Lexical Meranaw Variation: A Unifying Link of the Culture’s Ideologies on Identity, Peace and Unity

Authors: Sharifa Khalid Masorong (CSSH, Mindanao State University)
Speakers: Sharifa Khalid Masorong
Strand: Anthropological Linguistics
Session Type: General Session


Philosophers, linguists and grammarians have always been interested in analyzing and understanding language and its origin. Although there are many theories emerging regarding its existence, there are many still who try to analyze its function and importance in a community. It has popped out from the needs of humans to interact and create a society. Semioticians Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1930) suggested that the use of a community’s languages are triggered and influenced by the culture’s insights and perceptions. This would mean that people’s view of the world will vary depending on the environment or society they are exposed with. The do’s and dont’s of the society are set and defined by the culture through the language that they use. Emmit and Pollock (1997) believe that language is attached to culture and same way, culture is spread by means of interaction from one generation to another generation. In this study, lexical Meranaw variation was investigated and the findings revealed that in the 6 Municipalities visited in the first district of Lanao del Sur, there are few lexical varieties. These varieties, however, are mutually intelligible. Mutual intelligibility suggests that language is convention— meaning that even if there are varieties, the Meranaw language itself serve as a unifying link in keeping a society intact. The Meranaw language brings together one culture and its usage is a means to express community’s style in an effort to create a social reality. This reality allows them to express their thoughts and ideas through their language.

Keywords: language, culture, languagevarietiess, communication, languagestudies