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Abstract

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.

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... Spanish/English code-switching in song lyrics has received more limited attention and has focused mainly on contemporary urban and Caribbean Hispanic artists and styles, such as Dominican American bachata (Flores Ohlson 2011, 2008a and Chicano (Hernandez 2012) and Cuban American rap (Loureiro-Rodríguez 2017). Recently, Loureiro-Rodríguez et al. (2018) have expanded the focus to earlier historical periods through their study of code-switching in the Texas Tornados, a bilingual/bicultural band from San Antonio, Texas, active since the 1990s. ...
... The term code-switching (Poplack 1980;Myers-Scotton 1993b) describes the alternation between two (or more) languages or dialects in naturally occurring conversation. Although the term "artistic code-mixing" has been proposed (Picone 2002) to account for code-switching and accent divergence in songs, most work on language mixing in lyrics (Loureiro-Rodríguez 2017;Loureiro-Rodríguez et al. 2018;Williams 2010;Androutsopoulos 2010;Omoniyi 2009;Akande 2013;Davies and Bentahila 2008;Sarkar and Winer 2006), in prose (Torres 2007;Montes-Alcalá 2012), and in poetry (Valdés-Fallis 1976) employs the term "code-switching" to refer to this bilingual phenomenon. Following this line of work, we use the term "codeswitching" to refer to the deliberate alternation of Spanish and English in Guerrero's songs, regardless of length, complexity, or unit (e.g., verse versus stanza) in which the switching appears. ...
... Spanish is clearly favored, followed by some form of mixing; English songs are a very small proportion of the total. Guerrero's linguistic choices thus distinguish him from later US artists who favor English (Loureiro-Rodríguez 2017; Loureiro-Rodríguez et al. 2018). This difference is unsurprising, if we consider the context in which Guerrero developed as an artist, and the audiences and markets available to him. ...
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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. 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, which awaits scholarly attention.
... Such a transformation of the lyrics and musical pattern in the Spanglish remix of X is likely to tease those who know the original version.17 See, e.g., Bentahila (2008a, 2008b), Flores Ohlson (2011), and Loureiro-Rodríguez et al. (2018).18 Cf.Picone (2002: 195).13Spanglish ...
Research Proposal
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Multilingualism is a prominent linguistic feature of contemporary reggaeton performance, having the primary function of the listeners’ involvement. Reggaeton lyrics often mix Spanish with English, Portuguese, or French, with code-switching occurrences varying from single words to entire verses and concerning different components of a song. Artistic code-mixing in reggaeton fulfills a number of pragmatic, poetic, and stylistic functions in relation to song structure and meaning. During reggaeton concerts, the choice of language depends on the situation and the audience, with the outcome of different versions of lyrics with different languages involved. The audience is also engaged through further verbal means and their interaction with other semiotic modes – visual imagery, sound, and movement. Intertextuality, recurrent idiomatic formulas, and common discourse structure of the songs create an intimacy effect between the artist(s) and the listener. These features also activate the followers’ shared knowledge of reggaeton discourse and produce a sense of belonging to a global reggaeton community. Music videos engage the audience visually through Caribbean aesthetics and hypersexualized images of women as well as through content misalignment between the lyrics and the visual plot. The dancing musical patterns of reggaeton with its defining rhythm dembow literally move the audience corporally. Reggaeton performances manipulate the public’s emotional state through creating an emotional timeline within song sequences. P. S. I've changed the focus of my PhD project, the new title of which is "Heterogeneity of reggaeton songs: Aspects of their production and reception".
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This study examines individual bilingual language performance in occasional songs, focusing on the use of Danish and English, by a female member of a Danish‐American organisation, Harmonien, based in Seattle, Washington. The subject occupied the dual role of Harmonien's song writer producing occasional songs for its celebrations, or for events in the lives of members, and its secretary who took minutes of its regular meetings. A prior study of her written performance as secretary, conditioned by the constraints of social role and format of the minutes, forms the backdrop to this study. An analysis of the two types of data is performed comparing the scope for creative employment of bilingual resources in the two genres. The findings confirm the hypothesis of a conditioning effect of features of genre and social role on the exploitation of two codes in writing. Occasional songs, as an expression of Harmonien group belonging and ethnic distinctiveness, contained not only types of transfer characteristic of the core‐vocabulary of members and of the semi‐formal minutes, e.g. integrated loans and loan translations, but also specific markers of the oral mode of interaction, not present in the minutes, e.g. nonce loans, tagswitches and codeswitching used as contextualisation cues.
