HomeMALAYvol. 32 no. 2 (2020)

Analyzing the Lexical Variation of Filipino, Bicol, and Cebuano Terms within the Context of Livelihood

Rhoderick V. Nuncio | Freddielyn B Pontemayor | Joan A. Monforte | Dadine Kristine Ann V. Lumigis



This research focuses on the lexical variation of livelihood terms in Filipino, Bikol, and Cebuano. In the analysis of data, a conceptual framework is used to accentuate the relationship of geography, language, culture, and livelihood in understanding the lexical equivalances in three languages. The NPML List (representing the initials of surnames of the authors) is a provisional listing of 132 Filipino livelihood words with equivalences in Bicol and Cebuano. The research is inspired by the Swadesh 100, which is a list of 100 universal words, selected by Morris Swadesh, having equivalances in different languages of the world. The paper aims to (a) enumerate the factors affecting lexical variation; and (b) analyze the variation in Bikol and Cebuano lexical corpus. An English translation is added for convenience for interlingual translation as part of a bigger project to build an online Filipino learner’s dictionary, which started from the graduate course in lexicography of the Departamento ng Filipino in DLSU. Based on the analysis, there are variants and equivalances between Cebuano and Bikol languages and at the same time there are local terms in Cebuano and Bikol languages that are appriopriated as part of the vocabularies of Filipino, our national language. This unique study aims to show the relationship, similarities, and differences of languages in the Philippines based on a specific context of livelihood, which is deemed important for Filipinos. Most importantly, this project proves that Filipino as our national language is fulfilling its role as “facilitator-language” of the different languages in the Philippines.