SOCIETAL LANGUAGE DOMINANCE OF COVID-19 RELATED SIGNS IN THE LINGUISTIC LANDSCAPE OF A SOUTHERN PHILIPPINE CITY
Main Article Content
The instantaneous spread and repercussions of the COVID-19 brought a sudden change in Valencia City, Bukidnon, for its local government required all public and private entities to install appropriate markings and signs that would direct people to observe physical distancing, proper handwashing, and wearing of masks. However, no language policies were issued relevant to the health crisis despite the multilingual context of the city, and people were found violating health protocols despite the presence of signs. This qualitative-descriptive study employing Linguistic Landscape (LL) analysis identified the code preferences of top-down and bottom-up actors. It revealed the societal language dominance in the code preferences of the actors. Furthermore, this study utilised the available COVID-19 signs in select streets in Valencia City through photographs and observational protocols. The results showed the top-down actors preferred monolingual English, bilingual English-Filipino, and bilingual English-Cebuano. On the other hand, the bottom-up actors preferred monolingual English, monolingual Cebuano, bilingual English-Filipino, bilingual English-Cebuano, and trilingual English-Cebuano-Filipino. Overall, English, Cebuano, and Filipino are the most prevalent codes, while Ilonggo, Ilocano, and Binukid were not seen in COVID-19 signs. This study revealed that English is, therefore, the dominant language in COVID-19 related signs at the societal-institutional level.
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