Hiligaynon: an endangered language?

By Carmencita Y. Robles

West Visayas State University
College of Mass Communications
La Paz, Iloilo City
+633 3200870 loc 113
mchi_robles11@yahoo.com

Paper presented at the 2nd Philippine Conference Workshop on
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE 2)
held February 16-18, 2012, at the Punta Villa Resort
Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City, Philippines


ABSTRACT

This descriptive study aimed to look into the extent of foreign language borrowing in the Hiligaynon language used in two local TV news programs in Iloilo City. From all the local news broadcast in TV Patrol Iloilo and Ratsada within the month of August 2011, the researcher transcribed, printed and randomly selected 50 news items. The words in every item were counted concentrating on nouns, adjectives and verbs while identifying foreignborrowed words and indigenous Hiligaynon words. Simple frequency counts, means and percentages were used for analysis and interpretation of data. Of the total words contained in the 25 news items reported in TV Patrol Iloilo, 50.85 per cent were foreign-borrowed words, and 49.15 per cent were indigenous Hiligaynon words; while in the 25 news items in Ratsada, 49.95 per cent were foreignborrowed words, and 50.05 per cent were indigenous Hiligaynon words. These show that foreign-borrowed or “loan words” have seeped into mainstream local TV news programs and they were used to replace indigenous Hiligaynon words. Both TV news programs employed almost equal mix of foreign-borrowed and indigenous Hiligaynon words although they may differ in their newswriting style or policy regarding language use. The integration of foreign language into the local Hiligaynon language structure has brought about bilingualism – a symptom of gradual language shift. – and poses a threat to the Mother Tongue Hiligaynon.

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Among the social structures gravely threatened by globalization is language and communication. In this area, globalization presents an amazing paradox of development. As Mavesera cites, “ Globalization…is an ideology that not only reinforces the hegemony of ex-colonial languages such as English but concomitantly contributes to further marginalization of indigenous languages.” [1]

Language is essentially a means of communication. It is the chief means by which human beings communicate, the fiber that weave people together as they interact and create a society with distinct culture and identity.

As M.K. Shakib writes, “Language as communication and as culture is then products of each other and language carries culture, and culture carries…the entire body of values by which we perceive ourselves and our place in the world. Language is thus inseparable from us as a community of human beings with a specific form and character, a specific history, a specific relationship to the world. Most of the people believe that ‘language’ is the basic tool used to give identity to a national culture.”[2]

But, what if many of these languages will disappear in the future? Will it also mean the disappearance of many cultures?

According to Nicholas Evans, “The next century will see more than half of the world’s 6,000 languages become extinct, and most of these will disappear without being adequately recorded.” In addition, linguists project that most endangered languages, especially those no longer spoken by children, will be extinct by year 2100 . [3]

The disappearance of a language is brought about by language shift, sometimes referred to as language transfer or language replacement or assimilation. It is the progressive process whereby a speech community of a language shifts to speaking another language. The process whereby a community of speakers of one language becomes bilingual in another language, and gradually shifts allegiance to the second language is called assimilation. When a linguistic community ceases to use their original language, language death is said to occur. [4]

Language shift can be detrimental to at least parts of the community associated with the language which is being lost. Sociolinguistics report that language shift (when it involves the loss of the first language) can lead to cultural disintegration and a variety of social problems .

As Ohiri-Aniche (1997) observes a tendency among many Nigerians to bring up their children as monolingual speakers of English, he reports that this can lead to their children holding their heritage language in disdain, and feeling ashamed of the language of their parents and grandparents. As a result, some Nigerians are said to feel neither fully European nor fully Nigerian. [5]

Linguistic Joshua Fishman has proposed a method of reversing language shift which involves assessing the degree to which a particular language is disrupted in order to determine the most effective way of assisting and revitalizing the language.

The researcher, being a speaker of and realizing the importance of the indigenous Hiligaynon language, took interest in looking into her native language to see if these substantial changes and disruptions are present.

The researcher also believes in the assumptions posited by mass communication theorists that mass media content are social constructions of reality and therefore, mirror reality. Hence, highly-viewed local television news programs reflect the language spoken by the people as news anchors and reporters optimize reaching their viewers.

