Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
luther

Serious About Grammar

Recommended Posts

luther

Hi this is Luther and I study Cebuano Visayan grammar all the time. I like grammar so much my wife thinks I'm crazy. I like grammar so much that I'm not fluent yet because I am studying the grammar in depth so haven't had time to learn many words.

 

If there is any interest in Cebuano grammar I would join in the discussion. Most people just want a translation or phrases to memorize, but for me what's interesting isn't "How do I say this," but "Why is it said this way?" The rules of grammar are like a game for me.

 

I saw a post on another forum that said Cebuano has no rules. There might be a language somewhere that has no rules, but Cebuano is not it. This I know because when I say something wrong, guess what? I get blank looks, I am not understood.

 

If you really want to communicate, for me the way to go about it is not to memorize words and sentences, but to learn how the language is structured. Then, if you learn a few words, you already know how to make sentences that the native speaker will understand.

 

I would like to correspond with people who share this viewpoint and are not afraid to discuss grammar.

 

Luther

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Torestre

I would like to know where you can find a source for studying the grammar.

 

I partly agree with you. Grammar is important, but it is not a matter of life and death. You can make your self understood by using only single words without any knowledge of grammar at all. Of course I wouldnt recomend you to throw yourself into complicated philosophical discussions, but you would be able to express your needs. Thats the purpose of any language, to express your needs.

 

Then the needs changes depending on your circomstances at the moment. They say man cannot live on food alone, and then of course you would need to know grammar B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther
I would like to know where you can find a source for studying the grammar.

 

There are various sources for information about Cebuano grammar, and the fun part for me is that none of them seem consistently useful to me, except Wolff's dictionary. For the most part they seem to be white guys trying to explain Cebuano as if it were a dialect of English. So I get to have fun trying to invent a better description.

 

But in answer to your question, there are various sources including some free online. There's a yahoo forum (sebuano links), a Peace Corps manual, and a grammar manual by a guy named Tom Marking. I also got a copy of a manual written by priests at a school in Davao that teaches Bisayan, someone emailed it to me. There's more but that's the best of it.

 

As for books you can buy, I only know of one in print and it's brand new so I haven't seen it. It's by Jesse Rubrico who has the yahoo forum and also her own site. I think it's self-published.

 

As for out of print books, if you can find real copies they'll be expensive and if you buy photocopies from official sources (University Microfilms) they are super expensive. The best book to own is the dictionary by Professor John U. Wolff. I found a good copy but it cost me. I think the photocopy, which comes in two parts, totals about $400. It's 1164 pages. Wolff also published a two volume grammar/exercise book. His books are all 40 years old. Try Abebooks.com.

 

In general I recommend you wait for the book I'm planning to write. I am going to try to incorporate humor into my grammar. Get it? hehehehehe

 

Luther

ps I'm online only once a week so if anyone wants to talk just be patient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

For the past couple of weeks, I have had a private tutor, who has been helping me "piece" together what I already knew, regarding Cebuano.

 

I am learning more than I dreamed I would, and am only into lesson 4 or 5, perhaps? Anyway, I am now interested in Grammar, and how sentences are built, in Cebuano.

 

As you stated, Cebuano definitely does have rules, as I have learned several already.

 

If one keeps within the rules of grammar, concerning Cebuano, he/she will be able to master it easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther

Paul,

 

It's nice to hear from someone else who thinks it's fun to learn how to use a new language.

 

I have gone over the hump lately analyzing sentences because I kept noticing something I called "role-switching" that was obviously important but neglected by the books.

 

Say you have a verb that uses -ON. It will mark a certain noun with ang. If you change the affix to -AN maybe (or maybe not) a different noun will be marked with ang. Same if you change to I-; maybe or maybe not the whole sentence structure will change, with the ang-marked noun a pivotal concern.

 

Those who say I- is always instrumental and -AN is always locative are not paying attention. I have found by analyzing maybe 2000 sentences that the rules for what happens are actually regular and predictable. It depends on the verb class. Every verb class has its own exact rules.

 

By verb class, I mean verbs of motion, verbs of adversity, verbs of touching/aggression, verbs of perception, etc. Causative is especially interesting, there are three kinds, only one of which uses pa-, but all analyze the same.

 

Have you noticed anything like that? What would your tutor say about it?

 

Luther

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vampy_lane

I just listened to the Radio Cebuano Drama regularly, that's where I learned the grammar and how they pronounced and say it with feelings.

 

I understand the dialect though even before, just find it hard to speak it.

 

I think I'm good in the speaking now, I cuss perfectly using the dialect too...LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther
I think I'm good in the speaking now, I cuss perfectly using the dialect too...LOL

 

Vampy,

 

You must be a native speaker of Tagalog? If so you had a big head start. I would like to listen to that radio station, can you tell me where it is on the dial?

 

I can also listen to local radio stations, they must speak Cebuano too.

 

Some boys tried to teach me how to cuss the first time I came here. I didn't understand the words but I repeated what they wanted me to say and they laughed so I knew it was something bad.

 

I'm not allowed to cuss in English but my wife cusses in Cebuano anytime she wants. I guess that means it's a matriarchal culture?

 

Luther

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WujouMao

i know conti lang of tagalog or Cebuano, but its rather pronunciation is the key. the amount of times iv had to repeat what i say for them to repeat back to me and i go, yeah, iv been saying that 5 times. for instance, i asked a girl what she thinks of balut. iv know idea how to say it in english apart from ba-lut. after 5 times i have to write it on my mobi phone and she goes, oh, balut!

