Saturday, July 23, 2005

Ayna ko!

One time, in high school, my cousin and I started speaking to each other in filipino english, and our parents told us to stop making fun of them. My cousin and I were confused. First of all, we were not even slightly talking about them. Second, we don't make fun of our parents. Third, filipino english is our native language; we make fun of people who can't speak it.

And now that I have an advanced degree in linguistics, I can tell you that filipino english is distinct in terms of phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon; it is as valid a form of english as american english, australian english, british english.

We can all speak and write in american english whenever we want to, and when it's appropriate, we do. It's not that special.

Besides, written Standard American cannot express everything, and spoken Standard American English is a big fat myth, y'all. It doesn't exist. No, it doesn't. There are sociocultural-specific varieties, regional varieties, and... THAT'S IT. And all of you that think you are a native speaker of Standard American English, you don't! You speak a sociocultural and/or regional variety plus whatever class markers you've chosen.

You should know...if I've only ever spoken to you in american english, you really don't know me.

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