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This research aims to explore the ways in which synchronic patterns of linguistic and social contact can be used to infer linguistic histories. This project does this by investigating a debate in understandings of Philippine linguistic history through two case studies of contemporary contact-induced language change—Ibatan with Ilokano, and Kapampangan with Tagalog—following van Coetsem’s speaker-based model of language contact. This research will then delve into how insights from these relatively recent contact situations can be applied to those of historical ones, specifically regarding the descent of Philippine languages. Based on new field research on the use and structure of these languages, the project plans to bridge the gap between the synchronic and diachronic approaches to language contact in order to achieve a more unified account of language contact and change.