PhD Research School in Linguistics and Philology

Roxana Sobrino

Perceptions, linguistics attitudes and identity in the Hispanic Caribbean

Main content

The doctoral research project aims to study fundamental purpose of linguistics attitudes towards speaking Caribbean Spanish variants that make up the Hispanic Caribbean and its individual and social impact .

The Spanish dialect area which includes the Caribbean area has been the subject of various studies but lacks research that inquire about the vision of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean to their linguistic modalities in relation to those of other countries in the area. On the other hand, it is necessary to investigate the set of beliefs, prejudices and attitudes in general of its speakers, which largely determine the issue of the identity of the region and the way the Caribbean is displayed between them.

For the design of our study we have considered the main research conducted on the subject to date. One of our main background has been the project Identity and attitudes towards the Spanish language (LIAS), coordinated and directed by professors from the University of Bergen.

Taking into account the results of previous studies, in our research we have considered the following hyphotesis:

a) The Caribbean speakers perceive the existence of a dialect area in the Caribbean region and identifies the links.

b ) The Caribbean Spanish is undervalued and stigmatized by their own speakers but there is now a tendency to positively evaluate these forms of language, and a greater ownership and pride in the respective variants.

Overall objective:

The project's main objective is to identify the linguistic attitudes toward speaking Caribbean Spanish variants that make up the Hispanic Caribbean and its individual and social impact .

Specifics objectives:

1. Characterize and delimit “Hispanic Caribbean” from the point of view of language , history and culture.

2. Determine cognitive perceptions of speakers of Caribbean countries on the existence of this linguistic area.

3.  Identify affective attitudes, both positive and negative, of the Caribbean to the Spanish Caribbean and how these influence the conformation of linguistic identity.

4.  Describe language attitudes of the respondents to their respective variants.

5.  Set the degree of identification of speakers of Spanish Caribbean with its variants and linguistic area to which they belong .

6.  Define the impact of variables such as sex, age and level of education in language attitudes of the informants.

7.  Develop a proposal to strengthen linguistic and cultural communication between the countries in the area.

The research proposed here is part of sociolinguistic studies, specifically in language attitudes and theoretical elements take a developing discipline as perceptual dialectology .

To give compliments to the research tasks arising from the proposed objectives, we will continue the direct method through the application of a questionnaire, common in this type of research. Such questionnaires should be applied in three of the capitals that make up the Hispanic Caribbean, specifically the capital of the Greater Antilles: Havana (Cuba), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). For the selection of these countries we have relied on the fact that linguistic studies performed is considered the Antilles as “nerve center” of the variety of the Spanish Caribbean.

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We will take into account the composition of the sample sociolinguistic variables such as sex, age and level of education. The numerical composition of the sample is obtained taking into account the relevant demographics capitals.