Use of Voseo and Latino Identity: An Intergenerational Study of Hondurans and Salvadorans in the Western Region of the U.S.
Susana V. Rivera-Mills
94-106 (complete paper
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The purpose of this study is to explore the use of voseo among Hondurans and Salvadorans living in the United States. Within a sociolinguistic framework, two specific areas are explored: the intergenerational retention or loss of the second-person singular pronoun vos with its appropriate verb forms, and, where maintained, its sociolinguistic use as it relates to Central American identity. Data were gathered from 85 participants through sociolinguistic interviews, surveys, and observations of spontaneous conversations over a five-year span. Initial findings point to an apparent shift of voseo to tuteo from first to third generation and in public domains. The data also show a mix of morphological verb use with the pronoun, and an intentional use of voseo as a way of expressing solidarity and affirming Central American identity in order to be set apart from the Mexican-American community. Overall, this study represents a contribution to the scant body of literature that is emerging on Central American Spanish in the U.S., and particularly of voseo among Hondurans in the U.S. within an intergenerational context.
Selected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Luis A. Ortiz-López
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