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Sociolinguistic analysis of Mexican-American bilingualism: Spanglish as a sociocultural phenomenon


Judyta Pawliszko

The main purpose of the book is to describe the two linguistic-cultural phenomena arising from mass emigration of Mexicans to Los Angeles: Spanish-English bilingualism and Spanglish. The main thesis of the research is the correlation between Spanish-English bilingualism and Spanglish. As public opinion deemed Spanglish as a blocker for linguistic advancement or degraded Spanish, it is actually a method of enhancing the linguistic system. That is why, not only does the research contest the use of such terms, but it also argues that bilingualism is a much more compound and adequate term as well as an analytic framework for the study of bilingual productions. Spanglish should be understood as a form of bilingualism, a hybrid enriching the linguistic system.

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List of Figures


Fig. 1: Monolingualism-bilingualism continuum (own elaboration based on Błasiak-Tytuła 2011:36)

Fig. 2: BIMOLA – bilingual model of lexical access (Grosjean 2008:204)

Fig. 3: Revised Hierarchical Model (RHM) (Kurcz 2005:213)

Fig. 4: Relationship between English competency score and the age of arrival according to Goldowsky and Newport’s research (Błasiak-Tytuła 2011:47)

Fig. 5: The process of becoming a bilingual speaker (Lipińska 2003:115)

Fig. 6: First and/or second language use in various domains of life of a bilingual (Grosjean 2008:23)

Fig. 7: Mexican immigration to the United States, 1940 to 1964 (Pew Hispanic Centre 2013)

Fig. 8: Mexican immigration to the United States, 1965 to 1997 (Pew Hispanic Centre 2013)

Fig. 9: Top destination states of Mexican immigrants in the United States, 2008–2012 (Migration Policy Institute 2014)

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