A requirement for Morphology and Syntax, It aims to describe the affixes and the base in English-Tagalog Code Switching. Particulary, the data used in this research are code-switched structures found in Ricky Le'e's novel Para Kay B.
Ling 507 Affixes and Syntactic Categories of Borrowed Words in English-Tagalog Code Switching (A Paper)
Philippine Normal University
National Center for Teacher Education
Taft Avenue, Manila
College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS, BILINGUAL EDUCATION, and LITERATURE
Anong words ang binaborrow pag nagtataglish?
Affixes and Syntactic Categories
of Borrowed Words
in English-Tagalog Code-Switching
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements in
LING507 (Morphology and Syntax)
S.Y. 2013 / 2nd Semester
Saturday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Bernard M. Paderes
Master of Arts in Linguistics
Ms. Russel Lomboy
Code switching, or more commonly known as Taglish in the Philippines, has been
viewed negatively by English teachers in the Philippines. It can be seen through the
stringent English-only policies implemented in different academic and corporate
institutions. It is believed to be an evidence of incompetency to use English which is
deemed to be the language of the educated.
However, this negative view of code-switching has been gradually changing these days
as more studies are being conducted regarding the benefits and advantages of this language
contact phenomenon. One of these is that of Bautista (as cited in Cruz, 2009) who claims that
although the use of Taglish could be an evidence of the lack of proficiency in the one of the two
languages, or what she calls “deficiency-driven code switching”; there are also instances where
the use of Taglish is used for communicative efficiency, or what she calls “proficiency-driven
code-switching.” Likewise, Lim (2012) claims that Tagalog-English code-switching is “not
the kind of English that anything goes. “ It is governed by a system, and not all code-
switched utterances or sentences are acceptable.
Also, as opposed to the common practice in most classrooms in the Philippines in
which students are not allowed use Tagalog or Taglish, Bernardo and Gaerlan (2012)
suggest that ESL/EFL teachers should not be viewed as being an English-only advocates or
being against the use of the students’ mother tongue in their learning experiences. Instead,
ESL/EFL teachers should acknowledge the importance of using languages strategically or
by design, depending on the requirements of the different learning tasks or activities.
II. Literature Review
Code-switching is defined as a back and forth movement between two languages or
dialects. Contrary to the belief that it is an evidence of poor grammar, it even reflects that
the grammars of both languages are working (Fromkin, 2003).
Sjӧ berg (2011) identified the different forms of code-switching in Taglish, namely:
(1) inter-sentential switching, (2) tag-switching, (3) switching of single lexical elements, (4)
switching of phrases, (5) lexical borrowing, (6) ”Taglish” (the use of constructions from one
language with lexical elements from another) and (7) double realization (the repetition of
material from both languages with the same semantic meaning). This study focuses more
on lexical borrowing or the assimilation of a loan word from one language into another.
According to Baklanova (2006), there are at least five main strategies that Tagalog
employs to morphologically assimilate borrowings or loanwords from languages such as
Sankrit, Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and English. These strategies are (1), phonological
citation, (2) simplification, (3) annulment, (4) wrong interpretation, and (5) hybridization.
However, this study is limited to the phonological citations
Phonological citations or unassimilated borrowings take place when the borrowed
word keeps its original phonetic, semantic, and orthographic appearance intact when it is
used in the recipient language.
i.e. bigyan ng oportunidad (from the Spanish word ‘opportunity’)
maglaan ng target (from the English word ‘target’)
In addition to this, what seems to interesting with this phenomena is that the
phonological citations in Tagalog, despite of their unassimilated status, are still implanted
into the morphological system of Tagalog (Baklanova, 2006).
i.e. nag-withdraw siya kahapon
“He/she withdrew money yesterday.”
Naka-attach ditto ang litrato ko.
“My photo is attached here.”
