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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

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A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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2011

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Code-switching behavior in Antonito, CO and Phoenix, AZ: a comparative study

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The subject of bilingual language use in the southwestern United States has been widely researched. However research pertaining to the Phoenix Metropolitan area is lacking. Studies have shown that language choice is governed by linguistic as well as social constraints

The subject of bilingual language use in the southwestern United States has been widely researched. However research pertaining to the Phoenix Metropolitan area is lacking. Studies have shown that language choice is governed by linguistic as well as social constraints (Gumperz, 1977; Poplack 1980; 1981). This study examined and compared the code-switching behaviors of two communities in the southwestern United States: Antonito, Colorado and the Phoenix Metropolitan area in Arizona. The study explored the social and linguistic factors that are said to govern code-switching behaviors such as the type of switches made (intra-sentential or single lexical switches), the position in the utterance where the switch occurs (final or other), the direction of the switch (an utterance beginning in English and ending in Spanish, or beginning in Spanish and ending in English), the gender and level of education of the participants (college or above; high school or below), the ethnicity of the interviewer (Anglo or Hispanic), as well as which of the aforementioned social and linguistic factors most favored intra-sentential switches. The study used corpus data, with four participants from each community for a total of eight interviews. Participants from each corpus were selected to control for gender, the highest level of education achieved and the ethnicity of the interviewer. The study found that in the corpora looked at, linguistic factors such as position of the switch and direction of the switch affected intra-sentential switches more than social factors, although in terms of frequencies within individual factor groups, social factors such as the ethnicity of the interviewer, and the participant's level of education were found to be significant in affecting code-switching behavior.

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2013

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New directions in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics

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The present thesis explores how statistical methods are conceptualized, used, and interpreted in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics in light of the group of statistical methods espoused by Kline (2013) and named by Cumming (2012) as the “new statistics.” The new statistics,

The present thesis explores how statistical methods are conceptualized, used, and interpreted in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics in light of the group of statistical methods espoused by Kline (2013) and named by Cumming (2012) as the “new statistics.” The new statistics, as a conceptual framework, repudiates null hypothesis statistical testing (NHST) and replaces it with the ESCI method, or Effect Sizes and Confidence Intervals, as well as meta-analytic thinking. In this thesis, a descriptive review of 44 studies found in three academic journals over the last decade (2005 – 2015), NHST was found to have a tight grip on most researchers. NHST, much discredited outside of linguistics, confused authors who conflated the theories of Fisher and Neyman-Pearson, who themselves battled acrimoniously until the end of their publishing lives. Within the studies reviewed, with exceptions, dichotomous thinking ruled the quantitative approach, and binary reporting ruled the results and discussions. In addition, this thesis revealed that sociolinguistics, at least within the studies reviewed, is not exactly a “statistical monoculture” as suspected by Gorman and Johnson (2013), rather ANOVAs have joined Goldvarb’s logistic regression in its dominance. As described insightfully by Plonsky (2015), these two methods are exposed as extensions of the dichotomous thinking that attaches itself to NHST. Further, little evidence was found that the methods of the new statistics were being implemented in a coordinated fashion, including far too few meta-analyses. As such, quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics, and linguistics in general, were shown to be vulnerable to problems with reliable quantitative theory building.

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2015

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Gracia. Gracias: the pronunciation of the

Description

There have been various studies on the pronunciation of the /s/ in Latin American Spanish. Most studies have shown three variants of the /s/ in syllable-final context: [s] (sibilant), [h] (aspiration) and [ø] (deletion). Most studies focused on Caribbean Spanish,

