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Maranao language

Native to Philippines
Region Central Mindanao
Ethnicity Maranao people
Native speakers
unknown (1.03 million cited 1981–1990)[1]
Historically written in Arabic
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
mrw – Maranao
ill – Iranun
Area where Maranao is spoken

Maranao (Maranao  Mëranaw)[2] is an Austronesian language spoken by the Maranao people in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur in the Philippines, and in Sabah, Malaysia.


  • Phonology 1
    • Vowels 1.1
    • Consonants 1.2
      • Velar fricative [h] 1.2.1
      • Consonant elongation 1.2.2
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Below is the sound system of Maranao including underlying phonetic features.[3]


Front Central Back
Close ɪ u
Mid ə o
Open a


Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive Voiceless ʔ
Voiced b d ɡ
Fricative (h)
Flap ɾ
Lateral l
Approximant w j

Velar fricative [h]

According to Lobel (2013), [h] only occurs in a select number of Malay loanwords:

  • tohan 'God'
  • tahon 'astrological sign'
  • hadapan 'in front (of God)'

Consonant elongation

Consonants are also pronounced longer if preceded with a schwa ə. However, this process is not a form of gemination since consonant elongation in Mëranao is not distinctive as seen in other Philippine languages such as Ilokano and Ibanag. Some of these are:

  • tepad [təpːad] 'get off a vehicle'
  • tekaw [təkːaw] 'starled; surprised'
  • Meranaw is spoken by the Maranao Tribe.

See also


  1. ^ Maranao at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Iranun at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lobel, Jason William. 2013. Philippine and North Bornean languages: issues in description, subgrouping, and reconstruction. Ph.D. dissertation. Manoa: University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

External links

  •, Maranao Dictionary

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