CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION
Statement of Problem
For many years, invasion and conquest have been major forces
in bringing different language speaking groups in contact. When
languages come in contact, three principle outcomes are possible:
a population may decide to continue using their native language
for all functions, choose to use the newly introduced language
instead of the native language in all functions or choose to use
the native language in some domains and the additional language
One such of example of this type of contact can be seen in
the result of the Spanish American War when, in 1898, the islands
of Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico became possessions of
the United States. Almost immediately, a military government
established curricula imported from the United States in the
public school systems of these three areas marked by the mandate
that all instruction be given in English. The native languages
were seen as inferior languages of lesser importance and to a
great extent as a barrier to be overcome if the islands were to
The similarities in the language policies established in the
school systems of Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico are
astounding. One often has to flip back to the title of an
article to be reminded of which island is being discussed;
however, the results of the campaigns established to promote the
spread of English in the school systems and other societal
institutions on these islands are remarkably different.
Guam's official languages are English and Chamorro, although
the language policy explicitly excludes Chamorro as the language
for government documents (Government of Guam (1974). Public law
12-132 Section 1._Government of Guam, Public Law 12-132, 1974).
English continues to be the medium of instruction in the school
system. An attempt to revive or rescue the remnants of the native
language, Chamorro, were initiated in the 1970's and although
Chamorro was eventually included as a special subject in the
curriculum, the language that one sees and hears in public places
The Philippines has two official languages: English and
Filipino, a linguistically-engineered language based on Tagalog,
the language spoken in Manila but including components of other
major languages of the Philippines. Filipino is also considered
the national language. English and Pilipino were used as the
medium of instruction from 1974 to 1987, with English used for
science and math courses and Pilipino for social studies and
other courses. In 1987, Filipino replaced Pilipino in the school
system and as the national language.
Although Pilipino and Filipino are often used
interchangeably, Pilipino is considered to be a literary form of
Tagalog, or "school Tagalog" as Dr. Isagani Cruz describes it
(Cruz, I. R. (1991). A nation searching for a language finds a
language searching for a name. English Today 28 p. 17-21). 1991,
p. 18), while Filipino is used to describe an artificial language
with components from all the major languages of the Philippines.
English is still the predominant language in higher education,
and although, the national language is used in the school system,
less than two thirds of the inhabitants of the Philippines speak
Filipino as their first language (Smolicz, J. J. (1986).
National language policy in the Philippines. In B. Spolsky (Ed.).
Language and education in multilingual settings. (pp.96-116).
San Diego: College-Hill Press._Smolicz, 1986). In fact, some
linguists believe that no one speaks Filipino because it is in
reality an artificial language, while others consider Filipino
the Manila dialect of Tagalog (personal communications with Dr.
Barry Miller, Dr. Isagani Cruz and Dr. Maria L. Camagay, July
31-August 5, 1993). Whether Pilipino, Filipino or Tagalog, most
Filipinos use a vernacular other than either English or Filipino
in their homes and with their friends.
The language issue in Puerto Rico has been highly charged
since its beginnings. The debate as to how much and where
English should be used is ongoing. Puerto Rico uses the native
language of Spanish as the medium of instruction in the public
school system with English as a second language taught as a
subject at all levels. Spanish is also the language of
instruction in the universities. In 1991, a law, which sparked a
great deal of debate, was passed eliminating English as an
official language on the island and leaving Spanish as the sole
official language. Soon afterwards, in January of 1992, as a
result of elections that put the political party in favor of
statehood for Puerto Rico in power, English was again established
as Puerto Rico's second official language. Spanish, however,
continues to be the language spoken by the majority at work, in
school, in the church and at home.
One could look at these three different cases as the failure
to promote the spread of English in Puerto Rico, the successful
shift to English in Guam, and the establishment of bilingualism
in the Philippines. Another view could be that of successful
vernacular language maintenance in Puerto Rico and the
Philippines, counterposed with unsuccessful language retention in
Guam. However, this researcher prefers to view all three cases
as examples of both success and failure. While Puerto Rico has
successfully maintained its native language, it has failed to
plan adequately for acquisition of a second language that would
allow Puerto Ricans to broaden their contacts with other parts of
the world. The Philippines, although preserving its
ethnocultural identity to some degree through the development of
Pilipino and Filipino and successfully implementing a curriculum
that should promote bilingualism, have failed to take into
consideration the development of the vernacular of people on the
island who do not speak English or Tagalog, the language on which
Pilipino is based. Finally, Guamanians have perhaps been the
most successful in implementing a language of wider communication
in their school system and in other societal institutions but at
the cost of their native language, Chamorro, which they are now
struggling to revive in the school system as well as in other
domains. Although they are now planning and promoting policies to
maintain their native language, they are not planning for the
future of English in light of the proposed changes.
