Five years of my first Ph. D.: my experience at the Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of Science, UNED

On May 5th, 2017, I defended my first Ph. D., in Philosophy, at the Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of Science (Spanish acronym: LHFC) of the National University of Distance Education (Spanish acronym: UNED), after four years of work thanks to a grant given by the Aragonese Government. Five years later, with much more life experience, I would like to express my views about my stay there.

First, I feel I could have done more at LHFC. Honestly, I did not arrive at my best personal moment, but personal reasons are hardly an excuse. With my current experience and in my present moment, things could have been different.

But at the same time, I did not receive proper support there. My advisor, Doctor Jesús Zamora Bonilla, was absent from his duties during the four years. I was lost, he gave me no path to follow -or better said, he gave me a different one every time we talked during the first year- and he was just trying to find a co-advisor to do his job. I only realized he was following my updates when he used them in a SEFA Congress presentation. And he seemed to be much more worried about political and writing development and promotion, than about researching, teaching, and advising. Luckily, he posed no trouble when I deposited the thesis. Honestly, I do not understand why to accept a Ph. D. student if you will not dedicate him time enough.

A different opinion deserves Doctor David Teira Serrano, the Head of Department at that time, with a bad reputation that I could experience in my first department meeting, when another professor and he told each other to “fuck off”. However, he was always helpful to me, he helped me so much with my first publication, and he gave me some pieces of advice that I considered useless at that time, but that turned out to be astonishingly useful over time.  

I was also lucky of meeting great researchers at the department, and one of them, Cristian Saborido admitted twice that “they could have done more with me” -honestly, if you are going to say that and then you will do nothing, it is better to shut up and leave hypocrisy away. It was also sad to meet great researchers and people that could not flourish in such a negative context.

One day I was talking to a Galician predoc colleague about how difficult was to live in Madrid with a salary of 1,000 euros. Last two years I decided to live in Zaragoza, and I went to Madrid once or twice a week. There was no other option: something people from Madrid did not take always into account in informal discussion.  And UNED is a state university, not a Madrid university -the same university in which I pursued my second Ph. D., in Philology, as an on-line student, in a better personal moment and with two better advisors, Doctor José Ramón Carriazo Ruiz (UNED) and Doctor Jorge Mojarro Romero (UST, Manila).

In short, after five years of amazing professional and vital experience in much better contexts (2017-2022), now I feel I arrived in a bad place at a bad moment when I did my Ph. D. in Philosophy at the Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of Science at UNED. I feel I could have done more there. I feel they did not help me as they could. But far from being a trauma, it was another life experience to acquire both personal and research skills, to learn to differentiate among friends, enemies, and -the trickiest ones- false friends.

Note: Someday I will talk about the selection procedures there at LHFC.

Press Appearance: Interview at The Manila Times

Interview at The Manila Times, on ocassion of my second doctoral dissertation: Hispanic Place Names of Manila.

Mojarro, J. (2021, December 21). A doctoral dissertation on the street names of Manila [Press release]. The Manila Times. Retrieved from https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/12/21/opinion/columns/a-doctoral-dissertation-on-the-street-names-of-manila/1826688.


MARCO Antonio Joven Romero is a native of Zaragoza, Spain. He spent three years in the Philippines as a lecturer of Spanish language at the University of Santo Tomás. Despite having a Ph.D. in philosophy, he decided to pursue a second Ph.D. in linguistics at UNED, Spain. The topic he chose for his doctoral dissertation was the toponymy of the streets of Manila, a city that, as he has declared many times, he loves so much. Given that I am not only his friend, but also the co-director of his dissertation, I take advantage of this circumstance to interview him for The Manila Times.

Marco, what did you know about the Philippines before coming to teach? And why did you choose this archipelago as your destination for three years?

Honestly, it was quite random. I was going through the worst time of my life: my father died in 2013, I could not — and in some way I still cannot — accept it, and I had never been comfortable in Zaragoza, the place where I was born. A good friend, Jesús, recommended that I go to Asia because of my personality, and there was an option as an AECID lecturer (Spanish Cooperation Agency). I took it. That was the best choice of my life.

 

You have told me several times that you love the city, that Manila is the best place to be. Why is that when so many people claim this city is unlivable? Is your love for the city what made you carry out research on its street names?