In another study conducted by Nolasco and Tangco (2002), they investigated the
patterns and constraints that occur when English lexical items are encoded into Tagalog
verbal constructions. Their study reveals that there are three affixes frequently occur
whenever English lexical items are used on Tagalog verbs, namely: MAG-, MA-, and I-. In
addition to the identification of these morphemes, their study also shows that the used of
these verbs are determined largely by semantic and pragmatic factors.
a. MAG-/NAG- construction is used for intransitive function such as
Nag-mature siya. “He/she matured.”
b. MAG-/NAG- could also perform an anti-passive function.
…hindi niya kailangang mag-promote ng pelikula.
“…he doesn’t have to engage in film promotion.”
c. The I- form is used for transitive function.
Nagpromise naman…si direk na I-e-edit nya ‘yon.
“The director promised that he will edit/cut that portion of the film.”
d. The MA-/NA- construction is used to fulfill the resultative function.
Subalit siya ay nakorner ng mga police authorities.
“He was cornered by the police authorities.”
Not only affixiation, but Tagalog verbs also call for the process of reduplication
particularly in verb aspects. However, there seems to be a problem when Tagalog borrows
words such as English and Spanish. There are verbs with complex clusters and such
combinations are not native to Tagalog (Quills, 1985 as cited in Ross, 1996). So, when
reduplication is employed, the onset is simplified in the reduplicant. The following
examples illustrate the template for one-syllable reduplication in Tagalog is CV, which
associates the first C and the first V in the base, skipping the second C (Ross, 1996).
i.e. a. from Spanish
nag-trabaho “x worked”
nag-ta-trabaho “x worked”
b. from English
nag-type “x typed”
nag-ta-type “x is typing”
Scope and Limitations
The present study aims to investigate lexical borrowing in Tagalog-English
codes-switching. Specifically, it aims to investigate the syntactic categories of the
words that are borrowed and the possible Tagalog affixes these words would make
use of. However, this study limits itself to the form of words rather than the
semantic and pragmatic aspect.
According to Sjoeberg (2011), borrowing occurs when forms denote things
or concepts that are considered new to the indigenous culture. The data for the
present study was obtained Ricky Lee’s Para Kay B.
Para Kay B is the first novel of an award-winning screenplay writer Ricky
Lee. It is famous for its use of Taglish and colloquial language.
A. Nominal Constructions
KA- 1 "... bigla niyang sasabihin sa ka-date…” Noun
2 “E ‘yung ka-date kong me nunal sa ilong.” Noun
3 "...nagpalagay na rin siya ng boobs na ka-size ng kay Irene." Noun
4 "Kaya si Donald ang ka-dinner nila ngayon." Noun
5 "sa katabing townhouse ay may ka-date din." Noun
6 "May mag-asawang madalas mag-imbita ng ka-threesome." Noun
7 "Ka-aasthma attack ko lang kaninang umaga…" Noun
"Habang kausap ang mga kasing-corrupt na ka-deal ng
9 "Tutal yung kapartner niya parang patay na rin."
"Dahil kapa-patronize sa lahat ng produktong ini-
11 "Ngayong napagod na kayo kata-try ng i-change ako…" Verb
12 "...imamatch ka sa ka-compatible mo." Adjective
KA- construction is an expression of equality. It is placed before an unaffixed
adjective (Schachter and Otanes, 1965). However, the table shows that the prefix KA- in
English-Taglish code switching is attached to nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
PAGKA- 1 "Kasipagan at pagka-orderly na alam ni Ester na…" Adjective
2 "Si Ester…ay may pagka-childish pala." Adjective
PAGKA- construction is a quality nominalizer which has a meaning similar to
English suffixes –ness and –ance. In the data, this construction is attached to adjectives.
