What kind of writing is Baybayin in the Philippines?
- Baybayin refers to other indigenous writings in the Philippines that are Abugida, including Buhid script, Hanunó'o script, Tagbanwa script, Kulitan script, Tagalog script and others.
Aug 22, 2018 · It is believed that there were at least 16 different types of writing systems present around the Philippines prior to our colonization. Baybayin is just one of them, which was said to be of ...
Baybayin ( Tagalog pronunciation: [baɪbaˈjɪn], pre-kudlit: ᜊᜊᜌᜒ, virama-krus-kudlit: ᜊᜌ᜔ᜊᜌᜒᜈ᜔, virama-pamudpod: ᜊᜌ᜴ᜊᜌᜒᜈ᜴; also incorrectly known as alibata) is a Philippine script. The script is an alphasyllabary belonging to the family of the Brahmic scripts. It was widely used in Luzon and other ...
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What kind of writing is Baybayin in the Philippines?
What's the difference between an alphabet and a Baybayin?
Can a letter be reduced to a syllable in a Baybayin writing system?
Is it okay to not follow the standard Baybayin script?
What’s the difference? Alibata was a term coined by Professor Paul Versoza mistakenly originated the writing system with Arabic. The first characters in the Arabic alphabet are ALIF-BA-TA. The “F” was dropped due to it rolling off the tongue better as Alibata rather than Alifbata. Baybayin comes from the root word Baybay meaning to spell.
Baybayin. Baybayin (pre-kudlit: ᜊᜊᜌᜒ, post-kudlit: ᜊᜌ᜔ᜊᜌᜒᜈ᜔ ) is a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system. It is a member of the Brahmic family and is recorded as being in use in the 16th century. It continued to be used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines up until the late 19th Century. The term Baybay ...
- A Little History
- How to Write
- Pre-Hispanic Version
- Modified Version
- Modernized Script
Baybayin, also popularly known as Alibata is one of the Philippines many writing systems that exist before the coming of the Spaniards. The current script used by the majority of Filipino is based on Tagalog Baybayin script. However, scripts from other regions are also known to exist such as Badlit for Visayans, Kulitan for Kapampangans, etc. There are also other sister scripts from indigenous tribes such as Tagbanwa, Hanuno’o and Buhidwhich are still being used up to this day. Baybayin is thought to have many variations across different places not just due to linguistic differences but also due to personal handwriting of the people using it. So if you want to write in Baybayin it is okay to not perfectly follow the ‘standard’ if there is such thing, because originally people just wrote the script in whatever way they learned it, as long as symbols were recognizable.
There are two ways to write Baybayin, the traditional pre-Hispanic way and the modernizedvariety which has been modified a little bit by the Spanish friars. To learn the writing system we will go over the traditional version first and then move to the modified version.
Baybayin is classified as an Abugidawhich means only syllables that are composed of a consonant and a vowel can be written. So for example: Add kudlit (small mark) above to make an E/I sound, and add kudlit below to make an O/U sound. This was the traditional system of writing words for ancient Filipinos, they did not write stand alone consonants. So for example, ADLAW (sun/day) would be written as A-LA, BULAN (moon/month) would be BU-LA, and DAGAT (sea) would be DA-GA. Furthermore, in the traditional version, there were only three vowelscompared to today’s mostly 5 vowel sounds in the Philippine Languages. There were no spaces between words, so words would run together similar to Japanese. To separate sentences, two lineswere used like how we use periods today. The symbols forD and R were the same and NG sound had a different symbol for itself, unlike today which we use the letters N and G together. So, the script acted as a mnemonic device for reading and was not that efficient to...
For the modified version the Spanish Friars added stand alone consonants and spaces between words can be written. A cross was used below the symbol to negate the vowel sound, giving us, ADLAW into A-D-LA-W, BULAN into BU-LA-N, DAGAT becomes DA-GA-T.
Nowadays there are many versions that modify the script to suit the current situation of the Philippine languages, for example, a difference for D and R was introduced as well as symbols for other sounds that are not in the traditional version. Here are some details: It is quite difficult to write sentences in the traditional version, so personally I mostly write Baybayin using the modified version. Since there are many modernized styles I prefer not to use them and just stick with the version that was recorded by the Spaniards. So take time to learn how to write our own Traditional Script to avoid making mistakes. P.S. Baybayin is best used to write languages from the Philippines, writing it for English would be cumbersome. I hope this guide is helpful Written by Hernan Palang
- One Letter Equals One Syllable
- The Baybayin Characters
- The Consonants
- The Kudlít
- Thevowel Characters
- Final Consonants
- Special Consonants
- Thespanish Kudlit +
In our modern alphabet, eachletter is a basic sound or phoneme, either a vowel or a consonant. We combinethese letters to make syllables, and combine the syllables to make words. In asyllabic writing system, such as the baybayin, each letter is already asyllable. It may be a combination of sounds or just a vowel, but usually itcannot be reduced to a single consonant. So, a good way to check your baybayin spellingis to make sure that the number of letters in a word always equals thenumber of syllables.
