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The Language Situation in Philippine Minority Language Communities: Reports from the Phylogeny Project Fieldwork

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Title: The Language Situation in Philippine Minority Language Communities: Reports from the Phylogeny Project Fieldwork
Authors: Gallego, Kristina
Lee, Aldrin
Or, Elsie Marie
Zubiri, Louward Allen
Hernandez, Jesus Federico
Issue Date: 03 Mar 2017
Description: In the course of collecting data from over fifty Philippine languages around the country for our research project entitled The Automated Constructions of Phylogenetic Trees and Networks of Languages in the Greater Central Philippines by a Feature-Sensitive Metric, or the Phylogeny Project in short, we interview correspondents from these different Philippine ethnolinguistic groups to find out the language situation in their community, their attitudes towards implemented language policies, and their opinions about projects that promote or would promote the maintenance or revitalization of minority languages in the country, including research projects like ours, which seek to document languages for academic study in a specialized field of linguistics, but which may contribute to future language revitalization projects. From these interviews and observations during our fieldwork, we find that different groups express varying levels of enthusiasm and optimism for their languages, which relate to their willingness to maintain their languages, or be involved in the revitalization of their languages. We have also gathered reports of varying degrees of increase or decrease in their sense of cultural identity and belongingness to the overall national discourse. This study provides insights on factors that cause and/or shape such varying perspectives, including existing language policies, socio-economic forces, and the influence of mainstream media. We also provide a preliminary report on the applicability, effectiveness, and the intended and/or unintended consequences of the implementation of national language policies, such as the relatively recent educational reforms like the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) Program and the National Indigenous Peoples Education (IP Ed) Framework, from the perspectives of the communities that we have visited. Based on the reports from our fieldwork, we will offer recommendations on how to approach future language documentation and language revitalization projects in the Philippines.
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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