The Katig Collective
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
The Ratagnon [btn] language is spoken in some parts of the MIMAROPA region, particularly in the southern tips of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro. According to a 2010 census, Ratagnon has a user population of 370 speakers within an ethnic population of 2,250. The language is considered critically endangered (Campbell & Belew, 2018) or nearly extinct (EGIDS 8b) (Eberhard et al., 2022), and the remaining speakers are all from the elderly generation. Ratagnon’s endangerment is also signaled by the shifting of the community to Tagalog [tgl]. Due to the scarcity of published studies on the Ratagnon people and their language, little is known about the community dynamics and the cause/s of shifting.
Natives of Mindoro are collectively known as Mangyans, although the island has eight ethnolinguistic groups with distinct cultures, traditions, and languages. Earlier studies reported that Ratagnon is not indigenous to the island, and their language is a dialect of Cuyonon [cyo] (Tweddell, 1970; Barbian, 1977b). Buhid natives used to look down on Ratagnon people since the former considered the latter migrants who are not “true Mangyan.”
Barbian, K. J. (1977a). English-Mangyan vocabulary. University of San Carlos.
Barbian, K. J. (1977b). The tribal distribution of the Mangyans. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, 5(1/2), 5-11. https://www.jstor.org/stable/29791307
Campbell, L., & Belew, A. (Eds.). (2018). Cataloguing the world’s endangered languages. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315686028
Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2022). Ratagnon. Ethnologue: Languages of the world (25th ed.). http://www.ethnologue.com/language/btn
Eseng Kamote Vlog. (2020, February 21). OMSC @ 54 Part 2 | Street dancing competition 2020 | Champion Tribu Bangon [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF8PVU9Jzr0
Greenhill, S. J., Blust, R., & Gray, R. D. (2008). Ratagnon. The Austronesian basic vocabulary database: From bioinformatics to lexomics. Evolutionary Bioinformatics. https://abvd.shh.mpg.de/austronesian/language.php?id=1275
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. (n.d.). IPRA and NCIP. https://www.sec.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2018_RTD_NCIP-PPT-PRESENTATION-SUSTAINABILITY-1.pdf
Pilon, L. (2015, May 17). Indak Pandurukan Tribu Ratagnon (mapaya) dress rehearsal [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq0sMYOolO0
Tweddell, C. E. (1970). The identity and distribution of the Mangyan tribes of Mindoro, Philippines. Anthropological Linguistics, 12(6), 189-207. https://www.jstor.org/stable/30029250