Itneg Inlaud | Philippine Indigenous Languages Lecture Series

  • Date: 19 Jun 2023 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Serial verb constructions in Itneg Inlaud
Philippine Indigenous Languages Lecture Series (PILLS)
14 April 2023 | 2:00 PM | Livestreaming via Facebook & YouTube

For the sixth installment of PILLS, we are featuring PhD candidate, Ryn Jean Fe V. Gonzales. In this lecture, Gonzales will talk about Itneg Inlaud, a Meso-Cordilleran language spoken in Northern Luzon, Philippines.


Serial verb construction (SVC) is a feature documented in many language groups in the world including Austronesian languages in the Pacific, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Itneg Inlaud [iti], a Meso-Cordilleran language spoken in Northern Luzon, Philippines, also exhibits this feature. There is no agreement on the definition of SVC as SVC features vary from language to language. A narrow definition by Haspelmath (2016) based on existing literature is “a monoclausal construction consisting of multiple independent verbs with no element linking them and with no predicate–argument relation between the verbs.” This definition aptly describes the SVCs in Itneg Inlaud, which typically involve two verbs―any of the motion verbs such as mapan/*in– ‘go’, and umali ‘come’ as the first verb in the series (V1) plus another dynamic verb (V2) (01). In some instances, there can be a third verb (V0) in the same clause that typically functions as an adverb (02).

In this lecture, I will give a preliminary description of the grammatical or syntactical properties of SVCs in Itneg Inlaud. For the most part, I will be following Unterladstetter (2020)’s outline which includes a discussion on the argument structure, constituent structure (patterns of verbal inflection), and contiguity (constituent insertion between the verbs).

This study is based on natural speech recordings compiled, transcribed, and translated under the Itneg Inlaud Language Documentation Project in 2022, and is part of a broader ongoing grammatical description of the language.