Tagalog Prefixes Interfused With English Verbs


I had always postulated that Taglish words like nakaka-inspired/na-inspired (e.g., Nakaka-inspired talaga ang speech ni Pinoy kahapon.) and nag-matured (e.g., Kung kelan siya nag-matured saka naging immature [pun intended].) are grammatically incorrect as far as Taglish grammar is concerned. The gawky sound of “d” when the subject words are pronounced is the miscreant.

After digging the composite structures of Taglish verbs for centuries, I have learned that it is, indeed, nonstandard to follow this rule: turning an English verb into its past tense when added to Tagalog verbal prefixes.

The rule in Taglish verbs say that the base form of the verb shall remain when interfused with Tagalog verbal affixes such as nakaka-/na- and nag- as in, nakaka-inspire/na-inspire and nag-mature.

Imagine using the Taglish words nakaka-annoyed and na-promoted in the following contexts:

 1. Nakaka-annoyed ang mga pinagsasabi ni Sonyboy Fugaban.

2. Na-promoted uli ang bisor ko.

The sound of both Taglish words alone is already, for lack of a better term, not right, isn’t it? The same goes for nakaka-inspired/na-inspired and nag-matured because annoy and promote are both verbs. The Tagalog prefixes nakaka– implies future tense and na– explicitly suggest past tense, so it is but proper to combine them with an English verb in its very base form—only.

Below is glimpse of what you can see in our reference book titled “Taglish Verbs: How English Loanwords Make it Into the Philippine Languages” by Tangco, R.D. and Nolasco, R.M. (2002). The primary goal of said book is to show the patterns and constraints by which English lexical terms are FORMALLY encoded into the verbal construction of Tagalog, as well as to provide phonological, morphosyntactic, and pragmatic explanations for those encoded forms.

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 2

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4 thoughts on “Tagalog Prefixes Interfused With English Verbs

  1. Pingback: Filipino Concoctions, Philippine English, and Standard American English | Stories of The Wandering Feet & Mind

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