Thursday, August 26, 2004

Languages or Dialects?

I do apologize for not updating as often. I had just started working again, so I have a giant distraction now.

In any case, here's an essay that I have written a few years ago. I got so tired of explaining to people that Cebuano or Ilokano or what have you is not dialect but a language that I decided to write it.

The title is Languages or Dialects? Understating the Native Tongues of the Philipines

My essay has gained some notoriety in the Philippines and published in a couple of newspapers (I've never seen the actual papers, though) and people from DILA have printed it out to give as fliers. So hopefully people's perceptions have changed at least somewhat. ;-)

Whenever I'm not working or on the computer, I am working on Waray-Waray verbs for now. I came into contact with a good set of Waray books and making the most out of them. Apparently Waray doesn't have a separate affix for instrumental focus. An example in Tagalog would be Ipambili niya ng bigas ang pera ng kaniyang ina.

Until next time...


rva said...

your blog is so wonderful! i'm so grateful i found it and so grateful too of what you are doing!

the "language vs. dialect" issue is also discussed one time in the forum of the popular site because somebody insists that iloko language is a mere dialect and not a language! as a writer writing in iloko, and as a pure ilokano, i also insists that it is a language because iti is spoken by millions of ilokanos.

your essay is very illuminating and i might post it or point to it to back my arguments.

by the way, i also maintain a blog here at it is an iloko blog. sometimes i also blog in tagalog for my non-ilokano friends. i'll include your site in my links.

thank you.

rva said...

sorry. i forgot to include the url of my blog:

Perez said...

Hi Chris,
Great article! Certainly I agree with you that no language is more important than another, which makes me wonder why the term dialect is useful at all as a means of classifying a speech variety. For instance, the Cebuano spoken on Bohol is different to the Cebuano spoken in Cebu. Most people take the Cebu variety as the standard and the Bohol variety as the deviation (or 'dialect'). Why? To my mind they comprise one language with two dialectical varieties. In other words, most languages are simultaneously 'language' and 'dialect'. The hierarchies are simply a matter of politics.
I have an article on language prestige in the Philippines on my blog: