Presentation Title

Linguistic Practices, Attitudes and Identities of Hispanic Immigrants in Los Angeles: Two Case Studies

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic identity, bilingualism, diglossia, language transfer, Los Angeles, Hispanic immigrants

Department

International Studies and Languages

Major

International Studies and Hispanic Studies

Abstract

With over thirty three million speakers, Spanish is the second most widely used language in the United States. Huge influxes of immigrants from Central and South America have made Spanish the fastest growing minority language in the country. Such numbers have attracted considerable scholarly attention as linguists and anthropologists seek to understand the impact of language shift, language mixing, and language identity in areas with dense populations of Hispanic immigrants. In spite of the breadth of information on these topics in certain regions and cities of the United States like Miami and New York City, surprisingly little research exists on discourses of language practices and linguistic identities among Hispanic immigrants in Los Angeles. Based off of informational interviews, this project focuses on the case studies of two Salvadoran immigrants who have lived in Los Angeles for over thirty years. These interviews explore the linguistic practices of each participant by looking at the social territories in which they use Spanish and/or English, as well as their linguistic attitudes and sense of identity as bilingual individuals. These two cases are compared to existing literature in the field with the aim of expanding on and deepening an understanding of the impact of language on bilingual Spanish-English speakers' identity.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kelle Marshall

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative

Presentation Session

Session A

Location

Plaza Classroom 188

Start Date

1-4-2016 5:15 PM

End Date

1-4-2016 5:30 PM

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Apr 1st, 5:15 PM Apr 1st, 5:30 PM

Linguistic Practices, Attitudes and Identities of Hispanic Immigrants in Los Angeles: Two Case Studies

Plaza Classroom 188

With over thirty three million speakers, Spanish is the second most widely used language in the United States. Huge influxes of immigrants from Central and South America have made Spanish the fastest growing minority language in the country. Such numbers have attracted considerable scholarly attention as linguists and anthropologists seek to understand the impact of language shift, language mixing, and language identity in areas with dense populations of Hispanic immigrants. In spite of the breadth of information on these topics in certain regions and cities of the United States like Miami and New York City, surprisingly little research exists on discourses of language practices and linguistic identities among Hispanic immigrants in Los Angeles. Based off of informational interviews, this project focuses on the case studies of two Salvadoran immigrants who have lived in Los Angeles for over thirty years. These interviews explore the linguistic practices of each participant by looking at the social territories in which they use Spanish and/or English, as well as their linguistic attitudes and sense of identity as bilingual individuals. These two cases are compared to existing literature in the field with the aim of expanding on and deepening an understanding of the impact of language on bilingual Spanish-English speakers' identity.