HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 36-37 no. 1-2 (1992)

Linguistic Studies on the Bikol Language

Regino P. Paular

Discipline: Philippine History, Linguistics



Since the language or dialect reflects the socio-cultural idiosyncrasies of a certain region or village, its study has much value for the student of local history. Any material written during the prehispanic or colonial past can be carefully studied with a view to determining the changes in the use of local words or idioms from the early times to the present age. This interesting study belongs to the field ofhistorical linguistics. The present study, therefore, intends  to explore only a segment of this vast field and presents hereunder its specific objectives:


1. To gather historico-linguistic information about the studies or researches made on the Bikol language during the Spanish colonial period. To specify and describe briefly the published materials, whether or not they were compiled as. dictionaries, grammar books, catechetical pamphlets, etc. Moreover, to take into account whether or not the materials were bilingual, comprehensive or introductory, illustrated or non-pictorial, religious or secular and other aspects;

2. To identify, classify and describe these linguistic studies, in terms of their purpose, author, year and place of publication, and their utility. To indicate the intentions, purposes or reasons (if any) why the authors compiled and published the linguistic materials. To indicate the extent of the materials' availability or use, whether or not they were intended for the general public or the missionaries and how these linguistic materials contributed to the preservation of the cultural identity of the then-Bikolanos;

3. To offer some linguistic, cultural. and educational insights as to the present value of these rare historico-linguistic data in our efforts to preserve Philippine history, culture and heritage, especially the contributions of the Bikolanos in these fields.