It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of former CSSP Dean and linguist Dr. Consuelo J. Paz on 15 September 2022. She was 89 years old.
Dr. Consuelo J. Paz was a linguist, activist, leader, and mother. As a linguist, she published numerous pioneering works on historical & comparative linguistics, sociolinguistics, and ethnolinguistics. Dr. Paz was also one of the foremost researchers on Philippine linguistics & cultural studies, having worked in various field sites all over the country for more than 40 years. She was a pillar of modern Philippine linguistics, and her works continue to be read & cited by linguists, language policy makers, and Austronesianists in the Philippines & abroad.
As a language activist, she advocated for the establishment and advancement of Filipino as the country’s national language. Her sociolinguistic studies emphasized the close relationship between the language spoken by a community and the individual’s identity & sense of belonging. With her grounding on community work, she had also been an active participant in human rights movement during her time.
She was appointed chair of the UP Department of Linguistics twice, and served as the dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) from 1992-1998. Dr. Paz was instrumental in strengthening the connection between the scientific study of languages and other disciplines in the social sciences. She also established the Center for International Studies during her term as Dean of CSSP. She promoted fieldwork & participant observation as important ethnographic tools for a holistic understanding of the locality and its culture. Hence, during her term as CSSP Dean, the Inisyatibo sa Pag-aaral ng mga Etnolinggwistikong Grupo (IPEG) was established. Eventually the initiative became a bonafide program, namely, the Programa sa Pag-aaral ng mga Etnolinggwistikong Grupo (PPEG).
For many, Dean Paz was an accomplished academic, but for those who closely knew her, she was a mother who provided steadfast and unwavering support to her friends and family. She trained and nurtured many batches of undergraduate and graduate students, who in turn became prolific scholars themselves in their respective fields.
In our work as linguists and partners of the communities, we remember and honor her brilliance as a linguist, activist, leader, and mother.
Published by UP Department of Linguistics