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The History of Spanish in the United States

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Verónica Loureiro-Rodríguez
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This study analyzes representations of bilingualism in the songs of Tucson native Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Guerrero (1916-2005), whose artistic career spanned more than six decades, merged Anglo and Latinx musical styles, and straddled the US-Mexico border (E. Guerrero and Meece Mentes 2002). Using the largest available repertoire (n = 463), we classified songs and analyzed language mixing quantitatively and qualitatively. Although most of Guerrero’s repertoire was monolingual, we found songs with different degrees of Spanish/English code-switching. Other songs were monolingual if considered individually, but provided evidence of bilingualism because they were produced in parallel Spanish and English versions, or as Spanish covers of English tracks. Still others evoked a transnational identity through overt references to linguistic and social marginalization. One of Guerrero’s most popular and effective strategies was parody, where old melodies were overlaid with new lyrics. This exploration provides evidence of the long tradition of bilingualism in American art, one that for the most part awaits scholarly attention.
Maria Irene Moyna
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Musical code-switching has been identified in US youth styles such as bachata (Flores Ohlson, 2011; Ohlson, 2007), and rap (Hernández, 2012; Loureiro-Rodríguez, 2017). A growing body of literature considers the lyrical production of the US-Mexico borderlands (Moyna & Loureiro-Rodríguez, 2018, on Lalo Guerrero; Loureiro-Rodríguez et al., 2018, on the Texas Tornados). This study widens the net by considering over twenty Texan artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including both historical (e.g., Rosita Fernández, Freddy Fender), and contemporary figures (e.g., Gina Chávez, Flaco Jiménez). Data were collected from commercial sources (Spotify, Youtube) and specialized repositories (e.g., UTSA Rosita Fernández Collection). Bilingual lyrics (n= 80) were transcribed and analyzed for language-mixing to ascertain form, socio-pragmatic function, and theme (Callahan, 2002; Loureiro-Rodríguez, 2017; Montes-Alcalá, 2012; Sarkar & Winer, 2006; Torres, 2007; Williams, 2010). The songs showed several recurring bilingual phenomena. These included the presence of two main kinds of code-switching: lexical switches and inter-sentential code-switching at poetic boundaries. On occasion, an artist produces English and Spanish versions, which while monolingual by themselves are evidence of bilingual ability when taken together. Bilingualism can also be highlighted explicitly through metalinguistic references and humor, and most spectacularly, from cross-linguistic rhyming. Formal features underscore themes that cut across historical periods, most pointedly, the contrast in the social roles of both languages. Texan bilingual music emerges as a surreptitious tool to legitimize Spanish in the public sphere by flouting the constraints imposed by hegemonic monolingualism. The significance of this paper is both theoretical and pedagogical. Historical erasure of Spanish in the US often means that neither students nor instructors are aware of the long history of Spanish-English bilingualism in the arts. By bringing to the fore the representation of code-switching in music, we can engage heritage learners to question the ambiguous status of their heritage language in the public sphere.
Verónica Loureiro-Rodríguez
added a research item
This study analyzes Spanish-English code-switching in the music of the Texas Tornados, a bilingual-bicultural San Antonio band. Their entire repertoire was transcribed and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively to ascertain the form and functions of code-switching. We found that 39% of songs included language mixing, with English being the most frequent matrix language and Spanish lexical insertions and inter-sentential switches prevailing. Lexical insertions are used to exoticize songs and for humorous effect, while inter-sentential code-switching presents similar ideas in sequence demonstrating high poetic virtuosity. Such artistic use of language represents the subaltern status of Spanish, reflecting the sociolinguistic reality of Texas.
Maria Irene Moyna
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Alejandra Balestra
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Este artículo investiga el proceso lingüístico de análisis, esto significa el uso de formas verbales perifrásticas en lugar de las formas sintéticas, en el español utilizado en California en el siglo XIX y comienzos del siglo XX. El artículo se centra en el incremento en el uso de la perífrasis ir a + infinitivo. Se utilizar un córpora de 185 cartas personales y oficiales escritas entre 1800 y 1930. En la actualidad el córpora contiene 85,000 palabras que aparecen en cartas escritas por 86 informantes diferentes (28 mujeres y 58 hombres). Se realiza análisis estadístico con SPSS de los 420 casos de las variantes que expresan tiempo futuro. La variable dependiente de tiempo futuro está correlacionada con las variables independientes de género, período histórico, y estilo. Los datos muestran que las mujeres usan la forma perifrástica, ir a + infinitivo, con mayor frecuencia que los hombres desde comienzos del siglo XIX. Además se observa que se acelera el uso de la perífrasis hacia la segunda mitad del siglo XIX. Finalmente se muestra que los hombres adoptan la variante analítica para expresan tiempo futuro a mitad del siglo XIX y la usan con una frecuencia similar a la de las mujeres.
Alejandra Balestra
added a research item
Según la gramática de la lengua española, los adjetivos se ubican a continuación del sustantivo y concuerdan con éste en número y género. Sin embargo, hay casos específicos en que determinados adjetivos cambian de significado de acuerdo con la posición en que se encuentran en relación al sustantivo que modifican, véase (1). (1) a. el gran hombre b. el hombre grande En (1a) el significado de gran no se refiere a las características físicas del sustantivo modificado hombre, sino a sus características internas o su calidad personal. En (1b), en cambio, grande se refiere a las características físicas del sustantivo hombre, que se interpreta como un individuo de estatura alta y/o voluptuosa. En las cartas de Maria del Amparo Ruíz de Burton, se observa variación en la ubicación de los adjetivos en relación con los sustantivos que ellos modifican. Existirían dos posibles razones para que suceda esto: el estilo de la autora o su contacto con la lengua inglesa. El estilo, objetivo o subjetivo, puede ser un factor determinante en el posicionamiento de los adjetivos en español. Klein-Andreu (1983:170-71) señala que a medida que es más concreta la intención, se hace necesario añadir menos comentario, resultando baja, la caracterización antepuesta. Por otro lado, cuanto mayor es la intención
Maria Irene Moyna
added 8 research items
This study investigates language attitudes towards English, Spanish and code-switching in two Texas border cities (Laredo and Edinburg) by means of a matched guise test with three attribute dimensions (solidarity, status, and personal appeal). It was found that there were no significant overall differences between attitudes in the two cities. As anticipated, code-switching received the lowest ratings in all dimensions; English and Spanish were matched for status, and Spanish received the highest scores for solidarity. When the variable of gender was considered (both for raters and speakers), differences in ratings emerged, evidence that in both cities the three varieties play different roles in mediating gender relations.
th century, based on seventy-two unpublished documents. It aims to provide a panoramic and comprehensive description of this borderland variety of Spanish by considering its linguistic characteristics and its social context, in particular, its sustained contact with English. In order to do so, documents were chosen from before and after the annexation of Alta California to the United States, and their main linguistic characteristics were identified and analyzed. It was found that Spanish retained considerable vitality in private and public domains well into the century among the Spanish-speaking population, known as Californios. A linguistic analysis revealed three main features of this variety. Firstly, it was closely connected to the varieties of northern Mexico. Secondly, it tended to be conservative, exhibiting some archaisms and rural features. Finally, it resisted the influence of the English superstratum after annexation, with only sporadic and superficial traces of contact noticeable in the later documents. In the sections that follow, this paper provides a brief outline of the historical context of the documents, both before and after the American annexation. This is followed by an analysis of their main linguistic characteristics and a discussion of the effects of political annexation to the United States on the Spanish of California, as evidenced in the documents. 2. Objectives, Methodology, and Sources of the Study