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Arwin Vibar
University of Asia and the Pacific
Vol. 27 (2021), Monográfico: Dimensión lingüística de la colonización: la lingüística misionero-colonial / Coordinadores:Joaquín Sueiro Justel (U. Vigo), María Rosa Pérez Rodríguez (U. Vigo)
Recibido: 11-06-2020 Aceptado: 21-09-2021 Publicado: 20-06-2022
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At the end of the three centuries of Spanish presence in the archipelago, Spanish missionaries had written at least 120 grammars of the native languages spoken in the Philippines. With the wide linguistic diversity they found and the need to transmit the faith in all its purity, the missionary grammarians began analyzing the languages and wrote pedagogical grammars for their confreres to learn them. Initially, only the major languages were studied and learned, using Spanish and Latin models, but eventually minor languages were also added. This study examines eleven representative grammars to determine their general characteristics and, in the process, bring to light some of their authors’ contributions to the history of grammar writing and linguistics in the Philippines. A significant finding is that the linguistic pursuits undertaken in describing the languages and preparing their grammars throughout the entire Spanish colonial period, while being in synch and continuous with the development of modern linguistics in the 17th to the 19th centuries, advanced the scientific study of languages in the country as well as grammar writing involving the native languages.