Taglish and the Social Role of Code Switching in the Philippines

Lenny Kaye Bugayong

Date of publication:

December 31, 2011


It is a truism that English is deeply entrenched in Filipino everyday life. This paper concerns itself with the coexistence of English alongside Tagalog in the contexts of bilingualism, code switching and diglossia by taking into account that the two languages are seldom clearly distinguished within authentic Filipino speech patterns. In particular, a closer look at the mixed variety commonly referred to as―Taglish (i.e. Tagalog and English) on a phonetic, morphological, syntactic and discursive level revealed that, while there is no emerging grammaticalization of Taglish, it is neither a matter of incomplete command of either language nor of idiosyncratic choices. Rather, Taglish is a discursive strategy within a social norm, very much similar to Low-varieties in diglossic language situations.