 

yes, balut :D

 

and pedro gil skytrain station. so much for lonely planet. oh, tagalog is pretty easy, just read it how it looks. so for the past few weeks i wondered why the taxi drivers just drove off, till some kind chap informed me the G in gil is pronounced as an H. which also goes to explain the little town of Gingoog in mindano. its not gin goog, rather Hing o-og

 

have you guys found anything similar while you stay there? of course, i was just [and still am] a backpacker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlbinoPrincess

I'm glad to know that there are others out there that think grammar is important. I have tried to tell people that I think that if I knew the sentence structure it would be easier for me to learn Cebuano. They turn around and tell me that they'll just teach me sentences to memorize. :D

 

For those of you who have hired Cebuano tutors, did they just give you sentences to memorize or did they teach you the grammar side of things as well?? How much do the tutors usually cost?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther

AlbinoPrincess,

 

You're right, it's hard to find someone who prefers the grammar approach over the phrasebook approach. I want to learn to use the language like a native and I hate memorizing anything or doing exercises. Even my wife who speaks Cebuano, Tagalog, Ilonggo, and English, has no interest in grammar. If I have a question about grammar I can't ask it directly, I have to compose two or more very similar sentences and have her give them back to me so I can compare them and try to learn that way. I give her Cebuano sentences to correct or English sentences to translate into Cebuano. It's slow going and she has little patience for it. Also you have to watch out for the Filipino's tendency to not want to say no or I don't know. You have to learn to recognize when they are just agreeing with you or telling you what they think they want you to hear. It's true that Filipinos will walk a mile to go around a disagreement and this behavior is automatic, part of their culture.

 

I've been studying Cebuano several hours a day for almost two years and it just keeps getting more interesting. I'm a bit of a freak that way but it gives me something to do while my wife is at work. The grammar approach isn't the fastest way to become conversational but my brain is not wired for casual conversation even in English which I've been fluent in for half a century.

 

I encourage you to post questions here or on the yahoo forum "Sebuano_Links" which is moderated by a linguist from Mindanao. I am online once a week to ask and answer questions, mostly ask but if you're brand new to studying Cebuano I could answer some for you too.

 

I totally agree that a tutor who only gives you sentences to memorize is a waste of time unless you are the gregarious conversation oriented type of person who learns quickly by mimicry.

 

There are grammar books available on abebooks.com, and John Wolff's dictionary is indispensable. These books are all either rare or "books on demand", either way they're very expensive.

 

Luther

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther

WujouMao,

 

What does your name mean?

 

In Cebuano, balut can be pronounced two ways. BA-lut means package. ba-LUT means, you know, that thing I won't eat.

 

The same phenomenon holds throughout the whole language, Cebuano and Tagalog both, if you stress the wrong syllable you will get blank looks, nervous giggles, or worse. It's often an entirely different word if you stress the wrong syllable. Also you have to know about the glottal stop, a catch in the throat like the T sound in the Cockney accent: "kitten>ki-in". There's no letter for the glottal stop. Other than that everything is pronounced the way it looks so it's easier than English.

 

As for the pronunciation of G, Gil starts with an H sound only because it's a Spanish name. Native words like Gingoog will use the regular G sound as in Gregory.

 

By backpacker, you mean you're just tootling around enjoying the Philippines as opposed to staying with a particular family? What part of Britain are you from?

 

I saw the entire western US from the front of a backpack before I settled down and learned how to stay in one place for over three months.

 

Luther

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlbinoPrincess

Please remember that I am a beginner. Ko kasabot gamay kaayo Cebuano! :crack-up:

 

Could you give me a list of prefixes and/or suffixes? Are they used the same way that they are in English (for example...to change tense or part of speech)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Daisy
Please remember that I am a beginner. Ko kasabot gamay kaayo Cebuano! :as-if:

 

Could you give me a list of prefixes and/or suffixes? Are they used the same way that they are in English (for example...to change tense or part of speech)?

 

 

I don't know so much about Cebuano grammar but anyway I will give you my best shoot...just to let you know that I admire your interest for my country/Cebu.

 

The word kasabot...

 

if you say naka(sabot) Nakasabot na ko. <which means> I already understand)

maka(sabot) Makasabot unta ko. I hope I can understand

or you could also use

nag(sabot) past tense Nagsabot na ta We already agreed

mag(sabot) present Magsabot sa ta We need to agree

magka(sabot) future Magkasabot unta ta I hope we could make an agreement

 

You know for me the cebuano grammar is much complicated because the meaning of the word will actually differ, depending on how you use it in a sentence.

Here's the example: If you say Magsabot sa ta, it could also mean, We need to talk.

 

Here we only use one verb sabot but look at the english verb...understand, agree and talk...ahhhhhrgggggg! I truly don't know which is more complicated here! :rolleyes::rolleyes:

CHEERS Princess Albino!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther

Albino Princess:

 

I'm glad you asked. If my explanation doesn't make sense please say so, or ask more questions.

 

It's a big topic and you want to dive right in so here goes.

 

The affixes include prefixes, suffixes, infixes and circumfixes. Infixes go inside the root word and circumfixes are when there is both a prefix and suffix.

 

Infix:

paagi + -in- > pinaagi

 

Circumfix:

hulog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luther

Albino Princess:

 

I'm glad you asked. If my explanation doesn't make sense please say so, or ask more questions.

 

It's a big topic and you want to dive right in so here goes.

 

The affixes include prefixes, suffixes, infixes and circumfixes. Infixes go inside the root word and circumfixes are when there is both a prefix and suffix.

 

Infix:

paagi + -in- > pinaagi

 

Circumfix:

hulog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Sailfish Bay Fishing Charters

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..