The Lexical Trend of Backward Speech among Filipino Millenials on Facebook


  • Bethany Marie Cabantac-Lumabi Far Eastern University – Manila, Philippines



Optimality Theory, Internet Neologisms, Philippine English


Purpose: This study is an attempt to understand how Millenials use backward speech on their Facebook statuses and how their lexicon is incorporated into a grammar of novel items in English in the Philippines.

Methodology/ Approach: Facebook statuses with the two trending backward speeches such as “lodi” and “werpa” are the inputs of this study since they top the list of more than 20 Tagalog slang words for everyday use of modern Filipinos. Through the Optimality Theory (Mc Carty, 2007; Prince & Smolensky, 2004) process and lexical analysis, these backward speeches were classified by literature as speech disguise, joke, and euphemism, while the hashtags are basically tags used to categorize conversations between users.

Findings: Despite its limitations, the results of the study describe and record a different form of Philippine English on Facebook that occurs from the optimal satisfaction of conflicting constraints. Evidently, the #werpa and #lodi are more contemporary and considerable internet slang (e.g. backward speech) for Philippine Millenials, who are active on posting their Facebook statuses to enhance group exclusivity. Its meanings are based on the context of the Facebook posts rooted in social connections. This unrestricted form of grammar of Facebook users in the Philippines is moving around the social world for years because of its consistent use online.

Conclusion: As the English language form changes more quickly, technologies continue to develop and allow the transmission of new set of Philippine slang to pass from Millenials to the future digital natives. The interest of the study on lexical trends reveals optimal aspects of grammatical phenomena which identify and order words based on their growing use.




How to Cite

Cabantac-Lumabi, B. M. . (2020). The Lexical Trend of Backward Speech among Filipino Millenials on Facebook. International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies , 1(1), 44-54.