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Title:The Linguistic Complexities of Complexion: Spanish and ethnicity in the United States
Author(s):Anderson, Colin
Contributor(s):Bhatt, Rakesh
Abstract:Knowing nothing about the pictured people other than how they look, which of them do you think speaks Spanish? The answer may surprise you. My research is a sociolinguistic investigation on the intersection of ethnicity and second language learning in the United States. In our culture, Spanish has been racialized as Latino. This has produced a multi-faceted ideology that goes something like this: if you're Latino you must speak Spanish, and if you speak Spanish you must be Latino; likewise, if you're white, you probably don't speak Spanish, or if you do, its probably bad Spanish. In light of these ideologies, it should be highly interesting to investigate the attitudes of English monolinguals toward white people who have learned Spanish as a second language and speak it with an authentic-sounding accent. I study how these speakers are evaluated socially in dimensions of solidarity and status, perceptions of their legitimacy in speaking a language associated with an ethnicity they do not belong to, as well as how second language accent and ethnicity act as warrants in being perceived as a legitimate Spanish speaker. If you're still wondering which people in the picture speaks Spanish, the answer is everyone. Awarded Second Prize in the Undergraduate Image of Research Contest 2015. For more information about the Image of Research--Undergraduate Edition go to:
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Colin Anderson
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-30

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