Multilingual Miami: Representation, Perception, and Language Bias.

Date: November 13, 2018

Place: Main Square 34, room 4

Time: 15.00-16.30

 

Topic of the lecture:

Multilingual Miami: Representation, Perception, and Language Bias

 

About:
In 1993, Time magazine dubbed Miami “the Capital of Latin America.” At the time, Miami’s Hispanic / Latino population was at roughly 50% and was overwhelmingly Cuban-origin. In the ensuing two decades, Miami’s Latinx population has continued to grow, reaching 78% in the City of Miami in 2010. At the same time, the Cuban-origin share has fallen to below 50%. Both of these developments owe to the economic and political crises in Latin America in the 1990s and 2000s that brought unprecedented numbers of Colombians, