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Share Paper 1536

New Latino Diaspora and New Zones of Language Contact: A Social Constructionist Analysis of Spanish Speaking Latin Americans in Catalonia
Steve Marshall
150-161 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper focuses on language contact between Latin American Spanishes and Catalan in and around Barcelona, Catalonia. The recursive sociolinguistic agencies of Spanish-speaking Latinos in Catalonia are analyzed by positioning them within the following triangle, adapted from Giddens' 1984 work on structuration theory: epistemology (formed through agents' life experience, sociolinguistic history, migration paths, and identity paths); ontology (social totality: existing/perceived norms of language use, and the expectations they engender); and time-space (unprecedented social change through globalization, and individuals moving into new and transitional spaces characterized by multiple modernities). The author's focus is on what he defines as transitional agencies; that is, Latino new migrants reflexively applying their sociolinguistic knowledge by exercising their sociolinguistic agencies in transition, within the new structures of Catalonia yet still influenced by the old structures, and epistemologies, of countries of origin. The data presented is from a study carried out between 2000 and 2004, in which 35 Latin Americans were interviewed about how they were 'constructing' Catalan: how Catalan is being incorporated into repertoire (in-group and inter-group), and how and why individuals are forming conflicting constructions of being addressed in Catalan. The inter-group and in-group interactions of 11 of the participants were also recorded. The data presented illustrates how this analytic framework can be applied at the level of inter-group interaction in situations of language contact in which language, migration, and identity formation are key factors.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Jonathan Holmquist, Augusto Lorenzino, and Lotfi Sayahi
Table of contents
Printed edition: $180.00