Objectives of the Study

This study aimed to find out the extent of foreign language borrowing in the Hiligaynon language used in news reports contained in the mainstream local TV news programs in Iloilo City.

Specifically, the study attempted to

  1. Identify the words used in the local TV news reports that show foreign rootwords?
  2. Identify some indigenous Hiligaynon words commonly used in the local TV news reports?
  3. Determine the frequency of occurrence of foreign-borrowed words in the local TV news reports?
  4. Determine the frequency of occurrence of indigenous Hiligaynon words in the local TV news reports?

Significance of the Study

The results of this study may be used to inform mass media content producers, educators and policy makers regarding the status of the Hiligaynon language. The study may help them see the extent of foreign language borrowing in mass media content and inspire them to look deeper into the correctness of grammar and language use, and to adopt measures to counter the threats that endanger the survival of Hiligaynon as a Mother Tongue.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study focused on two locally produced TV news programs delivered in Hiligaynon which were broadcast live on two mainstream Network-owned Iloilo City-based TV stations.

From the transcribed recordings of news items aired within the month of August 2011, only 25 news items from each TV news program were randomly selected, yielding a total of 50 news items studied. The words from each item were counted and classified as to whether they had foreign rootwords or indigenous Hiligaynon rootwords. Simple frequency counts, means and percentages were used.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND RELATED STUDIES

The Television Media Technology

In the 21st century, communication technology made it possible for information to be shared instantaneously and simultaneously by millions of people, almost anywhere around the world. Communication in speech, and especially through the mass media is crucial to any society. Communication theorist Marshall McLuhan assessed the power of media technology when he stated his famous quote “the medium is the message” from which evolved his Technological determinism theory. Technological determinism theory states that , “The media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act and how society operates as we move from one technological age to another” …from the Tribal to Literate to Print-Electronic, etc. [6]

The impact of media technology had been so widespread that its ownership was also equated with economic and political power. This gave way to the creation of media conglomerates which in turn created global media markets. In this milieu, the cultural imperialism theory is relevant. Cultural imperialism states that Western nations dominate the media around the world, which in turn has a powerful effect on Third World cultures by imposing on them Western views and therefore destroying their native cultures (Schiller, 1973).

Among the various media, it is television, that viewers depend on more for information. Studies done by George Gerbner and his colleagues [7] showed that Television viewing has powerful effects on people’s perceptions, attitudes, and values. Television has become the central cultural arm of society. “The television set has become a key member of the family, the one who tells most of the stories most of the time.” Gerbner argues that for heavy viewers, television virtually monopolizes and subsumes other sources of information, ideas, and consciousness. The effect of all these exposure to the same messages produces what he calls cultivation, or the teaching of a common worldview, common roles, and common values. Television, then, has important but unnoticeable effects on society.

Of the myriad of program formats shown on television, the news program is the most widely viewed. Sociologist Gaye Tuchman contends that news is the social construction of reality. The act of making news is the act of constructing reality itself rather than a picture of reality. Tuchman argues that news is a social resource whose construction limits an analytic understanding of contemporary life. She contends that “through its routine practices and the claims of news professionals to arbitrate knowledge and to present factual accounts, news legitimates the status quo.” [8]

Hiligaynon: The Sing-song Language

Hiligaynon, often referred to as Ilonggo, is an Austronesian language spoken in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Hiligaynon is concentrated in the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Capiz but is also spoken in the other provinces of the Panay Island group, including Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, and in many parts of Mindanao including Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and parts of North Cotabato. Further, it is spoken as a second language by Karay-a speakers in Antique, Aklanon and Malaynon in Aklan and Capiznon in Capiz.

There are approximately 7,000,000 people in and outside the Philippines who are native speakers of Hiligaynon, and an additional 4,000,000 who are capable of speaking it with a substantial degree of proficiency. Hiligaynon is a member of the Visayan language family. It is distinctive from most Filipino languages for its sing-song intonation, much like Italian, particularly in the Bacolodnon dialect.

