "nominalizing" (affixes which turn other parts of speech into nouns). Benton also describes "non-productive affixes", affixes which are not normally applied to nouns, and only found as part of other pre-existing words. Many of these non-productive affixes are found within words derived from Spanish.

Writing system[edit]

Modern Pangasinan consists of 27 letters, which include the 26 letters of the basic Latin alphabet and the Pangasinan digraph ng:

Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
Minuscule Forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n ng o p q r s t u v w x y z

The ancient people of Pangasinan used an indigenous writing system called Kuritan. The ancient Pangasinan script, which is related to the Tagalog Baybayin script, was derived from the Javanese Kawi script of Indonesia and the Vatteluttu or Pallava script of South India.

The Latin script was introduced during the Spanish colonial period. Pangasinan literature, using the indigenous syllabary and the Latin alphabet, continued to flourish during the Spanish and American colonial period. Pangasinan acquired many Spanish and English words, and some indigenous words were Hispanicized or Anglicized. However, use of the ancient syllabary has declined, and not much literature written in it has survived.


Most of the loan words in Pangasinan are Spanish, as the Philippines was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. Examples are lugar ('place'), podir (from poder, 'power, care'), kontra (from contra, 'against'), birdi (verde, 'green'), ispiritu (espíritu, 'spirit'), and santo ('holy, saint').


Malinac ya Labi (original by Julian Velasco).

Malinac ya Labi
Oras ya mareen
Mapalpalnay dagem
Katekep to’y linaew
Samit day kogip ko
Binangonan kon tampol
Ta pilit na pusok ya sika'y amamayoen

Lalo la no bilay
No sikalay nanengneng
Napunas ya ami'y
Ermen ya akbibiten
No nodnonoten ko ra'y samit na ogalim
Agtaka nalingwanan
Anggad kaayos na bilay

Modern Pangasinan with English translation


  1. Good day! - Masantos ya agew!
  2. Good morning! - Masantos ya kabwasan!
  3. Good afternoon! - Masantos ya ngarem!
  4. Good evening! - Masantos ya labi!


List of numbers from one to ten in English, Tagalog and Pangasinan

English Tagalog Pangasinan
one isa/ᜁᜐ sakey/ᜐᜃᜒᜌ᜔
two dalawa/ᜇᜎᜏ duara, dua/ᜇᜓᜀᜇ᜵ᜇᜓᜀ
three tatlo/ᜆᜆ᜔ᜎᜓ talora, talo/ᜆᜎᜓᜇ᜵ᜆᜎᜓ
four apat/ᜀᜉᜆ᜔ apatira, apat/ᜀᜌᜆᜒᜇ᜵ᜀᜉᜆ᜔
five lima/ᜎᜒᜋ limara, lima/ᜎᜒᜋᜇ᜵ᜎᜒᜋ
six anim/ᜀᜈᜒᜋ᜔ anemira, anem/ᜀᜈᜒᜋᜒᜇ᜵ᜀᜈᜒᜋ᜔
seven pito/ᜉᜒᜆᜓ pitora, pito/ᜉᜒᜆᜓᜇ᜵ᜉᜒᜆᜓ
eight walo/ᜏᜎᜓ walora, walo/ᜏᜎᜓᜇ᜵ᜏᜎᜓ
nine siyam/ᜐᜒᜌᜋ᜔ siamira, siam/ᜐᜒᜀᜋᜒᜇ᜵ᜐᜒᜀᜋ᜔
ten sampu/ᜐᜋ᜔ᜉᜓ samplora, samplo/ᜐᜋ᜔ᜉᜓᜎᜓᜇ᜵ᜐᜋ᜔ᜉᜓᜎᜓ

Cardinal numbers:

Pangasinan English
isa, sakey, san- one
dua, dua'ra (dua ira) two
talo, -tlo, talo'ra (talo ira) three
apat, -pat, apatira (apat ira) four
lima, lima'ra (lima ira) five
anem, -nem, anemira (anem ira) six
pito, pito'ra (pito ira) seven
walo, walo'ra (walo ira) eight
siam, siamira (siam ira) nine
polo, samplo (isa'n polo), samplo'ra (isa'n polo ira) tens, ten
lasus, sanlasus (isa'n lasus) hundreds, one hundred
libo, sakey libo thousands, one thousand
laksa, sanlaksa (isa'n laksa), sakey a laksa ten thousands, ten thousand

Ordinal numbers:

Ordinal numbers are formed with the prefix kuma- (ka- plus infix -um). Example: kumadua, 'second'.

Associative numbers:

Associative numbers are formed with the prefix ka-. Example: katlo, 'third of a group of three'.


Fraction numbers are formed with the prefix ka- and an associative number. Example: kakatlo, 'third part'.


Multiplicative ordinal numbers are formed with the prefix pi- and a cardinal number from two to four or pin- for other numbers except for number one. Example: kaisa, 'first time'; pidua, 'second time'; pinlima, 'fifth time'.

