Form and functions of stance markers in Tagalog

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


English and Applied Linguistics


A word can process several meanings, and that its why one should be aware of not only the semantic, but also the pragmatic sense of a word for a successful discourse. The differing meaning of a word may be attributed to several aspects such as its phonological features and non-verbal or deictic aspects. Apart from these features that make each language unique, speakers also bring their own set of cultures, beliefs, and practices in providing meaning to a word. But of all these features, the speakers stance is considered one of the most interesting when analyzing forms and functions of a word. Despite the many languages in the Philippines, it has been found that there are limited studies on stance markers and so, this study examined recorded Tagalog conversations from three different Tagalog language varieties namely Bataan Tagalog, Bulacan Tagalog and Batangas. The transcribed and analyzed recordings of 66,483 words exhibit the following: 1) the most commonly used stance markers 2) the establishment of stance in the corpus in terms of modal verbs, evidentiality, expression of affect and, quantifiers 3) the manifestation of stance in the discourse of Tagalog-speakers in terms of the following social variables such as authority, age, SES (socio-economic status) and, educational attainment and lastly (4) the ways and means stance was encoded in the formal and informal discourse.

The study made use of a possible list of stance markers coming Precht (2000) and these items were analyzed in the light of the frameworks presented by Biber (2004) and Precht (2000). New items were also added from the list that Precht (2000) provided, and this contributed to the limited literature of stance markers in the Tagalog language. It was also found out that stance markers regardless of their categories (evidential, expressions of affect, quantifiers, modal verbs and honorific terms) have their own function but may change depending on the context and for whom the speaker is addressing his speech. Honorific markers such as po, opo, ho and oho were found to be dominant in the corpus hence, these terms denote not just politeness but may also function as a stance in their own way. With these findings, the study then recommends that in the academic field, teachers need to be careful in identifying the use of proper stance markers. Similar recommendation applies to the people in the marketplace, particularly for the vendors. Proper identification and use of stance markers can cater to a better communication flow hence, breakdowns and misunderstanding between the vendor and the buyer can be lessened.

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Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

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