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Paul Morrow

   The basics of Filipino pronunciation

      Part 4 • Stress classifications of Filipino words




This "Part 4" of our three-part series on pronunciation was not published in the paper edition of the Pilipino Express. The information here is not crucial for a student to learn Filipino pronunciation but it is useful as a kind of shorthand to describe the different stress patterns of words. These terms become more important when we study the mechanics of Filipino grammar.

Filipino grammarians classify words according to how they are pronounced. Each pattern of stresses and glottal stops has a name.

Malumay or Banayad

Malumay words have no accent marks but there is a stress on the second last syllable. This class of word is so common that most dictionaries do not mark them with a pahilís tuldík. Examples:

babae lalaki Filipino  kahapon lalamunan           

Malumì words are pronounced the same way as malumay, with the stress on the second last syllable, but they also have a glottal stop on the final vowel. This is marked with the paiwà tuldík. Examples:

ba ha tangha mala bali

Mabilís or quick words have a single stress on the final syllable, which is signified by a pahilís tuldík. Examples:

isá bibíg tanóng talagá magandá 

A maragsâ word is quick like a mabilís word with the stress on the final syllable but it also has a final glottal stop like a malumì word. Examples:

dagâ bigô salitâ salapî panibughô

A mariín or “stressed” word can contain the same stress pattern as any of the four types mentioned above but with an extra stressed syllable. Therefore there are four types of mariín words. Examples:

Mariíng Malumay > álinlangan bangan
Mariíng Malumì > máaa nakasísi
Mariíng Mabilís > páaralán ináanák
Mariíng Maragsâ > dálitâ nagbíbirô

Malaw-aw is a very rare type of pronunciation that was more common in the days before the Spanish language influenced Filipino speech. It is marked with a hyphen or gitlíng instead of a tuldík. The gitling represents a glottal stop before the vowel of the final syllable. Examples:

tung-ol (a kind of banner) alíw-iw (babbling of water)
ig-ig (to shake up) bag-ang (molar)

An easy way to remember all the types of stress patterns is to remember that the name for each type is itself an example of the stress pattern that it describes – except for mariín.

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