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(təgä`ləg, tägä`lŏg) or


(tägäl`), dominant people of Luzon, the Philippines, and the second largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines. They number about 16 million. Most of the population is Christian. Tagalog, a Malayo-Polynesian language that had a written standard form before the coming of the Spanish, is the legal national language of the Philippines, where it is called Pilipino.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a people in the Philippines. The Tagalog live on central and southern Luzon and on Mindoro, Marinduque, and several smaller islands, inhabiting primarily the coast, river valleys, and lake areas (hence their name, literally meaning “living by the water”). They number more than 8 million (1975, estimate). They speak the Tagalog language and have a rich literature. The literary variant of their language, Filipino, is, along with English, the major language of the Philippines. Most Tagalog are Catholics.

The Tagalog are apparently descended from the bearers of the Iron Age culture, remains of which have been found at Novaliches. The opinion of the Spanish missionary Suñiga, based on linguistic data, that the Tagalog are of American descent is not shared by most researchers. The Tagalog engage in farming, raising rice, tobacco, sisal, and coconut, and in fishing. They are also proficient at wickerwork and weaving.


Narody lugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966. (Bibliography.)



(since 1959, Filipino language), the language of the Tagalog, one of the major nationalities of the Philippine archipelago. The number of persons speaking Tagalog is approximately 10 million (1975, estimate). Tagolog served as a lingua franca together with Spanish from the 17th to the 19th century and has fulfilled the same function together with English in the 20th century.

One of the Indonesian languages, Tagalog has eight local dialects. It is an agglutinative language with a well-developed system of word formation, including affixation, reduplication, and compounding. There are few inflections, particularly in nouns. The word formation of verbs is syncretic. Conjunctions are the principal means of syntactic bonding. The vocabulary contains many borrowings from Sanskrit, Chinese, Spanish, and English.

The national literary Tagalog language is based on the Manila dialect of the late 17th to the early 18th century. The written language is based on Latin; in the mid-18th century it replaced the original syllabic writing, which originated in the Dravidian writing system.


Krus, M., and L. I. Shkarban. Tagal’skii iazyk. Moscow, 1966.
Makarenko, V. A. Tagal’skoe slovoobrazovanie. Moscow, 1970.
Krus, M., and S. P. Ignashev. Tagal’sko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1959.
Krus, M., and S. P. Ignashev. Russko-tagal’skii slovar’. Moscow, 1965.
Blake, F. R. A Grammar of the Tagalog Language. New York, 1967.
Ward, J. H. A Bibliography of Philippine Linguistics and Minor Languages. Ithaca, N.Y., 1971.
Gonzalez, A. B., T. Llamzon, and E. Otanes, eds. Readings in Philippine Linguistics. Manila, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a member of a people of the Philippines, living chiefly in the region around Manila
2. the language of this people, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family: the official language of the Philippines
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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