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A corpus of novels and short stories containing Spanish/English code-switching offers a rich source of metalinguistic reference reflecting the sociolinguistic pressures faced Spanish speakers in the United States. Issues represented include: heritage language loss or maintenance, motivations for the acquisition of English or of Spanish, attitudes toward the speakers of each language and toward its different varieties, and beliefs concerning who may use which languages anf for what purposes. These texts suggest several implications for use in programs of Spanish for Native Speakers as well as in undergraduate courses in Spanish linguistics. Works from this body of literature can be used to in the classroom to raise interest in awareness of personal and societal language attitudes, and of the challenges to Spanish language maintenance. These texts also present many interesting examples of language variation.
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The Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model of structural constraints on codeswitching was presented by Carol Myers-Scotton in her 1993 book Duelling Languages (Myers-Scotton, C., 1993. Duelling languages. Clarendon Press, Oxford). This article reports on a test of the model using a written corpus. The corpus consists of novels and short stories containing Spanish/English codeswitching published in the United States between 1970–2000. The analysis reveals relatively few counterexamples to the MLF model; the majority of codeswitches found in these texts can be accounted for by Myers-Scotton's model of grammatical structure. The application of a model formulated for speech to a written corpus has implications for the relationship between spoken and written data and the use of the latter in linguistic analyses. The most salient feature of the data is a high incidence of Matrix Language (ML) shifts at mid-sentence. Modifications to the original exposition of the model are proposed in regard to the flexibility of the ML and the constituent types possible.
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Looks at code switching in a corpus of song lyrics within the genre of rai music. The two languages involved are French and North African colloquial varieties of Arabic. Focuses on the symbolic and communicative value of the switching found in the songs. (Author/VWL)
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This study exposes 'gringo Spanish' as a discursive site for the reproduction of privilege, racism and social order in White public spaces. I begin my arguments by exploring Whiteness, doing so by unpacking what I term 'Gringoism', which involves the active celebration of a White, monolingual (un)consciousness through particular linguistic and cultural performance. Brief analysis of one particular educational text (Harvey 1990/2003) supports greater discussions of indexicality, intersubjectivity, the elevation of Whiteness and discourses of 'making sense' of Spanish-speaking Others. The study closes with implications for the field of Mexican American studies, which in turn offers considerations for scholars studying Spanish within greater educational, anthropological and socio-cultural contexts.
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As Coupland and others show, Bauman’s account of “performance” provides a valuable perspective on speech stylization across a range of public contexts. This article explores the limitations of performance as a window on crossing and stylization in everyday practice, and although recognizing other frames as well, it dwells on Goffman’s interaction ritual, cross-referring to two studies of adolescents in England. In the first, race and ethnicity were controversial, and the performance of other-ethnic styles was risky. But interaction ritual constructed crossing and stylization as urgent responses to the exigencies of the moment, and this made them more acceptable. In the second, performance implies a reflexive composure that is hard to reconcile with informants’ experience of social class as an uncomfortable but only half-articulated issue, whereas interaction ritual provides a sharp lens on how youngsters used stylized “posh” and Cockney varieties to register their apprehension of ongoing stratification. (Interaction ritual, stylization, crossing, performance)
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From a strict linguistic viewpoint, code-switching intertwines with a diverse range of language contact phenomena, from strict interference to several kinds of language mixture. Code-switching has also been addressed as an interactional phenomenon in everyday talk, an approach that implies a synchronic perspective. In this article, however, data are drawn from the records of communicative practices left behind by Catalan Jewish communities of the 14th and 15th centuries. These communities lived under well-defined cultural, political, and social conditions and displayed a rather complex linguistic repertoire of both linguistic resources and verbal genres. I analyze two of these verbal genres, which themselves must be viewed in the context of a broader Hispano-Arabic cultural tradition; they draw on a heteroglot background in which Semitic and Romance languages merged. In this analysis of the functions that code-switching played in these verbal practices, a contrast emerges between the use of code-switching and lexical borrowing (or alternation vs. insertional types of code-switching) in both verbal genres. This has implications for a much debated issue – the alleged existence of a medieval Catalan Jewish language – and challenges the idea that forms of linguistic practice must always be reduced to a bounded code.
