Linguistic and Literary
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
Series: Asian Englishes Today
Series editor’s preface
This volume on Philippine English is an important addition to the Asian Englishes Today series, not least because the Philippines is numerically one of the most important English-using societies in Asia. At various times over recent decades, the claim has been made that the Philippines was the world’s ‘third-largest’ English-using society in the world, with some sixty percent of its eighty-odd million population claiming a facility in the language. ...
The three chapters from D. V. S. Manarpaac, Vicente L. Rafael, and Simeon Dumdum et al. were previously published elsewhere, but are included in this collection because of the value they bring. The editors wish to thank Rodopi publishers for permission to reprint the article by D. V. S. Manarpaac,...
List of contributors
Map of the Philippines
Introduction - Philippine English: Linguistic and literary perspectives
The unprepared foreign visitor to the Philippines is often astounded by the immediate encounter with this tropical society and the texture of a daily life that includes crowded and chaotic cities, heat and rain, music and dance, and friendly, hospitable, multi-tongued people in a nation with more than a hundred recognized indigenous languages. ...
Part I: The Sociolinguistic Context
1. A favorable climate and soil: A transplanted language and literature
The American language has manifested a unique destiny in the Philippines. Remarkably soon after the occupation of the Philippines by the United States in 1898, it was spoken, based on the census of 1918, by an educated elite of 896,358 out of 10.3 million people in the islands, undoubtedly with various levels of competence. ...
2. English in Philippine education: Solution or problem?
The English language is well entrenched in Philippine formal education. English was introduced into the formal educational system when the United States of America colonized the Philippines. On April 7, 1900, US President William McKinley issued a Letter of Instruction declaring that English should be the medium of instruction at all levels of the public educational system in the Philippines. ...
3. English-language media in the Philippines: Description and research
In an earlier paper, Dayag (2004a) described the state of the English-language media in the Philippines, profiling both broadcast and print media in terms of circulation figures and readership (based on 2000 data). On the basis of these data, it went on to survey linguistic studies of the Philippine media, and to chart directions for future research in this area. ...
4. World Englishes or worlds of English? Pitfalls of a postcolonial discourse in Philippine English
The aim of this chapter is to provide an interrogation of ‘world Englishes’ (WE) as a postcolonial discourse.1 Until recently, mainstream linguistics has paid little attention to the debates on postcolonialism associated with the work of Edward Said and others, despite an evident need for an interrogative stance toward formal language studies and its disciplinary and ideological underpinnings (Bolton and Hutton, 2000). ...
5. ‘When I was a child I spake as a child’: Reflecting on the limits of a nationalist language policy
This essay examines the limits of the nationalist language policy in the Philippines which is aimed at dislodging English from its privileged position in the controlling linguistic domains.1 Following the suspect adoption of Filipino (a.k.a. Tagalog) as national language in the 1987 Constitution, the Philippines has witnessed a resurgence of nationalist rhetoric in defense of the privileging of one of the country’s more than eighty languages as the de jure lingua franca. ...
6. Taglish, or the phantom power of the lingua franca
...Before the brilliantly colored images and magnified sounds of this Douglas Sirk film, the narrator, Rio, and her cousin Pucha — mestiza girls of privileged means in neo-colonial Philippine society — initially acknowledge the strangeness of the theater. Plunged in darkness, they are surrounded by odors from unknown sources and the obscured figures of lovers. But as consumers of the film, they take delight in the novelty of their surroundings, avidly attending to the cinematic images, especially the movie stars. ...
Part II: Linguistic Forms
7. Linguistic diversity and English in the Philippines
The Philippines possesses a great wealth of indigenous languages, and while these languages are related, the differences among them are also extensive. Even the relatively closely-related lowland languages are very diverse, exhibiting differences in all linguistic aspects: lexicon, phonology, syntax. By studying these differences, we are able to reach some tentative conclusions about the prehistory of Philippine languages and make a subgrouping of the languages. ...
8. A lectal description of the phonological features of Philippine English
The spread and worldwide use of English have given rise to different indigenized or nativized Englishes and creoles broadly labeled as ‘new Englishes’. These indigenized Englishes, according to Brutt-Griffler (2002), are of two types, both of which result in bilingual speech communities. Type A involves macrolanguage acquisition taking place where ‘speakers of different mother tongues within the same environment simultaneously acquire a common second language that serves as a unifying linguistic resource’, whereas...
