Structure dataset 46: Zamboanga Chabacano

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 46.

Zamboanga Chabacano (Zamboangueño) is a Spanish-based creole language spoken by around 450,000 people in the Republic of the Philippines in South-East Asia, and by an unknown number of diaspora speakers in Malaysia (Province of Sabah), the United States of America, Canada and elsewhere. Chabacano is the native language of about 50 per cent of the population of the city of Zamboanga and the surrounding area in the extreme western part of the island of Mindanao (approximately 300,000 speakers). A subvariety of Zamboanga Chabacano is also spoken in the town of Cotabato (Mindanao). The creole is also used here as a lingua franca by diverse ethno-linguistic groups. It is codified for public and private purposes with a Hispanic orthography mixed with English and Philippine traditions; there are Bible translations, literary writings, and until recently also press publications. Public oral use has recently been increasing in broadcasting and television, in church, and in some public schools. It lost some of its former significance to Philippine languages (Tagalog and Cebuano) and English.

The default lect that we chose for description in APiCS is roughly the speech of 20-40 year old people living in city of Zamboanga. Nearly all constructed examples are from different native speakers instructed for fieldwork on Chabacano at the Ateneo of Zamboanga. Examples which come from other lects/sources are indicated in the dataset: own fieldwork data (spontaneous speech) or sources from other authors (especially from Forman 1972). If these lects do not deviate from our default lect, examples from these sources are also cited under default lect. There are nearly no examples from the written lect which is partly very hispanicized (e.g. in the Bible translation).

Glossed text (66.7KB, 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 c k  g ʔ
Sibilant affricate t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s ʃ ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v h
Approximant l j ʎ
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