Manila is not an easy city, but it is the city that made me happy, and at the same time, it was the place where I could learn a lot of things about life. It was the city that made me a real adult. People of Manila always loved me, and I loved Manila people too — although sometimes I also hurt some people because of my lack of maturity. I am an active person, and I could not stop meeting people and covering every small alley of Metro Manila. When I arrived in Manila, I was an adventurer, and Manila is the best city for adventures. Before coming to Manila, I also carried out a study of Aragonese toponymy in A Fueba in the province of Huesca in western Spain. So, I had all the academic and personal ingredients to carry out a study of the Hispanic place names of Metro Manila.

 

How did you carry out your research? Could you tell us any curiosity that happened while doing fieldwork?

There are three main methodological steps in this work: more than 800 surveys of settlers of all the cities and districts of Metro Manila, a research on the previous studies and maps, and my personal fieldwork all over the area.

About curiosities, I covered Aroma and Happyland, two of the poorest slums in Metro Manila, for two days with my friend Alejandro Ernesto, a photo reporter. The first day he left his cellphone in his motorcycle and the second day he forgot the motorcycle keys. After entire days covering the dumps, no one took the cellphone or the keys! On another occasion, I was covering a cemetery where some people live, and I could hear a couple having sex — I suppose on a tomb. And when I went to Señorita Street and surroundings, I could not stop hearing the song “Señorita” by Camila Cabello, which the locals boasted about.

 

Could you tell us what are the three most remarkable findings of your research?

First, around 55 percent of toponyms from the Spanish period are preserved while around 45 percent are lost. Considering the new toponyms, around 75 percent are Hispanic. I think these figures are interesting when dealing with the recurrent debate on Hispanic place names in the Philippines.

Second, the preserved Hispanic place names of Manila reflect the society of the city during the Spanish period: a kernel in Intramuros, the rising bourgeoisie in Binondo — and to a lesser extent in Ermita — and the rest of the classes and activities further away. The furthest place names refer to farm and logistics activities.

Third, most of the recent place names in Metro Manila do not adhere to popular naming processes or to administrative-political norms, but to pure economic factors. Economic power is creating new cities and districts — e.g. BGC, Ortigas, some places in Makati, and so on — coining new place names according to markets.

 

What do you think of the habit of local politicians who in an attempt to immortalize their names, replace the previous names of the streets with their own? Do you think the Philippines needs some legislation regarding this topic?

I am sad every time a place name is changed or lost, in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. Let me say that most of what we know about Celtic and Iberian peoples in Spain is because of preserved place names. And some of them seem to refer to local leaders, probably tyrants! Place names have crystallized, and they are preserved more than any other linguistic feature. And following the previous example, Celtic and Iberian languages disappeared in Spain millennia ago, but we still have these names. They are a treasure that allows us to partially know these languages too. The Spanish language is almost lost in the Philippines, but the Hispanic toponyms show the history, the identity and the geography of the country, and they also show some of the characteristics of the Filipino-Spanish language. About legislation, the Philippines and all the countries of the world must be conscious of the significance of place names.

 

Do you expect to carry out further research on the Philippines or do you want to move on to another thing already?

If possible, I would like to continue studying Hispanic place names in the Philippines. Even more, I would like to return to the Philippines and make a life in the country that has made me happy. However, due to the pandemic and my work, I do not find it easy. Furthermore, when I arrived in Manila, I was an adventurer. Now, I am looking forward to more stability, and I am not sure Manila is the best city for that. But finding such stability in the Philippines is my greatest desire. Let me add that the study of place names in the Philippines is not developed, and while the cities show social place names, the rest of the country presents a vast number of geographic place names to be studied.

 

Do you believe Metro Manileños should be proud of their city? Why?

Totally. Manila is an unknown city with many attractions. Reporters from several Spanish television networks agree with me: they were delighted when I showed them the “unknown” city. And contrary to what is sometimes stated, it is safe. Actually, Manila is not a city but a set of cities with different cultures and even language differences. Manilans are friendly and that compensates for the traffic and pollution problems. However, far from romanticizing the existent huge inequalities, the city must work to solve them. If there is something the people of Manila cannot be proud of, it is precisely the inequality in the city, which is translated into an extreme daily slavery that I hesitate to say existed any time before.

