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Ja or Jen.. which one?

WHEN LISTENING TO Ibalois speak: which do you hear (or notice?) as used more often – the ja or the jen?

INITIALLY, THE TWO have the same Function, and that is: as a Linker.. For example: 1) ambel-at ja tongawan (Transl: “Heavy [is the] seat”). Change the ja to jen and the meaning is still the same.

[IF YOU SPEAK Tagalog, the equivalent of ja/jen shall be na; so, our sentence #1) Supra shall be rendered: Mabigat na upuan. In Iluko: Nadagsen nga tugaw/pagtugawan. In Kankana-ey, mendagsen ay tukdoan; et cetera)].

[IT WOULD HAVE been easier for you and me if Ibaloi/Nabaloi follows this ‘trend’ of Philippine languages – in this instance: the one-term trend for the Linker na (Tag. or National language); or ay for Kankana-ey; an for Ifugao, etc., but no!, strangely enough or otherwise, Nabaloi/Ibaloi is ‘different’ so to say.

[EVEN LINGUISTS – LOCAL and outside, are quite aware of this: it tends to be ‘usually distant’ – especially in the World-Lists or Listings.

[OBSERVE THAT IT is less closer to Pangasinan – as ordinarily assumed. What is actually that close to Pangasinan is the Kalanguya – another Cordilleran language spoken in the foothills and some Sitios (or larger local units) of six(6) provinces, to wit. Benguet, Ifugao, Pangasinan, La Union, Nueva Ecija, and Nueva Vizcaya.

[LINGUIST EUGENE VESTRAELEN and others of the past decades and at Present place Nabaloi (language) as: under the Philippine Northern Family – alone by itself and independent from Pangasinan as well as from the other oftenly-named Cordi languages]. So, Nabaloi has two terms – instead of one, for the Linker na (NL); and those are as cited – ja and jen.

SOCIO- AND ETHNOLINGUISTS in the Academe (including yours truly) have been on-research to really ferret out the reasons why the Cordi Provinces have a lot of ‘accents’, ‘versions’, or ‘dialects’. Up to now, the processes are still on-going. But

THE CASE OF Jen and Ja (or vice-versa) seems to be partly answered linguistically – with socio-cultural history backing that in the middle era of the Spanish expeditions in “these Heights” (at least 52 punitive expeditions in Benguet – and we may add: the last of them conquistadores was Col. Guillermo Galbey or Galvey, remember – gagaet essa La Trinidad?), they – españoles puros, ‘indios’, cristianos, y salvajes among, or circa de los ygollotes – they discovered that their Ygollotes of-reference nl. the Bued River peoples, Tonglo, La Trinidad (or Bengnget), the ‘Baguio gold-mining (native) areas, the Kayapa Valley, and Ambuse (now part of Kabayan, etc.,) were in fact – or basically – two ‘phatries’ -r of that division, and nl. The Ehnontog or Iruntug and the Kulos ni Shanum, or simply Ikulos (Transliterated: ‘Mountain dwellers’ and “Riverbank settlement villagers”).

IN PRESENT TIME, you’ll hear more oftener: the Jen among the Iruntugs e.g. La Trinidad; and the ja among the Ikulos e.g. Kabayan. But this is just a beginning of the story of their linguistic dissimilarities: So

ASIDE FROM THE ja or jen, the two phatries – Iruntug and Ikulos also have: Asas mo hari! vis-à-vis On-im Kari, or Man isbo ak nen. v-à-v Man mimi/bessa ak nen.

ASAS AND ON-IM (“Look here/there!”) are both verbs used in the Imperative Command form. In the second juxtaposition, Man isbo and man mimi/bessa (“Let me urinate first.) are verbs likewise, but used in the Declarative form.

CERTAINLY, YOU’LL ALSO notice the noun Usages, e.g. Iruntug diteb v-à-v Ikulos dekkeb (“door”); or Iruntug shuwal v-à-v Ikulos awas, et cetera. And wow!

EVEN THE EXPRESSIONS Badarong (EXPR for displeasure, surprise, etc.) – in Baguio and La Trinidad especially, the Ikulos Ibokot or Iitogon will just say in place: Wey! or Weyshh!

BUT TRY DISCUSSING these with their appertaining local higher-ups, and find out yourself what actions – or reactions, they’ll posit? Care for a try? Ayuhh-yuh!

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