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A phonological grammar of a dialect of Ilokano Olaya, Norma Peralta


Current linguistics views grammar as an integrated syntactic-semantic-phonological description of a language; as generative, that is, that sentences have a definite structure, that there are an infinite number of sentences, and that, therefore, a grammar cannot be a list of elements, but instead a finite set of explicit rules which can automatically assign a structure to an infinite set of sentences. The present thesis - a phonological grammar of the cultivated dialect of Ilokano as spoken in the town proper of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya - has aimed to reflect these modem concepts of a grammar in both its content and methodology. It suggests a methodology for the description of the sound pattern of a given dialect. As to content, the results of this study should be useful as basis for a contrastive phonology of Ilokano and English, or the other Philippine languages and dialects, with the end in view of contributing to an effective second-language teaching and curriculum construction. The study has the following salient features: (1) Chapter 1 covers general discussions on Ilokano and its dialects, and the relationships of Ilokano to the other Philippine languages and dialects. Chapter 2 includes preliminary discussions on content and procedure of the descriptive analyses. (2) The study operates on the taxonomic and explanatory levels of linguistic science. The taxonomic level is achieved by the etic and the emic analyses in Chapters 3 and 4. The explanatory level is reflected in Chapter 5 -in the phonological grammar which is a system of 34 (23 segmental and 11 suprasegmental) emic units of the Ilokano dialect, and a set of 42 unordered structure-assigning rewrite rules (32 phonetic rules and 10 morphophonemic rules) which enumerate Ilokano utterances and their associated phonological analysis. This feature of the study may be stated in terms of the outputs of each level, the relationships of which have been schematically shown as follows: [scheme omitted] (3) For the descriptive methodology and procedure employed in this study, the writer has taken cues from two linguists: (a) from Kenneth L. Pike, his tagmemic theory which basically assumes that any unit of purposive human behavior is well-defined if and only if one describes it in reference to (1) contrast, (2) variation, and (3) distribution. This trimodal theory of analysis has been briefly stated, thus: Unit =Contrast Variation Distribution; (b)from Noam A. Chomsky, his generative grammar theory which has been briefly stated in the first paragraph of this abstract and discussed at considerable length in Chapter 5. (4) The analysis of the stream of speech at the end of Chapter 4 graphically illustrates some general concepts in linguistics as applied to Ilokano. (5) The trimodal scheme, U = C V D, is operative at both the taxonomic and explanatory levels of this research. The detailed etic analysis which is predominantly articulatory delineates the raw materials of speech - the 41 etic units of the Ilokano dialect, extracted from the phonetic data, the corpus of utterances presented in Chapter 2. By the criterion of phonetic resemblance and by the CVD-formula employed in the process of phonemization - Chapter 4 - the 41 etic units have been reduced to 34 emic units. (6) The patterns of occurrence relationships of the emic units are described in terms of the phonological rules. Each rule is of the form: X -- Y. Within the limits of its organized data, facts and information, this thesis asserts: (1) That the phonemes /e, o, f, v, h/ - occurring in Spanish or English loan words which are currently used by the Ilokanos represented in this study - have become assimilated into the phonemic system of the Ilokano dialect; (2) That the basic syllable structure of Ilokano has for its underlying pattern, CV(C) and not V or CV; and,- (3) That the linguistic description at the explanatory level of the research is generative, since the phonological structure of the Ilokano dialect can best be accounted for, not by an inventory of elements,but by a system of rules - its generative phonological grammar.

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