112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

The Role of English in Spanish Conference Presentations in the United States

Carolina Viera, Roanoke College

Drawing on computer-assisted discourse analysis of a corpus of 32 Spanish conference presentations (CP) given by professors and graduate students in the United States, I claim that the use of English is a recurrent and instrumental linguistic feature of the bilingual professional community of Hispanic Studies in the United States. 

Proposal: 

Drawing on computer-assisted discourse analysis of a corpus of 32 Spanish conference presentations (CP) given by professors and graduate students in the United States, I claim that the use of English is a recurrent and instrumental linguistic feature of the bilingual professional community of Hispanic Studies in the United States. Advanced speakers of Spanish, presenting in academic venues, project themselves as proficient in both languages. Conference presentations are of great importance in the academic sphere, since they are the fundamental mode by which members of professional communities share their ongoing research and interact with their colleagues. Additionally, conferences provide the context in which presenters co-create the linguistic norms that govern this type of speech performance. My analysis shows that the use of English occurs not randomly, but instead, follows specific discourse patterns. Mostly, English is used to establish interpersonal relationships and to create a particular academic bilingual identity. Findings are discussed within the theoretical framework of post-structuralist theories of language. This body of research comprises the first comprehensive study of Spanish oral academic presentations in the United States and represents a significant contribution to an understudied area.

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