CUYONON FOR MOR OR NO MORE IN PUERTO PRINCESA CITY
Keywords:Cuyono, language use, language attitudes, language proficiency
This study aimed to investigate the status of Cuyonon language in Puerto Princesa City. It sought to determine the language ability of the participants; the domains of language use; language attitudes in learning and using Cuyonon, and their actual Cuyonon proficiency. The participants were chosen from the genealogies of the oldest, largest, and well-known families listed in the book Puerto Princesa during the Second World War from 1941-1945, from the lists of the first personalities in Cuyonon history and the first three barangays of the city with the most Cuyonon residents. This study used the qualitative phenomenological method of research through purposive and convenient sampling. Data were analyzed, transcribed, thematized and coded manually. Based on the findings, as to the status of Cuyonon, the participants viewed that Cuyonon speakers in Puerto Princesa City were few yet on surviving status. In terms of language use, Cuyonon language at home was maintained only when speaking to their siblings and in interactants in their neighborhoods, workplace and recognized interlocutors outside their homes. They valued their cultural identity but most of them were passive speakers since they would not speak Cuyonon at once, only if interlocutors were recognized as Cuyonon. They did not find learning and speaking Cuyonon difficult since their parents are Cuyonon speakers who were considered as the main source of learning the language. The Cuyonon language use was heritage and language vitality was on Level 7 shifting (EGIDS) and described as definitely endangered by UNESCO. Related to language attitudes in learning, using, describing, maintaining and preserving the language, the Cuyonon participants carry both positive and negative attitudes toward their native language, first and second languages use. The participants were proficient Cuyonon speakers. To sum up, the more domains for the Cuyonon language and positive language attitudes the higher language prestige, preservation and vitality it has; with less or no language use and maintenance, frequent language shifting and negative language attitudes lead to language endangerment and loss. Several ways and methods could be used by the family, school and community to maintain and preserve the Cuyonon language: use simple command in Cuyonon, support Cuyonon groups in social media, Cuyonon radio programs, Cuyonon mass, and use of mother tongue in school.
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