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Orientalists, Propagandists, and IlustradosFilipino Scholarship and the End of Spanish Colonialism$
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Megan C. Thomas

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816671908

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816671908.001.0001

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Is “K” a Foreign Agent?

Is “K” a Foreign Agent?

Philology as Anticolonial Politics

(p.141) Chapter 4 Is “K” a Foreign Agent?
Orientalists, Propagandists, and Ilustrados

Megan C. Thomas

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter traces how linguistic studies, which began as philology and as one technique with which to approach the ethnological puzzle of the Philippines, developed into a movement for orthographic reform to Filipino languages (most significantly, Tagalog). It considers the controversy that erupted in the Manila press when the new orthography was adopted and evaluates the political significance of the orthography: it masked the Spanish origins of Tagalog words. Such a specific application of a scholarly study was unusual among the sciences under study here; however, the vehemence with which it was taken up (and also opposed) shows the high political stakes of such scholarship.

Keywords:   linguistic studies, Philippines, Filipino language, Tagalog, orthography

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