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ERIC Number: ED150622
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Language Variability in a South Texas Bilingual Community.
Merrill, Celia
This paper describes a method for determining whether the language variations of Spanish-English bilingual speakers are anomalous, idiosyncratic, or truly dialectical, and reports the testing of that method. Elements of the method include presenting sentences that have grammatical/syntactic language variations, having subjects perform operational changes on the sentences (to indicate subjects' natural language usage), and eliciting subjective judgments about the sentences' compliance with grammatical rules. To test this method, 125 high school English students in a Texas-Mexico border town performed the tasks and answered questions about their language usage (exclusively English, exclusively Spanish, or combinations of English and Spanish). Although the test failed to show that any particular features of the test sentences were clearly part of a Chicano dialect, it did show that some language variations were not dialect-based, such as dropping "to" from infinitive phrases and adding "to" to participles. The paper concludes that the method can provide essential information about language variation, dialect features, and native/second language interference, and reports that modification of the instrument will be undertaken. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (28th, Kansas City, Missouri, March 31-April 2, 1977)