Developing a Community-Based Documentation Project for Bugkalot

Bugkalot (also known as Ilongot) is a language used by around 5,710 speakers, mainly in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. It is rated as an endangered language by Ethnologue, which means that the younger generations are not learning or using the language (Eberhard, Simons, and Fennig 2022). It is thus imperative to document and revitalize the Bugkalot language while it is still in use by the community. 

Recent developments in the field of linguistics push for close collaboration between the linguist and the community in such works as language documentation and revitalization, where community members are taking the lead in the projects. This extension project, initiated by the Bugkalot community, is a collaboration between members of the community and the UP Department of Linguistics, in developing a long-term, sustainable documentation of the Bugkalot language. The project involves (1) identifying short-term and long-term language needs of the community, (2) repatriating, validating, and updating previously collected data and research, (3) conducting a workshop on the basics of language documentation, and (4) developing a plan for the succeeding phase of the language documentation project. 

This extension work fulfills one of the main agenda of the UP Department of Linguistics, namely engaging in activities that aims to document, disseminate research, and educate the public about the languages of the Philippines. The project involves close collaboration with UP Department of Linguistics, who will serve as consultants of the documentation project, and the Bugkalot community, who leads the actual documentation work. As the project aims to build the capacity of the community to do linguistic work, it makes it more sustainable for the community members to continue work on their language on a longer term. The project is also the first effort by the UP Department of Linguistics to repatriate field data, which is an offshoot of a prior extension project titled Cataloguing and Digitization of Dr. Ernesto Constantino’s Archive (Project Number 212107-UPD EG). Re-establishing the connection with the Bugkalot community through repatriation and capacity building activities through this project allows for a long-term collaborative relationship with the community.

Project Members

Fund Source

UP OVCRD-OEC Extension Grant (UPD-EG No. 232322)
1 March 2023 to 29 February 2024

Images from Project Phase 1