Internal Classification

David Zorc gives the following internal classification for the Visayan languages (Zorc 1977:32).The five primary branches are South, Cebuan, Central, Banton, and West. However, Zorc notes that the Visayan language family is more like a dialect continuumrather than a set of readily distinguishable languages. The South Visayan languages are considered to have diverged first, followed by Cebuan and then the rest of the three branches. Also, in the Visayan region, Romblon Province has the most linguistic diversity, as languages from three primary Visayan branches are spoken there.

A total of 36 speech varieties are listed below. Individual languages are marked by italics.

  • Visayan
    • 1. South (spoken on the eastern coast of Mindanao)
      • Butuan-Tausug
        • Tausug
        • Butuanon
      • Surigao
        • Surigaonon, Jaun-Jaun, Kantilan, Naturalis
    • 2. Cebuan (spoken in Cebu, Bohol, northern Mindanao, and eastern Negros)
      • Cebuan
        • Cebuano, Boholano,
    • 3. Central (spoken across most of the Visayan region)
      • Warayan
        • Waray-Samar
          • Waray, Samar-Leyte
          • Northern Samar
        • Gubat (South Sorsogon)
      • Peripheral
        • Sorsogon (North), Masbate
        • Camotes
        • Bantayan
        • Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Capiznon, Kawayan
      • Romblon
        • Romblomanon
    • 4. Banton/Odiongan (spoken in northwestern Romblon Province)
      • Banton
        • Banton, Odionganon, Sibale
    • 5. West
      • Aklan (spoken in northern Panay)
        • Aklanon
      • Kinarayan (spoken in Panay)
        • Pandan, Kinaray-a, Gimaras
      • North-Central (spoken on Tablas Island and the southern tip of Mindoro)
        • Bulalakaw, Dispoholnon, Looknon, Alcantaranon
      • Kuyan (spoken in the archipelagos west of Panay and Romblon, as well as the southern tip of Mindoro)
        • Datagnon, Santa Teresa, Semirara
        • Kuyonon


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