Structure dataset 44: Ternate Chabacano

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 44.

Ternate Chabacano is spoken by some 3,000 people in the town of Ternate, Cavite province, Philippines. It is one of the Spanish contact varieties that are spoken in the Philippines and known collectively as Chabacano. There are also some diaspora speakers in the United States and other migrant worker destinations. Chabacano is a minority language in the town associated with the traditional local community. All the Chabacano speakers in Ternate are multilingual in Chabacano and Tagalog, as well as other languages. Trends in existing domains can be characterized as multilingualism with dwindling domains: Tagalog and English dominate in many communication contexts. Spanish is no longer commonly spoken in Ternate. Chabacano is mainly used at home and in the neighbourhoods together with Tagalog. Chabacano is not part of the school curriculum in Ternate, but some teachers of the first grades use Chabacano unofficially. Ternate Chabacano is a spoken variety and it is rather difficult to find written samples in printed media, but personal letters and new media are one domain where the written form of the language can be found. Chabacano is written in different ways by different age groups. The default lect chosen for description in APiCS is the speech of older Ternateños living in the central barangays or neighbourhoods of Ternate. The language of the younger speakers of Chabacano has especially been influenced by English and Tagalog. Examples are from a spoken language corpus collected in Ternate between 2003 and 2006. Examples from other, written sources are indicated in the dataset, mainly Nigoza’s (2007) collection of folk tales and legends.

Glossed text (57.8KB, application/pdf)
No. Feature Value Details Source
No. Feature Value Details Source


Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d k g ʔ
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s
Non-sibilant fricative h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap
Trill r
Lateral affricate
Lateral fricative
Lateral approximant
Lateral flap


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open ihigh front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel long high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide


       Exists (as a major allophone)
       Exists only as a minor allophone
       Exists only in loanwords
No. Feature Value Details Source