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Article

A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Study of Attitudes toward Spanish as a Heritage Language in Florida

by 1 and 2,*
1
Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2
Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, Fryske Akademy, 8900 AB Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2020 / Revised: 12 February 2021 / Accepted: 19 February 2021 / Published: 28 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Attitudes, Vitality and Development)
Spanish speakers constitute the largest heritage language community in the US. The state of Florida is unusual in that, on one hand, it has one of the highest foreign-born resident rates in the country, most of whom originate from Latin America—but on the other hand, Florida has a comparatively low Spanish language vitality. In this exploratory study of attitudes toward Spanish as a heritage language in Florida, we analyzed two corpora (one English: 5,405,947 words, and one Spanish: 525,425 words) consisting of recent Twitter data. We examined frequencies, collocations, concordance lines, and larger text segments. The results indicate predominantly negative attitudes toward Spanish on the status dimension, but predominantly positive attitudes on the solidarity dimension. Despite the latter, transmission and use of Spanish were found to be affected by pressure to assimilate, and fear of negative societal repercussions. We also found Spanish to be used less frequently than English to tweet about attitudes; instead, Spanish was frequently used to attract Twitter users’ attention to specific links in the language. We discuss the implications of our findings (should they generalize) for the future of Spanish in Florida, and we provide directions for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: language contact; multilingualism; language attitudes; heritage languages; minority languages; language maintenance; assimilation; corpus-assisted discourse study; social media; Twitter language contact; multilingualism; language attitudes; heritage languages; minority languages; language maintenance; assimilation; corpus-assisted discourse study; social media; Twitter
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kutlu, E.; Kircher, R. A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Study of Attitudes toward Spanish as a Heritage Language in Florida. Languages 2021, 6, 38. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010038

AMA Style

Kutlu E, Kircher R. A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Study of Attitudes toward Spanish as a Heritage Language in Florida. Languages. 2021; 6(1):38. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010038

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kutlu, Ethan, and Ruth Kircher. 2021. "A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Study of Attitudes toward Spanish as a Heritage Language in Florida" Languages 6, no. 1: 38. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010038

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