The utopian success story would be that of a nation that had
maintained its ethnocultural identity including its native
language or languages and had at the same time promoted the
acquisition of one or more additional languages that would permit
a wider communication with the rest of the world. This is only
possible through adequate language planning.
The differences in language policies on the three islands
demonstrate the importance of language planning with sensitivity
to ethnocultural differences. In Guam, a planned effort to
promote the spread of English and to promote language shift from
Chamorro to English was initiated upon the arrival of the
Americans, but it was not until much later that plans were made
to promote native language maintenance (Underwood, R. (1984).
Language survival, the ideology of English and education in Guam.
Educational Research Quarterly. 8 (4), pp. 73-81._Underwood,
1984, Beardsley, C. (1964). Guam: Past and present. Tokyo: Ce.
E. Tuttle Company._Beardsley, 1964). In the Philippines, similar
efforts were made to promote the shift to English while
deemphasizing the use of the vernacular in the school system
(Corpuz, O. (1965). The Philippines. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Press._Corpuz, 1965; Bocca, G. (1977). The Philippines:
America's forgotten friends. New York: Parents' Magazine
Press._Bocca, 1974; Paez, J. (1985). Filipinas al alba. Madrid:
Iepala Editorial._Paez, 1985). In an organized attempt to
maintain ethnocultural identity, a language that incorporated
items from Tagalog and other languages on the island was
engineered and incorporated into the public school systems
(Smolicz, 1984; Corpuz, 1965, Gonzalez, A. B. (1980). Language
and nationalism: The Philippine experience thus far. Quezon
City, Metro Manila: Ateno de Manila University Press._Gonzalez,
1980). A campaign to spread English was also initiated in Puerto
Rico but again with no plans for native language maintenance.
The Americans, in their alleged efforts to aid progress on the
three islands, demonstrated little concern in maintaining the
ethnocultural differences that existed between them and the
natives. In fact, their primary goal was to "Americanize" the
natives and in doing so deemphasize the importance of the native
language (Negr›n de Montilla, A. (1977). Americanization in
Puerto Rico and the public school system: 1900-1930. Puerto
Rico: Editorial Universitaria._Negr›n de Montilla, 1977; Alegren
de Guti,rrez, E. (1987). The movement against teaching English in
schools of Puerto Rico. New York: University PRess of
America._Algren de Guti,rrez, 1987; Bocca, 1974; Corpuz, 1965;
Beardsley, 1964; Sanchez, P. C. (1987). Guam: The history of our
island. Agana, Guam: Sanchez Publishing House._Sanchez, 1987;
Underwood, 1984, Constantino, R. (1982). The miseducation of the
Filipino. Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalistic Studies.
_Constantino, 1982). It was only through organized efforts
established by the intelligentsia that a language symbolizing the
ethnocultural identity of the three islands was maintained to
some degree (Algren de Guti,rrez, 1984; Underwood, 1984; Smolicz,
1986; Gonzalez, 1980).
These groups of educated individuals who chose language as
the symbol representing ethnocultural uniqueness were essential
in the efforts to maintain the native language; however, they may
have also, in part, been detrimental to the successful
incorporation of both the native language and an additional
language in the school system and in other institutions.
However, it goes without saying that the lack of ethnocultural
sensitivity reflected in language policies created and
implemented by the U.S. government would have made native
language maintenance impossible without the existence of
nationalist groups to defend and promote the use of the native
language in Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
One purpose of this study is to provide information on these
three islands relative to the language planning processes and
nationalist group involvement which would contribute to areas
where Joshua Fishman (Fishman, J. A. (1972). Language and
nationalism. Massachusetts: Newbury House Publishers._1972)
states "there are pitifully few studies that focus on a
vernacular as a substantive hub of nationalism"(75) and where
"...only slight progress in systematizing knowledge of the social
processes that facilitate or inhibit LMLS [Language Maintenance
Language Shift]" has been made (Fishman, J., Cooper, R. and
Conrad, A. (1977). The spread of English: The sociology of
English as an additional language. Massachusetts: Newbury House
Publishers._1977, 127). But more importantly, by examining how
language planning and nationalist movements have interacted to
promote the spread of English and maintain the native language as
a symbol of ethnocultural uniqueness on Guam, the Philippines and
Puerto Rico, the researcher hopes to contribute to knowledge that
will aid in the creation of more sensitive, language planning
efforts in the future.
