Research Projects

Project 1: Forms of Address in Uruguayan Spanish. I am currently completing data collection for a book-length monograph that explores the regional, social, and pragmatic variation of pronominal and verbal address in the Spanish of Uruguay in the twenty-first century. It considers all three forms of address (vos, tú, and usted) to ascertain the main regional, social, and situational parameters that determine their use. I am collecting data through a national-scale survey, interviews, and matched-guise experiments, and supplementing them with representations of address in the linguistic land- and mediascape. I am analyzing the surveys quantitatively with Rbrul, and the interviews qualitatively with Atlas.ti. The project has already led to article publications (e.g., on vocative bo, on  women's covert attitudes towards voseo and tuteo, on address variation in popular music and children's literature). 

Project 2: Mexican American Voices: A history of Spanish-English Code Mixing in the U.S. Southwest. This project focuses on Spanish-English mixing by Latino artists of the Southwest (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California), such as the Texas Tornados, Lalo Guerrero, and many others. The project aims to document the public history of bilingual music in the United States by creating a digital database that can be used to describe and analyze the main linguistic features of these songs. This work requires traveling to archives, listening to and transcribing songs, and analyzing them quantitatively for different types of language mixing, and qualitatively for theme, tone, and purpose, and was awarded a Glasscock Research Fellowship for 2018-19. I am collaborating with my colleague Verónica Loureiro-Rodríguez (U of Manitoba), with the assistance of graduate student Damián Robles and undergraduate students Abril Mendoza and Janie Davies. We have presented this work at several conferences, and our first article, on The Texas Tornados, appeared in Language and Communication.

Project 3. Out of the Mouths of Babes: Child acquisition as a factor in language change. This project focuses on several changes that Latin American Spanish has undergone in the course of its history, including the evolution of its sound system and second person pronominal and verbal address paradigms. Although the features of these changes are well-known, our approach is novel in that it ties those changes, on the one hand, with the situation of extreme dialectal and linguistic mixing wrought by European settlement and immigration, and on the other, with the universal tendencies of child acquisition, as evinced by data from modern L1 acquisition research. This is a collaboration with my colleague (and former student) Israel Sanz-Sánchez, and it has led to several conference talks and to a manuscript which is currently in progress.   

Interested in finding out more about any of these projects? Have your own project you would like to tell me about? I am always interested in collaborating with graduate and undergraduate students, so if you would like research credits (SPAN 491, HISP 685, 691), I would love to hear from you. If you are thinking about applying to graduate school in our department, check out our website, or contact me via email.



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