Lecture at Universidade de Brasília: Aragonese Language

Aragonese Language / Lengua aragonesa

Lecture conducted for the Instituto de Letras of the Universidade de Brasília on May 24, 2021 (in Spanish).

Location and organizers: Universidade de Brasilia (online), in collaboration with MAEC-AECID (Government of Spain).
Date: May 24, 2021.

Radio interview at ‘Investigadores por el Mundo’

Or click here for the ivoox site.


[English] Radio interview at Investigadores por el Mundo (Libertad FM), talking about Hispanic Place Names of Manila [November 17, 2020; in Spanish]

[Español] Aparición en el programa de radio Investigadores por el Mundo (Libertad FM), hablando de Toponimia Hispánica de Manila [17 de noviembre de 2020; en español]

[Pilipino] Ang pagganap ng aking Investigadores por el Mundo (Libertad FM), pinag-uusapan ang tungkol sa Hispanic Place Names of Manila [Nobyembre 17, 2020; sa Espanyol]

[Aragonés] Aparición en o programa de radio Investigadores por el Mundo (Libertad FM), fablando de Toponimia Hispánica de Manila [17 de noviembre de 2020; en español]

Reggaeton: much more than a feminist matter

Abstract: Reggaeton is one of the main musical and cultural exponents of the Hispanic contemporary world. Feminist analysis and criticism are common, and the style itself is evolving. Here I defend that Reggaeton is not just a feminist issue, but a class phenomenon.


In the attached clip, Spanish X-Factor judge Eva Perales strongly criticizes Reggaeton music, and more specifically, an amateur couple made of two Hispanic migrant men. Some of the sentences and arguments of Perales are:

(i) Have you ever listened something else apart from Reggaeton?
(ii) Reggaeton damages me as a woman (…) I do not like sexist lyrics (…) Why don’t you talk about women in other way?
(iii) [After mocking] Reggaeton kicks my ass.

The song, sentences and arguments from the Crazy Boys state:

(i) [Song The Maniatic Girl] Look, I fancy the Maniatic Girl (…) I like your body, and you all (…) You make me brutally horn (… ) You are easy, you flirt me and I become crazy, crazy.
(ii) [To Perales] You are abusing the weak.
(iii) Reggaeton is music too.
(iv) You are a racist of the music.

Even when this episode happened in 2008 and it might be intentionally prepared and streamed, similar scenes following same patters have happened during the last decade. In general terms, feminism activists and scholars have analyzed and criticized Reggaeton, and former and new Reggaeton singers have lately adapted (Merlyn 2020, Morales 2020, Villagra 2007). Sexism is highlighted, but Reggaeton is also considered violent and vulgar in comparison with already settled genres. The attached clip perfectly prints Reggaeton hotspots. 

Reggaeton spread during the 90’s in Hispanic America among lower class societies and it tended to print their reality characterized by discrimination, sexism, violence and vulgarity. Upper class Hispanic American societies criticized and ridiculed the new style. Spanish society, richer in average and many times far from Hispanic American contemporary currents, first ignored Reggaeton and then criticized it, similarly to upper class Hispanics. However, the new style has been powerful enough to permeate into the whole Hispanic -and Global- society (Carballo 2007). On the other hand, singers are adapting and blurring its sexism, violence and vulgarity, and sometimes it is used for vindicating feminism and women. Here I remark that there also are geographical, racial and normative aspects, and all of them, together with the feminist issue, rely on a class difference.

Geographical difference

Reggaeton spread in Hispanic American countries. Only after a decade, it was introduced in Spain among criticism. The America-Europe difference towards Reggaeton is still present. Reggaeton in Spain responds to Hispanic migrants and global tendencies more than to linguistic, cultural or historical ties. Economic standards in Spain tend to be higher than in Hispanic American countries, while Hispanic migrants in Spain tend to hold worse positions.

Racial difference

Inside Hispanic American countries, racially speaking Reggaeton is more popular among Hispanics than among Europeans and Caucasians. Links between race and class in Hispanic America are well known and deeply studied, showing a tendency of middle and lower classes being Hispanic mestizo and aborigines, while upper classes maintaining Caucasian features (Domínguez 2018; McCaa, Schwartz & Grubessich 1979). In Spain, Reggaeton is far more popular among Hispanic migrants.