Language issues are often closely tied to other emotionally
charged political and economic issues. Consequently, when
linguistic policies and language planning efforts are formed,
they are frequently based on popular political tendencies and not
necessarily on knowledge of sociolinguistic factors that could
promote or retard the spread of an additional language or the
maintenance of the mother tongue.
Although many studies have been done on language shift,
language maintenance and language death in different parts of the
world, very few studies have concentrated on the role of
nationalist movements as a determining factor in these processes,
and even fewer studies have been made considering this factor in
developing countries. Fishman (1972) reiterates the need to
apply the ideas expressed in his essays on nationalism and
language to "the vast amount of documentary research" and also
the need for more studies that analyze language as an essential
component of nationalist movements and not as merely a means of
mass communication of the same. He also expresses the need for
studies of the spread of English in relation to language
maintenance and language shift (Fishman, 1977).
In addition to contributing to knowledge in the above
mentioned areas, by examining the three islands which have
similar political and historical backgrounds, general factors
that have influenced language maintenance and/or shift may be
identified that will provide a more scientific basis for
decision-making related to linguistic policies and language
planning that will permit linguistic pluralism and coexistence
rather than assimilationist or monolinguistic policies currently
in force in Puerto Rico as well as in other countries.
The Research Questions
In order to determine the impact of nationalism in native
language maintenance when faced with the spread of English
language to the public school systems and other societal
institutions in Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico, the
following questions were formulated and placed into three
different categories: those related to language
shift/maintenance, those related to language policies and
planning and those related to nationalism.
1. What factors existed or exist that may promote language shift?
2. Has English been incorporated as the language of use in
societal institutions other than the school?
3. Has the native language been maintained on the three islands
or has there been a shift to English in Guam, the Philippines or
Language Policies and Planning
4. What were the original intentions and circumstances for
including English language instruction in the public school
5. How was the English language policy incorporated into the
public school curriculum?
6. What actions were taken to promote the spread of English?
7. How has native language instruction been changed in the public
8. Does policy exist that includes English as an official or
9. Is the native language included as an official or national
language in the language policy?
10. Did nationalist groups exist to oppose English instruction
and defend the native language in the school system and in other
11. What rationale was used to defend the maintenance of the
native language or oppose the spread of English in the school, in
other societal institutions and in language policies?
Language shift and language maintenance in a given country
cannot be explained or attributed solely to one factor. There
are various social, political, economic, and sociopsychological
reasons for language shift in a society. This study only
attempts to explain the role of nationalism in the processes of
language shift or language maintenance, but does not pretend to
offer this as the sole explanation for the current language
situations on the three islands. Consequently, the analysis of
factors such as attitude towards the English language at an
individual or personal level were not considered but may well
have contributed to language choice at a group level.
The language issue and language policy formation are often
closely linked to volatile political issues in a country.
Particularly in the cases of Guam and Puerto Rico where the
political association with the United States is in a constant
state of negotiation, this is true. The presence or absence of
the English language in official language policy is very often
taken as a symbol of the nation's political closeness or desire
for closeness with the United States. Nationalism, defined as an
identification of ethnocultural distinctiveness is often included
in political campaign strategies by either accentuating the
distinctiveness for separatist tendencies or deemphasizing the
differences for those who desire closer political ties, even
annexation, with the United States. The research does not go
into detail on the emphasis or deemphasis of ethnocultural
characteristics (including language) for political reasons.
Related political actions are mentioned; however, the study
concentrates on the sociolinguistic factors of language shift and
Secondly, although the three islands have similar historical
backgrounds, there are major events such as national disasters
and the Japanese occupation during WWII on both the Philippines
and Guam that closed schools and government agencies for lengthy
periods of time. The absence of schooling during the
reconstruction periods may have contributed in some way to the
language shift/language maintenance process and were not taken
into consideration for the study.
