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  • Writer's pictureThe Katig Collective


Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Kalagan [kqe] is spoken in Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro (Compostela Valley), Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur in Davao Region, as well as in Cotabato in SOCCSKSARGEN. It is a threatened language (EGIDS 6b) with a speaker population of 70,000 in 2021. Although the language is used within Kalagan communities, younger members also speak Cebuano [ceb] and some lose their proficiency in Kalagan. The language is used at home, in neighborhoods, and during religious activities by adults and some young people. Speakers of Koronadal Blaan [bpr] and Tausug [tsg] use Kalagan as their second language (Eberhard et al., 2022).

On the endangerment of Kalagan

The Kalagan population is among those affected by militarization in their area and other political factors, leading to displacement. The loss of land implies the gradual loss of their language (Minority Rights Group International, 2021). There are also socio-economic aspects that motivate native speakers to learn and use English [eng]. English is associated with education and opportunities outside the community and is considered the language that will increase the chances of improving their lives (Realino, 2018).

Works about Kalagan

There is a wide range of available studies and sample texts on Kalagan compiled by the Open Language Archives Community (OLAC), and one notable output is that of Grace C. Collins. Her dissertation Two Views of Kalagan Grammar (1970) is comprised of a grammatical sketch and a generative grammar of the language. Other materials are primary texts, wordlists, and language descriptions.


Collins, G. C. (1970). Two views of Kalagan grammar (7014962) [Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University]. Proquest Dissertations Publishing.

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

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

Minority Rights Group International. (2021). Indigenous peoples.

Open Language Archives Community. (n.d.). OLAC resources in and about the Kalagan language.

Realino, R. T. (2018). The Kalagan learners in Davao City: A phenomenology of academic challenges. Tin-aw Graduate School Book of Abstracts, University of the Immaculate Conception, 2(1), 55.

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