Until the second half of the 20th century, Hiligaynon was widely written based on Spanish orthography consisting of 32 letters called ABECEDARIO. The core alphabet consists of 20 letters used for expressing consonants and vowels in Hiligaynon, each of which comes in an upper case and lower case variety. Hiligaynon has sixteen consonants: /p t k b d g m n ñ s h w l r j/. There are three main vowels: /a/,/e-i/, and /o-u/. [i] and [e] (both spelled i) are allophones, with [i] in the beginning and middle and sometimes final syllables and [e] in final syllables. The vowels [u] and [o] are also allophones, with [u] always being used when it is the beginning of a syllable, and [o] always used when it ends a syllable. Consonants [d] and [r] were once allophones but cannot interchange as in other Philippine languages.

Hiligaynon has a large number of words that derive from Spanish words including nouns (e.g. santo from santo, saint), adjectives (e.g. berde from verde, green), prepositions (e.g. antes from antes, before), and conjunctions (e.g. pero from pero, but). Moreover, Spanish provides the Ilonggo base for items introduced by Spain, e.g. barko (barco, ship), sapatos (zapatos, shoes), kutsilyo (cuchillo, knife), and kambiyo (cambio, change).

Spanish verbs used in Hiligaynon often remain unconjugated (have the verb endings –ar, -er or –ir) which in Filipino would almost always be conjugated in the ‘vos’ form, e.g. komparar, mandar, pasar, tener, disponer, mantener, and asistir.

The first set of Hiligaynon names of the months are derived from Spanish.

Month Spanish derivative Indigenous form
January Enero ulalong
February Febrero dagangkahoy
March Marso dagangbulan
April Abril killing
May Mayo himabuyan
June Hunio kabay
July Hulyo hidapdapan
August Agosto lubad-lubad
September Septiyembre kangurolsol
October Oktubre bagyo-bagyo
November Nobiembre panglot-diotay
December Disiyembre panglot-daku

[9]

The Spanish word derivatives of the names of the months are presently used in everyday language and in the mass media. Almost nothing is heard (except in the academe and language groups) about their original Hiligaynon form .

Hiligaynon is said to have originated from the term Yligueynes or people of the coast, considering that Western Visayas is surrounded by large bodies of water. The language has a distinct characteristic that may be viewed as either positive or negative. Ilonggos speak in a sing- song manner, which is what projects them as affectionate (Francesca Climacio, University of the Philippines, Diliman Retrieved October 3, 2011 (http://www.ethnicgroupsphilippines.com/news-bulletin/thehiligaynon- language-of-the-ilonggo).

Changes in the Native Tongue

Changes in the native tongue due to heavy borrowing from foreign language is not peculiar to the Philippines. During the age of colonialism, colonialists were aware of the importance of language in cultural domination. To quote M.K. Shakib, “Language relationship with mind, soul, identity and thought of those who speak in their mother tongue, make most of colonialists societies to colonizing other societies focus on language and language identity of those societies. Being aware of importance of language and cultural domination, during colonialism, colonialists try to convey their thought, beliefs and their customs through language as a cultural tool in an invisible and imperceptible way. Using this policy, they can compete and strengthen their process of penetration and colonialism on others. As a result of lingual and cultural weakness, conquered societies submitted to colonialists’ sovereignty and occasionally they have accepted all aspects of their cultural and lingual sovereignty.”

Many societies have subordinated or lost their native tongues in conquest. Alsace in France was a Germanspeaking region where German and Alsatian (the native Germanic dialect) were spoken; but when these languages were banned for a period of time by the French government after WWI and WWII, they disappeared as useful languages and were replaced by French.

In Belarus, the use of the Belarusian language is declining despite the country’s separation from USSR.. A study done by the Belarusian government in 2009, showed that 72% of Belarusians speak Russian at home, while Belarusian is used by only 11.9% of Belarusians. 29.4% of Belarusians can write, speak and read Belarusian, while only 52.5% can read and speak it. According to the research, one out of ten Belarusians does not understand Belarusian.

