Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. John Foreman

Second Advisor

Dr. Deborah Cole

Third Advisor

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.


Copyright 2015 Aaron B. Cummings. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

History Commons