Philippine English

Philippine English is one of the very few American-transplanted Englishes. The language was introduced in the country by American colonization that started in 1898. From only 300,000 users or 4% of the population at the beginning of the 20th century, it is estimated that there were around 42 million or 70% of the population who are able to use English, almost fifty years after the American colonization ended at the end of the century (Gonzalez, 1996). In the implementing 1987 Constitution, English is regarded as one of the two official languages of the Philippines, the other one being the national language Filipino. It also interacts with 180 other Austronesian-type languages used in the country, nine of them considered major languages. English plays a major role in the Philippine society, offering a rightfully unique rendering of the psycho-sociolinguistic phenomenon of the spread of English: A sizeable number of Filipinos even learn it as a first language (and sometimes only language). The language is widely used in government, education, business, science and technology, and the arts but it has also penetrated the personal and private lives of Filipinos, where code-switching can be prevalent. Proficiency in English may also be equated with socio-economic status; those with higher socio-economic status tend to be more proficient in the language. Philippine English is presently entering a stage of structural systematicization (cf. Borlongan & Lim, 2012) and is being codified through dictionaries and grammars. Consequently, some claims are made that Philippine English is already at the phase of endonormative stabilization (Borlongan, 2011).

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