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Reviewed by:
  • Ibatan to English dictionary, with English, Filipino, Ilokano, Ivatan indices by Judith Y. M. Maree and Orland R. Tomas
  • Lawrence A. Reid
Judith Y. M. Maree and Orland R. Tomas, compilers. 2012. Ibatan to English dictionary, with English, Filipino, Ilokano, Ivatan indices. Manila: SIL Philippines. xv + 501 pp. ISBN 978-971-18-0439-8. $20.00, paper.

Ibatan is the language of Babuyan Claro, one of the islands in the Babuyan group that lies directly south of the Batanes Islands and north of Luzon in the Philippines. Babuyan Claro has a population of around 1,300, of whom around 1,000 are native speakers of Ibatan. Judith Maree, one of the main compilers, has been doing research on the language since 1978 along with her husband, Rundell Maree (RM), who is the author of the Introduction, grammatical sketch, and appendices of the volume, under the auspices of SIL International. The second main compiler, Orlando Tomas, whose photo appears on the beautiful cover of the book, is an elementary school teacher. They were ably assisted by a group of native speakers and an editorial committee who reviewed and edited the volume prior to its submission for publication.

Despite its relatively small size (about 5,000 main entries), this dictionary is a fine addition to the growing number of good dictionaries of little-known Philippine languages (cf. Newell and Poligon 1993; Hassan, Ashley, and Ashley 1994; Wolfenden 2001; Newell and Tarbadilla 2006; et alia) produced in recent years by members of SIL utilizing the software developed by SIL, in this case Toolbox.

Apart from the set of lexical entries, the book contains a small map of the island and its position in relation to the other northern islands of the Philippines, a short introduction containing information on who the Ibatan are, the form of entries, how to use the dictionary, and a phonological and grammatical sketch. Following the lexical entries, there are twelve appendices containing a wide range of supplementary materials, including charts of affixes, a list of archaic terms, and lists of semantically related terms such as numerals, body parts, phases of the moon, terms related to the ocean, plants, rice culture, kinship, and so on, all complemented by appropriate photographs, charts, and figures. There is also a list where a wide range of terms of specific topics such as different kinds of plants, parts of birds, bodies, fish, roosters, eggs, wind directions, ways of carrying, and including even stages of gestation of a female crab can be accessed under listed head words in the dictionary. Three pages of relevant references are followed by four indices that will make the dictionary eminently accessible to a wide range of users: English (ca. 7,000 entries), Filipino (ca. 2,000 entries), Ilokano (ca. 2,500 entries), and Ivatan (ca. 1,500 entries).

The introductory material stresses the position of Ilokano (Ilk) as the language of large numbers of migrants into Babuyan Claro, a language that now forms a sizable component of the Ibatan (Ibt) lexicon and whose morphology is now competing with native Ibatan morphology in everyday speech: for example, the use of the actor voice mag- for Ilk ag- in place of the inherited reflex of Proto–Malayo-Polynesian (PMP) *maR- as Ibt may-. A large proportion [End Page 311] of the Ilokano entries in the Ilokano index appear as headwords in the dictionary (marked as borrowings), many with meaning changes or restrictions from the meanings given in Ilokano dictionaries. These are exemplified and commented on in the Introduction, which then provides a clear statement about the basic order of each major entry.

The entries—primarily root words, but also some related derived forms, compounds, and affixes—are carefully and consistently organized with a wealth of information. Parentheses are used to mark variant forms, often those that have a slightly different reflex of an inherited sound. Parentheses also surround a similar form that is described in more detail elsewhere in the dictionary. They also include information as to source, usually Ilokano, Ivatan (Ivt), or Spanish. Lexical entries are separated into numbered related senses, each head of which is given a “part of speech” label consisting...


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