A Morphological Analysis of the Sinama in Iligan City, Philippines

Authors: Keven Opamin (Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology, The Philippines)
Speakers: Keven Opamin
Strand: Language, Community, Ethnicity
Session Type: General Session


This study delves into the morphological aspects of Binajau-Tambacan, a Sinama variety spoken in Tambacan, Iligan City. The morphological analysis consists of two parts: identifying its morphemes and investigating its morphological processes. Furthermore, this paper attempts to classify the Sinama dialect of Binajau Tambacan. The data collected includes one hundred and ninety-five Binajau Tambacan morphemes, with one hundred and sixty-eight lexical morphemes, twenty grammatical/functional morphemes, and seven bound morphemes. The findings suggest that a number of morphological processes are occurring in the Binajau Tambacan. First is the use of affixation in word formation. Seven Binajau Tambacan affixes (prefixes mag-, ma-, ang-, pag-, ni-, and pina) and one infix (-in-) were uncovered during the interview. In addition, three Binajau Tambacan words follow reduplication: saddi-saddi (variety), kenakan-kenakan (various foods), and onde-onde (children). Moreover, the interview yielded twenty borrowed words used in Binajau Tambacan, including, to name a few, hotdog, plato, module, softdrinks, and organ. Interestingly, the Binajau Tambacan term iskul has acquired Filipino and/or Sebuano phonological and morphological characteristics, thus undergoing indigenization. The findings indicate that Binajau Tambacan has the highest degree of similarity to Central Sinama, clocking in at 82%. This lends credence to the idea that it is most likely to be categorized as belonging to Central Sinama.

Keywords: Sinama variety, Morphology, Morphemes, Language documentation.