Department Chair Maria Kristina Gallego has been invited to speak at the 31st Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (AFLA) on 12 June hosted by the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst

Her talk, “The parallel verbal morphology of Ibatan: What we can learn about language processing from the perspective of language contact,” discusses the native and non-native paradigms of verb affixation in the language, and how language contact and multilingualism may have affected it. 

Below is the abstract of her presentation:


What we can learn about language processing from the perspective of language contact

Ibatan, an Austronesian language spoken in the far north of the Philippines, is characterized by unique contact-induced features, resulting from an intense contact history with Ilokano, the regional lingua franca. Most striking is how Ibatan reflects parallel native and non-native paradigms in its verbal morphology. What are the mechanisms and scenarios that led to the development of a non-native set of verbal prefixes which exists parallel to the native paradigm in Ibatan? How do speakers of varying language dominance in Ibatan process, analyze, and use these parallel structures? The main argument taken in this paper is that this current morphological structure is an outcome of layers of contact- induced language change driven by different agents with varying degrees of psycholinguistic dominance in Ibatan. It highlights the importance of accounting for different categories of speakers in driving the stability of structures in a language, where non-native speakers appear to play a central role in introducing innovative structures into the recipient language. This case study also sheds light on questions about language processing, particularly those involving multilingual speakers.

The conference runs from 11-14 June. You may visit their website at

Published by UP Department of Linguistics