Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics

Subject Categories

Applied Linguistics | Linguistics


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Thesis Advisor

Shirley N. Dita

Defense Panel Chair

Aireen B. Arauco

Defense Panel Member

Leah B. Gustillo
Teresita F. Fortunato
Aldrin P. Lee
Michael Tanangkingsing


This dissertation explicates the grammar of Itawit, a language spoken in northern part of the Philippines, using spoken data which included naturally-occurring conversations of native speakers from various settings in the Itawit-speaking community, narrative data elicited through Pear stories, and spoken-like data which were posts taken from two active Itawit Facebook pages. The study is considered to be the first to describe the intricacies of Itawit grammar using recorded spoken data; other sources include the informants and participants who are native speakers of the language. It employed the eclectic approach which is a fusion of concepts from varied proponents in describing certain grammatical features of the language.
This Reference Grammar of Itawit has 16 chapters. Chapter 1 provides the introduction, which includes a general background the Itawit people and their language, theoretical frameworks, and previous studies and literature about Itawit. In Chapter 2, data and methodology employed in this dissertation are clearly presented.
Chapter 3 presents a description of the language’s phonemic inventory. Specifically, it discusses the various sounds of Itawit by presenting the language’s five vowels, two diphthongs, and twenty-two consonants using the articulatory model. Consonant clusters, as emphasized, are evident only in borrowed words. Moreover, the chapter also presents syllable structures and some phonological processes observed like vowel loss, vowel change, monothongization of diphthong, consonant change, and metathesis. Chapter 4 delves into Itawit morphology specifically the morphological processes that are involved in the formation of new words and new meanings in Itawit. These include the use of affixes and reduplication. The discussion here subscribes to the idea that there is no clear-cut classification of words or parts of the words into nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Instead, like other Philippine languages, the interrelationship among roots, affixes, and particles and their use in the discourse determine their classification. In Chapter 5, the nonverbal and verbal clauses are distinguished while the Itawit nominal marking system is described in chapter 6. Chapter 7 presents Itawit pronominals which include personal, demonstrative, and indefinite. Pronouns in Itawit do not mark gender distinctions. They also encode person, number, and respect. Chapter 8 presents a lengthy discussion of the various features of noun which include number, gender, morphological formation, nominalization, compounding and borrowings. The discussion on the gender of nouns revealed that nouns that are gender specific are usually Spanish-loaned words which typically end in -u/o for the masculine gender and-a to indicate the feminine gender. There are also nouns that are encoded differently to differentiate gender. Chapter 9 focuses on Itawit adjectives specifically the four morphological features of adjectives, syntactic and semantic properties of adjectives.
Chapter 10 presents the features of Itawit verbs namely focus, transitivity, aspect and verbal classes and verbal moods. The chapter on Itawit adverbials (Chapter 11) explains lexical particles and adjuncts. Chapter 12 presents various numeral expressions in Itawit, specifically the cardinals, ordinals, multiplicatives, distributives, limitatives and Spanish borrowings. Generally, present-day Itawit speakers find it more convenient to use the Spanish, English and Tagalog numerals as Itawit higher numerals tend to be more complicated. Meanwhile, the three main uses of the existential expressions hinian/nian and awan are presented in Chapter 13. Chapter 14 discusses the various expressions that are used to conjoin constituents, phrases and clauses. Three types of connectors are present in Itawit. These are the topic linker e, the conjuncts, and the ligatures. Chapter 15 presents the various forms of Interrogativity. Specifically, four types of interrogatives are observed in Itawit: yes/no questions, alternative questions, confirmation questions and information questions. The chapter on negation (Chapter 16) stresses that negative predications in Itawit are constructed in different categories: predicate negation, negation of existentials and negation in responses.
The final chapter provides a summary of the grammar of Itawit, some pedagogical implications of the study, and recommendations for future research.

Abstract Format



Some texts written in other languages





Physical Description

xxv, 563 leaves


Philippine languages; Grammar, Comparative and general—Ergative constructions; Language and languages—Grammars

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