Western Subanon
Siocon Subanon
Native toPhilippines
RegionWestern Mindanao
Native speakers
300,000 (2018)[1]
    • Siocon
    • Western Kolibugan
Language codes
ISO 639-3suc

Western Subanon (also known as Siocon Subanon or simply Subanon) is an Austronesian language belonging Subanen branch of the Greater Central Philippine subgroup. It is spoken by c. 300,000 people (as of 2018) in the southwestern part of the Zamboanga Peninsula region of Mindanao.

Distribution and dialects

The Western Subanon speech area includes the villages Malayal, Lintangan, Lanuti, and Limpapa in the municipality of Sibuco, and parts of Siocon, Baliguian, Labason, Surabay, and Ipil, all located in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.[1] The dialects are Siocon and Western Kolibugan (Western Kalibugan).[2]


Western Subanon has 15 native consonants.[3][1]


Consonant phonemes
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative s h
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l
Semivowel j w


Western Subanon has five vowels.[3][1]

Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

The diphthongs of Western Subanon are /au/, /ua/, /io/, /oi/, /ai/, and /ia/.


Western Subanon has a typical Philippine-type voice system. Unlike most other Philippine languages, it only has three voice categories.[4][5]

Voice affixes
volitional non-volitional
realis irrealis realis irrealis
Actor voice ‹um›‹in›
miko- moko-
Patient voice ‹in›
mi- mo-
Goal voice ‹in› -an
pig- -an
pog- -an
ki- -an ko- -an

Sample text

The chorus of the Western Subanon song "Momula ita" 'Let's plant' is shown.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Bulalang, Sharon (2018). "Two Patterns of /a/ and /o/ Alternation in Subanon". Oceanic Linguistics. 57 (2): 289–302. doi:10.1353/ol.2018.0013. S2CID 149975971.
  2. ^ "Subanon, Western". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  3. ^ a b c Estioca, Sharon Joy. "Subanon (Spring 2015)". Language Documentation Training Center. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  4. ^ Hall, William C. (1969). "A Classification of Siocon Subanon Verbs". Anthropological Linguistics. 11 (7): 209–215. JSTOR 30029228.
  5. ^ Hauk, Bryn (2019). "Functions of the Subanon mo-Prefix: Evidence from Paradigms and Argument Structure". Oceanic Linguistics. 85 (2): 257–291. doi:10.1353/ol.2019.0009.

Further reading

  • Hall, William C. (1987). Aspects of Western Subanon Formal Speech. Summer Institute of Linguistics.