Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics

Subject Categories

South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


English and Applied Linguistics

Thesis Adviser

Rochelle Irene G. Lucas

Defense Panel Chair

Ma. Joahna M. Estacio

Defense Panel Member

Aileen B. Arnuco
Marianne Jennifer M. Gaerlan
Jose Cristina M. Pariña
Arceli M. Amarles


The purpose of the study was to assess the ethnolinguistic vitality of the Tausug language of Zamboanga City across three generations: (1) Young-aged group (30 years and below), (2) Middle-aged group (31-59 years old), and (3) Old- aged group (60 years and above). To this end, convergent mixed methods design was adopted. Specifically, the study employed purposive sampling to gather the qualitative data, and stratified sampling to gather intergenerational responses for the quantitative data among 300 participants who which were recruited from five different communities where Tausug are known to be densely populated. Generally, the results of the study reveal that the Tausug speakers of Zamboanga City have very strong positive attitudes toward the Tausug language over pretigious languages such as English, Filipino, and Chavacano (local language and regional lingua franca). Moreover, the respondents’ attitude towards Tausug language combined with the use of Tausug language in the family and friendship domains could influence the Tausug language status. Based the EGIDS evaluative framework, the Tausug language is level 2 labeled as Provincial – the language is used in education, work, mass media, and the government within official administrative subdivisions of a nation. Also, thematic analysis was used in the study to help organize the information gathered from the respondents. The main goal was to determine themes or patterns from the recorded dataset from the interviews that helped in examining factors that may influence the respondents’ attitudes concerning language preference. Based on the transcribed recordings, the following prevailing and distinct themes emerged from the interviews with regard to ethnolinguistic vitality of the Tausug language: strong association of the Tausug language to family, strong association of the Tausug language to cultural identity; strong association of Tausug language to religion; preference of other non-Tausug speakers to use the Tausug language; positive attitude towards other languages; negative attitude towards other languages. Although the overall results reveal that the ethnolinguistic vitality of the Tausug language in all the barangays or speech communities surveyed in the study is strong and active, which is continuously spoken by the Tausug speakers coming from the three different generations, there are also indications showing a decline in the use of the Tausug among the third generation speakers. Thus, it would be beneficial to explore on grander studies focusing on younger respondents and their attitudes toward their own language. Such focus on the plight of the Tausug language could possibly help offer more inclusive and tangible findings on the possible ongoing shift among young Tausug speakers.

Abstract Format






Accession Number



Anthropological linguistics—Philippines—Zamboanga City; Tausug (Philippine people)—Language; Intergenerational communication—Philippines—Zamboanga City; Endangered languages

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