Susmaryosep!: lexical evidence of cultural influence in Philippine English

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In language contact situations, the interactions between languages often inevitably lead to variable degrees of borrowing across different levels of language. Various studies (see Matras & Sakel, 2007; Myers-Scotton, 1992, 1995, 2006; 1992; Poplack, 2004; Bautista, 1997) have attempted to account for the types of borrowing present in linguistic situations where two or more languages are in operation. Schneider, in his 2016 ICAME presentation, extends the scope of the lens by looking into this phenomenon and suggesting that the presence of borrowed elements from a donor language to a recipient language (Matras & Sakel, 2007, p.37) signals yet another piece of evidence for the interaction between language and culture. He proposed a theoretical framework for investigating the nexus between language and culture at three levels of analysis: (i) culture as content; (ii) dimensions of culture as reflected in “indicator terms”; and (iii) cultural influences on syntactic and structural patterning. This paper investigates this interplay between language and culture particularly focusing on Schneider’s first level of analysis – “culture as content” – by analysing the lexicosemantic tokens of the written texts in the International Corpus of English Philippine component (ICE-PH) using AntConc’s concordance facility. Findings in this study contribute to the overall discussion of the nature of lexical borrowing in language contact situations by examining the kinds of borrowing from Tagalog and other Philippine languages at play in English grammatical matrix sentences using the analytical lens posited by Myers-Scotton (1995, 2006). Her framework disambiguates what she refers to as either ‘cultural’ borrowing i.e. lexical tokens borrowed from the donor language simply because they do not exist in the recipient language, or ‘core borrowing, those lexical items from the donor language that also exist in the recipient language but reasons such as prestige, among others, warrant borrowing nonetheless. Findings from the analysis using this framework were further analysed to establish the semantic categories of the cultural lexical tokens and the communicative functions of the core lexical tokens. This paper contributes toward ongoing research that investigates the extent of the relationship between language and culture and the breadth and depth of that relationship as evidenced by the ICE-PH corpus.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the ecology of world Englishes in the twenty-first century
Subtitle of host publicationlanguage, society and culture
EditorsPam Peters, Kate Burridge
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781474462884
ISBN (Print)1474462855, 9781474462853
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • language contact
  • language and culture
  • lexicosemantic borrowing
  • Philippine English
  • core and cultural borrowing


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