A Metalexicographic Analysis of the Diksyunaryong Monolingwal sa Filipino (DMF): The Two Challenges Facing Filipino Lexicography

  • Janus Ruel Cabazares University of the Philippines - Mindanao


Filipino lexicography deals with two problems related to the linguistic features of the language: the lexicon and the grammatical features including orthography. This paper analyzes how the Diksyunaryong Monolingwal sa Filipino (DMF) copes with these issues. With regards to the first, the DMF dealt with the problem of defining the Filipino lexicon by creating a corpus using several types of written texts. Its definition of Filipino, however, is still tied to the old form which was primarily based on Tagalog, an outdated formulation of the national language. Nevertheless, the DMF separates itself from previous dictionaries through its use of a clearly defined mechanism in building a corpus. In its use of the corpus to describe the meaning of the lemma, the DMF displays several faults. This includes definitions which refer to senses and have sexual connotations, direct translation, vague definition of some verbal derivations, and use of technical definition. In the lexicographic description of grammar, the DMF contains some irregularities in the morphological marking, inconsistencies in orthography and spelling of borrowed words. The morphological features of the language also lead to some challenges that the DMF was not able to consistently address. Overall, the DMF’s use of lexicographic principles is an achievement that contributes to the development of the Filipino Language. It can pave the way for better monolingual dictionaries in the future.

Author Biography

Janus Ruel Cabazares, University of the Philippines - Mindanao
Janus Ruel Cabazares teaches at the Social Sciences Department of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao where he specializes in Anthropological Linguistics, Semantics, and Lexicography. Correspondences may be sent to januscabazares@gmail.com.


Filipino Language, Filipino Lexicography, Metalexicography, Filipino Dictionary, Diksyunaryong Monolingwal sa Filipino