Salita is a Tagalog word. Its meanings include word, speech, talk/speak and language. I wanted a word that not only reflects the subject of this blog, but also something that is found in a number of Philippine languages. So far, I have found six more; Ilokano (sarita), Kapampangan (salita), Pangasinan (salita), Rinconada Bikol (sarita), Botolan Sambal (halita), and Tina Sambal (salita).
(If I’m reading my Tagalog dictionary aright, it’s pronounced /salitá’/, with stress on the second /a/ and a final glottal stop.) Chris is a man after my own heart; the bio at the end of his essay “Languages or Dialects?” says: “He is fluent in English, Tagalog, French, and Spanish and has a working knowledge of other languages like Japanese, Bikol, Ilocano, Korean, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Hindi and others.” I wish him luck in his study of linguistics, and I hope he’ll update the blog regularly—there are recent entries on Christmas and New Year greetings in various Phillippine languages and a very interesting entry on noun markers in Waray-Waray and other languages.
I found his blog via a typically meaty post at Sauvage Noble, which uses the discovery of Chris’s blog as a springboard for a discussion of Sanskrit loans in Tagalog, including a transcription of a pop song (!) about such loans.