Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics

Subject Categories



Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


English and Applied Linguistics

Thesis Adviser

Shirley N. Dita

Defense Panel Chair

Eden R. Flores

Defense Panel Member

Aireen B. Arnuco
Leah E. Gustilo
Teresita F. Fortunato
Michael Tanangkingsing


This investigation answers the penultimate challenge in applied linguistics to document endangered minority Philippine languages. Though the language in focus is not facing extinction, the study looks into the possibility of Boholano as a separate language or a Visayan dialect from a linguistic and sociolinguistic perspective. Several studies believe it to be a variety that has semblance to Cebuano syntax, but because Ethnologue (Lewis, 2009) stated that Boholano is sometimes a separate language then, there is an issue worth investigating.

Specifically, this study discusses the phonological, lexical, and grammatical variations of Boholano and Cebuano the language attitude held by speakers of Cebuano, Boholano, and other Visayan speakers, particularly the Dumagueteo toward Boholano language and the perception of Bol-anons towards the status of their language. Using the frameworks of Rickford (2002) on regional dialectology, Dixons (1979, 1994) and Dixon & Aikhenvalds (2000, in Liao, 2004) Basic Linguistic Theory, Kobari (2009, in Tajolosa, 2009) on language attitude and use, and Bell (1976, in Groves, 2008) on sociolinguistic typology, this study is bordered within these theories.

Using a total of 412 respondents from three different Visayan speaking areas, Bohol, Cebu, Dumaguete, seas were crossed from the researchers point of origin Mindanao to Negros Oriental, passing by the Sibulan bay to Cebu, the straits of Bohol channelling the Cebu trench and back to Dumaguete cruising the Bohol straits, in six months to conduct the survey. Random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used in choosing the respondents. In time of the investigation, major calamities in 2013 affecting the whole Central Visayas region interrupted the itinerary. There was the magnitude 7.2 earthquake affecting Bohol and Cebu provinces and the super typhoon Yolanda that left Leyte province in a dismal situation thus, this study was compelled to impose certain limitations.

Findings reveal that on the regional variations between Cebuano and Boholano speakers phonologically, they slightly differ but grammatically, they are the same with the exception of some different lexicons. On the language attitude held by speakers in Cebuano and Boholano and other Visayan speakers, the three language groupings significantly differed on their language attitude towards Boholano. Based on the finding on the sociolinguistic typology, the perception of Boholanos towards the status of Boholano language confirmed and fulfilled five categories. These were the issues on standardization, vitality, historicity, mixture and de facto norms, for which the respondents positively responded to Bell‘s typology. Furthermore, Boholano was found to be heteronomous and reduced, but not a full language. These two are key points in differentiating a language from a dialect. This investigation conclusively and categorically resolved that Boholano is a Visayan dialect. From a sociolinguistic point of view, this study recommends a redefined typology involving other Philippine languages to find the new generation‘s response to issues on autonomy and reduction.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

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


Boholano language; Visayan language

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