Pangasinan Language
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Pangasinan Language
Salitan Pangasinan
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
(1.2 million cited 1990 census)[2]
8th most spoken native language in the Philippines[3]
Latin (Pangasinan alphabet)
Historically written in: Baybayin
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated byKomisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Language codes
Pangasinan language maximum extent.png
Areas where Pangasinan is spoken in the Philippines.
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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 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

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.


Pangasinan was preserved and kept alive despite the propagation of the Spanish and English languages. Written Pangasinan and oral literature in this 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 continued to write and publish 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 Ultimo 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. 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 in the Internet.



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

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

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


Bilabial Dental /
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ?
Stop voiceless p t t? k ?
voiced b d d? ?
Fricative s ? h
Flap ?
Approximant l j w


Sentence Structure

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



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



Writing system

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. 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 (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
(Repeat Refrain)

Modern Pangasinan with English translation

Malinak lay Labi
A night of calm
Oras la'y mareen
An hour of peace

Mapalpalna'y dagem
A gentle breeze
Katekep to'y linaew
Along with it is the dew

Samit da'y kugip ko
So sweet is my dream
Binangonan kon tampol
Suddenly I awake

Lapu'd say limgas mo
Because of your beauty
Sikan sika'y amamayoen
You are the only one I will love

Lalo la bilay
Best of all, my life
No sika la'y nanengne'ng
When it's you that I see

Napunas lan amin
All are wiped away
So ermen ya akbibiten
The sorrows that I bear

No nanonotan
When I remember
Ko la'y samit day ugalim
Of your sweet kindness

Ag ta ka nalingwanan
I will not forget you
Angga'd kauyos na bilay
Until life is gone



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

English Tagalog Pangasinan
one isa sakey
two dalawa duara, dua
three tatlo talora, talo
four apat apatira, apat
five lima limara, lima
six anim anemira, anem
seven pito pitora, pito
eight walo walora, walo
nine siyam siamira, siam
ten sampu samplora, samplo

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 prefix KUMA- (KA- plus infix -UM). Example: kumadua, second.

Associative Numbers:

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


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


Multiplicative ordinal numbers are formed with 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 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 prefixes SAN-, TAG-, or TUNGGAL and a cardinal number. Example: sansakey, one each; sanderua, two each.

Distributive multiplicative numbers are formed with prefix MAGSI-, TUNGGAL, or BALANGSAKEY and a multiplicative cardinal number. Example: tunggal pamidua, twice each; magsi-pamidua, each twice.

Dictionaries and further reading

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. Available online at the University of Michigan's Humanities Text Initiative.
  • Anastacio Austria Macaraeg. Vocabulario castellano-pangasinán (1898).
  • Mariano Pellicer. Arte de la lengua pangasinán o caboloan (1904).
  • Rayner, Ernest Adolphus (1923). Grammar and dictionary of the Pangasinan language / Gramatica tan diccionario na salitay Pangasinan. Manila, Philippines: Methodist Publishing House.
  • Felixberto B. Viray. The Sounds and Sound Symbols of the Pangasinan Language (1927).
  • Corporación de PP. Dominicos. Pasion Na Cataoan Tin JesuChristo (U.S.T. Press, 1951).
  • Paciencia E. Versoza. Stress and Intonation Difficulties of Pangasinan Learners of English (1961).
  • Paul Morris Schachter. A Contrastive Analysis of English and Pangasinan (1968).
  • Richard A. Benton. Pangasinan Dictionary (University of Hawaii Press, 1971).
  • Benton, Richard A. (1971). Pangasinan Reference Grammar. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-7910-5.
  • Richard A. Benton. Spoken Pangasinan (University of Hawaii Press, 1971).
  • Richard A. Benton. Phonotactics of Pangasinan (1972).
  • Ernesto Constantino. English-Pangasinan Dictionary (1975).
  • Julio F. Silverio. New English-Pilipino-Pangasinan Dictionary (1976).
  • Alta Grace Q. Garcia. Morphological Analysis of English and Pangasinan Verbs (1981).
  • Philippine Bible Society. Say Santa Biblia (Philippine Bible Society, 1982).
  • Philippine Bible Society. Maung A Balita Para Sayan Panaon Tayo (Philippine Bible Society and United Bible Societies, 1983).
  • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Balon Mundo a Patalos na Masanton Kasulatan (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2015)
  • Mario "Guese" Tungol. Modern English-Filipino Dictionary (Merriam Webster, 1993).
  • Church of Christ. Say Cancanta (Church of Christ, n.d.). Includes translations of English songs like "Joy to the World," and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."
  • Emiliano Jovellanos. Pangasinan-English English-Pangasinan Dictionary (2002). The compilation has 20,000 entries.
  • Mel V. Jovellanos. Pangasinan-English English-Pangasinan Language Dictionary (Corpuz Press, Calasiao, Pangasinan, March 2007).
  • F.C. Rosario, Jr. The Vowel Space of Pangasinan. Frontiers of Language and Teaching, Vol. 3 (2012).
  • Traditional Folk Song. Malinak Lay Labi (Calm is the Night).

See also


  1. ^ a b Benton, Richard A. (1971). Pangasinan Reference Grammar. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-7910-5.
  2. ^ Pangasinan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Philippine Census, 2000. Table 11. Household Population by Ethnicity, Sex and Region: 2000
  4. ^ Ulrich Ammon; Norbert Dittmar; Klaus J. Mattheier (2006). Sociolinguistics: an international handbook of the science of language and society. Volume 3. Walter de Gruyter. p. 2018. ISBN 978-3-11-018418-1. |volume= has extra text (help)
  5. ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition".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 .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.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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