Some Notes on the Modernization of Ilokano, II

I present an argument here: That the way to go to modernize the linkers and/or conjunctive markers `ket' and `ken' is not to go back to the way they wrote two generations ago, with their Castilian penchant for the impossible 'Q' for 'quen' and 'quet'.

The way to go to modernize our language is to adopt the 'k' sound more obviously in keeping with the kur-itan/kurditan phones and with the more contemporary usage of many publications, to include Bannawag, Sirmata, Tawid, the Bible with many versions and other textbooks and literary materials. Here, widespread usage dictates; it is some form of a dictatorship, alright, but here we go: Why fix that which is not broken? I do not understand.

Then again, we have to accept the dynamic of language use and usage: that those who use it in writing will eventually win out, at least for a time, until some other stronger forces will challenge that and unless a real, hard to undermine-kind of standardization has been put in place. The English language went through this a lot and we have to learn, learn, learn.

We cannot argue for defilement here, as if the pollution of language does not happen everyday.

The clinicalized and deodorized way of looking at the Ilokano language is borne by a certain nostalgia for that which is untenable and illogical today, but a nostalgia nonetheless for a time past that is not our own time in the first place. And this time is not even ideal because it evokes the real defilement that we have to resist, and keep on resisting, this colonization and neocolonization of the Ilokano mind.

The principle for relevance of the the praxis of language is its ability to express the mind-set/s, world-view/s, and perspective/s of the current users and not the way some people two or more generations ago thought of how the language ought to look like and to be written. Appropriation is the key: we borrow, take it as our own, and do not, not ever, return.

One thing that ought to govern us all in the collective attempt to 'modernize' Ilokano, oh well, call it Iluko, if you wish (but this is another point to ponder), is to figure out a way to economize the way that language expresses itself and not to be extravagant. With the stereotype about Ilokanos being spendthrift and tight-wad, why put in 'qu' when you can use 'k' instead, and more direct at that?

Modernizing language is making it short, simple, and to the point, stupid (as the saying goes, and pardon the expression).

Old languages tended to be represented in long ways and forms. They can even be reduplicative, verbose, ornate, florid, snaking unnecessarily towards hills and valleys and plains instead of following the route straight ahead.

Newer ones tend to economize their expression.

Think of text/texting as a form of language. Insist on the young your 'old/undefiled' way of texting and let us see.

BTW--read up here, purists!--and this means, simply, by the way, written in three letters and not your long three-word phrase, this texting is a form of modernising language, right?

Somebody will please study how our Ilokano youth, in using text, have appropriated our language. I am curious; I would like to see how they do it. They are going back to the requisites of kur-itan/kurditan, I suppose.

This is also the principle of good writing, which opens to us a new way of looking at the literary. The 'Qu' is unpoetic; 'k' is.

For one, poetry seems to be more exciting because it follows this rule on economy of expression. The prosaic, well, it is simply put, prosaic.

That is why it remains true to say that: (a) a good short story should have the kernel of a poem first, and then, a novel second, but all told, still a short story (paging, paging, the critics of short story writing in Ilokano).

We all are crying foul why we have not so far developed short story writing so much.

The reason is simple: we have published only one form--the prosaic form. the form that alludes to the jurassic 'Qu' and we have not allowed to open our minds into the vast possibilities of other forms, such as your 'k'.

Those experimenting, for instance, do not have any place in the publications and they never win.

And we tend to be too extravagant with our short stories.

The cue and clue here is: economize, stupid!

One example I could tell right off is Roy Aragon's "Indong Kagit".

That is one perfect short story: poetic, and containing your novel's seed of creation and construction; his could have been one chapter of a good novel that indicts our society's injustices. (Paging Roy Aragon, please work on this.)

The stories that are coming out, for instance, are not in accord with the notions of 'modernizing language' but following the prosaic excursions of the 'scientific world' that tries to explain everything even if some things need no exlaining anyway.

Or we revisit the classic Johnny Hidalgo piece--classic because it is a pillar in short story writing--"Bituen ti Rosales." Read up on the grammar, the semantic promises, and the vast semiotic possibilities of that piece and you will see that here is an aesthetic landmark whose meaning/s escape/s us all. (I have probed JSP's art and it escapes me. I have written about his poetic project in his poems and in his paintings and both escape me--the poetic in the painting and the painting in the poetic.)

