Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Modern and Classical Languages

First Advisor

Irene Checa-Garcia

Abstract

This study investigates the perceptions and attitudes that bilinguals hold towards Spanish-English code-switching in Wyoming. ¨Code-switching is the alternation of two languages in a single discourse, sentence or constituent¨ (Poplack, 1980). Many studies including, Hidalgo (1988), Toribio (2002), Parama, Kreiner, Stark, Schuetz (2017), and others have researched the sociolinguistic attitudes towards code-switching. This study will focus on sociolinguistic attitudes as well, by looking at the general sentiment towards code-switching between English and Spanish in a rural area. It is hypothesized that subjects will hold a similar attitude towards code-switching as shown in the studies mentioned, a dislike of the sound and use of switching between languages in a single turn of speaking. Attitudes and perceptions are evaluated by a questionnaire that each subject fills out. Their attitudes are rated on a five point Likert scale. The purpose is to discover if a less populated place with a smaller Hispanic population, like Wyoming, will show negative attitudes or will rather align with a more favorable view, despite a low amount of linguistic contact (Escobar y Potowski, 2015) and Hispanic population. Results will also show how the sentiments have extended or have changed from 1988 to 2018 based on findings from Hidalgo (1988). Results showed a generally positive attitude in Wyoming that contradicts with previous studies.

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