A Brief Description of the Grammar of Butuanon

  • Maridette E. Molina CSSP, UP Diliman


This study aims to describe the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the Butuanon language. The data used in this study include a Butuanon translation of more than 1,000 Tagalog and Cebuano sentences and a vocabulary consisting of 350 words. Short stories written in Butuanon likewise form part of the data analyzed in this study. The study reveals that Butuanon has an inventory of three vowel phonemes and 16 consonant phonemes. Its words can be categorized into two groups – open and closed classes. Open classes which include nouns, verbs, and Adjectives may occur affixed or unaffixed.Verbs in Butuanon are generally inflected for focus, aspect, and mood. Two of the closed classes in Butuanon include nominal markers and pronouns. As a predicate-initial language, Butuanon has a basic clause structure consisting of a predicate and a focus argument that serves as a subject of the clause and is marked by ang or si. The predicate in Butuanon can be verbal or nonverbal. In general, the Butuanon language may be treated as one of the Philippine type languages based on the linguistic features it exhibits.

Keywords: Butuanon, shifting, phonology, morphology, syntax