Ha, this is called belaboring the obvious. Why tell? What to do instead? Paint a picture, the way Aragon does, the way Hidalgo does.

And the 'quen' and 'quet'?

Baloney--useless, inutile, impotent, one extra letter in a word we could have said in three.

So why write four instead of three? Beats me.

Here, it is not a questions of going through the 'motions of Bannawag ortography' and allowing it, before our very eyes, its collective act of 'defiling' our language. Bannawag has its own interests to protect. To accuse it of defilement is not according to form.

Here, we see Nid Anima's impossible--impossible because it is ahistorical--concept of 'defilement'.

We account the subtexts here: (a) a pure Ilokano language; (b) an undefiled Ilokano language; (c) a pristine Ilokano language, untouched by human hands, colonization, pollution, diffusion, cross-cultural encounter and exchange. Tell me about the Ilokano/Tagalog word 'arak/alak' and let us see whether the illusions of grandeur about a pristine and pure and primeval Ilokano language holds water.

Sorry, but this does not hold. It cannot hold water, never, not in any way.

The conclusion: Drop the Q in quen and quet (we have to pity the trees and the ink and the ina a nakaparsuaan here, if you see the connections--and there are many the thinking mind should be able to see. Do we ever recall why in the documents the "Qu" form of your linker and conjuctive marker had become cumbersome, until probably the 60's and so the documents would shorten them, writing them as simply 'Qn' and 'Qt'? Think of linguistic economy here.

Why bother going back to the Doctrina Christiana's imperialist and colonizing agenda when we do not need it in this respect? Unmask the empire and the colony--and in extensu, the imperialist and colonizer in sheep's clothing--in the Ilokano language. It is high time that we did this. If we do not do it now, when are we going to do it? Remember this revolutionary catechism? So we say: No saan nga ita, kaano? No saan a datayo, sinno?

We take only what we need along the way as we march on, together with our Ilokano language, to the beating of the drums of Ilokano language modernization and development.

A Solver Agcaoili
Honolulu, HI
August 30, 2006


Jake Ilac said...

Manong kongrats! Dua gayam ti nangabakam. iti salaysay a Filipino ken Daniw.

Ariel said...

jake, dios ti agngina. sikan sa met ti agak-akup? ala, igaedmo, adingko, tapno addanto mangilalaem kadatayo.

Ka Iddo said...

Ti makunak iti Iluco's defilement:

naglabasabtayon daytoy... nupay kasta, adda pay laeng met a usarna iti kunak, NO la ket usaren a kas lenguahe ti nataengan lalo iti karakter kadagiti sarita ken nobela... ta dayta ngarud ti ortograpiada idi, saan? maikkatmo ngarud dayta a kadakuada? no pagsaritaaem ti baket iti agdama nga ortograpia, lalo no di met nakangato iti adalna, dipay ket saan a nakapappapati a karakter? panagkunak ket mabalin nga aramaten iti LIMITADON a banag... kinapudnona ket nausar met daytoy iti nobelak nga impablaak ti Bannawag....

Ariel said...

Aloha Jim:
Two points:
1)Husto ti kunam maipapan iti rekisito ti karakterisasion, kas pagarigan. I am totally sold to this idea if you want to capture the environment, ambience, and atmosphere, even the aesthetic climate of your piece, era, etc. Then again, that is only for that purpose.

Which brings me to point Number 2.

2) Ti abilidad ken poder nga adda iti pagsasao/lengguahe ket adda iti kabaelanna a mangiladawan ken mangiparipirip ti kinaaldaw-aldaw a padastayo, datayo nga agus-usar iti lengguage. Kayatna a sawen, no adda dagiti makalapped iti daytoy a panangiyebkas/panangipeksa ken panangailadaw ti kinaaldaw-aldaw ti padastayo, ikkatentayo dayta a lapped. Nalawag a lapped ti "Qu" ta nasamsamay nga amang ti "k". Think about this. I do not care what Panganiban did to fool us all. I stick by what we need as an "Ilokano nation." And I am marking off "nation" in the way it is anthropologically understood.

And to wrap it off: let us talk about the premises to standardize our language.

