Cultural organizations such as Sanghabi and the Heritage Conservation Society recommend that the collection of distinct scripts used by various indigenous groups in the Philippines, including baybayin, be called suyat , which a neutral term for any script. In the House of Representatives approved Baybayin as national writing system. This is because of the lack of coda consonant markers in Baybayin. Philippine and Gujarati languages have coda consonants, so it is unlikely that their indication would have been dropped had Baybayin been based directly on a Gujarati model. South Sulawesi languages, however, lack coda consonants and there is no way of representing them in the Bugis and Makassar scripts.
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Cultural organizations such as Sanghabi and the Heritage Conservation Society recommend that the collection of distinct scripts used by various indigenous groups in the Philippines, including baybayin, be called suyat , which a neutral term for any script. In the House of Representatives approved Baybayin as national writing system.
This is because of the lack of coda consonant markers in Baybayin. Philippine and Gujarati languages have coda consonants, so it is unlikely that their indication would have been dropped had Baybayin been based directly on a Gujarati model. South Sulawesi languages, however, lack coda consonants and there is no way of representing them in the Bugis and Makassar scripts.
The most likely explanation for the absence of coda consonant markers in Baybayin is therefore that its direct ancestor was a South Sulawesi script. Sulawesi lies directly to the south of the Philippines and these is evidence of trade routes between the two. Baybayin must therefore have been developed in the Philippines in the fifteenth century CE as the Bugis-Makassar script was developed in South Sulawesi no earlier than CE.
Early Sources[ edit ] Baybayin was noted by the Spanish priest Pedro Chirino in and Antonio de Morga in to be known by most Filipinos, and was generally used for personal writings, poetry, etc.
However, according to William Henry Scott , there were some datus from the s who could not sign affidavits or oaths, and witnesses who could not sign land deeds in the s. It is an example of letters of the script arranged more or less in the order the Spaniards knew, reproduced by the Spanish and other observers in the different regions of Luzon and Visayas. Another source of evidence are the archival documents preserved and recovered. From what is available, it seems clear that the Luzon and Palawan varieties have started to develop in different ways in the s, way before the Spaniards conquered what we know today as the Philippines.
This puts Luzon and Palawan as the oldest regions where Baybayin was and is used. It is also notable that the script used in Pampanga had already developed special shapes for four letters by the early s, different from the ones used elsewhere. It is equally important to note that this ancient Kapampangan script is very different from the experiment called "modern Kulitan" which was taught in the late s.
There is no evidence for any other regional scripts; like the modern Kulitan experiment in Pampanga. Any other scripts are recent inventions based on one or another of the abecedaries from old Spanish descriptions.
The influence of Indian culture into these areas was given the term indianization. Indian diaspora , both ancient PIO and current NRI , played an ongoing key role as professionals, traders, priests and warriors. Laguna Copperplate Inscription , a legal document inscribed on a copper plate in AD, is the earliest known written document found in the Philippines, is written in Indian Sanskrit and Brahmi script based Indonesian Kawi script.
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the earliest known written document found in the Philippines It is a legal document with the inscribed date of Saka era , corresponding to April 21, AD Laguna Copperplate Inscription. It was written in the Kawi script in a variety of Old Malay containing numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and a few non-Malay vocabulary elements whose origin is ambiguous between Old Javanese and Old Tagalog.
One hypothesis therefore reasons that, since Kawi is the earliest attestation of writing on the Philippines, then Baybayin may have descended from Kawi or vice versa. It is the kawi inspired ancient alphabet of the people of Baybay in the Lakanate of Lawan used to write letters to relatives in far places where they migrate. Scott mentioned the Bingi of Lawan siday local epic originally written in Baybay, a place in ancient Lawan.
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 widespread use among coastal groups such as the Tagalog, Bisaya, Iloko, Pangasinan, Bikol, and Pampanga around the 16th century. One theory is that "Baybayin" got its name from a place or a word "baybay," or seashore in ancient Tagalog and present Waray dialect Casal,CNN.
A second example of Kawi script can be seen on the Butuan Ivory Seal , though it has not been dated. An earthenware burial jar, called the "Calatagan Pot," found in Batangas is inscribed with characters strikingly similar to Baybayin, and is claimed to have been inscribed ca. However, its authenticity has not yet been proven. Many of the writing systems of Southeast Asia descended from ancient scripts used in India over years ago.
Although Baybayin shares some important features with these scripts, such as all the consonants being pronounced with the vowel a and the use of special marks to change this sound, there is no evidence that it is so old. The shapes of the baybayin characters bear a slight resemblance to the ancient Kavi script of Java, Indonesia, which fell into disuse in the 15th century.
However, as mentioned earlier in the Spanish accounts, the advent of the Baybayin in the Philippines was considered a fairly recent event in the 16th century and the Filipinos at that time believed that their Baybayin came from Borneo.
This theory is supported by the fact that the Baybayin script could not show syllable final consonants, which are very common in most Philippine languages. See Final Consonants This indicates that the script was recently acquired and had not yet been modified to suit the needs of its new users.
Also, this same shortcoming in the Baybayin was a normal trait of the script and language of the Bugis people of Sulawesi , which is directly south of the Philippines and directly east of Borneo. Thus most scholars believe that the Baybayin may have descended from the Buginese script or, more likely, a related lost script from the island of Sulawesi. From these Borneans the Tagalogs learned their characters, and from them the Visayans, so they call them Moro characters or letters because the Moros taught them In particular, the Pallava script from Sumatra is attested to the 7th century.