There have been various studies on the pronunciation of the /s/ in Latin American Spanish. Most studies have shown three variants of the /s/ in syllable-final context: [s] (sibilant), [h] (aspiration) and [ø] (deletion). Most studies focused on Caribbean Spanish, i.e. the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela. In Caribbean Spanish, maintaining the /s/ is considered prestigious, aspiration is considered neutral, and deletion of the /s/ is stigmatized (Lafford 1982, 1989). Most people who maintain the /s/ are highly educated people, while people who received little to no education are more likely to delete the /s/ (Lafford 1982, 1989). Besides Caravedo (1990), there have been very few studies on the pronunciation of the /s/ in Peruvian Spanish. To find out more, I analyzed television interviews with Jaime Bayly, a well-known writer and journalist from Lima, Peru to determine when the /s/ is maintained and when it is aspirated or deleted. While watching eight interviews with people of different backgrounds, I recorded what Bayly said, focusing on how he pronounced final-syllable (s). After recording the occurrences of the /s/ and classifying and coding the variables, I used Goldvarb X to establish the probabilistic strength of the proposed factors. The results showed that the most significant linguistic factor was the position of the (s) and the most significant social factors were the gender and acquaintance of the interviewee.

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2012

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Sociopragmatic study of politeness in speech acts, congratulating in Colombian Spanish

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In the study of politeness in Spanish there are some speech acts that have received more attention, such as requests, apologies, invitations and negotiations. In the case of the of congratulation, there is only one published work by García about

In the study of politeness in Spanish there are some speech acts that have received more attention, such as requests, apologies, invitations and negotiations. In the case of the of congratulation, there is only one published work by García about congratulation by Peruvian Spanish-speakers. This thesis is a first approximation to the study of realization of the speech act of congratulation in Colombian Spanish. The Brown and Levinson model is used for the study of preferences in the strategies of politeness, and the Scollon and Scollon model for the notion of deferential and solidarity politeness. The Blum Kulka et al. model is used for the classification of the categories of principal head acts and supportive moves in the speech acts of congratulation. The following results were found in answer to the basic hypothesis of the research: The Colombians in this sample have positive politeness when giving congratulations and manifest it with such solidarity strategies as pride and approval, expressions of gratitude and support, and they also give the congratulation in an explicit manner. To a lesser degree they request information and make direct criticism. The data analysis shows a 95% certainty in the differences found between men and women. Nevertheless, the differences between younger and older people or between young women and young men are not statistically significant and only show tendencies. In order to corroborate the finding of this research, it is necessary to have a larger sample in terms of the educational level of the participants. Also, the sample should be broader in terms of gender and age, so as to verify if the difference between younger and older people continues being a tendency or if there is a statistically significant difference. To generalize the term Colombian, other regions of the country should be included, especially the contrast between the Andean, Coastal, and Plains regions which are culturally different within the country.

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2011

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Course-corrections in rapport management: how changes to rapport occur in one sample of political discourse

Description

The ways in which human relationships are managed via language is a topic of particular interest in the area of sociolinguistics where work into the study of such topics as politeness, impoliteness, and rapport management have attempted to shed light

The ways in which human relationships are managed via language is a topic of particular interest in the area of sociolinguistics where work into the study of such topics as politeness, impoliteness, and rapport management have attempted to shed light on this phenomenon. This study examines two segments of extended discourse by President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia at the 2008 Summit of the Rio Group where he addressed a gathering of Rio Group members comprising heads of state from Latin American and Caribbean nations. Faced with serious accusations about his nation's military actions into Ecuador a few days before the meeting in question, Uribe engaged the group through two extended statements where he defended his government's actions. In these two segments of discourse Uribe changed his tone; it is this change that the present study attempts to describe in terms of modification to the effects of his discourse on the relationship between himself and the other interlocutors. To this end, an analysis is done classifying Uribe's utterances as polite, per Brown and Levinson's politeness model, and impolite, per Culpeper's impoliteness model. Additionally, Spencer Oatey's model of rapport management is used to classify Uribe's utterances according to their effect on the components of rapport. These classifications are examined alongside an analysis of factors related to rapport management such as frame, purpose of the exchange, and participants, for the purpose of understanding how these many factors work together to generate a changed effect to rapport. Of greatest significance in this study is the relationship between (im)politeness strategies and components of rapport. This dynamic provided an interesting way of examining (im)politeness in a new context, one that factored-in the effects of (im)politeness to the relationship between interlocutors. The study, as described above, showed that Uribe's change in tone was indeed a change to approach to rapport management characterized by an initial focus on the transactional and relational goals rapport component in the first of two segments, that then changed in the second part to a focus on face and association rights.

