Family: Paranan-Pahanan

Comments on subclassification

Laura C. Robinson and Jason William Lobel 2013

Retired in ISO 639-3: Split into Pahanan Agta [apf] and Paranan [prf] (new identifier)

  • Change request: 2009-086
  • ISO 639-3: agp
  • Name: Paranan
  • Reason: split
  • Effective: 2010-01-18

Excerpt from change request document:

This is a case where although there is a high level of intelligibility between the two groups, this can be explained by the historical origins of the two groups. In isolated Palanan town, there was almost nobody for the Paranan non-Negritos and the Pahanan Negritos to talk to except each other, and they interacted for trade and other purposes, to the point that the language of the non-Negritos converged lexically (but not so much so grammatically) with the language of the Negritos. Lexicostatistical percentages are skewed by this convergence, and are completely incapable of representing the fact that the underlying stratum of the languages are different, indicating that one does not originate from the other and so one should not be considered a dialect of the other. The underlying substrata are a perfect match for the objectively-observable racial differences between the Pahanan Agta speakers (who are Black Filipinos, a.k.a. "Negritos") and the Paranan speakers (who are not "Negritos"). Despite their obvious convergence due to isolation of these two groups in the same area for centuries or longer, differences still remain that reveal the separate origins of the two groups and their respective languages, and the language of the Pahanan Agta in some ways remains closer to the languages of other neighboring Black Filipino groups (e.g. the Dupaningan Agta and the Casiguran Agta) than it does to the Paranan language. Besides the clear differences in the underlying substrata, the clearly distinct ethnolinguistic identities and the lack of a common body of literature or mutually- recognized standard reinforce the separate listing of these two languages.

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