Ka Iddo said...

agtultuloy iti panagdur-as iti aniaman a lenguahe...iti uneg la iti 20 or more years, history laengen dayta q, qu, gu... iti rigatna ita, tumpuar ti iluko dagiti agtutubo ita a panawen a naiduma kadatayo...dagiti tagalog ken english lace iluko... nafaster unay ti pannakaborn dagitoy a balikas ya, ket narigat ngatan a pigilen...yos, maulawak pay ketdin nga agedit kadagiti kakastoy a maipatulod iti tawid... but they shld. remain as is di ba? hmmnn...

how about the reintellectualization, ka ariel? hmnn..

Ariel said...

Aloha Jim:
This proves, in a truly effective and inarguable way, a generation gap, hahahahaha!

Simply put, let us accept it: Laos na tayo. Or, if we are to be kinder to ourselves, palaos na tayo. A generational view of the Ilokano language should be interesting to linguists and all those who are students of our language, writers and editors and teachers included. Hey, it is their voice, not ours! Can we insist? We can, why not! But should we? That depends. You have theorized very well a position when you said about the linguistic condition warranting the need to adopt certain 'kinds' or 'registers' of language. It is the same with English, I should say.

Let us now see that English is never one single 'form' of language. The truth of the matter is that there are Englishes even as you move from one place to another in the US, in GB, in other places where English is claimed to be or is, in fact, spoken.

About the 'reintellectualization' issue, that is going to be my next article. Let us keep the debate alive.

rva said...

kabasbasak la ita daytoy nagkintal a diskursom, mang ariel! ket agyamanak, agyamanak, iti special mention itoy numo. ken iti napateg a kalbit: wen, aya, kunkunak itan, wen, aya, apay a saan--mabalin gayam a pangrugian a material para novela daydiay a saritak. masikoranak ngamin kadagitoy a tiempo itan ta magagaranak a makaleppas iti uray maysa la koma a novela sakbay a madanonko ti tawen a 40. addada balbalabalaek nga agtinnagto ngata a magic realist a novela (kas impluensia ti panangidolok itan kada gabo garcia marquez ken isabel allende) ngem diak met marugian. agyamanak, manong, iti palagip ken kidag, padasek itan a balabalaen ti at-atiddog a pakasaritaan ni indong kagit.

maipapan iti isyu, pudno di malepleplepan ti (d)evolution ti lengguagetayo, kas paliiw ni mang jimmy. paset ngata amin dagitoy ti dinamismo ti lengguahe? ngem panagkunak ket saan, no patientayo a naan-anay a lengguahe ti iloko. saan met nga agkastoy ti english, espaniol, frances wenno aleman. no evolusion man, freak daytoy, agbalin a mutant. koma met ngarud no kaslada nasasayaat nga x-men a mutants. daytay met mutation ti panaglaeg.

Ariel said...

Patgek a Roy:
Amin a lengguahe, nagkastoy. No basaentay ti pakasaritaan ti Ingles, amak pay, ama, ta nakarkaro ngem ti kapay-antay ita. kas nadaras nge ehemplo: pagdiligen ti Romeo and Juliet ni Shakespeare iti orihinal nga Inglesna ken ti Inglesna itatta. Idi addaak ti kolohie, impapilitda a basaenmi ti orihinal. Binasak kadi? Di uray ditana! Diak naaw-awatan, adi. Padasem, pustaanta. Ngem daytay kadi laeng. Saan ta nagdakkel ti agpang ti Ingles kadaydi a panawen no idilig itatta. Apay a kasla "constant" wenno "stable" itan ti Ingles. Maysa laeng ti sungbat: ti "diktaduria/aristokrasia" ti 'standardization'. Apay a kastoy ti Ilokano/Iluko? Simple laeng: gapu ti ditay pa inistandardays--kanya-kanya. Any which way can be. Kuna dagiti lallakay a Hawayano ditoy: every thing can, all can! No ditay agtutunos, hahahaha, aramidenmi ti pagsaysayaatanmi ditoy Unibersidad ti Hawaii, iti Ilokano Programmi, hahahahaha! Ket iramanmi ti UP Diliman, a pakaisuruan met ti Ilokano. Dakami ti mangisursuro iti lengguahe ket amak payen no katkatawaannakami dagiti estudiantemi. Sika man? Makaammo dagiti madi. Agis-isemak ngem talaga a pudnuenmi daytoy no awan aggunay. Narigat ngamin ti mangisuro iti Ilokano no awan ti istandard, kunam sa.

abril said...