Multiplicative cardinal numbers are formed with the prefix man- (mami- or mamin- for present or future tense, and ami- or amin- for the past tense) to the corresponding multiplicative ordinal number. Example: aminsan, 'once'; amidua, 'twice'; mamitlo, 'thrice'.


Distributive cardinal numbers are formed with the prefixes san-, tag-, or tunggal and a cardinal number. Example: sansakey, 'one each'; sanderua, 'two each'.

Distributive multiplicative numbers are formed with the prefixes magsi-, tunggal, or balangsakey and a multiplicative cardinal number. Example: tunggal pamidua, 'twice each'; magsi-pamidua, 'each twice'.

Dictionaries and further reading[edit]

The following is a list of some dictionaries and references:

  • Fernández Cosgaya, Lorenzo (1865). Diccionario pangasinan-español and Vocabulario Hispano-pangasinán. Colegio de Santo Tomás – via University of Michigan's Humanities Text Initiative.
  • Macaraeg, Anastacio Austria (1898). Vocabulario castellano-pangasinán.
  • Pellicer, Mariano (1904). Arte de la lengua pangasinán o caboloan.
  • Rayner, Ernest Adolphus (1923). Grammar and dictionary of the Pangasinan language / Gramatica tan diccionario na salitay Pangasinan. Manila, Philippines: Methodist Publishing House.
  • Viray, Felixberto B. (1927). The Sounds and Sound Symbols of the Pangasinan Language. Manila: University of the Philippines.
  • Corporación de PP. Dominicos (1951). Pasion Na Cataoan Tin JesuChristo. U.S.T. Press.
  • Schachter, Paul Morris (1960). A Contrastive Analysis of English and Pangasinan (Thesis). Los Angeles: University of California. OCLC 500620511.
  • Versoza, Paciencia E. (1977). Stress and Intonation Difficulties of Pangasinan Learners of English (Philippine Normal College thesis). OCLC 4736102.
  • Benton, Richard A. (1971). Pangasinan Dictionary. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. OCLC 1123520882.
  • Benton, Richard A. (1971). Pangasinan Reference Grammar. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824879105.
  • Benton, Richard A. (1971). Spoken Pangasinan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780870220739.
  • Benton, Richard A. (1972). Phonotactics of Pangasinan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. OCLC 16326646.
  • Constantino, Ernesto (1975). English-Pangasinan Dictionary.
  • Silverio, Julio F. (1976). New English-Pilipino-Pangasinan Dictionary. Manila: National Book Store. OCLC 3371251.
  • Garcia, Alta Grace Q. (1981). Morphological Analysis of English and Pangasinan Verbs. Manila: Rex Book Store. OCLC 989412334.
  • Say Santa Biblia (in Pangasinan). Manila: Philippine Bible Society. 1982. ISBN 9789712900228.
  • Maung A Balita Para Sayan Panaon Tayo (in Pangasinan). Philippine Bible Society and United Bible Societies. 1983. OCLC 54302118.
  • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (2015). Balon Mundo a Patalos na Masanton Kasulatan. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
  • Tungol, Mario "Guese" (1993). Modern English-Filipino Pangasinan Dictionary. Manila: Merriam Webster. OCLC 70045401.
  • Church of Christ (n.d.). Say Cancanta. Includes translations of English songs like "Joy to the World," and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."
  • Jovellanos, Emiliano (2002). Pangasinan-English English-Pangasinan Dictionary. The compilation has 20,000 entries.
  • Jovellanos, Mel V. (March 2007). Pangasinan-English English-Pangasinan Language Dictionary (in Pangasinan). Calasiao: Corpuz Press.
  • Rosario, Jr., F. C. (2012). "The Vowel Space of Pangasinan". Frontiers of Language and Teaching. 3.
  • Malinak Lay Labi [Calm is the Night] (in Pangasinan). Traditional folk song.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Benton, Richard A. (1971). Pangasinan Reference Grammar. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-7910-5.
  2. ^ "2010 Census of Population and Housing, Report No. 2A – Demographic and Housing Characteristics (Non-Sample Variables)" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-05-02.
  3. ^ "2010 Census of Population and Housing, Report No. 2A – Demographic and Housing Characteristics (Non-Sample Variables)" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-05-02.
  4. ^ Ulrich Ammon; Norbert Dittmar; Klaus J. Mattheier (2006). Sociolinguistics: an international handbook of the science of language and society. Vol. 3. Walter de Gruyter. p. 2018. ISBN 978-3-11-018418-1.
  5. ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Fox, James J. (August 19–20, 2004). "Current Developments in Comparative Austronesian Studies" (PDF).
  7. ^ Greenhill, S. J., Blust. R, & Gray, R.D. (2003–2008). "The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2006-05-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b c d Ronald S. Himes (1998). "The Southern Cordilleran Group of Philippine Languages". Oceanic Linguistics. 37 (1): 120–177. doi:10.2307/3623282. JSTOR 3623282.
  9. ^ Benton, Richard Anthony (1971). Pangasinan reference grammar. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0870220721 – via Internet Archive.

External links[edit]