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Osborne, Dana Marie

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Arizona, U. of
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 17, 2012
Project Title: 
Osborne, Dana Marie, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Negotiating the Hierarchy of Languages in Ilocandia,' supervised by Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton

Preliminary abstract: Situated in contemporary Philippines, this project explores the social and linguistic impacts that exclusionary language policies have had on speakers of the minority language of Ilocano. After decades of deliberation following national independence, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports instituted the Bilingual Educational Policy in 1974 which declared Filipino and English to be the national and official languages, respectively -- all other languages, specifically minority languages like Ilocano, were considered auxiliary or 'transitional', ineligible as mediums of literacy or instruction. This declaration had widespread and immediate impacts on minority language speakers, giving rise to a symbolic and material hierarchy of languages. Because of this historical backdrop, language has become one of the most salient signs of identity and of enduring national struggle in the Philippines; it is the foremost stage on which the complexities of social participation are negotiated. This project seeks to examine the ways that young Ilocanos are grappling with the hierarchy of languages with a special focus on the ways that these speakers produce, reproduce and contest the ideological material set into motion by the BEP. A systematic analysis of the social semiotic practice of spatial language among speakers will be carried out to determine the strength and directionality of any language change underlying contemporary language practices among speakers of Ilocano.