Napintas ti diskusion ditoy, mang ariel ket adu ti mapidut nga adal kadagiti kapanunotanyo. Nupay basssit ti ammok maipapan itoy a banag, agirayak met iti kapanunotanyo a ti agdaman a trend ti adaptarentayo nga ortograpia, ie:"ket" saanen a "ket". Makunak daytoy ta nasken nga isurottayo ti lengguahe iti agdama a trend not vice-versa, kas inadaptaren ti "iluko literature audience". Ta uray dagiti translators/linguists nga agipatpatarus iti Biblia, iyadaptda ti patarusda segun iti agdama, isu a di nakadidillaw nga idi, adda King James Version a patarus iti Ingles ngem gapu iti panagevolve ti lengguahe, timmaud dagiti kabarbaro a bersion a kas iti New Internationa Version.

Iti met purista nga Iluko, diak met umanamong ta nakabalud wenno nakakulong ti lengguahe. Awan dur-asanna. Opinionko met la ketdi daytoy.

abril said...

erratum dita ngato: i.e, "ket saanen a quet" kunak koma.

rva said...

agpayso, mang ariel, uray ti english gayam nagdalan met iti kastoy. malagipkon. diak unay naaw-awatan ti nakitak idi a dadduma nga obra ni chaucer kas iti beowulf.

gayyem abril, uray siak diay ayonan ti singasing ni apo nid anima. saan a defilement iti iloko daydiay. panagkunak daydiay ketdi ibagbagana a panagsubli manen iti cadaanan quen linacsiden ti makuna a defilement. apay koma pay la a subliantayo no saan metten a nasken a sublian. sinnoda pay ti agsubli? saan met ngarud a 'tay naimas ken naganas a sublisubli daytoy a panagsubli nga ibagbagana.

Ariel said...

Roy ken Abril:
Agpayso daytay kunayo maipapan iti sublisubli nga addaan iti dua a kita: daytay naimas ken daytay awanan imas! (bueno, ania ngata daytoy umuna? ubingak pay a maaringan kadagiti bambanag nga awan ammok, kunayon sa!)

maipapan iti panagdur-as ti lengguahe, ti ania man a lengguahe, kas pagarigan, amin dagitoy, sakbay a nagtengda ti "established" wenno "makaay-ayo a langada ita" ket nagpasaranda amin a pagpaspasarantayo ita.

ita nga aldaw, kas pagarigan, nagpintas a diskusion ti napasamak ti Gumil Hawaii a nakipagpartisiparanmi, a kaduak da Manong Amado Yoro, Manang Precy Espiritu.

ditoyko nga inulit-ulit manen dagiti pampandagak a prinsipio maipapan iti lengguahetayo.

maipapan iti biblia, sabasabalin dagiti v(b)ersion a nakitak ket aminda, itudtudoda ti kaadda ti "tacit nga istandard" nga Ilokano.

Ala, i-blogkonto daytoy kdpy.

Ka Iddo said...

kayattayo man ken saan, awanen iti maaramidantayo no di sumurot iti agus ti panawen... bunga daytoy ti speed of change ken future shock... dagiti adda iti akademia, ti translationda kastoy: kung ano a bigkas, siya rin ang pagkakasulat... atapek a sinurotda daytoy iti english... adu ngamin a balikas iti english ket nagtaud kadagiti dadduma pay a lenguahe ngem iti pannakaisuratna ket kas iti pannakaibalikasda... napukaw dayta origin..nagbalin a mutant... pagarigan laengen ti balikas a boondock... ti origin ket Tagalog a bundok... kadagiti balikas a nagtunged iti logos, sinukatanda met ket pinagbalinda a logy. Iti Tagalog, lodyi. Iti Iluko lugi? Saan met a, mas papolar iti Iluko ket agtalinaed nga English a kas iti psychology, biology, lokology ken dadduma pay… wenn saan ket daydiay kadaanan nga estilo ti panagsurat a kas iti: sikolohia, bayolohia, lokolohia wenno lokoka a talaga…hehehe! Even Alma Rio (Almario the poet) ket simmakay met iti baro nga estilo iti system of writing a kas maibagasan iti daniwna a napauloan iti “Katon Para Sa Limang Pandama”

surpringsing kadi ti mapaspasamak kadagiti lenguahe? alarming? ania ti makunayo ngay? surprising? alarming?