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2011

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El español de hablantes bilingües de raíces mejicanas que residen en la zona metropolitana de Phoenix, Arizona: sujetos preverbales y posverbales

Description

ABSTRACT

Spanish is a null subject language that admits the expression or omission of lexical subjects. As well, the expression of the subject argument may take place pre or post verbally (Española, R. A., 2009). This variation of the subject’s position

ABSTRACT

Spanish is a null subject language that admits the expression or omission of lexical subjects. As well, the expression of the subject argument may take place pre or post verbally (Española, R. A., 2009). This variation of the subject’s position is not a random phenomenon; it tends to depend on syntactic and semantic preferences and restrictions.

This investigation analyzes pre and post verbal nominal and pronominal subject position in the colloquial speech of Spanish-English bilinguals of Mexican descent in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. The phenomenon’s analysis considers linguistic factors such as the syntactical and semantically classification of the verb type as copulative, transitive and intransitive; the subject only in the third person, the number as singular and plural, new or given information in the discourse, and the participants’ self evaluation of their bilingual dominance in one language (Dunn, & Fox Tree, 2009). As well, social extra-linguistic factors are considered such as gender, age group, educational level and time in the USA.

Goldvarb X (Sankoff, Tagliamonte & Smith, 2005) was the multivariable analysis program used for the ranking of the linguistic and extra-linguistic factors that tend to influence the subject’s position.

The formulated hypotheses were that post verbal subject placement will occur in sentences with inaccusative verbs, and where the participants in their discourse give new information. As well, the participants with English bilingual dominance and the participants born or arrived in the USA before their eleventh birthday will reflect a higher index of pre verbal subjects.

This community of speakers favored the subject in preverbal position with copulative, transitive and inergative verbs; however preferred the subject in post verbal position with inaccusative verbs. As well, the post verbal position of the subject also was favored when new information was introduced in the discourse. The age factor proved to be significant with the older age Spanish dominant group, selecting the post verbal position significantly more than the middle age Spanish dominant and young age English dominant groups respectively. This could be interpreted as a reflection of an initial movement in the direction of the SV order of the dominant language.

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2015

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'Tengo bien harto esperando en la línea': complaint strategies by second-generation Mexican-American bilinguals

Description

Complaints, characterized by LaForest (2002), are expressions "of dissatisfaction addressed by an individual A to an individual B concerning behavior on the part of B that A feels is unsatisfactory," (p. 1596) have been studied in the language of English

Complaints, characterized by LaForest (2002), are expressions "of dissatisfaction addressed by an individual A to an individual B concerning behavior on the part of B that A feels is unsatisfactory," (p. 1596) have been studied in the language of English speakers since the 1980's (Boxer, 1993a; 1993b; 1996; House & Kasper, 1981; Murphy & Neu, 1996; Trenchs, 1995; Vázquez, 2011; Wolfe & Powell, 2006). However, only a few studies on Spanish-language complaints have been carried out (Bolívar, 2002a; Márquez Reiter, 2005; Pinto & Raschio, 2008). Due to the lack of studies analyzing complaints among second generation Mexican-American Spanish-English bilinguals in the United States, role-plays were collected from 21 participants, ten males and eleven females, who interacted with a female interlocutor. The data was analyzed using Spencer-Oatey's (2005) Rapport Management in order to gain a better understanding of this population's politeness strategies used in complaining both in Spanish and English. In addition to acting out the role-plays, the participants were asked to fill out a Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q), in order to assess language proficiency. Upon completion of the role-plays, the participants completed a post role-play questionnaire, which evaluated their impressions of the interactions. The strategies used in the complaints included, but were not limited to: complaining/accusing, reason/explanation/ justification, threatening, suggesting/requesting/commanding, and providing information. The results showed that for the Spanish complaints the participants preferred the use of reason/explanation/justification, while they preferred suggesting/requesting/commanding in the English complaints. In addition, in both situations the participants chose to respect the association principle, however, this result was not statistically significant. With respect to face sensitivities, the participants chose to enhance the interlocutor's identity face in both the English and Spanish. It is concluded that these participants do not demonstrate a transfer of strategies from one language to another. Furthermore, no significant gender differences were observed. Moreover, the participants show a tendency toward positive politeness, which falls in line with other Hispanic cultures such as Cubans, Spaniards, Argentineans, Uruguayans, Peruvians, and Venezuelans. Although this study adds to the literature of Spanish in the U.S. pragmatics, further study of this population is needed.

