Porohanon as an island language

Presentation Date: 

Friday, October 28, 2022


Marinduque State College, Boac, Marinduque

Paper read at the 44th Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT) Conference held at Marinduque State College, Boac, Marinduque.


Porohanon (ISO 639-3 code prh) is a Bisayan variety spoken by more than 23,000 people in the Municipality of Poro, Camotes Islands, Province of Cebu (Eberhard, Simons, & Fennig, 2022). Adopting the questionnaire formulated by Lee (2022), this paper pulls together evidence from placenaming practices, the self-identification of members of the cultural community (and their relations with people from nearby areas), directional terms, cultural practices and behaviors, and folklore to assess the particular ways the high relative insularity (Nash et al., 2020) of their environment has shaped Porohanons' linguistic practices. The study concludes that there are sufficient signals in these domains that indicate Porohanon's status as an "island language".

Keywords: Porohanon, Island Linguistics, island languages


Eberhard, D.M., Simons, G.F., & Fennig, C.D. (Eds.). (2022). Porohanon. Ethnologue: Languages of the World (25th Ed.). https://www.ethnologue.com/language/prh.

Lee, A.P. (2022). Exploring Island Linguistics in the Philippines: Mooring Languages to Islandness. Plenary Lecture at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS 31) organized by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Nash, J., Bakker, P., Bøegh, K.F., Daval-Markussen, A., Haberland, H., Kedwards, D., Ladhams, J., Levisen, C., Markússon, J.S., & Bakker, P. (2020). On languages on islands. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, 52(1). 81-116, DOI: 10.1080/03740463.2020.1736747.