Lexicography and Description of Philippine English

Pages: 6 (1555 words) Published: September 11, 2013

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. Today, the English used in the Philippines has a distinctive localized vocabulary which finds expression in a range of settings, including government, education, and the media as well as the personal domain. Describing the vocabulary of new Englishes(Lado)

In the academic literature on the world Englishes, a number of linguists have focused on the importance of the early contact period in contributing to the distinctiveness of the new Englishes that have been established since the 17th and 18th century. 1. American English

Menken (1919) cites in his The American Language that the earliest Americanisms were probably words borrowed bodily from Indian languages—words indicating natural objects that had no counterparts in England. 2. Australian English

Turner (1994) in The Cambridge History f the English Language Volume V, discuses the distinctiveness of Australian English has its origins in process of dialect leveling that occurred in the first convict settlement. 3. New Zealand English

Bauer (1994) discusses a large number of influences, including Maori, British dialect words, Australianisms, changes of meaning, and New Zealand coinages. 4. Hong Kong English
Its lexicon may be traced back to much earlier varieties of English, notably the Canton ‘Jargon’ ,’Canton English’ or ‘Canton (Guangzhou) and Macao during the era of the tea and opium trade between the mid-18th century and the First Opium War in 1839 (Bolton,2003). 5. Philippine English

The use of English in the Philippines was established and propagated by a small number of US colonial officials. New lexical items were created through a number of linguistic processes, including: a. Borrowing of words from local languages.

e.g. anting anting, pili tuba
b. Borrowing from other Englishes
e.g. abaca, anito, barrio, fiesta ( Spanish)
solon (American)
c. Formation of new words and compound words in English
e.g. with barrio: barrio folk, barrio storytellers
d. Adaptation of the lexicon brought from the British or American homeland.

The codification of Philippine English vocabulary
As in the context to which English was transported, new words and expressions were coined by English speakers in the Philippines as they encountered unfamiliar flora and fauna, strange peoples, and the rather different social institutions indigenous to the islands or the or the legacy of Spanish colonialism.

The process of lexical innovation and vocabulary creation dates back to the early years of colonization. Thomasite Glenn H. Evans used the following loanwords in his diary: baguio, nipa, president, fiesta, teniente, piña, lotogotan

William B. Freer’s account of his experiences as a teacher in Nueva Vizcaya, The Philippine Experiences of an American Teacher (1906) listed Spanish and Philippine terms of which 153 are in Spanish, 19 in Tagalog, 7 in Bicol, 4 in Moro, 2 Gaddan and one in Igorot. The Philippine in Webster’s dictionary

Another important influence on the codification of the Philippine English lexicon has been that of various editions of Webster’s dictionary. Yap’s (1970) focuses on the study of ‘Pilipino loan words in English’ such as flora and fauna, names of cultural minorities, household and cultural items. Contemporary Philippine English vocabulary: Toward a new lexicography The gap between the archaic lexicon of colonial anthropology and botany represented by “Webster words’ and the reality of English usage in the Philippines today is enormous.

Examples of Philippine English-language used in daily newspapers: politicians are found guilty of economic plunder, politicians are challenged by the press in an ambush interviews, corrupt cops are accused of codling criminals, motorists stuck in traffic high...
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