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2013

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Spanish address forms in US newspapers

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Advertisements intend to persuade the reader to invest money or time in a product or service. Newspapers contain advertisements that are space-limited, thus necessitating a concise and convincing message that will influence readers. Nord (2008) analyzed conative function (Jakobson 1960)

Advertisements intend to persuade the reader to invest money or time in a product or service. Newspapers contain advertisements that are space-limited, thus necessitating a concise and convincing message that will influence readers. Nord (2008) analyzed conative function (Jakobson 1960) as a persuasive tool in a corpus of Spanish, English, and German advertising texts. A portion of Nord's study focused on sender attitude indicators directed at addressees as a key element of conative function, and analyzed address forms among several attitude indicators found in print advertisements. The current study analyzed 604 Spanish newspaper advertisements in Arizona and Florida, focusing on possible independent factors related to the probability of the occurrence of various address forms. These factors included: the type of product being advertized and its cost, the nature of the advertisement, the location of the advertisement in the newspaper (main section, sports, etc.), intended audience (including age and sex), geographic region of the newspaper, and each newspaper as compared to others. These variables were categorized and statistically analyzed using a quantitative design. The study provided results indicating a strong statistical relationship between the presence of address forms and product type, a moderate relationship with audience age, and a mild relationship with product cost. Various similarities and differences were also found when comparing the data geographically.

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2012

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Orthographic loyalty in the Spanish of northern Mexican speakers

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This study analyzes the Spanish of native speakers from Northern Mexico in order to ascertain the presence of the voiced labiodental fricative segment [v] when the sound is orthographically represented with the letter `v'. The study examines some of the

This study analyzes the Spanish of native speakers from Northern Mexico in order to ascertain the presence of the voiced labiodental fricative segment [v] when the sound is orthographically represented with the letter `v'. The study examines some of the internal and external factors that predict the labiodental fricative pronunciation of the letter `v'. This study is based on the theoretical framework of phonology as described by Piñeros (2009) and Hualde (2005). The study examined all instances in the data when a sound is written with the letter `v' to investigate if the sound is pronounced as the faithful voiced plosive bilabial allophone [b] of the phoneme /b/, the spirantized allophone [β], or the voiced labiodental fricative allophone [v]. Four speakers, a male and a female with an incomplete secondary education, and a male and a female with a graduate level education participated in the study. All participants were interviewed for one hour, read a word list, and read a paragraph provided by the researcher. The researcher coded the data using the phonetic analysis software Praat and all data were statistically analyzed using the multivariate software analysis program Goldvarb X in order to investigate the presence of the voiced labiodental fricative allophone [v] and predict what internal and external factors most influence its production. From this study it is obvious that the most influential factor favoring the realization of the labiodental fricative allophone [v] is orthography. When the phonetic segment was represented with the grapheme , the phonetic realization was more likely to be the labiodental fricative [v]. The level of education of the speaker and the formality of the stylistic setting were also determined to be influential factors. Speakers with a higher degree of education and stylistic settings with a higher degree of formality favored the realization of the labiodental fricative [v]. With regards to the internal factors, rather than external factors, a preceding phonological segment of a vowel or fricative dental [s] also favored the realization of the labiodental fricative [v].

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2012