After Singapore’s independence in 1965, there was a general language shift in the country’s inter-racial lingua franca from Malay to English, as English was chosen as the first language for the country. Among the Chinese community in Singapore, there was a language shift from the various forms of Chinese to Mandarin Chinese. Mandarin Chinese has replaced Singaporean Hokkien as the lingua franca of Chinese community in Singapore today. There has been a general language attrition in the use of Chinese other than Mandarin, especially among young Singaporean populace. [10]

Populations of many countries in the world which speak vernaculars that are not mutually intelligible, use lingua franca as a means of communication. Lingua franca came from the Italian “Frankish language”. The term was first used during the Middle Ages to describe a French- and Italian-based jargon, or pidgin, that was developed by Crusaders and traders in the eastern Mediterranean and characterized by the invariant forms of its nouns, verbs, and adjectives. These changes have been interpreted as simplifications of the Romance languages. Because they bring together very diverse groups of people, many empires and major trade entrepôts have had lingua francas. [11]

In Africa, Swahili is widely used as a lingua franca in Tanzania, Kenya and Congo. In Tanzania, it is the language of administration and primary education; while in Kenya, it is after English, the main language for these purposes.

In India, the two major lingua francas are Hindustani and English. Hindustani is based on an early dialect of Hindi, known by linguists as Khari Boli, which originated in Delhi and an adjacent region within the Ganges-Yamuna Doab. During the Mughal period (early 16th to mid-18th C), when political power became centered on Delhi, Khari Boli absorbed numerous Persian words and integrated them into the language.

Other than conquest, societies are rapidly losing their native tongues with the rise of the global economy that favors modern languages, and the spread of the mass media which use standard forms of a language rather than local dialects.

As Miidzo Mavesera (2010) puts it, “Globalization and the information age have put weaker languages at the risk of being marginalized. Information is being relayed through global languages…” Global languages such as English, French and Portuguese are now widely used in technology, trade and commerce, governance and education. Their integration into local language systems results to bilingualism which is the initial stage towards language assimilation – a looming threat to the local indigenous language!

Mavesera, observed that almost all African countries seem to enjoy doing business in foreign languages despite attainment of political power. This status emanates from a long history of colonial subjugation, which induced perpetual marginalization of African languages such that African states view their languages as unfit to transmit business ideas and higher knowledge. In Zimbabwe, English continues to be the global language, the language of the Internet, wider communication and official documents. Realizing that Zimbabwe requires high level of manpower, technology and contact with the external made sense to continue with colonial legacy for two reasons: to keep track with global developments, maintain internal unity and contacts with friends of Zimbabwe; and, there was strong motivation to adopt incremental policies that capitalize on available resources and ride on existing structures. In his study, Mavesera concluded that Africa still needs to gain a significant place in the global economy, politics and other development initiatives so the temptation to retain colonial languages is great. On the one hand, globalization increases the visibility of African languages beyond the African continent yet on the other, it exposes them to stiff competition against established global languages such as English, French, and Portuguese. For African languages to claim significant space in the global village, the languages must be able to transmit high status knowledge and technological information that is in demand globally. Currently, African languages are highly challenged as a majority of them are struggling to gain space in education not even as media of instruction but as subjects of study. [12]

One attempt to preserve and document an endangered language was done by Uchenna Oyali, [13] The research is an ethno-linguistic and pragmatic documentation of the forms of address in Oko, a dialect in Igbo, Nigeria. Such a study, according to the author, is necessary considering the gradual yet steady death of many languages in Nigeria or aspects of these languages as in the case with Igbo. He quoted Akinlabi and Connel (2008) to have emphasized the need for the documentation of languages. They observed that even in cases where development or stabilization (of languages) is no longer feasible, for example due to reduced number of speakers, documentation of such languages is still nonetheless desirable, as means of preserving both the unique linguistics structures that might exist in these languages, as well as the cultural and other forms of knowledge embodied in them. Oyali justified his choice of Oko for analysis. Oko is an ancient city that lies a few kilometers south of Asaba in Oshimili, Delta State of Nigeria. It is one of the riverine Igbo communities generally referred to as Olu or Ogbahu. Oko has not bent to the influence of English like the dialects of the surrounding communities.

