Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA
Eavesdropping on the past: An oral history exploration of English and Spanish in contact in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, 1904-1945
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. John Foreman
Dr. Deborah Cole
Dr. Yong Lang
This thesis investigates the interaction of English and Spanish L1 communities in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas from 1904 to 1945 (an era of mass English L1 migration from the Northern United States and Canada to this historically Spanish-speaking region) via analysis of oral interviews that record both language communities’ memories of the era’s social structures. Collectively, the interviews tell the story of the region’s sociocultural and sociolinguistic environment with a view to exploring how members of each community reacted to the presence of the other language during the first years of significant English/Spanish language contact in previously linguistically isolated areas of the Rio Grande Valley. The primary goals of this project are to (1) to explore how the early 1900s South Texan social setting affected speakers of English, Spanish, or both; and in so doing, to (2) pilot a narrative-based model for future historical sociolinguistics research.
University of Texas-Pan American
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