Well... I finally went and did it. I've been wanting to something like this for quite a while.
To introduce myself, my name's Christopher or just "Chris." I'm 26 years old and live in a rural area of Washington State. I've been an ardent enthusiast of languages for as long as I can remember and I have been studying Philippine languages in general for about eight years now.
Here's some more about me in FAQ format. In this case, FAQ stands for "fictitiously asked questions." ;-)
What does "salita" mean?
Salita is a Tagalog word of Sanskrit origin. Its meanings include word, speech, talk/speak and language. I wanted a word that not only reflects the subject of this blog, but also something that is found in a number of Philippine languages. So far, I have found six more; Ilokano (sarita), Kapampangan (salita), Pangasinan (salita), Rinconada Bikol (sarita), Botolan Sambal (halita), and Tina Sambal (salita).
On a side note, I once proposed this name for a group defending Philippine languages. But it was turned down. They went with dila (tongue), which is a word found in virtually all Philippine languages.
Are you Filipino?
Yes, I am. Three of my grandparents are Filipinos and my late maternal grandfather was an American of Cornish, Irish, German, and Swiss descent.
However, I was born in the United States. I did live in the Philippines in Angeles City & Clark Air Base, Pampanga for five years during my childhood.
My ancestors come from various parts of the Philippines and came to settle in the Metro Manila area in the 20th century, particularly in places like Makati. They're from Batangas, Cagayan (Ibanag-speaking part), Camarines Norte (Daet), Camarines Sur (Libmanan), and Quezon Province. My great-great-great grandmother Luisa Orlanda was born in the Philippines, and she reportedly spoke only Spanish.
So, you're a US-born Filipino. Do you speak Tagalog?
Yes, I do speak Tagalog but this was not always the case. Although my parents have been speaking Tagalog among for as long as I can remember, they speak to me in English. As a result, I saw no need to speak Tagalog as a child even if I could understand it. I started strengthening my Tagalog during my teenage years and I speak it rather well with occasional mistakes. Tagalog is part of my everyday life.
What other languages do you speak?
I started learning Spanish 11 years ago and French 8 years ago. I speak the two rather well and am fairly confident with them. I have also studied many other languages. To keep it short, I have devoted a lot of attention to Catalan, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Italian, Bulgarian, and German. Not to mention Philippine languages like Bikol, Kapampangan, Cebuano, Ilokano, etc.
Are you a linguist?
I'm not a linguist in the professional sense. That is, I don't have a university degree in linguistics (though that'll change in a few years). My knowledge of linguistics over the years is self-taught. I'm a linguist in the sense that I study languages and know a thing or two about'em (or at least I'd like to think so!).
What's your job?
I am currently a teacher assistant at a private elementary school. One of my jobs is teaching Spanish.
What else do you do?
That free time I spoke of? It's gone! ;-)
I graduated with my Associate in Arts & Sciences Degree on June 16, 2006. I am going to be studying in the University of Washington in Seattle in Fall 2007.
Have you written anything about Philippine languages?
I wrote a book called In Bahasa Sug: An Introduction to Tausug. My friend & linguist Jason Lobel is in the Philippines right now having it published and doing research.
My book is now available at http://members.aol.com/linggwistik
I've also written an essay about languages and dialects.
I have also helped out in editing Dr. Carl Rubino's Tagalog Dictionary.
What is your pet peeve?
Phrases such as "the Cebuano dialect."
Life must be rough living out in the sticks. Where would you rather be right now?
Either Barcelona, Spain or Montréal, Québec.
Gawd, you're such a language nerd. What else do you like to do?
That's it for now. Stay tuned for more posts. I'm still getting used to this Blogger site.