Scholar from Canada stresses the need to use, promote the Ilokano language


Dr. Dana Osborne, Associate Professor at the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada, joined the UNP community today at the Tadena Hall.

Her talk was titled “𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐄𝐫𝐚 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐞𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐝: 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲.” She focused on the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity and what speech communities can do to avert the extinction of the world’s languages, whether through official language policy or grassroots movements.

According to her, language shapes how people make sense of the world such as in terms of time, color, direction, location, and space. She encouraged the audience, comprised of faculty and students, to continue using the Ilokano language.

In his speech read by VP Albert Tejero, Dr. Erwin F. Cadorna pointed out that the lecture is not only part of the internationalization efforts of the University, but more importantly, a move to valorize the Ilokano language and culture. As such, language maintenance or the continued use and promotion of a language is the antidote to language shift or the preference for dominant languages.

VP Tejero added that taking pride in one’s heritage is an imperative of the present generation. Dr. Luzviminda P. Relon, Director for Instruction and Faculty Development, also encouraged the students and faculty to “be global but act local.”

A scholar whose focus is on the ways in which “speakers in the Philippines have grappled with language contact and change,” Osborne has been studying the Ilokano language and its speakers. “My research sheds light onto the ways in which processes of coloniality and imperialism can be understood in new ways through the lens of language,” she says on the website of her department.

The talk was organized by the University of Northern Philippines in partnership with the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Nakem International Consortium.

Article by Mark Louie Tabunan. Photo by Joel Tipon.


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