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Language mixing and metalinguistic awareness in the songs of Eduardo “Lalo” GuerreroCambio de código y conciencia metalingüística en las canciones de Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero

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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.
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Vol.:(0123456789)
Latino Studies
https://doi.org/10.1057/s41276-022-00371-6
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Language mixing andmetalinguistic awareness
inthesongs ofEduardo “Lalo” Guerrero
MaríaIreneMoyna1· VerónicaLoureiro‑Rodríguez2
Accepted: 24 January 2022
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022
Abstract
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 ana-
lyzed language mixing quantitatively and qualitatively. Although most of Guerrero’s
repertoire was monolingual, we found songs with different degrees of Spanish/Eng-
lish 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 marginaliza-
tion. 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.
Keywords Bilingualism· Language mixing· Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero· Music
lyrics· US Southwest
Cambio de código y conciencia metalingüística en las
canciones de Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero
Resumen
Este estudio analiza las representaciones de bilingüismo en las canciones de Eduardo
“Lalo” Guerrero (1916–2005), artista oriundo de Tucson cuya carrera abarcó más
* María Irene Moyna
moyna@tamu.edu
Verónica Loureiro-Rodríguez
V.Loureiro-rodriguez@umanitoba.ca
1 Texas A&M University, CollegeStation, USA
2 University ofManitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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