Pedro Ponce [14] in his article Songs of the Sephardim, described the efforts of Samuel Armistead and his colleagues to rescue a language that “…is the language of the Sephardic past.” Sephardic Spanish was the dominant language of trade in the Balkans in the 18th and 19th C and carried around the world by Jews expelled from Spain. Today it is quickly disappearing as the number of people able to speak it declines. The language has a rich legacy of storytelling and ballad making. To save those tales and songs, Armistead and his colleagues have been gathering them from Sephardic Spanish speakers as far as Washington, and Tetuan, Morocco, for more than forty years. What contributes to making Sephardic Spanish obsolete aside from global economy, is the dominance and spread of mass media.

The mass media are among the linguistic trendsetters in society. Words uttered or printed in media strongly influence people and the language they use. Hence, many researchers tried to investigate media content and language used in media.

In India, Asima Ranjan Parhi [15] looked into what he calls “postcolonial, deviant use of language” in certain national dailies during the late 1990s “when actually the print media went through a well perceived change in the use of language. He says that the English print media in India has taken up the growing challenge in preparing a linguistic model of Indian English. Parhi believes that the content of English newspapers in India provides a text of the country’s cultural history. It explores a new medium in terms of both a language revolution and cultural renovation. Newspapers appear to have become more accessible and comfortable as alternate textual canon. By exploiting and exploring alternative semantic possibilities, the print media offers models of experimentation and usage. The Times of India is the major source of data provided, where writers are fast using many Indian words and structures embedded in the body of the print media to cater to the demands of a highly globalised and trendy body of readers. And when the mainstream newspapers use a number of such words and structures freely, it is a sign of assertion of Indian usage since they are read across the world. Parhi further adds that Indians have come of age through such massive mention of the words which are very common to all. And when they are repeatedly used, the newspapers have asserted the Indian self to express itself by the kind of English they are comfortable with.

S.A.Rahim and L. Pawanteh, [16] observing that the preponderant flow of information from western societies to the rest of the world engaging the western media in issues of cultural hegemony, posit that in the era of globalization where information transcends borders, preserving cultural identity is vital. In their study, they discussed how globalization “has spawned the expeditious growth of the local media industry in Malaysia since the 1980s, and in turn became a catalyst to the escalation of the local content industry.” The content industry does not merely create and publish content in the forms of information, entertainment and education programs, but is construed as an industry of culture that disseminates society values, lifestyles and norms to its target audience. Their study examined the relevance of local media content as a cultural commodity, the mitigation and availability of content prior to expounding local content, the ratio of local to foreign content and a balanced approach in services rendered. They worked on certain assumptions: media content is regarded as a pertinent information commodity in a nation’s development; regulating produced media content is vital to the nation’s endeavor to develop a information society; uncontrolled information pollution will adversely affect society; and,.in the globalization process, the growing sentiment of concern is that the unrestricted flow of media content may unconsciously influence the younger generation into incorporating foreign culture into the current environment.

In the study, a simple analysis of television program broadcast over Malaysian terrestrial televisyen stations was conducted. Two sets of data were collected representing a week in August, 2007 and another set from August, 2010. TV guide from a leading English language newspaper Star was used to calculate the number of hours of local versus foreign programs shown on various channels for a particular week. Ratio of each category of program was calculated by dividing the number of hours of local or foreign programs by the total airtime for a particular television station. The researchers concluded that the potential for growth of the local content market can not be denied but its growth needs to be monitored to ensure it does not stray from the nation’s aspirations. Local content should not be restricted to using Bahasa Malayu or the national language only. Usage of a local language that is comprehensible to segments of the local community can be construed as local content.

METHODOLOGY

Research Design

This descriptive study used content analysis. Recordings of TV news programs in Hiligaynon which were broadcast on two TV stations in Iloilo City were transcribed, printed and analyzed. The Hiligaynon words were counted and their rootwords were identified as either foreign or indigenous. Simple frequency counts, means and percentages were used to interpret the data.

