Special Lectures

Wilkinson Daniel Wong Gonzales

University of Michigan


Beyond the Philippine English monolith: Approaches to investigating hybridity, variation, and change

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This talk is about Philippine English(es) in relation to notions of hybridity, linguistic variation, and change. I first give a brief overview of Philippine English, showing past and contemporary representations of the variety (e.g., ‘standard’ Philippine English). Then, I attempt to highlight the link between language and society as well as showcase the complexity of the linguistic ecology of the Philippines (in relation to English). Based on these, I argue for increased attention to social and contact-induced variation and change in Philippine English(es). I advocate for a two-faceted approach to ‘Philippine English’. I problematize and challenge the notion of a monolithic, Manila-based ‘Philippine English’, calling for variationist studies. At the same time, I also consider the possibility of a standard/general Philippine ‘English’ ethnolect, encouraging studies that attempt to provide concrete evidence for conventionalized features of a general Philippine English. After identifying prospective areas for research in language variation, change, and hybridity involving Philippine English, I discuss various approaches (e.g., sociolinguistic, corpus-based, and computational) to investigating them.

July 12, 2021