Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics

Subject Categories

Language and Literacy Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Thesis Advisor

Shirley N. Dita

Defense Panel Chair

Leah E. Gustilo

Defense Panel Member

Aireen B. Arnuco
Teresita F. Fortunato
Cecilia F. Genuino
Michael C. Tanangkingsing


Masbatenyo (also called Masbateño or Minasbate; ISO 639-3 identifier msb) refers to the people as well as the language spoken in the island province of Masbate in Bicol Region, the Philippines. It is spoken by over 890,000 people residing in its three major islands: the Masbate Island, Ticao Island, and Burias Island (PSA, 2016). Ethnologue (2021) classifies Masbatenyo as Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Greater Central Philippines, Central Philippines, Bisayan, Central, Peripheral. It also rates Masbatenyo’s language status as 3 (Wider communication) based on EGIDS or Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale, which means that it is a language used for wider communication at various domains such as home, work, and market.

Masbatenyo is a predicate-initial language. The basic clause can be a non-verbal or verbal clause. A verbal clause is verb-initial while a non-verbal clause may be nominal, adjectival, prepositional, locative or existential. The verbal clause consists of verb element and a noun phrase, a pronominal, an adverbial particle(s), temporal, or locative demonstrative. The noun phrase consists of a head noun and a case marker. The clause may also contain adverbial particles.

Masbatenyo nominal case-marking exhibits an ergative pattern. The Actor Focus (AF) affixes are intransitive while the Goal Focus (GF) affixes are transitive. The AF affixes are mag-, mang-, and -um-. The GF affixes consist of patient focus (PAT), locative focus (LOC), benefactive focus (BEN), instrumental focus (INST), comitative focus (COM), and theme (TH). GF verbs consist of verb stem plus the following affixes: for PAT -on or -a, LOC -an, BEN -an or -i, INST i- or ipan(g)-, COM ka-/-an, and TH i-.

The dissertation consists of eighteen chapters. Chapter One introduces Masbatenyo language and the people, presents relevant studies in Bikol languages and reviews on previous studies in Masbatenyo. It also presents the research gap, research objectives, and the theoretical orientation of the study. Chapter Two describes the research methodology, the data and corpus, and the participants of the study. Chapters Three and Four describe the phonology and morphology of Masbatenyo, respectively. Chapter Five presents the verbal and non-verbal clause types of Masbatenyo.

Chapter Six describes Masbatenyo’s nominal marking system including determiners, grammatical functions of the determiners, and demonstratives. Chapter Seven presents Masbatenyo’s pronominals, covering personal pronouns, grammatical functions of pronominals, demonstrative pronouns, anaphoric and cataphoric reference, interrogative pronouns, indefinite pronouns, and reflexive pronouns. Chapter Eight describes Masbatenyo’s nominals, including their structure, gender, and morphological formation focusing on the bare nouns, derived nouns, and borrowed nouns. Chapter Nine discusses Masbatenyo’s adjectives, covering their morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties. Chapter Ten describes the distributional and structural properties of Masbatenyo verbs, including focus, transitivity, aspects, and verbal classes.

Chapter Eleven describes the adverbial particles and adjuncts. Chapter Twelve discusses the numerical system of Masbatenyo. Chapter Thirteen tackles existential constructions. Chapter Fourteen describes the language’s connectors, including the topic linker an, conjuncts, and ligatures. Chapter Fifteen presents interrogativity in the language, covering yes/no questions, alternative questions, confirmation questions, information questions, some morphologically complex interrogatives, and questions as social formulas. Chapter Sixteen describes Masbatenyo’s negation clause constructions, including predicate negation, existential negation, and negative responses or expressions. Chapter Seventeen describes Masbatenyo’s syntactic processes including detransitivization, relativization, clefting, pseudo-clefting, topicalization, and causativization. Chapter Eighteen, the final chapter, provides the summary of each of the chapters and recommendations or directions for future studies in Masbatenyo.

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722 leaves


Masbateno language--Philippines; Bisayan languages--Philippines

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