The Sample

There are two mainstream network television stations based in Iloilo City.

ABS-CBN TV 10 is a local station of Alto Broadcasting System-Chronicle Broadcasting Network with headquarters in Metro Manila. TV 10 broadcasts with a power of 5,000 watts and covers the whole of Western Visayas. Among its local programs is a late afternoon newscast in Hiligaynon language, entitled “TV Patrol Iloilo”. The news program is anchored by a male and a female newscaster. They broadcast news from abroad, from the national network, and call on local reporters assigned all over the region for their “live” (although these are previously edited) news reports.

GMA TV 6 is a local station of Greater Manila Arts (GMA) Manila. It also broadcasts with a power of 5,000 watts and covers the whole of Western Visayas. Like TV 10, it also airs a late afternoon news program (at almost the same time slot, with only a difference of 30 minutes)) in Hiligaynon language, that is “Ratsada”. It also assumes the same program format as that of TV10, having almost the same segments. The only difference between the two news programs is in the way they treat news content.

Local news in Hiligaynon which were broadcast within these local news programs within the month of August, 2011 were transcribed and printed. From all the news items printed, 25 items were selected representing the content of “TV Patrol Iloilo”; and another 25 items were also selected from the local news transcribed, representing the content of “Ratsada”.

The Instrument

Since Hiligaynon borrows heavily from Spanish and English, Spanish and English dictionaries were used as reference for the identification of foreign root words. The identification, on the other hand, of the indigenous root words was referred to listings on an online Hiligaynon dictionary and an Austronesian comparison chart.

Data Analysis Procedure

The transcribed and printed news items were assigned numbers and 25 items were randomly selected from among the “TV Patrol” news; and 25 items were also randomly selected among the “Ratsada” news. The words in every item were then counted concentrating on nouns, adjectives and verbs since a large number of “loan words” include these three word forms. Then foreign-borrowed words which are derivatives (with foreign rootwords) were identified and counted. And, indigenous Hiligaynon words were also identified and counted. Simple frequency counts, means and percentages were used for the analysis and interpretation of data.

RESULTS AND FINDINGS

The results of the study showed that there are many words used in the local Hiligaynon TV news reports which show foreign origin. Some of the most commonly used are

word used foreign root
abandoner abandon
administratibo administrative
alegar allege
anunsyar announce/annunciar
arestado arrest/arestado
autoridad authority/autoridad
benepisyaryo beneficiary
biktima victim/victima
distrito district/distrito
druga drugs
ebidensiya evidence/evidencia
explosibo explosive/explosivo
ginasuprer suffer/sufrir
gin-edukar educate/educar
ginproseso process/proceso
ginproponer propose/proponer
ginrekober recover
ginrekomendar recommend
ginsuporta support/suportar
gintsekyar check
imbestigahan investigate/investigar
importante important/importante
involver involve
istorya story
istudyuhan study
kalamidad calamity
kapasidad capacity/capacidad
kaso case/caso
kustodiya custody
miyembro member/miembro
nagadepende depend
nagdeklara declare/declarar
nag-imbestigar investigate/investigar
nagkooperar cooperate
nagsurender surrender
operasyon operation
operatiba operatives
ordinary ordinary/ordinario
pagbasehan base
partikular particular
pasyente patient/paciente
patal fatal
penalidad penalty
polisiya policy/policia
resultado result
sanitasyon sanitation
sektor sector
temporaryo temporary

These words are frequently freely used in local TV news reports and do not follow any established rule in grammar. News reporters in both local news programs may vary in the way the words are formed. For example, in one news report the word “pasar” may be formed as “ginpasar” while in another, it may be formed as “pasado”).

