|Region||Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur|
|(780,000 cited 1990 census)|
Historically written in Arabic
Official language in
|Regional language in the Philippines|
|Regulated by||Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino|
Area where Maranao is spoken
Iranun was once considered a dialect.
Maranao is spoken in the following areas (Ethnologue).
Maranaoan was historically written in Arabic letters, which were known as Batang Arab. It is now written with Latin letters. Though there is no officially proclaimed standard orthography, Maranao is more or less written phonetically as influenced by Filipino. The following are the letters used in writing out native words:
A, B, D, E, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, NG, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, Y 
In representing the mid central vowel (or schwa) /ə/, different authors have employed various means to represent this sound (e.g. "E" or "U"). Consequently, Maranao social media use either of the two letters or just leave it blank (e.g. saken can also be spelled sakn and sakun in the internet). "Ë" may also be used as recommend by the Komisyong ng Wikang Filipino's Ortograpiyang Pambansa of 2013.
In 1996, McKaughan and Macaraya, in their revised Maranao dictionary, the digraph "ae" was introduced and used to represent the supposed presence of the vowel /ɨ/.
Double vowels are pronounced separately. For example, "kapaar" is pronounced as /kapaʔaɾ/.
In some older orthographies, "q" is used for the glottal stop regardless of position, while in others an apostrophe is used. Outside of linguistic literature, the glottal stop, regardless of position, is not marked in contemporary spelling.
The final /w/ sound in diphthongs and "W" were marked with "-o" in older orthographies, as in other Philippine languages, but both are nowadays spelled as "W". Also, "i" was used in older orthographies to transcribe /j/, which is currently spelled as "Y".
Below is the sound system of Maranao including underlying phonetic features.
Maranao has four vowel phonemes that can become more close or higher when in certain environments (see hard consonants below). Although previous studies have analyzed the ɨ sound as an ae phoneme.
[ɪ ~ i]
[ə ~ ɨ]
[o ~ u]
[a ~ ɤ]
According to Lobel (2013), Maranao has the following consonants:
Consonants are also pronounced longer if preceded with a schwa /ə/. However, this process is not a form of gemination since consonant elongation in Maranao is not distinctive as seen in other Philippine languages such as Ilokano and Ibanag. Some of these are:
Since 2009, it has been proposed that previous studies on the phonology of Maranao had overlooked the presence of "heavy" consonants. These four "heavy" consonants being /p’ t’ k’ s’/. Vowels that follow these consonants are raised in position.
There are four possible environments for that determine whether the vowel will be raised or not:
Maranao has four: so ko o sa
Maranao pronouns can be free or bound to the word/morpheme before it.
|we (including you)||sektano||tano||tano||rektano|
|we (excluding you)||sekami||kami||(a)mi||rekami|
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