Normative aspect

Reggaeton has been devalued in comparison with mainstream already established genres: the norm. Reggeaton’s sexism, violence and vulgarity, derived from lower class styles and ways of living, is attacked from upper class people and established genres creators. However, as it happened with many other cultural manifestations, Reggaeton -or at least, a soft Reggaeton- is permeating, convincing global spectra and making norm.

Conclusions

Eva Perales and the Crazy Boys discussion was rapidly analyzed from feminism. But it is much more than a feminist matter: it is a woman criticizing sexist singers and styles, but also a Spanish criticizing two Hispanic American migrants, a white manager criticizing two dark-skinned mestizo creators, a rock lover criticizing Latin music, and ultimately, a rich person criticizing two poor people.

The real difference underlying the whole discussion is economic. Poverty and discrimination explain rough sexism among low class people, the refusal to mainstream styles and the emergence of new subversive styles. Upper class people tend to defend the establishment, in this case represented by settled genres. In the Hispanic America context, economic difference is linked to race difference, and the same economic difference partly defines differences between Spain and Hispanic America. Many times, Spanish and upper class people criticize sexism, vulgarity and violence, but they do not focus on the real problem: poverty.


References

Carballo, P. (2007). Reggaeton e identidad masculina. Intercambio, 3 (4), 87-101.

Domínguez, J. I. (2018). Race and ethnicity in Latin America. Routledge.

McCaa, R., Schwartz, S. B., & Grubessich, A. (1979). Race and class in Colonial Latin America: A critique. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 21(3), 421-433.

Merlyn, M. F. (2020). Tell me what you listen to and i will tell you who you are. Representing women in 100 of the more popular reggaeton songs in 2018. Feminismo/s, (35).

Morales, C. D. (2020). Una propuesta para el análisis de los estereotipos femeninos en los videoclips de reggaeton: Caso práctico de los cuatro vídeos más vistos en 2018 en YouTube. Revista Internacional de Cultura Visual, 7(1), 13-26.

TV appearance at ‘Culture Shock’

[English] TV appearance at Culture Shock (UST Tiger TV) talking about my academic activities and my everyday life at University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines) [Second Term, 2020]

[Español] Aparición en el programa de televisión Culture Shock (UST Tiger TV) hablando de mi actividad académica y mi vida diaria en la Universidad de Santo Tomás (Manila, FIlipinas) [Segundo cuatrimestre, 2020]

[Aragonés] Aparición en o programa de televisión Culture Shock (UST Tiger TV) fablando d’a mía actividat academica y a mía vida diaria en a Universidat de Santo Tomás (Manila, Filipinas) [Segundo cuatrimestre, 2020]

[Pilipino] Ang pagganap ng aking Culture Shock (UST Tiger TV). Ipinakita ko ang aking mga akademikong gawain at ang aking pang-araw-araw na buhay sa University of Santo Tomas Manila, Pilipinas) [Pangalawan termino, 2020]

Endangered Languages and Territorial Rights. Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights

Endangered Languages and Territorial Rights: my first entry at the Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights. Springer.

Joven-Romero, M.A. (2020). Endangered Languages and Territorial Rights. Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights. New York: Springer.


Languages are commonly associated to territories as they are traditionally spoken by communities living in specific places. Nevertheless, languages do relate to speakers and not always to territories.This difference is highlighted by globalization, and more specifically by the increase and new possibilities of migrations, the development of Information and Communication Technologies and the global tendency to learn new foreign languages. This new context calls for direct association between languages and speakers in order to preserve the rights of the latter and the languages themselves. Small minority languages are even more affected by globalization and speakers require globally recognized rights and measures according to their new reality.

https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-68846-6_332-1

Download the whole pdf entry here

Minority Languages and Territorial Rights. Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights


Minority Languages and Territorial Rights: my first entry at the Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights. Springer.

Joven-Romero, M.A. (2020). Minority Languages and Territorial Rights. Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights. New York: Springer.