Because census data and language surveys were used as an
indicator of language shift in the home, it is important to point
out that much discussion has arisen in recent years about the
limitations of census data with regard to linguistic minorities.
Two common errors that have been shown to occur in census taking
are those of under-count (or tabulation error) and
Undercount can occur because of the language barrier that
may exist between the census-taking agency and the informants or
because of the remote location of a particular ethnic/language
group's community (Williamson, J., Karp, D. and Dalphin, J.
(1977). Aggregate data analysis. The research crafts: An
introduction to social science methods. (pp. 318-347). boston:
Little, Brown and Company._Williamson, 1977). This has been
reported mostly in immigrant situations or in areas where a large
amount of ethnic diversity exists. The researcher does not see
this as a problem in Puerto Rico because of the relatively
homogeneous ethnic composition. Even if tabulation error did
occur, the data available are, in this researcher's opinion,
representative of the general population. However, under count
may have occurred in the Philippines where the seventy or more
different language groups are dispersed on the different islands
of the archipelago. In Guam, throughout the early years of
American occupation, the population was fairly homogeneous;
however, in recent years, the number of non-Chamorro residents
has increased dramatically because of immigration. This may have
affected the accuracy of the number of reported speakers in
Another problem with the use of census data is that of
classification. Simply put, the informants may, for prestige
reasons, lie about their abilities to use a particular language
(Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing language shift. England:
Multilingual Matters._Fishman, 1991). Particularly after the
American campaigns to promote English and forbid native language
use in Guam and the Philippines, and recent campaigns to promote
a national language, the natives may have lied about the language
used at home, acting in the best interests of their family.
One of the limitations that must be considered when
analyzing data from the Philippines is the sometimes synonymous
and interchangeable use of Pilipino, Filipino and Tagalog in
literature and by the public in general. There seems to be a
great deal of confusion in the literature particularly in the
case of Filipino, the national language. According to some
linguists, this is a new, linguistically engineered language that
is not the vernacular of any group of people (personal
communication Dr. Maria L. Camaguy, August 4, 1993). Still
others believe that Filipino is a Metro Manila dialect of Tagalog
(personal communication, Dr. Isagani Cruz, August 4, 1993) so
that often. Pilipino is also described as an educated, or school
version of Tagalog. In general, it appears that most believe that
Pilipino and Filipino are synonymous to one degree or another
with Tagalog. This may have caused error in many of the language
surveys, since those reporting to speak Filipino may in fact
speak Tagalog. Also, those reporting the inability to speak it
may in fact be perceiving Filipino as different from either
Pilipino or Tagalog.
Definition of Terms
The following terminology is used throughout the study and
has been defined for this purpose as follows:
Language Death - condition where a language is no longer used in
all domains of a society.
Language Maintenance - The collective decision to continue using
the language or languages traditionally used. (Fasold, R.
(1984). The sociolinguistics of society. New York: Basil
Blackwell, Inc._Fasold, 1985, p. 213)
Language of Wider Communication - a language spoken by a
significantly large group of persons throughout the world.
Language Planning - Language planning involves a collective
choice and cultivation of a language or language variety for
Language Shift, Language Spread - Language shift and subsequent
language spread is a condition where a community has given up a
language completely in favor of another or has collectively
chosen a new language where a previous one had been used (Fasold,
Mother Tongue, Native Language, Vernacular - These terms refer to
the language acquired at home as a first language. For the
purposes of this study, the terms will be used interchangeably to
refer to the language or languages used by the natives of Guam,
the Philippines and Puerto Rico upon the occupation of these
countries by the U.S. military government.
Migration is the movement of a population from one geographic
area to another.
Nationalism, Nationalist groups, Nationalists - These terms will
be used to refer to the organization/elaboration of (or groups
who organize and elaborate) beliefs, attitudes, values and
behaviors relevant to the ethnocultural characteristics
distinctive of a particular community and not used to refer to
separatist movements for political independence. (Fishman, 1972,
National Language - a language that is considered representative
of a nation or nationality.
Prestige Language - The language that is considered by the
members of a society as the language that provides social
mobility, access to resources and power and to the elite of the
Societal Bilingualism - Societal bilingualism is present when two
languages are used by the members of a society in all or some of
the societal domains.
Societal Institutions or Domains - For the purposes of this
study, the societal institutions referred to are family (home),
government, education, religion (church) and work.