DIVERGENCE IN CEBUANO AND ENGLISH CODE-SWITCHING PRACTICES IN CEBUANO SPEECH COMMUNITIES IN THE CENTRAL PHILIPPINES
The Philippines is a diverse linguistic environment with more than 8 major languages spoken and a complicated language policy affected by its colonization history. With this context, this research investigates Cebuano and English code-switching (CS) in the Central Philippines and Mindanao. This research draws from prior studies placing multilingual and code-switched language practices at the center of an individual's identity rather than at the margins (Woolard, 1998; Stell, 2010; Eppler, 2010; Weston, 2013). Code-switching is defined to be the hybrid of multiple languages and, subsequently, multiple identities (Bullock & Toribio, 2009). I expand on these ideas to examine the homogeneity of Cebuano identity across four Cebuano speaking provinces in the Central Philippines and Mindanao through their CS practice in computer mediated communication (CMC) on Twitter. I demonstrate that the Cebuano speech community is divergent in their CS practices split into two general groups, which are employing CS practices at significantly different rates.Using computational tools, I implement a mixed methods approach in collecting and analyzing the data. My data consist of short manually tagged messages called tweets from the social media platform Twitter. Tweets were collected at various times during the day and night over a period of 3 months from the Cebuano speaking provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Misamis Oriental, and Davao del Sur. Collectively, there were 2,652 users, tweeting 7,729 times, who contributed to this corpus, representing language from all four provinces in both rural and urban contexts. A chi-square analysis on CS with respect to province found that the four provinces employ CS at significantly (chi-square = 84.75, pThe results of the chi-square analysis demonstrate a divergence in the Cebuano speech community in the Philippines. That is, the southern provinces of Misamis Oriental and Davao del Sur (Southern Group) adopt CS significantly more than the northern provinces of Cebu and Negros Oriental (Northern Group), which were less likely to adopt CS. Because of a strong pro-Cebuano sentiment in Cebu, I reason that the Northern Group adheres more strongly to the Cebuano identity resulting in less CS. Conversely, the Southern Groups may be identifying less with Cebu and the Cebuano identity, which results in more CS. In summary, the Cebuano speech communities in the Philippines express their differentiating identities through adoption of CS.