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Baybayin, the Syllabic Alphabet of the Tagalogs

POTET, Jean-Paul G.

ISBN 10: 1326004778 / ISBN 13: 9781326004774
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Título: Baybayin, the Syllabic Alphabet of the ...


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When the Spaniards conquered the Philippines (Sugbu / Cebu 1565, Maynílà / Manila 1571), they noticed that several of its nations had a writing system of their own, called Baybáyin in Tagalog. People used it to record poems, magic spells and letters. They engraved their texts with a knife on leaves or small pieces of bamboo. It was a kind of shorthand that did not make it possible to write closing consonants. For example it-lóg "egg" was written i-lu like í-log "river" and i-lóng "nose". As a consequence, Baybáyin was very easy to write, but very hard to read. Because of this shortcoming, Filipinos adopted the Latin alphabet, and gradually abandoned their own in the course of the Seventeenth Century. Baybáyin is now making a come back among graphic artists and expatriate communities, where it has become a means of expressing their philippineness.

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