On the other hand, some indigenous Hiligaynon words used in local TV news reports are:

amligan to care for
dunang manggad natural resources
ginakahangaw-an afraid of
ginalauman hoped / expected
himata family / relatives
humay rice produce
iloy mother
kaangtanan connection
kadalag-an victory
kahalitan damage
kahimtangan status / present state
kasangkaron width
katapo member
kinahanglanon needed
mapapas eradicate
naagum acquired
naanggid alike
nagsungka surrendered
narumpag collapsed
nasamaran injured
natalana mean to / expected to
pagduging spread / outbreak
paandam warning
pagkulang fall short
pagtuon study
pamatan-on youth
pamunuan leaders
panan-awan point of view
panugyan message
tagdumalahan management
talalupangdon laudable
talamnan farm
talatapan office

Many of these words have the same use and meaning as some of the foreign-borrowed words. For example, the word ginatun-an” means the same as “gina-istudyuhan”. Both words mean “being studied.”

The 25 news items reported in TV Patrol Iloilo contained a total of 1,892 nouns, adjectives and verbs. Of these, 960 or 50.85% are foreign-borrowed words, and 932 or 49.15% are indigenous Hiligaynon words On the average, each news item contains a total of 75-76 nouns, adjectives and verbs. Of these, 38-39 are foreign-borrowed words, while 37-38 are indigenous Hiligaynon words.

Table 1 shows the data.

Table 1. Frequency and Percentage of Foreign-Borrowed and Hiligaynon Words Used in TV Patrol Iloilo News Reports


News
item

#

Foreign-Borrowed
Words

f

 

 

%

Hiligaynon
Words

f

 

 

%

 

 

Total

1

30

30.61

68

69.39

98

2

56

61.54

35

38.46

91

3

47

54.65

39

45.35

86

4

42

46.15

49

53.85

91

5

50

65.79

26

34.21

76

6

59

52.21

54

47.79

113

7

73

62.39

44

37.61

117

8

44

41.51

62

58.49

106

9

28

45.90

33

54.10

61

10

36

52.17

33

47.83

69

11

38

54.29

32

45.71

70

12

24

33.80

47

66.20

71

13

37

59.68

25

40.32

62

14

41

58.57

29

41.43

70

15

28

43.75

36

56.25

64

16

40

67.80

19

32.20

59

17

32

49.23

33

50.77

65

18

31

46.97

35

53.03

66

19

15

27.78

39

72.22

54

20

45

58.44

32

41.56

77

21

34

56.67

26

43.33

60

22

34

40.96

49

59.04

83

23

26

47.27

29

52.73

55

24

44

51.16

42

48.84

86

25

26

61.90

16

38.10

42

Total

960

932

1892

M

38.40

50.85

37.28

49.15

75.68

On the other hand, the 25 news items reported in Ratsada contained a total of 2,459 nouns, adjectives and verbs. Of these, 1224 or 49.95% are foreign-borrowed words, while 1,235 or 50.05% are indigenous Hiligaynon words.

On the average, each news item contains a total of 98-99 nouns, adjectives and verbs. Of these, 48-49 are foreign-borrowed words, while 49-50 are indigenous Hiligaynon words.

Table 2 shows the data.

Table 2. Frequency and Percentage of Foreign-Borrowed and Hiligaynon Words Used in Ratsada News Reports


News

item

#

Foreign-

Borrowed
Words

f

 

 

%

Hiligaynon

Words

f

 

 

%

 

 

Total

1

30

57.69

22

42.31

52

2

87

51.48

82

48.52

169

3

41

53.95

35

46.05

76

4

54

41.59

76

58.46

130

5

48

47.52

53

52.48

101

6

39

36.79

67

63.21

106

7

20

36.36

35

63.64

55

8

106

58.89

74

41.11

180

9

58

44.27

73

55.73

131

10

65

54.17

55

45.83

120

11

59

55.66

47

44.34

106

12

34

51.52

32

48.48

66

13

70

63.06

41

36.94

111

14

26

27.96

67

72.04

93

15

44

57.89

32

42.11

76

16

34

47.22

38

52.78

72

17

59

51.30

56

48.70

115

18

51

52.04

47

47.96

98

19

41

64.06

23

35.94

64

20

29

63.04

17

36.96

46

21

60

57.14

45

42.86

105

22

41

46.59

47

53.41

88

23

47

50.00

47

50.00

94

24

49

40.16

73

59.84

122

25

32

38.55

51

61.45

83

Total

1224

1235

2459

M

48.96

49.95

49.40

50.05

98.36

The two tables show that foreign-borrowed words occupy 50.85% of TV Patrol Iloilo news reports; and, 49.95% of Ratsada news reports. These reveal that local TV news programs which claim to be in Hiligaynon are not actually using purely indigenous Hiligaynon, but rather half of the programs’ contents are relayed through “loan words” borrowed from foreign origins. Foreign-borrowed words have seeped into local Hiligaynon TV News programs and they are being used in the place of or have been substituted to indigenous Hiligaynon words.

