SLSU & BPSU Joint Research Seminar

Dr. Tupas Talk.mp4

Philippine languages are not dialects: Conversations around Multilingual Pinoy Pop Music

Ruanni Tupas

Institute of Education, University College London

March 20, 2021, Saturday

5:00-7:00 PM (PH time)/ 9:00-11:00AM (UK time)

via Zoom and FB Live


In this talk, I will discuss the linguistic, political and historical reasons why many Filipinos refer to other(ed) Philippine languages as "dialects". There is no one objective way to disentangle 'languages' from 'dialects' since exemplar cases of this issue around the world are specifically tied to these cases' historical and political circumstances. In discussing this issue in the context of the Philippines, I will surface conversations around it which have emerged from Multilingual Pinoy Pop Music stans and stakeholders. I argue that while a basic linguistic explanation can help us differentiate 'language' from 'dialect' -- at least conceptually -- what is more relevant is a historical explanation. Inequalities of multilingualism are colonially-rooted, thus individual and institutional devaluation of Philippine languages -- e.g., 'It is not important in today's world', 'Baduy', 'Bakit pa natin pag-aaralan ang mga yan?' -- are not objective, truthful judgments but are, in fact, historically formed beliefs and ideologies. Our schools must take the lead in addressing inequalities of multilingualism.

About the speaker

Ruanni Tupas teaches Sociolinguistics in Education at the Department of Culture, Communication and Media, Institute of Education, University College London. He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language. He has been awarded honorary lifetime membership by the Linguistic Society of the Philippines for his contributions of language studies in the country.


List of Certified Participants.pdf