Kaniak a biang, saan. hindi. no! apay kunayo?

ti padto ni dr. jose rizal kastoy:

The Filipinos now entered a new era. Little by little, they lost their ancient traditions, their memory of the past. They forget their own system of writing, their songs, their poetry, their laws, in order to learn by rote alien ideas, which they did not understand, an alien code of conduct, alien conception of beauty, all far removed from those inspired in their race by the environment, which they lived, and by their native genius. They sank their own estimation. They become inferior beings even themselves. They began to ashamed of what was their own…They lost heart and became a subject people.

---- Dr. Jose Rizal---
New Viccasan’s English-Pilipino Dictionary , Vito C. Santos & Luningning E. Santos, page xii

then try to study the kabaatan's slanguage:

“Naggimikkami idi rabii.”
“Super doper a talaga!”
“Dinedmak laeng. So what? Sino ba ‘suna?”
“Yo’ repapips, pormada ti wheels mo a!” “Ken ni erpatko ‘to ‘tol!”
“Why ngay you make misuot?” “Dagiti katropam ‘ya, puroda met drawing!”

Paliiwen dagitoy a binatog.

1. Isu ti laikna ngarud, pigilem, bad tripkan a!
2. Pakinggam kadi met ti labko kenka.
3. Sige, ngarud, agtuluytuloyakon, babayu!
4. “Hey, yo’, taposen kenka?” “Wen, pinisen.”
5. Agpaspasalamatak kenka. Tenkio, ha?
6. Sori, no nabanggaka.
7. ken dadduma pay

What happen to Iluko? or no, what happen to english, tagalog and iluko?

Simple, a basis of generation gap. Apay mettenen a kasta isu?

“Tapno maaddaanda iti bukod a lubong a kas nawaya nga indibidual a maiduma kadagiti dadakkelda, no diman pay ket panangilemmeng ti banag a di maawatan dagiti dadakkel.” Daytoy ti kuna ti nalaing a mannurat ken professor iti Linguistics ken English iti St. Louis University iti research workna a naipablaak iti SLU Research Journal, the journal of the Graduate Studies. Dagiti mismon nga estudiante ti SLU ken iti komunididad ti nagpaliiwan ni Magdalena B. Catriz idi sinuratna ti “Slanguage: the Language of the Now Generation.”

kayattayo man ken saan, tapno maaddaantayo iti audience, nasken a sumurottayo iti agus ti panawen ta no saan awantayo iti agdama a panawen: ti Iluco’s defilement ket panawen dagita dagiti oldstayo… addaantayo met iti kabukbukodan a panawen ken system of writing… dagiti nainkastilaan nga iluko? panawen dayta colonial a nadadaan pay ngem ti sistema dagiti oldies…

husto ti kunam, ka ariel, awan ti lenguahe a di bimmulod iti sabali, ket iti ibubulodna, minek-apanna met a, that fits to her system of writing… according to her pronunciation ..

Ka Iddo said...

no apay a dayta KATON ket sinukatanna ti BULAK... siguro a ket nagbulakbol dayta a tagalog a bulak isu a nagbalin a katon wenno saan ngata aya a poetic ti bulak? a kas iti bulak sa ilong a metapora?

siguro a ket, simmakay met iti bandwagon iti agdama

katon? no ania daydiay bigkasna isu met ti pannakaisuratna...

Ariel said...

Bilibak ti sidap ti panunotmo. Ngem bay-am kadi ti sungbatak dagiti puntos nga indatagmo kadagiti sumaruno a paset ti "Modernisasion/yon" nga isyu ti Ilokano.

Ala, irapintay koma latta a luktan dagiti panunottayo. I see your points and they are all laudable; but some things do not work in terms of philosophy of language. They need to be pointed out and clarified.