B. Verbal Constructions
Affix Sentences Syntactic
MAG- 1 "Gustong mag-panic ni Irene…" Noun
2 "Gusto ng boyfriend mong mag-threesome?" Noun
3 "Actually minsan lang mag-bra at magdamit babae si AJ." Noun
4 "Ang kapal kapal mag-makeup." Noun
5 "Yakag dito ng yakag na mag-Bora sila. Noun
6 "Pero lumayas matapos mag-high school…" Noun
7 "Mag-Jollibee ka muna." Noun
8 "Lumabas si Bessie para mag-breakfast." Noun
9 "Magbi-beach tayo." Noun
10 "…halos wala silang kamalayan ng mag-joyride sila…" Noun
11 "…mag-reach out ako sa kanya?" Verb
12 “Mahusay akong mag-memorize, patuloy ni Irene.” Verb
13 “Kailangn niyang mag-focus sa kanyang trabaho.” Verb
14 "Inudyukan si Jake na mag-propose kay Erica sa TV…" Verb
15 "Pwede naman ako mag-hire ng nurse…" Verb
16 "Nang mag-take na ay emote na emote si Erica." Verb
17 "Posibilidad na mag-produce sila ng pelikula…" Verb
18 "Nagsimulang mag-type si Lucas…." Verb
“E, ‘yung nakadate ko na nagyoyoga kasabay ng poodle
"…nagta-tantrums dahil iniisip na may nagawa na naman
itong mali." Noun
3 "...Gabing-gabi nagbi-blender ka." Noun
4 "Hindi naman nagsi-cellphone ang nanay niya…" Noun
5 "Walang nagsi-swimming ngayon." Noun
6 "namatay ang asawa ko habang nagda-jogging…" Noun
7 "Sa di kalayuan, may nagti-taping ng teleserye." Noun
8 "Nagtsa-chant sila ng love spell…" Noun
9 "…nag-panic siya." Noun
10 "Sa halip ay nag-high five sila." Noun
"…kung saan nagku-costume siya ng iba't ibang produktong
12 "…nag-brownout sa simbahan…" Noun
13 "Kumembot-kembot si Erica at nag-flying kiss pa. Noun
"...nag-levite pataas ng pataas hanggang sa umabot sa
"….nag-suggest ang husband biya na bakala naman ang
16 "…sukang sukang nag-walk out ito." Verb
17 "…carabao lang daw ang naggu-grow old." Verb
18 "Oo nga, pero nadu-do kami!" Verb
19 "Isang relasyong hindi nag-work." Verb
20 "…sa pila ng mga nagpapa-register." Verb
21 " Afew weeks ako nag-check in doon ang writer upang…" Verb
22 "Nag-settle ulit ito sa upuan." Verb
23 "…nagli-leak ang aircon ng kabilang kwarto…" Verb
24 "nagri-review para sa exams." Verb
25 "Madalas sa gabi ay nag-i-sleepwalk ito Verb
26 "…ang huling image na nag-stay kay Erica…" Verb
"Malungkot siyang nagti-trace ng daliri sa image niya sa
28 "Nagiimplement ng umano'y medical missions…" Verb
29 "…kaya lahat kami nagsu-suffer!" Verb
30 "…nagpi-perform ito para maibsan ang hirap ng mga tao." Verb
Affix Sentences Syntactic
“Pinipilit ni Irene tanggalin sa isipan ang nai-imagine niyang
2 “pero pagtinting niya sa sahig ay na-imagine naman ni Irene...” Verb
“…naimagine niyang binibigyan ng asawa niya ng orgasm ay
4 "...hanggang na-conjure niya ang kanyang ina?” Verb
5 "Na-meet ko na siya…" Verb
6 "Na-excite si Sandra sa mga posibilidad." Verb
7 "Halos lahat ng tao ay na-inspire…" Verb
8 "Na-realize niya na dahil sa nararamdaman…." Verb
9 "May hindi ka pa kasi nari-resolve." Verb
10 "Na-OD (overdose) ata siya." Noun
11 "Hanggang hindi nai-in love ang anak ko sayo…" Adjective
12 "Na-in love ka sa isang memory." Adjective
MAG-, NA-, and NAG- constructions form verbal aspects in Tagalog. However, the
table shows that these prefixes are not only attached to verbs but also with nouns and even
phrases that function as adjectives.