Languages are commonly associated to territories as they are traditionally spoken by communities living in specific places. Nevertheless, languages do relate to speakers and not always to territories.This difference is highlighted by globalization, and more specifically by the increase and new possibilities of migrations, the development of Information and Communication Technologies and the global tendency to learn new foreign languages. This new context calls for direct association between languages and speakers in order to preserve the rights of the latter and the languages themselves. Small minority languages are even more affected by globalization and speakers require globally recognized rights and measures according to their new reality.

https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-68846-6_333-1

Download the whole pdf entry here


 

TV appearance at ‘Charrín Charrán’

Promo ad. Speaking Tagalog and Aragonese:


[English] TV appearance at Charrín Charrán (AragónTV) showing my academic activities and my everyday life in Manila during the Coronavirus crisis, and promo ad in Tagalog and Aragonese [April 26, 2020]

[Español] Aparición en el programa de televisión Charrín Charrán (AragónTV) mostrando mi actividad académica y mi vida diaria en Manila durante la crisis del coronavirus, y anuncio promocional en Tagalo y Aragonés [26 de abril de 2020]

[Aragonés] Aparición en o programa de televisión Charrín Charrán (AragónTV) amostrando a mía actividat academica y a mía vida diaria en Manila mientras a crisi d’o conoravirus, y anuncio promocional en Tagalo y Aragonés [26 d’abril de 2020]

[Pilipino] Ang pagganap ng aking Charrín Charrán (AragónTV). Ipinakita ko ang aking mga akademikong gawain at ang aking pang-araw-araw na buhay sa Maynila sa panahon ng coronavirus, at promo ad sa Tagalog at Aragonese [Abril 26, 2020]

TV appearance at ‘Aragoneses por el Mundo’ Special Coronavirus: Manila

[English] TV appearance at Aragoneses por el Mundo. Special Coronavirus (AragónTV) showing my academic activities and my everyday life in Manila during the Coronavirus crisis [April 25, 2020]

[Español] Aparición en el programa de televisión Aragoneses por el Mundo. Especial Coronavirus (AragónTV) mostrando mi actividad académica y mi vida diaria en Manila durante la crisis del coronavirus [25 de abril de 2020]

[Aragonés] Aparición en o programa de televisión Aragoneses por el Mundo. Especial Coronavirus (AragónTV) amostrando a mía actividat academica y a mía vida diaria en Manila mientras a crisi d’o conoravirus [25 d’abril de 2020]

[Pilipino] Ang pagganap ng aking Aragoneses por el Mundo. Especial Coronavirus (AragónTV). Ipinakita ko ang aking mga akademikong gawain at ang aking pang-araw-araw na buhay sa Maynila sa panahon ng coronavirus [Abril 25, 2020]

Minority Languages and Territorial Rights (ii): Languages and Migrations

Extract of Minority Languages and Territorial Rights, my first entry at the Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights, to be published soon: discussion on language policies and migrations.

Joven-Romero, M. A. (Forthcoming 2020). Minority Languages and Territorial Rights. Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights. New York: Springer.


Migrations affect the origin community, the destination community and the very migrants, and it may affect the origin community languages, the destination community languages and the very migrants languages (Lewis 1982, Britain 2002). With reference to the migrants influence, two different migrations can be distinguished: one in which the migrant community is bigger or more powerful than the destination community, and the other one in which the migrant community constitutes a minority, many times in a weaker position in comparison with the already established community. In the former case, the language of the migrant community may become the main one, as it happened in most American countries with Spanish and English. In the latter case, it may vanish and disappear in a few generations, as it is happening with Galician language in Argentina or the Italian language in the USA. In both cases, three different kind of factors describe the migrations and their linguistic consequences: spatial, temporal and socio-cultural factors (Kerswill 2006).

Long distance migrations were traditionally associated with lifelong migrations, but as means of transport become faster and cheaper, that is not longer the case. Spanish, English, French and Dutch colonizers of America migrated for a very long -even lifelong- time, while nowadays many European people go to America just for holidays. On the contrary, short distance migrations traditionally allowed for the maintenance of linguistic and cultural ties. With regard to minority languages, they are usually associated with rural areas and during the rural exodus of the 20th and 21st centuries many of their speakers are moving to bigger towns and cities to study and to work. Many of the Aragonese speakers located in the Aragonese Pyrenees move from their small villages to the head of the regions for their High School, where they sometimes commute while other times they stay in the new town. The same speakers may move to bigger cities like Huesca, Zaragoza or even Madrid and Barcelona -where they cannot commute anymore- for higher training or work (Reyes et al. 2017). As people get older, migration pressure increases, such migration points to further distances, links with the original rural area vanish, the native language is no longer used in the new localities and in many cases it is only recovered during the summer or winter holidays. Sometimes the migrant community settle in particular districts or areas of the bigger heads and cities, forming their own districts, suburbs or ghettos, where the language may still remain, as it happened with Jewish languages in different European countries over different times.

