Question: Diphthongs, "sy" and "siy, also dy and diy, how to know which to use?
I have come across a few words that use these diphthongs in the filipino language. Howeve,r I am confused as to how to know when to use which spelling. Ex. siya (can you spell it sya or would that be incorrect?), or also dyakpat (could it be spelled diyakpat or would this be wrong?). I would like some clarification as to when to know which spelling to use.
Juantutri Jan 11 2023, 10:15pm CST ~ 3 weeks, 6 days ago.
“Siya” is the standard and only correct spelling. In texting, where anything goes as long as it can be understood, you may encounter “sya” or even “cya”.
The traditional Pilipino alphabet (also called “abakada”) only had 20 letters. The letter “J” was not there and “dy” was what we use to imitate its sound. “Dyakpat” is the Pilipino spelling for “jackpot”, “dyanitor” for “janitor”, etc... Now with all the English letters included in the modern Filipino alphabet, it is all right to just spell them as “jackpot” and “janitor”.
We have adopted a lot of Spanish words into our vocabulary and the diphthongs “ia” and “io” are quite common in Spanish. Here are some common Tagalog words that are of Spanish origin. The syllables stressed in Tagalog are the same as the default and the indicated stresses in Spanish.
Group 1 [SPA] diario/periódico (newspaper) = [TAG] dIYÁryo/perYÓdiko diamante (diamond) = dIYAmante dios (god) = dIYÓs hacienda (country estate) = asYEnda (default stress in Spanish is on the penultimate syllable)
I am not sure if there are actually spelling rules that we have to follow with regard to the conversion of the diphthongs to Pilipino, but it seems to me that in each group of examples above, these “rules” apply:
Group 1 – when the diphthong is on the first syllable or on the stressed syllable, the addition of “y” or the replacement of the first vowel with “y” depends on how the Spanish words are pronounced.
Group 2 – when the diphthong is on the last syllable and a) a single consonant precedes the diphthong, “y” replaces the first vowel; and
Group 3 – b) when 2 adjacent consonants precede the diphthong, “y” is added between the vowels.
There might be exceptions to these, but these “rules” may come in handy in helping you decide. That’s assuming, of course, that you are familiar with the spelling of some Spanish words.