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Dr. Stefanie Shamila Pillai

University of Malaya

Stefanie PILLAI is a Professor at the English Language Department, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya. She is currently Dean of the Faculty Her main areas of research interest are the segmental and prosodic features of spoken Malaysian English, and the revitalisation of Malacca Portuguese Creole or Cristang. She has published in journals such as English Today, World Englishes, Language and Communication, Studies in Second Language Acquisition and Language & Linguistics. She contributed the section on Malaysian English to the print and online versions of ‘The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English’ published by Mouton de Gruyter. She is also working on a book on Malaysian English for the Dialects of English series by de Gruyter, and a section on Malaysian English to be published online on Oxford Dictionaries. She is currently the Chief Editor of one of MELTA’s journals, The Malaysian Journal of ELT Research.

Revitalization of an Endangered Language: The Case of Malacca Portuguese Creole



In multilingual contexts, minority languages struggle to survive. These languages may be indigenous languages and those spoken by smaller ethnic groups. In Malaysia, for example, the national language is Malay, whilst English dominates in the private sector. The medium of instruction in public schools is Malay, while English is taught as a compulsory subject from primary education. However, there are also Chinese (Mandarin) and Tamil medium primary schools, and most private and international schools use English as their medium of instruction. In many cases, Malay, English and Mandarin have taken over as the language spoken at home, cutting off intergenerational transmission. This has led to an eventual shift to these dominant languages, and it signals the slow death of minority languages. Whilst researchers record speakers, and describe and document some of these languages, there is a lack of effort to translate this research into language education or revitalization efforts. This scenario is also likely to occur in neighboring countries, such as the Philippine.


In this paper, I will describe the case of Malacca Portuguese Creole (MPC), also popularly known as Papiá Cristang. MPC developed out of the language contact between Portuguese speakers, who conquered Malacca in 1511 and local languages. It is still mainly spoken in Malacca, south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where a large number of Malaysians of Portuguese heritage reside.  However, the use of MPC has been steadily dwindling among younger speakers. The focus of the paper will be on the production of a learning resource for MPC in the form of a book, Beng Prende Portugues Malaká (Papiá Cristang). With the support of the University of Malaya’s community engagement funding, a collaborative team comprising researchers and community members represented by the Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association, was formed to work on this project. I will discuss the knowledge sharing process involved in producing this teaching and learning resource, and show how research can be translated into efforts to keep an endangered language alive with the support of community members.

Dr. Ariane Macalinga Borlongan

The University of Tokyo

Ariane Macalinga Borlongan earned his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics via a competitive accelerated program from De La Salle University (Manila, the Philippines), for which he wrote the dissertation A Grammar of the Verb in Philippine English, which won Most Outstanding Dissertation distinction from the university. Earning it at age 23, he remains one of the youngest to earn a doctorate in linguistics in the Philippines.


He currently teaches at The University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan). He was previously on various academic posts in De La Salle University, (Manila, the Philippines), the National University (Manila, the Philippines), the SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC, Singapore), Tamagawa University (Tokyo, Japan), and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (Tokyo, Japan). He is a compiler of several diachronic corpora of Asian Englishes and also the contributor for Philippine English in the Electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English (eWAVE). His research is on English linguistics, world Englishes, historical linguistics, and sociolinguistics, on which he has published in journals and edited volumes and presented in many conferences.

Change in the verb in Expanding Circle Englishes



The verb is a very significant grammatical category, so much that its role in the English sentence cannot be overstated. It is genuinely “the most important phrasal categor[y] for functional reasons” (together with the noun phrase) (Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, & Svartvik, 1985, p. 61) and “the most ‘central’ and indispensable part of the clause”.

And in the process of English becoming the undisputed global language that it is now (in effect, with its more cosmopolitan vocabulary and furthered inflectional simplicity, among others), the verb phrase in English has likewise evolved. A pioneering work on grammatical change in American and British Englishes has been done (Leech, Hundt, Mair, & Smith, 2009) and it was found that: (1) The progressive has increased significantly yet variably; (2) there is an ongoing decrease in the use of modals and (not necessarily caused by the) increase in the use of quasi-modals; (3) while there is a seeming revival of mandative subjunctives (led by American English), the case has not been as fortunate with those in counterfactuals; and (4) passive constructions are in a decline. Similar changes of varying degrees have also been documented in postcolonial Englishes (cf. Collins, 2015a; Noël, van Rooy, & van der Auwera, 2014).

The present study is the first of its kind which uses short-term diachronic comparable corpus linguistics as a tool to explore Expanding Circle Englishes. It investigates recent change in the verb phrase in these Englishes: The investigation is on the perfective, the progressive, modals and quasi-modals, subjunctives, and passives found in diachronic data of the Englishes of Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. Corpus from each Expanding Circle country is around 300,000-500,000 words apiece and consists of academic and journalistic texts from the 1970s and 2000s. With this data, not only diachronic change but also regional and stylistic variation are shown. Also, comparisons can be made with findings for American, British, and Philippine Englishes (Collins, 2015b; Collins, Borlongan, & Yao, 2014; Collins, Borlongan, Lim, & Yao, 2014; Collins, Yao, & Borlongan, 2014; Fuchs & Borlongan, 2016; Leech et al., 2009), for which similar analyses have been previously made. Then it can be seen if, indeed, these Expanding Circle Englishes are in a state of dynamism, as Schneider (2014) theorized.

Dr. Dennis H. Pulido

Far Eastern University - Manila

Dennis is a Professorial Lecturer at the Department of English, Institute of Arts and Sciences, Far Eastern University. He is currently the Director of the University Research Center. The position requires him to manage the administrative functions of the University Research Center and its programs, to promote research among the members of the academic community, and to represent the University at the UBelt Consortium. In addition, he proposes and implements projects related to effective communication, communication and language research, online free-content database, teacher training, and assessment. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics from De La Salle University-Manila, his Master of Arts in Teaching English from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and his Bachelor of Arts major in Literature from the University of Santo Tomas. He has published research papers in local and international journals. His research interests include deconstruction, discourse analysis, pragmatics, and computer-mediated communication.