ASEAN Journal of Community Engagement


With the implementation of Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) framework, there is a dire need to create community-based standardization of orthography for native languages in the Philippines, and this includes the Surigaonon language as only few languages in the Philippines have educational materials written for teaching and learning mother tongue. It is also rare for the development of such materials to involve community participation. This research aims to provide preliminary points of discussion for language policymakers and create an alternative in developing materials through community engagement. Using the Community-based Approach to Orthography Development by Catherine Easton in 2003, this study asked seventy (70) Surigaonon speakers from different parts of the province to spell out 78 items of Surigaonon words, phrases, and sentences. From this corpus, the researcher analyzed the forms of several initially observed orthographic issues. Out of 18 consonants and 3 vowels that exist in the language, five critical orthographic issues were identified. These key issues are significant in the continuous development of Surigaonon orthography. The first two issues that arose from this study is the inconsistent forms for the vowel sounds [?] and [u]. Though the written form i is mostly used for the [?] sound, the [u] sound remains unpredictable as it is either spelled out u or o. The same case of unpredictability occurs for the affricates [d?] and [t?] as the former is spelled out as either j, dj, dz, or ds while the latter is spelled out as ts or ch. Lastly, the use of dash is erratic as a representation for a glottal stop between vowels.

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