From a linguistic point of view, migrations also cause diglossic processes in which the different languages adopt characteristics of the others, what may also cause the emergence of new creole languages and pidgins. Jewish languages like Yiddish or Judaeo-Spanish are examples. If different varieties of the same language merge, natural dialect leveling or koineization into a simplified variety happens (Trudgill 1986, 127; Kerswill and Williams 2000). So far, when the inhabitants of the different deep Aragonese valleys moved into the south plains during the Reconquista, a quite homogeneous Aragonese koine emerged (Conte et al. 1977).

Temporal factors are strongly related with the spatial ones, but this correlation is weakening as means of transport are increasingly faster and cheaper. Migrations may have different duration and four different categories are usually listed: daily, periodic, seasonal and long term migrations (Gould and Prothero 1975, cited in Kerswill 2006). Daily migrations are cyclical and they do not suppose overnight stays. Such direct steady contact between different languages or dialects may play a fundamental role in linguistic leveling processes (Trudgill 1983). Periodic migrants move from their origin places for a short period of time establishing weak contacts with the destination community. They often circulate by various places and countries for short periods. This kind of migration favors the establishment of a lingua franca, like English in Western countries or Tagalog -and also English- inside the Philippines, damaging the image of local minority languages. Business workers, researchers or tourists are some examples of periodic migrants. Seasonal migrants stay for months or years in the destination place with the intention of returning. Romanian migrants-speakers in Aragon were a few hundred in 2001, to increase to almost 70.000 in 2013 and then decrease to less than 50.000 in 2016. Some of these seasonal migrants may change their mind and stay in the destination place becoming long-term migrants, like many Turkish people living in Germany. Long-term migrants often leave their origin place without the intention of returning, as many European migrants who went to the USA in the 19th and 20th centuries did, or many Occitan people moving from rural areas to cities like Toulouse or Paris. While seasonal migrants are likely to preserve their language and pass it into their children, many long-term migrants forget it and the minority language disappears in one or a few generations.

Socio-cultural factors may explain why some minority languages remain while others do disappear when presenting similar temporal and territorial contexts (Sallabank 2010; Edwards 2010). According to these factors, the relationship of the migrants with the destination community can be classified into segregation or participation relations. Segregation spirit in migrating groups is a factor for the conservation of their origin -and now minority- language. That is the case of German language of Amish and Mennonites communities in North America (Coleman 1997). Participation does not necessarily suppose the lost of the minority language, although its weaker position may demand special measures for its preservation. Furthermore, a difference between voluntary migrations and forced migrations, like the one of refugees, can be made. In the latter case, groups are more likely to develop a deep sense of pride towards their origins.


References

Britain D (2002) Space and spatial diffusion. In: Chambers JK, Trudgill P, Schilling-Estes N (eds) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford University Press, p. 603-637.

Coleman DA (1997). The origins of multi-cultural societies and the problems of their management under democracy. In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Population Conference, Beijing 1997, Vol 3. Presses Universitaires de Liege.

Conte A, Cortes Ch, Martínez A, Nagore F, Vázquez Ch (1977). El aragonés: problemática e identidad de una lengua. Librería General de Zaragoza.

Edwards J. (2010). Minority Languages and Group Identity: Cases and Categories. John Benjamins Publishing.

Gould WTS & Pothero RM (1975). Space and time in African population mobility. In: Kosinski LA, Pothero RM (eds) People on the Move: Studies on Internal Migration. Methuen.

Kerswill P (2006). Migration and language. In: Mattheler K, Ammon U and Trudgill P (eds) Sociolinguistics/Soziolinguistik. An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society, 2nd ed, vol 3. De Gruyter.

Kerswill P & Williams A (2000). Mobility and social class in dialect leveling: evidence from new and old town in England. In: Mattheler K (ed) Dialect and Migration in a Changing Europe. Peter Lang Publishing, p 1-13.

Lewis GL (1982). Human Migration: A Geographical Perspective. Palgrave-Macmillan.