This hypothesis states that a version of this script was introduced to the Philippines via Bengal , before ultimately evolving into baybayin. Cham[ edit ] Finally, an early Cham script from Champa — in what is now southern Vietnam and southeastern Cambodia — could have been introduced or borrowed and adapted into Baybayin. The writing system is an abugida system using consonant-vowel combinations.
Each character, written in its basic form, is a consonant ending with the vowel "A". To produce consonants ending with the other vowel sounds, a mark is placed either above the consonant to produce an "E" or "I" sound or below the consonant to produce an "O" or "U" sound.
The mark is called a kudlit. The kudlit does not apply to stand-alone vowels. Vowels themselves have their own glyphs. There is only one symbol or character for Da or Ra as they were allophones in many languages of the Philippines , where Ra occurred in intervocalic positions and Da occurred elsewhere. Beside these phonetic considerations, the script is monocameral and does not use letter case for distinguishing proper names or initials of words starting sentences.
Writing materials[ edit ] Traditionally, baybayin was written upon palm leaves with styli or upon bamboo with knives. The Ticao stone inscription, also known as the Monreal stone or Rizal stone, is a limestone tablet that contains Baybayin characters.
This cross-shaped kudlit functions exactly the same as the virama in the Devanagari script of India. In fact, Unicode calls this kudlit the Tagalog Sign Virama.
See sample above in Characteristics Section. The confusion over the use of marks may have contributed to the demise of Baybayin over time. The desire of Francisco Lopez for Baybayin to conform to the Spanish alfabetos paved the way for the invention of a cross sign. Such introduction was uniquely a standalone event that was blindly copied by succeeding writers up to the present. Sevilla and Alvero said, "The marks required in the formation of syllables are: the tuldok or point.
The current version of the Filipino alphabet still retains "ng" as a digraph. These lines similar to danda signs in other Indic abugidas fulfill the function of a comma, period, or unpredictably separate sets of words. Its use spread to Ilokanos when the Spanish promoted its use with the printing of Bibles.
Among the earliest literature on the orthography of Visayan languages were those of Jesuit priest Ezguerra with his Arte de la lengua bisaya in  and of Mentrida with his Arte de la lengua bisaya: Iliguaina de la isla de Panay in which primarily discussed grammatical structure.
Like Japan and Korea , the Philippines also had a sealing culture prior to Spanish colonization. However, when the Spaniards succeeded in colonizing the islands, they abolished the practice and burned all documents they captured from the natives while forcefully establishing a Roman Catholic-based rule. Records on Philippine seals were forgotten until in the s when actual ancient seals made of ivory were found in an archaeological site in Butuan.
The seal is inscribed with the word "Butwan" through a native baybayin script. The discovery of the seal proved the theory that pre-colonial Filipinos, or at least in coastal areas, used seals on paper. Before the discovery of the seal, it was only thought that ancient Filipinos used bamboo, metal, bark, and leaves for writing. The ivory seal is now housed at the National Museum of the Philippines. Nowadays, younger generations are trying to revive the usage of seals, notably in signing pieces of art such as drawings, paintings, and literary works.
It is used in the most current New Generation Currency series of the Philippine peso issued in the last quarter of It is also used in Philippine passports , specifically the latest e-passport edition issued 11 August onwards.
Baybayin influence may also explain the preference for making acronyms from initial consonant-vowel pairs of the component words, rather than the more common use of just the first letter. A number of legislative bills have been proposed periodically aiming to promote the writing system, none of which have yet been passed into law. The lyrics of Lupang Hinirang in Baybayin rendering. Flag of Katipunan in Magdiwang faction , with the Baybayin ka letter. Seal of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines , with the two Baybayin ka and pa letters in the center.
Emblem of the Armed Forces of the Philippines , with a Baybayin ka in the center. Seal of the Philippine Army , with a Baybayin ka in the center. Logo of the National Library of the Philippines. The Baybayin text reads as karunungan ka r a u n a u nga n a , wisdom. Logo of the National Museum of the Philippines , with a Baybayin pa letter in the center, in a traditional rounded style. Logo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines , with three rotated occurrences of the Baybayin ka letter.
Examples of glyphs hand-drawn or decorative style for base letters Independent vowels Base consonants with implicit vowel a a.
Baybayin - The Ancient Script of the Philippines
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again. The Philippines, like any other nation, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Long before the Spanish conquest of these islands, people lived here, thrived, and developed their own civilization, different and distinct from that of their Spanish conquerors. Yet, the older history, the one more truly Filipino, also exists, and has largely been neglected and forgotten over time. These islands existed long before Magellan stepped on that beach in Cebu.
Search Tagalog Tagalog is a Philippine language spoken in the Philippines, particularly in Manila, central and southern parts of Luzon, and also on the islands of Lubang, Marinduque, and the northern and eastern parts of Mindoro. According to the census, there are about According to survey conducted by the US Census Bureau, there were about 1. Little is known of the history of the language before the arrival of the Spanish in the Philippines during the 16th century as no eariler written materials have been found. The national language of the Philippines in known as Filipino Wikang Filipino.
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