The data also reveal that the two local TV news programs differed in their news writing style or policy regarding preference for use of either foreign-borrowed words or indigenous Hiligaynon words. Both programs employed almost equal mix of foreign-borrowed and indigenous Hiligaynon words.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings of the study show that foreign-borrowed or “loan words” have seeped into mainstream local TV news programs and they are being used in the place of indigenous Hiligaynon words. The media being a linguistic trendsetter, have already contributed to the assimilation of this language into the Hiligaynon lingua franca.

The integration of foreign language into the local Hiligaynon language structure brought about bilingualism which is a symptom of gradual language shift.

Colonialism may have contributed so much to the Filipinos’ heavy borrowing of “loan words” from Spanish and English. But since these two languages are also global languages, the threat brought about by colonialism is now reinforced by globalization.

The effects of globalization could not be ignored, in the same way that the possibility of the Hiligaynon language being dragged to extinction should not also be taken lightly.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Policy should be formulated on the use of Hiligaynon ( a Mother Tongue) in the mass media and in formal education. The mass media may be used to instill among its audience, the value of the Mother Tongue.

2. The formal educational system should introduce standards and measures to help guide the mass media and other sectors on the correct use of the Hiligaynon language.

3. Further studies on the use of Hiligaynon in the mass media should be encouraged.

REFERENCES

[1] Mavesera, M. (2010). “Situating African languages in the global village for sustainable development: Attractions and challenges for Zimbabwe”. Journal of language and Culture Vol. 2, May 2011 available online http://www.academicjournals.org

[2] Shakib, M.K. (2011). The position of language in development of colonization. Journal of Languages and Culture Vol. 7 July 2011. Academic Journals

[3] Evans, N. (2010). Dying Words: Endangered languages and what they have to tell us. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/

[4] Bastardas-Boada, A. (2007). “Linguistic sustainability for a multilingual humanity.” Glossa. An Interdisciplinary Journal Vol 2, No. 2

[5] Ohiri-Aniche, C. (1997). Nigerian languages die. Quarterly Review of Politics, Economics and Society 1 (2)

[6] McQuail, D. (1987). Mass Communication Theory: An introduction. London; Newbury Park, CA:Sage

[7] Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., and Signoreilli, N.(1980). The “mainstreaming of America: Violence profile no. 11. Journal of Communication, 30

[8]Tuchman, G. (1978). Making News: A Study in the Construction of Reality. New York: Free Press

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiligaynon_language

[10]Languages of Singapore. (2011) Encyclopoedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com

[11] lingua franca.(2011). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/342377/lingua -franca

[12] Mavesera, M. (2010). “Situating African languages in the global village for sustainable development: Attractions and challenges for Zimbabwe”. Journal of language and Culture Vol. 2, May 2011 available online http://www.academicjournals.org

[13] Oyali, U. (2009). “How do I address you? Forms of address in Oko”. International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, Vol. 1 (5), October 2009

[14] Ponce, Pedro. Songs of the Sephardim. Humanities: Mar/Apr 2000; 21,2; ProQuest Education Journals

[15] Parhi, A.R. (2009). “Semantic excess of new canons? Exploring the print media” Journal of Media and Communication Studies Vol. 2, January 2010 available online http://www.academicjournals.org/jmcs

[16] Rahim, S.A. & Pawanteh, L. (2010) “ The local content industry and cultural identity in Malaysia”. Journal of media and Communication Studies, Vol2,December2010availableonline http://www.academicjournals.org

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