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The Ivatan (Ibatan) language, also known as Chirin nu Ibatan ("language of the Ivatan people"), is an Austronesian language spoken in the Batanes Islands. Despite the islands' closer proximity to Taiwan than Luzon, it is not one of the Formosan languages. Ivatan is one of the Batanic languages, which are perhaps a primary branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family of Austronesian languages. The language of Babuyan Island is a dialect. Babuyan was depopulated by the Spanish and only repopulated at the end of the Spanish era with families from Batan Island.Ivatan is especially characterized by its words, which mostly have the letter v, as in vakul, Ivatan, and valuga. Letter e, is pronounced as the schwa oun, or uh, as in Dios Mamajes, 'di-yos-ma-ma-huhs', and palek 'pa-luhk'. While related to the Northern Philippine group of languages, Ivatan, having been isolated, is most closely to the two other members of the Bashiic sub-group of languages, Tao (Yami) and Ibatan, neither of which is indigenous to Luzon.Ibatan, spoken on the nearby Babuyan group of islands, is so similar to Ivatan that it is not entirely clear whether it should be classified as a dialect of Ivatan or a separate language, though each does receive its own code in ISO taxonomy.