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ERIC Number: EJ813472
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0094-5366
Eating Your (Spanish) Words: "The English Only Restaurant" by Silvio Martinez Palau
Hernandez, Blas
Bilingual Review, v28 n3 p232-244 Sep-Dec 2004-2007
In "The English Only Restaurant," Martinez Palau presents a number of Latino characters who, seduced by the economic promises of assimilation, attempt to suppress their linguistic and cultural identities in order to run a business the "American way." As befits a sociopolitical satire, the play on the one hand consciously ridicules the characters and their actions for the subservient conformity they represent, and on the other hand balances this critical vision with an implicit appeal to a more liberal norm by which these characters and behaviors can be judged: the United States has always been a multilingual society, and minority languages should have a rightful place alongside the language of the dominant majority group. Along with asserting this multilingual norm and establishing it as a frame, Martinez Palau addresses the social, economical, and political implications of minority language restrictions. The socioeconomic and political assumptions of his treatment of the language issue reveal a sociolinguistic "orientation," a "complex of dispositions toward language and its role, and toward languages and their role in society". This language-as-problem orientation organizes the message of the play and is the subject of this essay. (Contains 8 notes.)
Bilingual Review Press. Arizona State University, P.O. Box 875303, Tempe, AZ 85287-5303. Tel: 800-965-2280; Tel: 480-965-3867; Fax: 480-965-8309; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States