Reyes A, Gimeno Ch, Montañés M, Sorolla N, Espluga P, Martínez JP (2017). L’aragonés o lo catalán en l’actualidat. Analisi d’o Censo de Población y Viviendas de 2011. Available via Zaguan. https://zaguan.unizar.es/record/60448.

Sallabank J (2010) The role of social networks in endangered language maintenance and revitalization: The case of Guernesiais in the Channel Islands. Anthropological Linguistics 52(2): 184-205.

Trudgill P (1983). On Dialect: Social and Geographical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.

Some notes for the current study of Papia Kristang, the Portuguese creole of Malacca

Clip 1. Elderly fishermen talking in Papia Kristang and about Papia Kristang.

[English] Papia Kristang or Portugues di Melaka is a Portuguese creole language originated in Malacca (Malaysia) and mainly spoken by a few hundred people in its Portuguese Settlement, even though there is a smaller community of speakers in Singapore and some isolated speakers in other cities due to recent migrations. Here I offer some clues for its current study after a two-day exploration in Malacca.

[Aragonese] Papia Kristang u Portugues di Melaka ye una luenga criolla portuguesa naixida de Malacca (Malasia) y fablada más que más por bells centenars de personas en o suyo Bico Portugués, encara que bi ha una comunidat chicota de fablants en Singapur y bells fablants isolaus en atras ciudatz debiu a migracions. Aquí ufro una serie de claus t’o suyo estudio actual dimpués d’una exploración de dos diyas en Malacca.

[Español] Papia Kristang o Portugues di Melaka es una lengua criolla surgida en Malacca (Malasia) y hablada por unos cientos de personas en su Barrio Portugués, aunque hay una comunidad pequeña de hablantes en Singapur y algunos hablantes aislados en otras ciudades debido a migraciones. Aquí ofrezco una serie de claves para su estudio actual después de una exploración de dos días en Malacca.


Papia Kristang or Portugues di Melaka is a Portuguese creole language originated after the Portuguese invasion of Malacca in 1511. Even when the Portuguese rule in Malacca ended with the Dutch conquest in 1641, this Portuguese creole have been spoken and preserved by a mestizo community until today (Wong 2017). Different sources state its number of speakers somewhere in the range between a few hundred (Baxter 2005) to more than two thousand people (Bradley 2007). Most of the Kristang community moved to a neighborhood today known as Portuguese Settlement in the 1930s and I did my research there on September 26 and 27, 2019. Here I offer some clues for its current study. I especially thank a 73 year old local singer and fisherman named Necles who helpfully provided me with a lot information and introduced me into the community.

Place description

The Portuguese Settlement of Malacca comprises family houses along a few streets -Pitchay, Albuquerque, Texeira, Squera, Daranjo, Eredia- that converge into the main coastal square or Medan Portugis with some Portuguese restaurants, meeting point for fishermen during the morning and quite lively during the weekend nights. Around 1.500 people live in the neighborhood (Nunes 2017a). Kristang community moving to this compact area in the 1930s helped their cohesion and language preservation.

Kristang vs. Continental Portuguese

Some people inform that Portuguese tourists sometimes come to the place and they try to establish a Kristang-Portuguese communication: locals find the Portuguese continental language “deep” and sometimes “difficult”, but at the same time they affirm that they can “establish communication” and “understand”.

Some of the young Kristang people I interviewed learned and fluently spoke continental Portuguese language. They affirm that their previous knowledge of Kristang, some language applications and other on-line resources helped them.

Generational transmission

I found a good level of language generational transmission. Middle age and young people generally speak Kristang to a certain extent and they are proud of it, although sometimes they were not as skilled as elderly people and some other times they mixed continental Portuguese with proper Kristang. I also found quite a number of Kristang elderly people who did not speak the creole.

Elderly people were more open to be recorded than young people, who were more reluctant. It must be said that I only stayed in the Portuguese Settlement for two days and that I knew no one before arriving.

Name of the language

Speakers prefer their language to be named Portuguese and not Kristang. The latter refers to the Christian religion, and even if the Kristang community is mainly Christian, that is not necessarily the case. However, among themselves they mainly use the names Kristang and Papia Kristang.

Papia Kristang literally means Speak Christian. The use of the communicative action -i.e. speak– as the name of the language is something rather common among endangered languages -e.g. Fabla aragonesa for the Aragonese language, Bable asturianu for the Asturian language- and it may contribute to its discredit.

