Abstract

This paper revisits Maranao, a Philippine language spoken on the island of Mindanao. In spite of its being the object of foreign inquiry for nearly a century, major errors have persisted in the analysis of its phonology and verb system. However, several now-deceased Muslim Maranao scholars unknowingly deciphered their language's phoneme system in the early 1970s in the process of trying to develop a more ideal orthography than had previously been in use. This breakthrough, unnoticed by linguists until now, allows for revision of the phonological analysis and for a better understanding of its historical development. In turn, such a revision is a prerequisite to the analysis of the morphophonemically complex verbal system, which by its nature cannot be properly analyzed unless based on a clear understanding of the language's phonological system. Finally, by examining the shortcomings of the nearly one hundred years of studies of the Maranao language, linguists can learn many lessons that, hopefully, will help them avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 403-438
Launched on MUSE
2010-01-28
Open Access
No
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