Bontoc language

Bontoc (Bontok) /bɒnˈtɒk/[2] (also called Finallig) is the native language of the indigenous Bontoc people of the Mountain Province, in the northern part of the Philippines.

Native toPhilippines
RegionMountain Province
Native speakers
41,000 (2007 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bnc – inclusive code
Individual codes:
lbk – Central Bontok
ebk – Eastern Bontok
rbk – Northern Bontok
obk – Southern Bontok
vbk – Southwestern Bontok
Bontok language map.png
Area where Bontoc is spoken according to Ethnologue


Ethnologue reports the following locations for each of the 5 Bontok languages. Speaker populations from the 2007 census, as quoted in Ethnologue.

  • Central Bontok: spoken in Bontoc municipality, Mountain Province (in Bontoc ili, Caluttit, Dalican, Guina-ang, Ma-init, Maligcong, Samoki, and Tocucan villages). 19,600 speakers. Dialects are Khinina-ang, Finontok, Sinamoki, Jinallik, Minaligkhong and Tinokukan. [3]
  • Eastern Bontok: spoken in Barlig municipality, eastern Mountain Province (in Barlig, Kadaklan, and Lias villages). 6,170 speakers. Dialects are Finallig, Kinajakran and Liniyas. [4]
  • North Bontok: spoken in Sadanga municipality, northern Mountain Province (in Anabel, Bekigan, Belwang, Betwagan, Demang, Sacasacan, Saclit, and the municipal center of Sadanga Poblacion). There are also some speakers in southern Kalinga Province. 9,700 speakers.
  • Southern Bontok: spoken to the south of Bontoc municipality in Talubin, Bayyo, and Can-eo towns. 2,760 speakers. Dialects are Tinoveng and Kanan-ew. [5]
  • Southwestern Bontok: spoken in Bontoc municipality, Mountain Province (in Alab, Balili, Gonogon, and villages in the Chico River valley, southwest of the municipal capital Bontoc, along Halsema Highway). 2,470 speakers. Dialects are Ina-ab, Binalili and Ginonogon. [6]


Consonant phonemes[7]
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p b t d k ɡ ʔ
Fricative s
Rhotic ɻ~ɺ
Approximant j
  • The archiphoneme /r/ has [l], [ɻ], and [ɺ] as its allophones.[7] The allophone [l] occurs word-initially, adjacent to /i/, as the second member of a consonant cluster consisting of a coronal consonant and /r/, and as the second member of any consonant cluster preceded by /i/. [ɻ] occurs in free variation with [l] word-initially, but otherwise occurs in complementary distribution with it. [ɺ] occurs in free variation with [l] and [ɻ] word-initially, and with [ɻ] elsewhere.
  • The plosives /t/, /ɡ/, /b/, and /d/ have, respectively, [] (representing an interdental consonant), [], [f], and [t͡s] as their syllable-initial allophones.[7]
  • The voiced stop /b/ also has [] and [v] as its allophones.[7] Both of these allophones occur as the first member of a geminate cluster. They are in free variation.
  • The approximant /j/ has one allophone: [ɥ]. [ɥ] occurs after /o/.[7]
Vowel phonemes[7]
Front Back
High i
Mid e o
Close a

/e/ becomes a slightly centralized [] when in a syllable whose coda is /k/.[7] When in the nucleus, /a/ and /o/ are slightly raised and /i/ is lowered. [7]

There are two degrees of stress in Bontoc: primary and secondary. Primary stress is phonemic and secondary stress is predictable. Both types are right-oriented and occur on one of the last three syllables. Stress's effects include higher pitch, louder volume, and lengthening of the syllable nucleus, though these are all subject to certain rules pertaining to word prosody. [7]

Example textEdit

The Lord's Prayer
English Bontoc[8]
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Ama id chaya machad-ayaw nan ngachanmo.
Omali nan en-ap-apowam.
Maangnen nan nemnemmo isnan lofong ay kag id chaya.
Ichowam nan kanenmi isnan kawakawakas.
Pakawanem nan fasolmi,
tay pinakawanmi akhes nan finmasol ken chakami.
Ad-im ogkhayen chakami isnan maawisanmi ay enfasol,
mod-i ket isas alakam chakami isnan ngaag.


  1. ^ Bontoc at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Central Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Eastern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Northern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Southern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Southwestern Bontok at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Bauer, Laurie (2007). The Linguistics Student's Handbook. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  3. ^ Ethnologue, Central Bontok (subscription required)
  4. ^ Ethnologue, Eastern Bontok (subscription required)
  5. ^ Ethnologue, Southern Bontok (subscription required)
  6. ^ Ethnologue, Southwestern Bontok (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reid, Lawrence A. (1963). "The Phonology of Central Bontoc". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. 72 (1): 21–26.
  8. ^ Nan Kalin Apo Dios (in bnc). International Bible Society. 1992.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit