A Semantic Analysis of Cross-Linguistic Mondegreens: Implications on How Filipinos Interpret Meanings


cross-linguistic meanings
language indigenization

How to Cite

Crisol, L. G. (2024). A Semantic Analysis of Cross-Linguistic Mondegreens: Implications on How Filipinos Interpret Meanings. Southeastern Philippines Journal of Research and Development, 29(1), 19-41. https://doi.org/10.53899/spjrd.v29i1.285


Historical evidence reveals that mishearing words have contributed to language enrichment. Presently, such mishearing persists in the form of mondegreens, which are quite pervasive in the field of songs. However, most studies on this phenomenon have primarily focused on phonology, leaving its scope explored insufficiently. This qualitative study aimed to investigate other aspects of mondegreens, especially their semantic dimensions. Grounded on the theory of linguistic relativity and semantic fields, the methods of this paper analyzed 131 unique English lyrics from about 5,000 message threads on public online forums and news websites using content analysis. Data mining was used to verify the content analysis, which was done through intercoder validation. It was found that mondegreens caused the lyrics to either be semantically anomalous or semantically sound, albeit with changes in meaning. Six processes were identified for the semantically anomalous changes, while seven were identified for the semantically sound changes. Even more, the major implication this has on the understanding of Filipinos is that no matter what genre/ semantic field the songs belong to, they most likely would be shifted to the field of humor or comedy. Despite this tendency for humor shifting, this shows language indigenization and enrichment and reflects the positive Filipino spirit.



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