Structure dataset 45: Cavite Chabacano

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 45.

Cavite Chabacano is spoken in Cavite City, 35 kilometers southwest from Manila in the Philippines. It is one of the Spanish contact varieties that are spoken in the Philippines and known collectively as Chabacano. Cavite Chabacano is severely endangered, with less than 4,000 speakers in a city of 100,000. There are also some speakers in the United States and other migrant worker destinations. All speakers of Cavite Chabacano are bilingual in Chabacano and Tagalog and most are also fluent in English. The functional domains of Cavite Chabacano are highly restricted. It is mainly used at home and the majority of fluent speakers are of the grandparental generation or older. English and Filipino (based on Tagalog) are the national languages and are used in Cavite in the educational system, the media and in local communication. Spanish is no longer commonly spoken in Cavite City. Cavite City residents generally have a positive attitude toward Chabacano and there is no stigma associated with those who speak it, but socioeconomic conditions make learning English and Tagalog more favorable. Speakers of all socioeconomic backgrounds can still be found in different areas of the city, especially in the San Roque and Caridad districts. The default lect described in the database is almost entirely written Cavite Chabacano produced by language activists engaged in the promotion of the language. The examples are from literary sources and written elicitation collected between 2006-2010 in Cavite City. The study of sociolectal variation for Cavite Chabacano is ongoing and notes on variation are not included in the APiCS description.

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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 ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative f v h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap ɾ
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 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