explained by the renewed interest in the culture of the rural people, for example, by the collection ofthe Grimm brothers of the various folklore in Germany.
From von Humboldt, there is a direct linetowards the early twentieth century in the writings of the Americans Edward Sapir and his studentBenjamin Whorf. Their idea was known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and is basically the same ideasas Humboldt's, though with a more anthropological bent, giving as support their various researches inthe languages of the Native Americans.The connection with Europe here is relevant because of the argument used by the proponents ofthe national language that Rizal himself saw the need for a national language for the Filipinos. Parale inthe 1960s for example, interpreted the statement uttered by the character Simoun in the novel ElFilibusterismo of Rizal:
Spanish will never be the general language of the country, the people will never talk it, because theconceptions of their brains and the feelings of their hearts cannot be expressed in that language - eachpeople has its own tongue, as it has its own way of thinking! What are you going to do with Castilian,the few of you who will speak it? Kill off your own originality, subordinate your thoughts to otherbrains, and instead of freeing yourselves, make yourselves slaves indeed!
as proof that Rizal wanted the Filipinos to express themselves in their own language. Parale then addsthat the imposition of the English language upon the Filipinos has been a disastrous event. That Rizalwas aware of the European conception of the linking between language and nation can be seen in thisstatement by Simoun, though to say that it is Rizal that is advocating this idea himself would beuncertain since it is the character that is speaking and not Rizal himself. Given that Rizal was mosteloquent in the Spanish language, as many of the Propagandistas in Europe were at the time, therewould be a deep sense of irony here. And this is what is pointed out by Panlasigui, one of the moreoutspoken critic of the national language policy of the Philippines during the 1960s, when he interpretsanother passage from Rizal, this time in the Noli me Tangere, saying that contrary to the interpretationof the national language advocates, subscribing to this idea would be to agree with the statement ofPadre Damaso who admonished those who would teach the Castilian language in the Philippines. PadreDamaso's contention is that the Filipinos do not have the intellectual capacity for the Castilian languageand that it would be best for them to leave the language alone.Related to the concept of linguistic determinism among the national language advocates is theidea of colonial mentality. This concept basically states that not only are there economic and politicalforms of subjugation, there are cultural ones as well. Some even say that this type of subjugation ismore insidious because even after the colonizers have left, their influence still lingers in the form ofcultural remnants, such as for example, the use of a foreign language.
Colonial mentality is thedefilement of that which is inherent in the Filipino soul. Thus, colonial mentality is a great affront to atrue Filipino's sense of being.The 1960s can be considered as the most colorful period so far in the debates regarding thenational language. Besides the opposition from those who advocated English, such as Ferrer,Panlasigui, Yabes and others, there was the opposition to the national language in terms of its propercharacter. There was the eruption of the so-called 'fusionist' versus 'non-fusionist' conception of the
1Roger Langham Brown,
Wilhelm von Humboldt's Conception of Linguistic Relativity
(The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton& Co., 1967), 76.2Isidoro Panlasigui,
The Language Problems of the Philippines
(Quezon City: Delco Publishers, 1962), 14.3Apolinar Parale,
Facts and Issues on the Pilipino Language
(Manila: Royal Publishing House, 1969), 91.