This article is about the Cebuano language. It is not to be confused pimsleur french reading booklet pdf Visayan languages or Brunei Bisaya language. This article contains IPA phonetic symbols.
It has the largest native language-speaking population of the Philippines despite not being taught formally in schools and universities until 2012. Bisaya is the layman’s term used to refer to Cebuano. Whenever a person or a language is called Bisaya, it is a common wrong notion that it would immediately refer to Cebuano despite the fact that there are many languages in the Visayas which in general are called Visayan or Binisaya. Bisaya, therefore, is a generic word. Cebuano applies to all speakers of vernaculars mutually intelligible with the vernaculars of Cebu, regardless of origin or location, as well as to the language they speak.
Cebuano was first documented by Antonio Pigafetta, an Italian explorer who was part of Ferdinand Magellan’s 1521 expedition. Spanish missionaries started to write in the language during the early 18th century. While there is evidence of a pre-Spanish writing system for the language, its use appears to have been sporadic. Spaniards recorded the Visayan script which was called Kudlit-kabadlit by the natives.
The colonists erroneously called the ancient Filipino script “Tagalog letters”, regardless of the language for which it was used. The language was heavily influenced by the Spanish language during the period of colonialism from 1565 to 1898. With the arrival of Spanish colonials, for example, a Latin-based writing system was introduced alongside a number of Spanish loanwords. Due to the influence of the Spanish language, the number of vowel sounds also increased from three to five. This was later expanded to five vowels with the introduction of Spanish. For Cebuano consonants, all the stops are unaspirated.
Like in Tagalog, glottal stops are usually not indicated in writing. All of the above substitutions are considered allophonic and do not change the meaning of the word. Stress accent is phonemic, so that dápit means “place”, while dapit means “to invite”. It first gained prominence due to its adoption by the Catholic Church as the standard for written Cebuano. Colloquialisms can also be used to determine the regional origin of the speaker.