Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 as Isinay Year?


Christmas in the Philippines officially ends January 6 (Three Kings Day) so I'm not yet so late as I write this greeting here.

The United Nations has made several years quite memorable by declaring them as "International Year of" so and so. For instance, last year was International Year of Forests and this year 2012 is International Year of Cooperatives.

One wishes the guys who call the shots for such concerns in the international body would also give attention soon to the world's endangered languages -- and one of these days designate an International Year of Vanishing Languages.

I'm pretty sure a lot of Isinays will be happy should such a dream come true. And your Isinay Bird will surely be one of them.

It may be far-fetched for now but, indeed, if the rivulets of concern for the increasing loss of languages such as Isinay (also spelled Isinai and also occasionally referred to as Inmeas and Insinay) will be canalized to form a bigger river, then probably the world will listen.

Meantime, it may be enough for now to feel and act as if this new year 2012 is a special year for the Isinay language and, for that matter, Isinay culture and people.

This corner will go a little further: 2012 is the target year for the coming out of the final draft of the Isinay-English Dictionary that your Isinay Bird has been happily working on, though in spurts, for the past four years now.

Right now I'm visualizing the manuscript to be between 200 and 300 pages of letter-size bond paper, a number of which shall carry illustrations, photographs, boxed vignettes, lists, historical bits, etc. -- all of which pertain to Isinay both as a language and as a culture.

For instance, the book shall list the Isinay names for certain food items, trees, birds, vegetables, fruits, insects, fish, shells, toys, kitchen utensils, farm implements, carpentry tools, etc. It will also name parts of the body, parts of the house, parts of the human face, the five fingers, etc.

To protect non-Isinays from "being sold" in case they go to Aritao, Bambang, Dupax or anywhere else in the company of Isinay-speakers, there will also be items such as "four-letter words" in Isinay, directions in Isinay, curse words in Isinay, as well as tastes, sounds, numbers, and actions.

As lexicographer, I shall also try to name the generous individuals who helped me come out with the list of words used in the dictionary. I shall also acknowledge those who, without their knowing it, have contributed to enriching the list through their emails and postings in Facebook, YouTube, and e-groups.

As far as I know, the dictionary may not be the first (as certain Spanish priests assigned in Bambang and Dupax in the 1800s have already broken ground on this), but it will certainly be the most comprehensive so far as it will not only include Dupax and Bambang Isinay but also "Ilocanized" and "Tagalized" Isinay.

So all of you fellow Isinay/Isinai advocates, lovers, protectors out there in Nueva Vizcaya and the world over, please watch this corner for further news.


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