Please click here to leave an anniversary message (in any language you choose). You do not need to be a member of Lowlands-L to do so. In fact, we would be more than thrilled to receive messages from anyone. Click here to read what others have written so far.
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
The name “Chabacano” (also spelled “Chavacano” or “Chabakano”) denotes Philippines-specific
Spanish (Castilian) varieties on native Philippine substrates, thus “Filipino
Creole Spanish.” These varieties, whose origin goes back to the country’s Spanish colonial period (1565–1898), constitute the only group of Spanish-based creoles in Asia. The name is
based on the Spanish word chabacano ‘vulgar’, ‘crude’, ‘coarse’, but in the meantime it is being owned as a not necessarily negative name for
the language. Three
basic Chabacano varieties survive. The least endangered of these, with approximately
600,000 speakers, is Chavacano Zamboangeño, the
of the mostly
Hispano-Filipino (mestizo) population
City on Zamboanga Peninsula of Mindanao Island. Chavacano Zamboangeño has
a predominantly Cebuano substrate. It is used by some Islamized ethnic minorities
as well. There are
also the subvarieties Davaoeño of Davao and Cotabateño of Cotabato.
In its regions, Chavacano Zamboangeño is used in education,
in the print media and in the electronic media. Severely
endangered, with less than two thousand speakers remaining, is Chabacano Caviteño of Cavite province
Chabacano Ternateño is used in Ternate (not Ternate of the Molukas, Indonesia),
which is also located in Cavite province. Now extinct is Chabacano Ermitaño
Ermita neighborhood (not of Ermita on Cebu Island), though rumor has it that
number of elderly speakers reside on the US west coast. A Chabacano-speaking
to exist in Sabah, Malaysia, assumedly speaking Chavacano Zamboangeño or a
sub-variety of it.
are several sociolects as well. In Chabacano Caviteño, for
instance, there is the now extinct Cavite Puerto variety that was closest
to Spanish. The Caridad variety is perceived as formal, and its speakers tend
to “correct” toward Spanish. Less Spanish-oriented are the San Roque variety (which
is the variety of our translator Jocelyn Picache-de la Rosa) and the Kalumpang
variety, the latter of which
among fishermen and market vendors. Many varieties have formal and informal
registers as well.
phonology has clearly noticeable native influences, such as raising of
Spanish /e/ and /o/ to /i/ and /u/ respectively in unstressed position, as well
consonants. The lexicon contains numerous words derived from native
and syntax have creole features, such as using ya (< Spanish ya ‘already’) to mark the past tense, and replacing some pronouns with nouns, such as cosa? (< Spanish cosa ‘matter’, ‘thing’, probably from Spanish ¿qué cosa? ‘what thing?’) for Spanish ¿qué? ‘what?’; thus for instance Chabacano CaviteñoCosa ya pasa aqui? for Spanish ¿Qué pasó aquí? ‘What happened here?’ or ¿Qué ha pasado aquí? ‘What has happened here?’
spoken in Cavite City’s San Roque and Caridad neighborhoods, Chabacano Caviteño is hardly, if
by allowing Standard Spanish to interfere. (While Spanish ceased to be
official in 1987 and it is no longer a mandatory subject in Philippine schools,
speakers and some other Filipinos continue acquiring Standard Spanish, courts
of law still recognize Spanish
are now renewed efforts to reinvigorate the use of Spanish in the Philippines.)
Chabacano Caviteño as inferior Spanish persists in some quarters, with names such as español de trapo (“rag Spanish”) and lengua carihán (“diner language”).
Language information: Indo-European > Romance > Italo-Western > Western > Gallo-Iberian > Ibero-Romance > West Iberian > Castilian with Western Malayo-Polynesian substrates