Code-Switching in Philippine Tabloids: Subservience and Resistance in a Post-Colonial Society

Frances Paola Doplon

Date of publication:

June and December 2007


What is the link between social values and linguistic features in the real world that students are being prepared for? With the range and depth of cultural interaction in the 21'' century, our learners find themselves in a multilingual society where the mixing of language in daily conversation finds its way to written work. By analyzing a corpus from the tabloids or compact newspapers, it is possible to further describe the reality of code-switching in the Philippines. The corpus is comprised of seven consecutive cover stories from the tabloid, Abante, whose base language is Filipino. The study investigates the syntactic categories code-switched, the linguistic assumptions the text makes regarding its readers, and possible reasons for switching to English. The analysis of the multiple motivations for codeswitching conveys a connection between linguistic features and cultural values of a post-colonial society. The analysis from a historical-political context reveals conflicting views on the role of English. As an implication, a multicultural orientation to language teaching is suggested in order to prepare students with communication strategies for diverse multilingual contexts outside the classroom.

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