Home › Vol 3, No 2 (2014): December  ›  Abstract ›  View Pdf

Ethnolinguistic Vitality of the Subanen Communities in Ozamiz City, Philippines

Haydee D. Villanueva1 and Esther L. Baluyos2

The Philippines is inhabited by a number of indigenous groups of people. Thriving in Zamboanga Peninsula is the Subanen tribe which possesses a distinct language and culture. Coexistence with non-tribal settlers in the area exposes the Subanens to the influences of the majority group. Tribal members manifest proficiency in the majority language, but a number exhibit linguistic inadequacy in their mother tongue. This study aimed to conduct an actual test and an assessment of the ethnolinguistic vitality of the Subanen respondents from the tribal communities in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental. Researcher-made instruments were utilized to carry out the assessment. Results revealed the average vitality of the Subanen language in the city. Geographical location of the tribal community is not a predictor of the vitality of the indigenous language, but the extent of Subanen blood that the tribesmen have. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as language contact, parental apathy, mixed marriages, and tribal discrimination are contributory factors affecting the language vitality. The findings of this study may help propel the contemporary Subanens to take more decisive steps in revitalizing their first language for cultural preservation and tribal identity.

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