|Chirin nu Ibatan|
|(33,000 cited 1996–2007)|
Official language in
|Regional language in the Philippines|
|Regulated by||Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino|
The location of the Ivatan language within the Batanic languages
The Ivatan language, also known as Chirin nu Ivatan ("language of the Ivatan people"), is a Philippine language of Austronesian origins spoken in the Batanes Islands of the Philippines.
Although the islands are closer to Taiwan than to Luzon, it is not one of the Formosan languages. Ivatan is one of the Batanic languages, which are perhaps a primary branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family of Austronesian languages.
The language of Babuyan Island (Ibatan) is sometimes classified as a dialect of the Ivatan language. Most of the Babuyan population moved to Batan Island and to Luzon mainland during the Spanish colonial period. The island became repopulated at the end of the 19th century with families from Batan, most of them speakers of one of the Ivatan dialects.
Ivatan is especially characterized by its words, which mostly have the letter v, as in vakul, Ivatan, and valuga. While related to the Northern Philippine group of languages, Ivatan, having been isolated, is most close to the two other members of the Bashiic sub-group of languages, Yami (Tao) and Itbayat, neither of which is indigenous to Luzon. Ibatan dialect, spoken on the nearby Babuyan group of islands, is so similar to Ivatan that it is not entirely clear whether it should be classified as a dialect of Ivatan or a separate language, though each does receive its own code in ISO taxonomy.
Ivatan has two dialects; Basco Ivatan, more commonly known as Ivasay, spoken on the main island of Batan, and Southern Ivatan or Isamurung, spoken on the southern half of Batan and on the most southern island, Sabtang.
In the capital of Basco and the surrounding northern half of Batan, the area encompassed by Ivasayen, t is prominent, whereas in the Isamurongen zone to the south (Mahatao, Ivana, Uyugan and Sabtang) that phoneme becomes a ch.
Examples of the more visible variations of the Ivasayen and Isamurongen words and pronunciations are:
Itbayaten is sometimes also considered a dialect. 2% of the total vocabulary does not occur in Ivatan dialects. Examples of different Ivasayen, Isamurongen and Itbayaten words that have the same English translation:
Ivatan and Filipino words are sometimes combined, as in the Ivatan word mapatak. It is derived from marunong (Filipino) and chapatak (Ivatan), literally 'someone who knows', which were then compounded to form the word mapatak. This is the result of the influence of non-Ivatans who tend to speak the language and were then eventually adopted.
Examples of metathesis in Ivatan include iskarayla for iskalayra ('stairs') and tumaraya for tumayara ('going up').
Ivatan slang includes examples such as tanchew, coined from mirwa ta anchiyaw – literally 'we’ll meet again later', and nganmu, coined from jinu ngayan mu, literally 'where are you going'. These are results of shortening Ivatan phrases or sentences into one or two words, depending on usage.
Common Ivatan expressions have various origins such as:[clarification needed]
/u/ can also be lowered to [ʊ]. Vowels [e] and [o] only occur in loanwords from Spanish, Ilocano, and Tagalog.
/h/ can also be heard as a velar fricative [x]. Ivatan is one of the Philippine languages that do not exhibit [ɾ]-[d] allophony.
The following set of pronouns is found in the Ivatan language.
|Nominative free||Nominative bound||Genitive free||Genitive bound||Locative|
|1st person singular||yaken||'ako||niaken||ko||diaken|
|2nd person singular||'imo||'ka||nimo||mo||dimo|
|3rd person singular||sia||sia||nia||na||dia|
|1st person plural inclusive||yaten||ta||niaten||ta||diaten|
|1st person plural exclusive||yamen||kami||niamen||namen||diamen|
|2nd person plural||'inio||kamo||ninio||nio||dinio|
|3rd person plural||sira/sa||sira/sa||nira||da||dira|
Coined words are two words combined to form one new word.
|Mirwa ta anchiyaw||Tanchew||We'll meet again later.||Street language|
|Jinu ngayan mu||Nganmu||Where are you going?||Street language|
Ivatan is written using the Latin alphabet. As Ivatan is primarily a spoken language and seldom used in written form, there is currently no consistent way of writing the language and different conventions may be used by different writers. An orthography devised for use in public schools by the Department of Education uses the full 26-letter Latin alphabet, with three extra letters, ch, ñ, and ng.
The schwa sound, or uh, is normally represented by the letter e as in Dios Mamajes, 'di-yos-ma-ma-huhs', and palek 'pa-luhk'.