Ethnolinguistic Expression of Mexican and Latino/a Identity Born in the United States

Researcher: Armando Guerrero Jr.

Armando Guerrero is currently in Mexico City collecting data for his dissertation, which focuses on the ethnolinguistic expression of Mexican and Latino/a identity by those born in the United States and are of Mexican heritage. His participants are students from all of California who are enrolled in the UCEAP and FRP programs in Mexico. Armando is utilizing two methods of collecting data – one is semi-structured sociolinguistic interviews throughout three different stages of the students’ six-month stay and the other is ethnographic participant observations. Both of these methods allow a better representation of the development of their experience, linguistic and otherwise. Fortunately, being in Mexico also affords him the privilege of sampling a different but crucial population, Mexicans born and raised in Mexico, which is important for studying Spanish dialect contact in Los Angeles, throughout the Southwest, and any location with a strong presence of Mexican Spanish speakers.

In addition, Armando Guerrero and Professor Parodi are doing research primarily focused on the Spanish spoken in Los Angeles. They aim to document the variation of judgment toward non-Standard features in the Los Angeles metro area – as of now we have “charted” Boyle Heights and Lynwood. The greatest benefit of this project is the further support of Parodi’s model of koineization in Los Angeles, which describes Los Angeles Vernacular Spanish (LAVS) as being comprised of a leveling of various rural and popular linguistic features which have undergone a process of urbanization. The primary method for obtaining usable data for this project is a series of sociolinguistic interviews and questionnaires; they then organize the data based on Labov’s (1972) and Silverstein’s (2003) models of linguistic evaluation.

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