Philippines: in the northeast of the island of Mindanao, mainly in the province of Agusan del Sur, in the east of the province of Agusan del Norte and in the west of the province of Surigao del Sur.
According to the country's 1987 constitution, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino (a tongue based on Tagalog) and English. Filipino is also the national language of the state. Referred to as regional languages, the indigenous tongues of the Philippines are recognised as auxiliary official languages for the purposes of education in the territories in which they are spoken, and are to be preserved, developed and disseminated.
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SCHUMACHER, Ronald L. (1986) 'Stative verbs at peak in Agusan Manobo narrative discourse', Studies in Philippine Linguistics [online]. Available via the SIL Philippines website in PDF format.
The term Manobo refers to a number of different ethnolinguistic groups that have traditionally lived on the islands of Mindanao, Camiguin and Palawan. However, some authors use the term to encompass all the groups in question as if they were one and the same.
There are at least 14 Manobo languages, namely Kagayanen, Kinamigin, Binukid, Agusan Manobo, Rajah Kabunsuwan Manobo, Ata Manobo, Tigwa Manobo, Western Bukidnon Manobo, Ilianen Manobo, Obo Manobo, Dibabawon Manobo, Tagabawa, Sarangani Manobo and Cotabato Manobo.
There are a number of theories on the origin of the name Manobo, which could be based on:
- manobo or manuvo, meaning 'person' or 'people';
- mansuba, meaning 'people of the river' (based on suba, meaning 'river');
- Banobo, the name of a river near Cotabato City;
- man, meaning 'native' or 'aborigine', and tuvu, meaning 'grow' or 'growth'.
The expansion of Islam in the region comprising Mindanao and Sulu led to a distinction being made between the indigenous communities that adopted the religion (the members of which are referred to as Moros) and those that did not (the members of which are referred to as Lumad). The Manobo peoples fall into the latter category, along with the Blaan, the Tboli, the Tiruray, the Mansaka, the Mandaya and the Subanon.
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