Philippine English

Linguistic and Literary Perspectives


Edited by Ma. Lourdes S. Bautista and Kingsley Bolton

ISBN : 978-962-209-947-0

Language, Linguistics, Reference Asian Englishes Today

November 2008

424 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$395.00

The Philippines is one of the most significant and most interesting English-using societies in Asia, where there has been a general awareness and recognition of a localized variety of English characterized by its own distinct lexicon, accent, and variations in grammar. The distinctiveness of Philippine English as a linguistic variety has also been paralleled by the literary creativity of its novelists, short story writers, and poets, who have produced—and continue to produce—a substantial body of writing in English, aimed not only at domestic readers but also at the international audience for world literature in English.

The volume is composed of four parts. Part I deals with the sociolinguistic context, with contributions drawn from anthropology, education, linguistics, and literary studies. Part II focuses on linguistic descriptions of the features of Philippine English, its contact with indigenous Philippine languages, as well as the English in the context of international call centers based in Manila. Part III deals with the literary creativity of Philippine writers in English while Part IV comprises a research bibliography of considerable value to scholars in the field.

The study of English in the Philippines is not simply about the study of an Asian variety of the English language, but also provides insights into issues such as colonial and postcolonial languages and literatures, languages in contact, language and education, intercultural communication, and English literature worldwide.

Ma. Lourdes S. Bautista is a University Fellow and Professor Emerita of English and Applied Linguistics at De La Salle University-Manila. Kingsley Bolton is Professor of English Linguistics at Stockholm University, Sweden.

“This book provides an outstanding overview and analysis of the role of English in the Philippines, the factors that led to its spread and retention, and the characteristics of Philippine English today. It will provide an invaluable resource for researchers, students, teachers and other readers interested in learning how English established itself as a major language of communication and identity in the Philippines, and the consequences of its unique status in Philippine society.” —Jack C. Richards, Adjunct Professor, RELC, Singapore

“Philippine English is alive and well, despite earlier attempts by educational institutions to demonize it and despite later attempts by outsourcers to marginalize it. Bautista and Bolton have done the academic world a great service by bringing together some of the leading Philippine language and literature scholars to contribute to this volume. Indispensable to anyone serious about understanding the Philippines and its people, this book deserves a place not just on a library shelf, but in the mind, where language and literature matter.” —Isagani R. Cruz, Professor Emeritus, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines