The Central Philippine languages are the most geographically widespread demonstrated group of languages in the Philippines, being spoken in southern Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Sulu. They are also the most populous, including Tagalog (and Filipino), Bikol, and the major Visayan languages Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Kinaray-a, and Tausug, with some forty languages all together.
The languages are generally subdivided thus (languages in italics refer to a single language):
- Tagalog (at least 3 dialects found in southern Luzon)
- Bikol (8 languages in the Bicol Peninsula)
- Bisayan (18 languages spoken in the whole Visayas, as well as southeastern Luzon, northeastern Mindanao and Sulu)
- Mansakan (11 languages of the Davao Region)
- Manide–Inagta (2 languages)
There are in addition several Aeta hill-tribal languages of uncertain affiliation: Ata, Sorsogon Ayta, Tayabas Ayta, Karolanos (Northern Binukidnon), Magahat (Southern Binukidnon), Sulod, and Umiray Dumaget.
Most of the Central Philippine languages in fact form a dialect continuum and cannot be sharply distinguished as separate languages. Blust (2009) notes that the relatively low diversity found among the Visayan languages is due to recent population expansions.
The expanded tree of the Central Philippine languages below is given in David Zorc's 1977 Ph.D. dissertation. The Visayan subgrouping is Zorc's own work, while the Bikol subgrouping is from McFarland (1974) and the Mansakan subgrouping from Gallman (1974).
Individual languages are marked by italics, and primary branches by bold italics.
- 1. South (spoken on the eastern coast of Mindanao)
- 2. Cebuan (spoken in Cebu, Bohol, western Leyte, northern Mindanao, and eastern Negros)
- 3. Central (spoken across most of the Visayan region)
- 4. Banton/Asi (spoken in northwestern Romblon Province)
- 5. West
- Aklan (spoken in northern Panay)
- Kinarayan (spoken in Panay)
- North-Central (spoken on Tablas Island and the southern tip of Mindoro)
- Kuyan (spoken in the archipelagos west of Panay and Romblon, as well as the southern tip of Mindoro)
Andrew Gallman (1997) rejects Zorc's classification of the Mansakan languages and Mamanwa as primary branches of the Central Philippine languages coordinate to the Bisayan languages. Instead, he groups Mansakan, Mamanwa and the Southern Bisayan languages together into an "East Mindanao" subgroup, which links up with the remaining Bisayan branches in a "South Central Philippine" subgroup:
- South Central Philippine
- West Bisayan
- Central Bisayan
- East Mindanao
Greater Central Philippine (Blust)Edit
Blust (1991) notes that the central and southern Philippines has low linguistic diversity. Based on exclusively shared lexical innovations, he posits a Greater Central Philippine subgroup that puts together the Central Philippine branch with South Mangyan, Palawan, Danao, Manobo, Subanon and Gorontalo–Mongondow languages, the latter found in northern Sulawesi.
- Blust, Robert A. The Austronesian Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, 2009. ISBN 0-85883-602-5, ISBN 978-0-85883-602-0.
- Zorc, David Paul. The Bisayan Dialects of the Philippines: Subgrouping and Reconstruction. Canberra, Australia: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, 1977, p. 33.
- McFarland, Curtis D. The Dialects of the Bikol Area. Ph.D. dissertation. New Haven: Dept. of Liunguistics, Yale University, 1974.
- Gallman, Andrew Franklin. A Reconstruction of Proto-Mansakan. M.A. dissertation. Arlington, Texas: Dept. of Liunguistics, University of Texas at Arlington, 1974.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Jaun-Jaun notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Kantilan notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Naturalis notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Odionganon notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Sibalenhon (Bantu-anon) notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Pandan notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Bulalakawnon notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Dispoholnon notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Loocnon notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Datagnon notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Santa Teresa notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Semirara notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Kuyonon notes.
- Word list: Zorc, R. David. 1972. Kuyonon (dialects) notes.
- Gallman, Andrew Franklin. 1997. Proto East Mindanao and its internal relationships. Philippine Journal of Linguistics, Special monograph issue, no. 44. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines.
- Blust, Robert (1991). "The Greater Central Philippines hypothesis". Oceanic Linguistics. 30 (2): 73–129. doi:10.2307/3623084. JSTOR 3623084.