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  • Writer's pictureThe Katig Collective

Agta, Katubung

Agta, Katubung [agk], also known by the names Agta, Inagta Partido, and Isarog Agta, is commonly called Katubungi by its native speakers (Eberhard et al., 2022; Imperial, 2018). It is spoken by a population of Black Filipinos residing around Mount Isarog in Camarines Sur (Lobel, 2013). Agta, Katubung is considered nearly extinct (EGIDS 8b) with 12 speakers left in 2018 (Imperial, 2018 as cited in Eberhard et al., 2022). Children no longer learn and use the language as the remaining speakers belong only to the grandparent generation “who have little to no opportunity to use the language” (Eberhard et al., n.d.). According to Lobel (2013), there are no speakers of Katubung under 60 years old.

Language contact

Agta, Katubung is one of the two Agta languages spoken in Camarines Sur, the other being Inagta Rinconada or Agta, Mt. Iriga [agz]. Agta, Katubung, which Lobel (2013) calls Inagta Partido in his dissertation about Philippine and North Bornean languages, is commonly spoken in the Partido district, while the other language is used in the Rinconada district. Both borrowed heavily from other languages, with Agta, Katubung displaying influences of Bikol Naga and Bikol Partido. Although the Partido district is home to Katubung users, Lobel remarks that one may find it easier to meet speakers of Inagta Rinconada in that area today. Intermarriages also contributed to the decline in the population of pure-blood Agtas.

Works about Agta, Katubung

Irvin Jen Imperial (2018) wrote an undergraduate thesis that initially describes Katubung, focusing on sound inventory, word formation processes, and basic clause structures. It also includes a language situationer that attempts to explain the possible factors that contributed to the endangerment of Katubung. Information regarding his research can be found in the 13th Philippine Linguistics Congress (PLC) Book of Abstracts (2018).


Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (n.d.). Language status. Ethnologue: Languages of the world.

Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2022). Agta, Katubung. Ethnologue: Languages of the world (25th ed.).

Hammarström, H., Forkel, R., Haspelmath, M., & Bank, S. (Eds.). (2022). Spoken L1 language: Isarog Agta. Glottolog 4.6.

Imperial, I. J. (2018). Katubungi: A grammatical description of Isarog Agta (Katubung) and some notes on language endangerment and extinction [Unpublished thesis]. University of the Philippines Diliman.

Imperial, I. J. (2018). Katubungi: A grammatical description of Agta Isarog and some notes on language endangerment and extinction. Paper presented at the 13th Philippine Linguistics Congress. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Department of Linguistics.

Lobel, J. W. (2013). Philippine and North Bornean languages: Issues in description, subgrouping, and reconstruction. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa]. ScholarSpace.

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