ASIAN JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES
VOLUME 5, DECEMBER 2017
The Asian Journal of English Language Studies, now on its fifth year, has come a long way. It is one case of a collective endeavor that has survived the challenges and birth pains, and proven that any diffculties can be overcome when all the members of a team take on a single-minded focus about getting things done the proper way.
What is exciting about this journal is that its publication has become an anticipated event, perhaps the way a family feels about the birth of a new child. To provide wider access for this publication, the next coming issues will be on online mode. The intention is to make the publication available to as many readers as possible—readers who are interested in the areas of theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, multilingualism, stylistics, language and the law, language education, and language policy.
The upgrade to digital mode was a bold decision taken by the Department of English of the University of Santo Tomas. But the Department has made a commitment to go with this development and move away from the usual printed editions that it has produced for the past five years. This is the Department’s contribution to taking care of the environment. Certainly, this will give AJELS a fresh start as the University fully supports this undertaking.
This last printed edition of AJELS features at least five articles, two of which are in the area of forensic linguistics, a fertile area of research in applied linguistics. While two of these five articles focus on varieties of English, the other one focuses on computational linguistics.
The first article by Ariane Macalinga Borlongon and Wilkinson Daniel Wong Gonzales endeavors to analyze telephone conversation openings in Philippine English taken from the International Corpus of English (ICE-PH). The ten samples examined, with reference to American English, revealed that the employed sequences by Filipino speakers of English have already been recognized utilizing the four core opening sequences in American English to accommodate deviations from the suggested patterns in American English.
The second article by John Michael B. Magtira and Alejandro S. Bernardo deals with the editorial headlines of a leading newspaper in the Philippines, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), and a leading broadsheet in the US, The New York Times (NYT). Analyzing 50 electronic headlines from PDI and NYT, one finds that in terms of textual features and rhetorical strategies, presuppositions and rhetorical devices differ in these broadsheets following the framework of Alireza and Samuel (2012).
Rey John Castro Villanueva shares an interesting study in computational linguistics by doing a preliminary investigation on the N-grams employed in ESL writing classes by college students. Employing the Antconc software program, the study yielded a total of 31 English N-grams containing 100,000 running words, revealing that referential N-grams are pervasive in the data, while stance and referential N-grams occur with a very small frequency. The study, though, requires further analysis, being exploratory in nature.
The last two articles both fall under the domain of forensic linguistics. The fourth article written by Shielanie Soriano-Dacumos and Marilu Rañosa-Madrunio shares an interesting study on consumer product warnings in that it scrutinizes the lexico-syntactic features of beauty products as they pose risks to consumers who are willing to patronize products introduced and marketed by various industries. Results revealed that cautionary texts may have some lapses on the use of noun abstractness, synthetic personalization, field continuum, adjectives, and adverbs. The conditional sentences as well as declarative and imperative sentences analyzed disclosed the manufacturers’ practice on anticipating emergencies, thereby suggesting implications for the product-liability law in the country and raising more awareness among Filipino consumers as regards the safety of using such products.
The final article by Anne Richie G. Balgos engages in a contrastive analysis of legal texts, in particular Philippine and American Supreme Court decisions. Examining the signals of concession in these legal documents that focus on landmark cases on family relations, the paper attempted to identify concessive preferences of Supreme Court judges that may lead to a description of the standard discourse patterns in Philippine English and American English. The study hopes to attract students of Legal English and those who are into studies in legal affairs as well as the two varieties of English mentioned above.
As in the past, we shall continue to look forward to finding materials in the online edition that will hopefully pave the way for the birth of other new studies with insights that could change the way research is being done not only in our country/region but also in the global scale.
I wish to extend then my sincerest gratitude to all those who contributed their share to this fifth volume of AJELS. In particular, I thank Dr. Shaomin Zhang of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Dr. Azirah Hashim of the University of Malaya, Dr. Eden R. Flores and Dr. Shirley N. Dita of De La Salle University-Manila, Dr. Ariane M. Borlongan of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and University of Tokyo, Dr. T. Ruanni F. Tupas of the National Institute of Education in Singapore, Dr. Lee Kooi Cheng of the National University of Singapore, and Dr. Rachelle B. Lintao of the University of Santo Tomas- Manila. Without the scholarly inputs of these esteemed colleagues, AJELS Volume 5 would have not been possible.
MARILU RAÑOSA MADRUNIO, Ph.D.
Editor, Asian Journal of English Language Studies
Openings of telephone conversations in Philippine English (pp. 1-14)
This study provides a corpus-based description of telephone-conversation openings in Philippine English. Data for the analysis of telephone conversations in Philippine English come from the Philippine component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-PH) to be more specific, this study makes use of the telephone calls documented in the dialogic, spoken texts in ICE-PH coded as S1A-091 to S1A-100. The analysis of a rather limited sample from ICE-PH—ten samples, to be specific—reveals interesting insights with regard to how similar or different openings in telephone conversations are in Philippine English with reference to American English. The sequences employed or afforded by…
A contrastive analysis of Filipino and American newspaper editorial headlines (pp. 15-32)
Newspaper editorials comprise a portion of media discourse deemed to be important in the field of research in both intercultural rhetoric analysis and English as a Second Language or Foreign Language studies. Thus, this study aims to explore the different kinds of textual features and rhetorical strategies employed in the editorial headlines of the American newspaper, The New York Times (NYT), and the Philippine newspaper, Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI). The study analyzed 50 headlines culled from the electronic versions of both the NYT and the PDI. Based on Alireza and Samuel’s (2012) framework, the study applied a systematic contrastive textual…
Using a linguistic computer software to explore the N-grams in ESL college compositions (pp. 33-48)
This research made an initial exploration on the English N-grams commonly used by college students in their ESL writing classes. Previous studies found out that there are several types of N-grams; however, this research zeroed in on three- and four-word N-grams only as these are the most researched types and have been used in many related studies. Moreover, the functional classification of each of the identified three- and four-word N-grams was identified through the use of the taxonomy forwarded by Biber et al. (2004). The Antconc 3.2.4w retrieved a total of 31 English N-grams from the academic computer corpus that…
Lexico-syntactic features of beauty-product warnings in the Philippines (pp. 49-70)
In the Philippines, the increasing number of issues about beauty-product hazards has become an involuntary outrage since mass media exposed the tremors brought by chemical contents in cosmetic items. Under certain circumstances, even if business owners designed and manufactured their products as vigilant and watchful as possible, consumers remain susceptible to a certain degree of risks associated with beauty-product use. The practicability and viability of upholding consumer safety were made possible as this paper examined 45 beauty product-warning texts in the Philippines. A range of linguistic features, such as signal words (Shuy, 2008), orders of nouns (Lakoff, 1987; Lyons, 1977),…
Argumentation in legal discourse: A contrastive analysis of concession in Philippine and American Supreme Court decisions (pp. 71-89)
The Supreme Court, being the highest deciding body that ends legal controversies, drafts decisions that eventually become part and parcel of the constitution that protects the rights of citizens. This paper examines the signals of concession in Philippine and American Supreme Court decisions, specifically focusing on argumentation in jurisprudence. Landmark cases on family relations were analyzed to describe how concession is articulated in decisions that debunk the ruling of lower courts. Moreover, this paper attempts to specify concessive preferences of Supreme Court judges that may somehow describe the standard discourse patterns in Philippine English and American English. The results of…