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Favorlang language

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Title: Favorlang language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Babuza language, Kanakanabu language, Saaroa language, Rukai language, Thao language
Collection: Extinct Languages of Asia, Formosan Languages, Languages of Taiwan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Favorlang language

Native to Taiwan
Extinct (documented mid-1600s)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bzg (with Babuza)

Favorlang is an extinct Formosan language closely related to Babuza.

Although Favorlang is considered by Taiwanese linguist Paul Jen-kuei Li to be a separate language, it is nevertheless very closely related to Babuza. In fact, the name Favorlang is derived from Babuza (Li 2003:3). Alternatively, Favorlang may also have represented a dialect of Babuza at an earlier stage, since Favorlang was documented in the mid-1600s, while Babuza was documented only around the turn of the 20th century by Japanese linguists (Li 2003:5).


  • Phonology 1
  • Sources 2
  • Syntax 3
  • Pronouns 4
  • Examples 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Favorlang has gone through the following sound changes. Except for the *t, *s, *Z > /t/ merger, all of these sound changes are shared by the five Western Plains languages Taokas, Babuza, Papora, Hoanya, and Thao (Li 2003:6).

  1. Merger of PAn *n and *ŋ as /n/
  2. Merger of *t, *s, *Z as /t/
  3. Merger of *N and *S1 as /s/
  4. Complete loss of *k, *q, *H
  5. Partial loss of *R, *j, including the loss of final *-y and *-w
  6. *s (in initial and medial positions) > /t/


Favorlang data sources are (Li 2003:1):

  • Woorden boek der Favorlangsche Taal (Favorlang Vocabulary) by Gilbertus Happart (1650), a Dutch pastor; later translated into English by W. H. Medhurst in 1840.
  • 5 sermons and various prayers, questions, and answers on Christianity by Jacobus Vertrecht (1647–1651), a Dutch pastor
  • Word lists collected by Naoyoshi Ogawa in the early 1900s (unpublished manuscripts dated 1900, 1901, and 1930; others are undated)
    • Notebooks 1, 2, 3, and 5, now kept by ILCAA (Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa) and TUFS (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) – call number "OA052"
    • Notebook 4, now kept at the Anthropological Institute, Nanzan University – call number "v. 1-2-1"


Case markers include (Li 2003):

  • ja 'nominative marker'
  • ta 'personal name marker'
  • o, no 'oblique (genitive and accusative, common noun)'
  • i 'oblique (personal noun)'
  • de 'locative'
  • i 'directional'

Agent-focus verbal affixes include (Li 2003:11):

  • -um- ~ -umm- (after consonant-initial verb stems) or um- ~ umm- (before vowel-initial verb stem except i-)
  • -im-, -em- (lexically conditioned)
  • m-
  • p-
Past tense (AF)
  • -in-umm-, in-umm
  • m-in-
  • -in-
Future tense (AF)
  • Reduplication of the first stem syllable
Imperative (AF)
  • -a

Non-agent-focus verbal affixes are (Li 2003:11):

  • -an 'locative focus'
  • -en, -in, -n 'patient focus'
  • ipa- ... -a 'imperative (non-agent-focus)'
  • -in-, in- 'past tense (non-agent-focus)'
  • ino- 'future tense (non-agent-focus)'

When -in- and -umm- appear together in a word, -in- usually precedes -um- ~ -umm-, as in Ilokano, Bontok, and some Dusunic languages in Sabah (Rungus Dusun and Kimaragang Dusun). Occasionally, -umm- precedes -in- in several Favorlang lexical forms, but this is not very common.


The following Favorlang personal pronouns are from Li (2003:8). All of them are free forms. All genitive pronouns end with -a.

Favorlang Personal Pronouns
Type of
Neutral Genitive Nominative/Accusative
1s. ka-ina na-a ina
2s. ijonoë joa, oa ijo
3s. icho choa icho
1p. (incl.) torro torroa -
1p. (excl.) namono namoa namo
2p. imonoë imoa imo
3p. aicho-es dechonoë choa decho


  • Namoa tamau tamasea paga de boesum, ipa-dass-a joa naan.
    • Our father, which art in Heaven, let Thy Name be praised! (Li 2003:8)
  • Ka-ina paga ta Jehova oa Deosoe, tamasea pina-ijor ijo....
    • I am the Lord, thy God, who led thee.... (Li 2003:8)


  1. ^ "The articles of Christian instruction in Favorlang-Formosan, Dutch and English, from Vertrecht's manuscript of 1650 : with Psalmanazar's dialogue between a Japanese and a Formosan, and Happart's Favorlang vocabulary : Vertrecht, Jacob : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". 2001-03-10. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  • Happart, Gilbertus, Walter Henry Medhurst (trans.). 1840. Dictionary of the Favorlang dialect of the Formosan language, written in 1650. Batavia, Printed at Parapattan.
  • Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2003. "Introduction: Notes on Favorlang, an Extinct Formosan language." In Ogawa, Naoyoshi. 2003. English-Favorlang vocabulary, pp. 1–13. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa.
  • Ogawa, Naoyoshi. 2003. English-Favorlang vocabulary. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa.
  • Marsh, Mikell Alan. 1977. Favorlang-Pazeh-Saisiat: a putative Formosan subgroup. Ph.D. dissertation. Washington State University.

External links

  • Dictionary: Dictionary of the Favorlang dialect of the Formosan language, by Gilbertus Happart (1650), translated from Dutch to English by W. H. Medhurst (1840).
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