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Linguistics Researchers Selected to Present Poster on Politeness in Heritage Language Spanish

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Students and recent graduates who are members of the Cal State Fullerton Linguistics Program’s Heritage Language Research Lab have been recognized for their research efforts. They have been selected to present a poster at the 15th Heritage Language Research Institute, which will be  held June 10-13 at UC Irvine.

The topic of their poster is politeness in heritage language Spanish. Heritage language speakers participate in a special type of bilingualism in which someone learns one language as their first language, but a second language becomes dominant and often replaces or largely replaces the original language.

Students in the lab became interested in how heritage speakers of Spanish expressed politeness through their choice of pronouns such as “usted” or “tú.” They noticed that heritage speakers of Spanish often used the polite pronoun “usted” differently than monolingual native speakers of Spanish. The research team identified a variety of patterns of heritage speakers’ use of polite pronouns and proposed a linguistic analysis of that behavior.

The research team comprises the following undergraduate and graduate students and two recent graduates with degrees in linguistics: Brenda Garcia Ortega, Viviana Camacho, Elizabeth Romero, Tarek Issa, Paeng Martinez, Betsy Navarrete, Nico Romero, Giovanni Rubio and Jonathan Young. The lab — directed by Patricia Schneider-Zioga, professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics — is open to all students interested in heritage language bilingualism and interested in gaining research experience. CSUF’s Linguistics Program offers many courses that are of interest to students who would like to study heritage languages and linguistics more closely.

Patricia Schneider-Zioga