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English mixing in Korean popular music (K-Pop) is prevalent and heterogeneous in its forms and functions. The size of a mixed English constituent in K-Pop lyrics varies from a single word to an entire song. The manifestation of linguistic sophistication differs from Koreanized English only intelligible to the Korean public to American English with African American Vernacular English (AAVE) features. Functions of English mixing are also varied from a simple attention-getter for stylistic purposes to assertion of liberated self and exercising freedom of speech. K-Pop is a sociolinguistic breathing space for young South Koreans to construct identity and socially connect with others. The findings of the study show that K-Pop provides discursive space for South Korean youth to assert their self-identity, to create new meanings, to challenge dominant representations of authority, to resist mainstream norms and values, and to reject older generations’ conservatism. English is used as discourse of resistance. Young South Korean artists are empowered by tactical English switches into Korean. Appropriations between global and local dialogues yield resultant linguistic hybrids. Mixing two language codes epitomizes South Korean youth's battle with their unsettling identities in dealing with the tension between global and local dialogues to which they are simultaneously exposed.
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In the United States, language ‘rights’ have been tethered to ethnic or racial entitlements as a means to redress historical patterns of discrimination and exclusion. The perception that language ‘rights’ are about the redress of past wrongs has had negative effects on efforts to gain broad public support for the teaching and maintenance of languages other than English. The language-as-resource orientation (Ruiz 1984) is considered as an alternative to a language rights approach. However, analysis of texts produced by advocates of the heritage language movement reveals the shortcomings of the language-as-resource metaphor in advancing broad-based support for the teaching, maintenance, and use of minority languages in the U.S. While efforts to promote heritage language education as a national strategic priority may result in short-term governmental support, wider and more sustained popular support for such programs will require significant modifications in the underlying values and ideologies about the status and role of languages other than English in education and public life.
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This paper argues for a focus on the social meaning of variation, based in a study of stylistic practice. It is common in the study of variation to interpret variables as reflections of speakers' membership in social categories. Others have argued more recently that variables are associated not with the categories themselves, but with stances and characteristics that constitute those categories. The paper reviews some variation studies that show that variables do not have static meanings, but rather general meanings that become more specific in the context of styles. Building on Michael Silverstein's notion of indexical order, I argue that the meanings of variables are not precise or fixed but rather constitute a field of potential meanings – an indexical field, or constellation of ideologically related meanings, any one of which can be activated in the situated use of the variable. The field is fluid, and each new activation has the potential to change the field by building on ideological connections. Thus variation constitutes an indexical system that embeds ideology in language and that is in turn part and parcel of the construction of ideology.
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This paper looks at the use of code switching between colloquial Arabic and French in a set of song lyrics belonging to the genre of rai music popular in Algeria and Morocco. The many examples discussed demonstrate that switching is skilfully exploited to add to the rhetorical and aesthetic effect of the lyrics. It is shown that switch patterns may interact with elements of lyric structure, such as rhyme, line divisions and stanzas, serving to reinforce links and divisions and enhance various types of patterning. Switching may also make a semantic contribution to the lyric’s message, as when it is used for the incorporation of specific lexis or diction characteristic of the genre, or when it serves to place emphasis on certain lexical items, to highlight semantic oppositions or similarities, or to achieve parallelism, repetition or reformulation.
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It is a rare privilege indeed when a scholar has the opportunity to bring to the public’s attention a musical genre that has been largely unstudied in the past. The understanding of our nation’s musical heritage is enhanced whenever these less-well-known genres are recognized and examined, especially those that have a rich history steeped in multi-ethnic traditions. San Antonio’s West Side Sound is just such a genre, having drawn from a broad array of regional influences to become a truly distinct musical style. Outside of South-Central Texas, however, the West Side Sound is a largely unknown phenomenon. Even within San Antonio itself, there are many who would have difficulty defining the West Side Sound. The goal of this article is to explain what the West Side Sound is and to examine its origins and development as a unique component of Texas music.
Generation and Spanish language use in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
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