Title page for ETD etd-04302010-130425

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sullivan, Sarah Ward
Author's Email Address sarahfrancesward@gmail.com
URN etd-04302010-130425
Title Creencias y Actitudes Populares Hacia la Mezcla del Castellano y el Inglés (Popular Attitudes and Beliefs Towards the Mixing of Spanish and English
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Foreign Languages & Literatures
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Orozco, Rafael Committee Chair
Martins, Laura Committee Member
Thoms, Joshua Committee Member
  • language contact
  • language attitudes
  • Spanglish
  • code-switching
  • bilingualism
Date of Defense 2010-04-12
Availability unrestricted
This thesis presents an investigation of the attitudes upheld by a diverse group of informants towards the word Spanglish and the combination of Spanish and English in speech. A comparison is made of positive and negative attitudes regarding these two concepts along with an analysis of factors that condition these attitudes. The opinions of code mixing examined in this study were obtained through a survey, which was distributed to a group of 183 participants including bilingual speakers of Spanish and English (categorized by their native language) and monolingual English speakers. Through the employ of the statistical program, Goldvarb, five independent variables were found to have statistical significance with respect to the dependent variable, which is the overall opinion of the participant toward code mixing. It was found that the participants’ native language influences the attitudes they maintain toward the combination of English and Spanish, with native Spanish speakers less apt to offer a positive opinion of language mixing. Also, both the monolingual English participants and bilingual participants who grew up speaking Spanish and English exhibit particularities in their attitudes that merit future study. The sex of the participant also seems to influence language attitudes as evidenced by the statistical significance given to the linguistic inventory of one´s mother and by the divergent tendencies observed in the opinions of the men and women surveyed in the study. En general, the participants demonstrate an understanding of language contact and bilingualism and seem to recognize that in these situations the combination of two or more languages is expected rather than deviant behavior. Likewise, the term Spanglish is deemed appropriate for describing the combination of Spanish and English linguistic elements. However, the majority in this investigation does not acknowledge that Spanglish constitutes a language in itself. Overall, this investigation presents an innovation to the field of sociolinguistics, as the attitudes under study have never been examined quantitatively nor on the level at which they are explored in this thesis.
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