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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Dr. Chappell publishes article on Miskitu language attitudes in Hispanic Studies Review

November 20, 2017

Dr. Whitney Chappell, Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics and Graduate Language Certificate Advisor at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, recently published an article on Miskitu language attitudes titled, Las ideologías lingüísticas de los miskitus hacia la lengua indígena (el miskitu) y la lengua mayoritaria (el español) in Hispanic Studies Review.

The article investigates the linguistic attitudes of bilingual miskitus and the transmission from Spanish and Miskitu to children. A study was performed with 10 sociolinguistic interviews and 27 written surveys which resulted in Spanish being perceived as a more universal language than Miskitu. Chappell elaborates on how native Spanish speakers tend to evoke the power dynamics between languages. Miskitu speakers unlike native Spanish speakers, do not believe in the same hierarchical relationship. She comes to the conclusion that it is less likely that Miskitu will be transmitted to children if their parents acquired Spanish before Miskitu, which poses a potential threat to the future of the Miskitu language in the cities of the Atlantic Coast.

Read the complete article here.

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