These are all the letters of the baybayin "alphabet". There are many ways to draw each letter (See Baybayin Styles). This example is my own modern composite of many old forms and the letters are arranged in the old abakada sequence. (See the original sequence in the main article.)
Each consonant letter is one syllable that is pronounced with the a vowel. This means, for example, that the letter isnot just a b, it is actually the syllable ba. If wewrite the wordbasa(to read), we only need two letters: Here are a few more examples: (really,important, and able to do)
So, what do we do if we want to write something that doesn't rhyme with a? In other syllabaries, like the Katakana or Hiragana of Japan, this would require learning a whole other set of letters for each vowel sound. However, the baybayin is a cross between a syllabary and an alphabet, or what is known as an abugida. We use the same consonant letters shown in the list above and simply combine them with a special mark, called a kudlít, to change the sound of the vowel a. Theword kudlit means a small cut or incision, which is exactly what it wasback in the days when Filipinos wrote on bamboo. Since we now writewith pen and paper, or a computer, the kudlit mark can be any shape. Usually it isa dot or tick, or sometimes it is shaped like a v or an arrowhead >.The sound of a letter is not changed in any way by the shape of the kudlit;it is changed by the position of the kudlit. The kudlit is placed above a letter to signify the sound ofI or E.As in the words: (self, miss as inunmarried wo...
Although the kudlitsdo most of the work representing the vowels, thebaybayin also has three special vowel letters: Naturally, if a syllable doesn't have a consonant, there is no place to putthe kudlit. This is when the vowel characters must be used. For example: (mercy, to bring with, head, and possible) There are only three vowels in the baybayinbecause ancient Filipinos of many linguistic groups did not distinguish between the pronunciations ofI and E,and U and O before Spanish words entered their languages. Even today these sounds are interchangeablein words such as lalaki/lalake (man), babae (woman)and kababaihan (women in general),uód/oód (worm),punò(tree trunk) and punung-kahoy (tree), and oyaye/oyayi/uyayi(lullaby). The situation is similar in English; there are only five vowelletters but each one represents several different vowel sounds. (Seethe main articlefor more information.)
Lone vowels have special characters but what about the consonants that have no vowel sound? These are the syllable final consonants and they are the reason why it is much more difficult to read the baybayin than it is to write it. There is no way to write syllable final consonants. For example, in a word like bundok (mountain) we cannot write the letters n and k because they are not followed by a vowel and the baybayin consonants always contain a vowel sound. If we did write the n and the k, the word would be pronounced bu-na-do-ka. So, we simply don't write those letters. The meaning of the word and its pronunciation must be guessed by reading it in context. Bundokis written: Here are a few more examples: (peak, riddle, ask)
The letters d and ngwere not special to the ancient Filipinosbut they deserve special attention here to avoid confusion. The Letter for Da and Ra There is only one character for both d and r in the baybayin, the . The pronunciation of this letterin Tagalog changes depending on its locationwithin a word. It follows the same Filipino grammatical rule that we have today; when adis between two vowels, it becomes an r. There are many exceptions to thisrule today, but it was more consistent in pre-Hispanic times. For example, the word dangal (honour) becomes marangal (honourable)and the word dunong (knowledge) becomes marunong (knowledgeable), but thebaybayin letter, does not change. OtherPhilippine languages had different ways to write the r sound. Some usedthe d/ra character while others used the la character or both. Seethe main articlefor more information. The Letter for Nga The ng is considered a single letter in the modern Filipino alphabet butit requires two characters to write it,...
The only punctuation for the baybayin is a pair of vertical bars, || or asingle vertical bar, | depending on the writer's taste. The vertical bar is usedlike a comma and a full stop (period). In fact, it can be used like anypunctuation mark we have today. The ancient Filipinos usually wrote their wordswith no spaces between them but sometimes they would separate a single wordbetween a set of bars. However, most of the time the bars were used in a randommanner, dividing the sentences into word groups of various sizes.
To solve the problem of writing final consonants, a Spanish Friar named FranciscoLopez invented a new kind of kudlit in 1620. It wasshaped like a cross (which should be no surprise) and it was meant to be placed below a baybayinconsonant letter in order to cancel its vowel sound. For example: (mountain, peak,riddle, ask) Filipinos never accepted this way of writing because it was too cumbersome and they were perfectly comfortable reading the old way. However, it is popular today among people who have rediscovered the baybayin but are not aware of the origin of the Spanish kudlit. (See the main article for more about the Spanish kudlit.) Here's a verse from a modern song.On the left, the Spanish kudlitis used and thewords have been separated to make it easier to read. Thepre-Hispanic Filipino method of writing is on the right.
Filipinos in the pre-Hispanic era mainly used the baybayin for writing poetry and short messages to each other. It was never adapted for commerce or scientific data, so numerals were never developed. Numbers were spelled out the same as words. There is a document with numbers on the page entitled Baybayin Handwriting of the 1600s.