Language in Lorain: When, Where, and Why Adult Bilinguals Use Spanish
Creators:Riestenberg, Katherine J.
Advisor:Morgan, Terrell A.
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Spanish and Portuguese Honors Theses; 2007
This paper examines the use of Spanish and English among Hispanic adults in Lorain, Ohio. A study was conducted with the main purpose of identifying the contexts in which Spanish and English are used according to variables of “domain” (i.e. Family, Friendship, Religion, Education, Employment, and Marketplace). The investigation also had a secondary purpose of uncovering possible links between socio-demographic factors and language use. In order to collect data, a ninety-item self-report questionnaire was distributed to Hispanic bilinguals residing in Lorain. Data from fifty questionnaires were entered into the Statistical Program for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for analysis. The analysis included comparing means of language use variables for different domains as well as running cross-tabulations of socio-demographic variables against language use variables. The results indicated that Spanish use is most frequent in the domain of Family and least frequent in the domain of Employment. Factors such as age and occupation seem to affect Spanish language use in general. These outcomes point to two possible implications. The first suggests that a language shift from Spanish to English is occurring, meaning Spanish language use overall is diminishing. This occurrence mirrors the findings of other language use studies conducted in the Midwest. A second possible implication is that Lorain’s bilingual community is approaching a state of diglossia in which one language (English) is related to literacy, prestige, and formality and another (Spanish) is used primarily in situations of intimacy, solidarity, and informality.
2nd Place: Business/Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2007 Ohio State Denman Undergraduate Research Forum
The Ohio State University Undergraduate Research Scholarship
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