Affix Sentences Syntactic
1 “….i-file ang record sa presinto.” Verb
2 "...imamatch ka sa ka-compatible mo." Verb
3 "…nang casually i-drop nito ang conversation." Verb
4 "Lahat ng kantang iku-compose nito ay para kay Sandra." Verb
5 "…paulit-ulit na i-check ang pintuan…" Verb
6 "Pero idi-dismiss lang siya nito ng mabili na tingin." Verb
7 "Dahil kapa-patronize sa lahat ng produktong ini-endorse…" Verb
8 "Katatapos lang i-cross out ni Mrs. Baylon ang pinakahuling…" Verb
9 "Ngayong napagod na kayo kata-try ng i-change ako…" Verb
10 "Naghahanap ng bestudang pwedeng i-recylce…" Verb
11 "H'wag mong subukang i-classify ako…" Verb
"Hiniling lang niya kay Lucas na kapag ipa-publish na ay
palitan ang…" Verb
13 "…may karapatan siyang i-edit…" Verb
14 “...ibina-blind date nito okay Irene.” Noun
15 "As if pwedeng i-make over ang ganoong klaseng babae." Noun
16 "…mas magandang ipa-package ang kanilang…" Noun
I- contruction is an object-focu prefix. In this construction, the subject of the
sentence is the object or the goal of the action. Same as other verbal contructions, it can
also convert English nouns to Tagalog verbs.
MAGKA- 1 "...ayaw pa niya munang magka-boyfriend…" Noun
2 "…magkaka-World War III…" Noun
NAGKA- 1 "Hindi nagtagal at nagka-boyfriend na rin siya." Noun
“…magsasampung taon na siyang hindi nagkaka-
MAGKA- is a possessive existential construction. This construction is used to suggest
existence. The table shows that it is attached to a unaffixiated noun.
C. Adjectival Construction
“…alaala ay naka-file sa kayang utak in cross-reference
2 "For a while hindi naka-react si Ester." Verb
“E, ‘yung nakadate ko na nagyoyoga kasabay ng poodle
4 "….ang mga sundalo ay naka-deploy na…" Verb
5 "…sinigurado niyang naka-lock ito." Verb
6 "May naka-red ribbon…" Noun
7 "O kaya ay naka-metrosexual daw na ayos." Noun
8 "…naka-leather or naka-jutes…" Noun
9 "…naka-wheelchair na namamando sa mga alalay…" Noun
10 "Naka-T-shirt na kupas si Jordan…” Noun
11 "…naka-plunging green blouse at natural lipstick…" Noun
12 ",,,naka-evening gown na pula at may tiara pa sa ulo." Noun
NAKA- is an adjective prefix which can be followed by nouns (limited to things or
accessories that can be worn or put on) and verbs by roots. The table shows constructions
that conform to the requirement of the Tagalog construction except for sentences 7 and 9.
Affix Sentences Syntactic
-NG 1 "May made-in-Chinang kandado…" Noun
2 "May kabit palang OFWng asawa sa Dubai!" Noun
The suffix –NG is a single-word modifier of nouns. It is attached to words that end in
vowels. The table shows obscure constructions such as a phrase that functions an adjective
and a acronym.
PINAKA- 1 "….siya ang may pinaka-adavanced na pananaw." Adjective
PINAKA- construction is used as an adjective intensifier. It is used to express a
superlative degree of adjectives.
The study seems to show that the principles underlying the processes of
affixation in Tagalog are also the same principles that work for Taglish
constructions, specifically when Tagalog affixes are attached to borrowed words.
However, it is to note the interesting finding about Taglish verbs in which Tagalog
affixes are used to convert English nouns into Taglish verbs.
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