Role relationships in Batad Ifugao applied to lexical descriptions.

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature Major in Filipino


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Gonzalez, Br. Andrew, FSC

Defense Panel Member

Sibayan, Dr. Bonifacio
Hidalgo, Dr. Araceli
Pineda, Dr. Ponciano
Otanes, Dr. Fe


This study develops a systematic framework for analyzing and describing major relationships between verbs and co-occurring nouns and among nouns related to verbs in a lexicographic description of verbs.A random selection was made of about 500 verb forms. Verb lexemes related to these forms were identified and preliminary role relationships between these lexemes and co-occurring nouns were hypothesized. In order to control the proliferation of role relationship identification, two principles were observed. The first was that only the necessary and sufficient components of each semantic relationship were recognized in order to account for each observed relationship. The second was to closely follow formal features of verb affixation, case marking particles and syntactic distribution of nouns in determining the number of role relationships involved. Just as there is not a one-to-one correspondence between lexical form and meaning, so it was observed that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between role relationships and formal grammatical case-marking signals. However, the correspondence was expected to be close, and the analysis attempted to minimize divergences without violating hypothesized role definitions. Six basic role relationships were identified: actor, agent, instrument, theme, location reference and patient.It was observed that nouns cluster in their role relationships to verbs. Any given verb might have 1 to 4 nouns related to it, each noun a distinct role relationship to the verb. Applying these relationships with verb lexemes identified from the sample of 500 verb forms, 22 distinct patterns were observed.
Any given verb of the sample was associated with up to 4 noun clusters. The role relationships of the cluster conform to a particular role pattern, and each noun has a specific defined class of noun referents. These clusters are called role sets. A preliminary investigation was made on contrastive patterning of two or more role sets associated with a given lexeme. This involved both variation in roles and in noun referents filling these roles. A certain amount of variation occurred without significantly affecting the defined meaning of the verb lexeme. In some circumstances, however, it was necessary to hypothesize a different verb lexeme to account for major shifts in meaning. A preliminary attempt was made to predict and describe conditions under which lexeme contrast is involved.The results of the analyses and procedures developed in this study were applied to an entire dictionary project in the compilation of the Batad Ifugao Dictionary (Newell 1993a). This involved about 4,000 verb forms. With few exceptions, all the data was analyzed with a fair degree of confidence. This resulted in about 6,000 verb lexemes. Each lexeme was associated with one or more role sets. Each lexeme sharing a common lexical form was indicated by a sense number. Each role set associated with a verb lexeme was set off by an indication of the part of speech of the verb followed by a separate lexical gloss. Within the gloss, roles of each noun cited was indicated within parentheses. This identified the role set associated with the verb lexeme.Two major goals were achieved. Viewing a given verb as related to a specific role set with a specific role pattern significantly aided in the analysis of verb meaning, allowing the compiler to ask meaningful and relevant questions of the Ifugao language consultant. The results were sometimes dramatically revealing. A second major achievement was to provide for an orderly and patterned description of verb lexemes in a dictionary.

Abstract Format




Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

343 leaves


Lexicology.; Ifugao language.; Language and languages -- Grammars.

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