March 23rd, 2023 (4:30pm – 6pm Boston*) | Hybrid
This session will report on the findings from the Spanish in Boston Project, which seeks answers to several questions: (1) In the city of Boston, who speaks Spanish to whom and when and how?, (2) How does the fact that the vast majority of Spanish-speaking Bostonians also speak English shape the way they use Spanish?, and (3) Might the diverse geographic origins of Spanish speakers in the area be promoting the emergence of a uniquely Bostonian Spanish? Responding to these questions through the quantitative analysis of spontaneous speech and questionnaire data collected from 200 Spanish-speaking Bostonians, results indicate that increased bilingualism as well as contact between speakers of varying geographic origins are indeed promoting subtle but undeniable innovation in how Spanish is spoken in the city.
Daniel Erker is Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Boston University. He is a sociolinguist who specializes in language variation and change, especially in the context of Spanish in the urban U.S. He is the director of the Spanish in Boston Project, a sociolinguistic research initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. His work has appeared in leading linguistics journals and has also been featured on NPR and in the Boston Globe.
*This week's event is affected by daylight savings time, which has not gone into effect in Spain yet