Native toPhilippines
Regionmost parts of Apayao province, northern parts of Abra, Luzon
Native speakers
(30,000–40,000 cited 1994)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
isd – Isnag
tiu – Adasen Itneg
Glottologisna1241  Isnag
adas1235  Adasen
ELPAdasen Itneg
Linguasphere31-CCA-a incl. inner units 31-CCA-aa...-ae
Area where Isnag (including Adasen Isneg) is spoken according to Ethnologue
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Isnag (also called Isneg) is a language spoken by around 40,000 Isnag people of Apayao Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region in the northern Philippines. Around 85% of Isnag are capable of reading the Isnag language.[citation needed] Many Isnag speakers also speak Ilocano.


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Isnag.

Alternate names for Isnag include Apayao, Dibagat-Kabugao-Isneg, Isneg, and Maragat (Ethnologue).

Isnag is spoken in the northern two thirds of Apayao Province, Cagayan Province (Claveria and Santa Praxedes municipalities), Abra, and Ilocos Norte Province, and scattered areas along the Apayao western border (Ethnologue).

The closely related Adasen (Addasen, Addasen Tinguian, Itneg Adasen) language, which consists of western and eastern dialects, is spoken in northeastern Abra and into western Apayao Province. There are 4,000 speakers (Ethnologue).


Vowel phonemes
Front Back
High i
Mid e o
Close a
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative f v s ʃ h
Approximant l j w
Tap ɾ

Isnag is one of the Philippine languages that do not exhibit [ɾ]-[d] allophony.[citation needed]

Language sample

Historical sound changes

The Proto-Malayo-Polynesian schwa ə has merged to /a/ such as *qatəp > atap ('roof') similar to Kapampangan, atip in Tagalog and atup in Visayan.[2]


  1. ^ Isnag at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Adasen Itneg at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Word: Thatch/Roof". Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database. Archived from the original on 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2009-11-26.