The Linguistic Landscape of Amadeo As Coffee Capital of the Philippines

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature



First Advisor

Ma. Isabel P. Martin, PhD


This paper aims to show how English language choice indexes local identity in the linguistic landscape (LL) of Amadeo, a segregated town in the Southern Tagalog, province of Cavite, Philippines. Considered to be the coffee capital of the country, the LL is examined in the light of the town’s current language situation, its colonial legacies, and its ongoing economic challenges. The study covers 14 barangays as shaped by ‘topdown’ and ‘bottom-up’ forces in the context of the complex relationship among the languages used and the representation in the chosen coffee-related LL which Amadeo is best known. Although English has been shown to be the most frequently used foreign language of the town especially in product advertisements, the researcher then goes on to define the degree of visibility of Amadeo languages, the extent of its linguistic diversity, the characteristics of the multilingual signages, and the English language’s position in the labelling of store signs, coffee products, and emblematic structures in Amadeo’s LL. Kress and Van Leeuwen’s seminal work on the grammar of visual design provides a starting point for the analysis of meaning created by physical positioning of text postulating “three signifying systems” all serving to structure the text, to bring the various elements of the signs. The study is further explored using Sebba’s framework on the unit of analysis as it covers the grammatical, genre-specific, and visual/spatial units of a multilingual text. Also in this study, Lefebvre’s spatial theory was used to determine the representations governing the place, similar with how it also became a subject of inquiry in other LL studies. An extensive documentation of LL items were collected and were determined by mere frequency count. The results of the frequency count for each unit are reflected in the coding chart created. A high degree of English’s visibility in the LL across 14 barangays of Amadeo was observed. The English language’s informative and symbolic functions in the LL serve to communicate the coffee products’ essential features and details that make them enticing for educated local and foreign tourists, while at the same time, exuding modernity, sophistication, and globalness. It could be concluded that the town’s economy and tourism and not the preservation of its native culture, are the main driving forces that determine the spatial practice, the symbolic construction, and the language ideology of Amadeo as the coffee capital of the Philippines.

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