Why Spanish Matters

Language IS politics. Immigration debate has warped linguistic policy – maybe even made it taboo to admit that we have or need any such policy – but right or left, the need to negotiate a bilingual world is something that can no longer be ignored in the proliferating regions of “Spanish America”. A group of colegas at La UCLA started this conference a couple years ago and are exploring some issues that are muy interesante and super-importante for bringing our attitudes towards linguistic diversity out of the egocentric dark ages.

Among the many badass panelists, you can check out are Armando Guerrero Jr.: “You Speak Good English for Being Mexican”: Language and Identity of East Los Angeles Chicano English (ELACE).

Or if you’ve ever seen people freak out when someone speaking english has the huevos and the gall to pronounce a Spanish word with a Spanish accent, catch Jhonni Carr’s: “One margarita, please! Language Attitudes Regarding Pronunciation in the Language of Origin”

Other speakers looking at current and historical issues in language politics include Ian Romain ”The Founding Fathers and the Original Language Politics in the United States”, Mariška Bolyanatz “Why Language Policy Matters: Effects of Prop. 227 on Minority Populations”, Belén Villarreal “The Importance of Spanish in Communication between Parents and LA Public Schools”, Covadonga Lamar Prieto: “The Silencing of the Californios: Tracing the Beginnings of Linguistic Repression in 19th Century California”, Ricardo Medina “Where Bilingualism Mattered? Translators and the Mexican Borderlands”, Bryan Kirschen “The (not-so) Distant Relationship between Spanish and Arabic”, Nancy Ballesteros “Why Teaching Pronuntiation to Spanish L2 Learners Matters”, and because Brazilians are everywhere, Michelle Addae presents “Spanish in Contact with Portuguese: The influence of Spanish on Barranquenho.”

For todos los de Los Ángeles, faculty sensei Claudia Parodi will speak on: “Latinos and Other Minorities in LA: Their Languages.”

And finally, Chase W. Raymond answers Larry David’s pressing question as to when and where we can take that leap from Ud. to vos to tú in his pronominal opus: “In-the-Moment Pronominal Address in Spanish” …lest we end up like Caesar.


Un pensamiento en “Why Spanish Matters

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