A Brief Review of Some Cebuano Dictionaries ( ...continued )

by Jessie Grace U. Rubrico

Contemporary Period

IV. Hermosisima, Tomas V. and Pedro S. Lopez, Jr.1966. Dictionary Bisayan-English-Tagalog: Standardized Spelling. Manila: Pedro S. Ayuda. viii + 648 pp.

This user-friendly dictionary uses Cebuano as its object language and English and Tagalog as its metalanguage Both Tagalog and English are taught in all schools, so a Cebuano learner can easily find the equivalent of words in the vernacular in the languages he/she is studying. Moreover, Cebuano synonyms are given for almost all of the main entries. Conversely, a Tagalog or a foreigner learning Cebuano will find this dictionary very useful.

The format is arranged: the Cebuano main entry; the Cebuano definition or synonym; the lexical category of the term; the English gloss; the Tagalog equivalent; Cebuano derivations with their lexical categories and English and Tagalog gloss. There are case when the main entry is followed by any of the following: lexical category, alternate forms, variants, or, etymology.

The following are treated as main entries: roots, stems (-pakabuhi, -pakamao, -pakusgan), prefixes, derivations (among-among comes after the entry root "among" ), variants (aydan, var. of ayran), common expressions [e.g., all of these are treated as main entries -- igo-igo1, igo-igo2, igo lamang, igo na, igo pa), idiomatic expressions (awas ug palad, mobiya sa bugno, makapuling sa mata), and some English loanwords (teknik, teknikal, tinis, badigard, blakboting, blakmarket, krosing, blap, kawkus, etc).

Albeit its conciseness, this is somewhat an adequate and easy to use compilation of the Cebuano lexicon. For a beginner in Cebuano, this will be most helpful. However, it could have been more economical. For example, instead of entering all derivations as main entries, defining the root and the productive stem-forming affix will be sufficient. Expressions, like the example given above, need not be treated as main entries, but rather as run-on entries. They differ from lexemes with more than one sense, where it is useful to enter said lexemes as many times as the senses they carries. Notwithstanding economy, this dictionary is highly recommended to both learners and native speakers of Cebuano.

(Note: In this dictionary, Hermosisima proposed to standardize the usage of the vowels "u" and "o". He said, "The vowel u should generally be used in the beginning and middle syllables while the vowel o should be used in the last syllable of the word base."

Since both vowels are not differentiated in the actual speech of the native speaker, then the phoneme /u/ is given two phonetic representations --[ u and o]. )

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