Sometimes when talking about the language, speakers state “I am Portuguese”. I do not know if they wanted to say “I speak Portuguese” or literally “I am Portuguese”. However, I did not dig into it as dealing with identity issues was not my purpose.

Lingua franca

Kristang was not used as the lingua franca in the Portuguese Settlement. Interestingly, the main language used for common communication was English and not Bahasa Melayu, usually the common language in the rest of the city (Nunes 2017a, 2017b). Even elderly people who do not speak Kristang talk in English rather than Bahasa Melayu and Kristang’s population English skills seemed to be higher than the rest of Malacca´s population English level. The shift into English was reinforced during weekend nights with the arrival of Taiwanese and Singaporean tourists to the coastal square.

Connection with other Latin languages

All the young people interviewed not only vindicated Portuguese but their general Latin connection. They were especially interested in Spanish music and even when that is something common everywhere in our days, I could find people listening and playing Spanish music different from the main Latin hits: Gypsy Kings, Los Chunguitos or Camarón.

Clip 2. A young Kristang speaker interested in non-mainstream Spanish music.


References

Baxter, A. N. (2005). Kristang (Malacca Creole Portuguese): a long-time survivor seriously endagered. Sociolinguistc Studies 6(1): 1-37. 

Bradley, D. (2007). East and Southeast Asia. Atlas of the World’s Languages. London: Routledge.

Nunes, M. P. (2017a). The use of Kristang in the Portuguese settlement of Malacca. Journal of Modern Languages, 12(1): 147-156.

Nunes, M. P. (2017b). Portuguese folklore sung by Malaccan Kristang groups and the issue of decreolization. Journal of Modern Languages, 13(1): 149-161.

Wong, K.M. (2017). Bos Papiah Kristang? (Do You Speak Kristang?): A Eurasian Linguistic Legacy. Singapore Euroasians: Memories, Hopes and Dreams: 369-379.
 

Aiming to Belief: Defending Believers, Defeating Beliefs


My last book “Aiming to Belief: Defending Believers, Defeating Beliefs”:

JOVEN-ROMERO, Marco Antonio (2019). Aiming to Belief: Defending Believers, Defeating Beliefs. Saarbrücken: LAP. ISBN: 978-6200287243.


[English] Why do we believe? Why do we have beliefs? Are beliefs truly related to truths? Are beliefs really practical? How does belief emerge? How can we stop believing? Is it good or bad to believe? Do rational beliefs necessarily converge? This dissertation analyzes belief emergence, belief usefulness and the relation between belief and truth taking into consideration the newest research on the matter.

[Aragonés] A qué fin creyemos? Por qué tenemos creyencias? En veras son as creyencias relacionadas con as verdatz? Son reyalment as creyencias practicas? Cómo apareixen as creyencias? Cómo podemos dixar de creyer? Ye bien u ye mal creyer? As creyencias racionals necesariament converchen? Ista disertación analiza l’aparición d’as creyencias, a utilidat d’as creyencias y a relación entre creyencia y verdat prenendo as zagueras investigacions en o tema.

[Español] ¿Por qué creemos? ¿Por qué tenemos creencias? ¿De verdad están las creencias relacionadas con las verdades? ¿Son realmente prácticas las creencias? ¿Cómo emergen las creencias? ¿Cómo podemos dejar de creer? ¿Es bueno o malo creer? ¿Las creencias racionales necesariamente convergen? Esta disertación analiza la aparición de creencias, la utilidad de las mismas y la relación entre creencia y verdad tomando las últimas investigaciones.

Aparición en el programa ‘Viajeros Cuatro’


[English] TV appearance in Viajeros Cuatro (Cuatro TV) showing my academic activities and my everyday life in Manila  [July, 2019]

[Español] Aparición en el programa de televisión Viajeros Cuatro (Cuatro TV) mostrando mi actividad académica y mi vida diaria en Manila [Julio de 2019]

[Aragonés] Aparición en o programa de televisión Viajeros Cuatro (Cuatro TV) amostrando a mía actividat academica y a mía vida diaria en Manila [Chuliol de 2019]

[Pilipino] Ang pagganap ng aking Viajeros Cuatro (Cuatro TV). Ipinakita ko ang aking mga akademikong gawain at ang aking pang-araw-araw na buhay sa Maynila [Hunyo, 2019]