9. Lexicography and the description of Philippine English vocabulary
This chapter considers a range of issues related to the study of Philippine English vocabulary, including the importance of dictionaries in the legitimation of world Englishes, the description of lexical innovations, and the historical development and codification of the Philippine English lexicon. Historical sources show that Filipino words began to be borrowed into the English of the American colonizers at a very early stage in the colonial period. ...
10. Investigating the grammatical features of Philippine English
The study of Philippine English as a distinct variety dates from the publication of Teodoro A. Llamzon’s landmark study Standard Filipino English in 1969. That monograph focused on the phonology of Philippine English, and had only a very short section on grammar, which covered only two pages of the book, consisting basically of a listing of Filipinisms, ‘English expressions which are neither American nor British, which are acceptable and used in Filipino educated circles, and are similar to expression patterns in Tagalog’ (Llamzon, 1969: 46). ...
11. English in Philippine call centers and BPO operations: Issues, opportunities and research
In the context of the rapidly-expanding Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines, issues relating to diversity and convergence in the use of English are becoming strongly foregrounded. Essentially, the BPO industry comprises a variety of call centers, back office functions, and support services, which are outsourced to sites that are more economical to run than those at home. ...
Part III: Philippine English Literature
12. Colonial education and the shaping of Philippine literature in English
...What this American teacher had observed was perhaps a rather early instance of the cultural cloning of the Filipinos, and after the Philippines’ independence from the United States in 1946, it has been claimed that many Filipinos continued to behave like so-called ‘brown Americans’. What specific strategies did the American colonizers use to create this ‘brown American’? ...
13. Negotiating language: Postcolonialism and nationalism in Philippine literature in English
The use of English as a communicative and literary medium raises a wide range of issues relating to language and nationalism. As a colonial legacy, English is remembered for the cultural violence it has wrought in colonial classrooms, and has been seen as an instrument of linguistic displacement and social stratification. In Decolonising the Mind, Ngugi wa Thiong’o (1981) traces the colonial process of imposition in his discussion of the dual character of language. ...
14. ‘This scene so fair’: Filipino English poetry, 1905–2005
Our literature in English, like our scholarship, was bred in the university. In less than four months after the mock Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, the first makeshift American school, run by soldiers as teachers, was set up on Corregidor Island (Zaide, 1956: 285), portentously, the same island where Filipino and American forces made their last stand against the Japanese Imperial Army in 1941–1942. ...
15. The Philippine short story in English: An overview
Any account of the development of the Philippine short story in English has to begin with the fact that it is in English. In short, Philippine literature in English is tied up with the experience of colonialism, an essential truth that all serious Filipino writers in English must address at some point in their careers. National Artist for Literature Francisco Arcellana, describing the ‘period of emergence’ of literature in English, wrote...
16. The Filipino novel in English
As a field of literary practice, the Filipino novel in English is constructed out of a series of paradoxes. Created out of the solitary act of writing and consumed through the solitary act of mute reading, the novel is nevertheless fundamentally premised on accessibility to a wider public and for this reason appears the most communal of all literary writings. Most of its practitioners belong to the middle classes, yet it seeks to speak not just of and for these classes, but for and to the Filipino ‘people’. ...
17. Filipino diasporic literature
We call him Manong Bert, with the honorific meaning ‘older brother’ or ‘uncle’. As traditional endearments go, it also connotes respect for an older male with whom we enjoy not filial but convivial relations. His full name is Alberto S. Florentino. He is a bilingual Filipino playwright and book publisher. Or rather, was. At 74 years, he now essays a retiree’s life in New York City, where he and his wife Eva live in an old folks’ home. ...
18. In conversation: Cebuano writers on Philippine literature and English
In early 2002, Simeon Dumdum, Timothy Mo, and Resil Mojares came together in Cebu to discuss the Cebuano tradition of English-language creative writing, the legacy of Spanish and American colonialism, English in the Philippines and much else. Simeon Dumdum was born in the town of Balamban, Cebu island. He went to Ireland as a teenage seminarian before pursuing a legal career and is regarded as one of the best poets the Visayas has ever produced. ...
Part IV: Resources
19. Bibliographical resources for researching English in the Philippines
It is a commonplace observation that the Philippines is an ideal laboratory for studying sociolinguistics, the nexus between society and language, because it is a country where some 100 languages are spoken; where inhabitants are typically multilingual — speaking their native vernacular, a regional lingua franca, the national language Filipino, and the international language English; where the colonial language English was adopted as a second language within just a few generations; where switching between local languages or between a local language and English in ordinary conversations is almost routine. ...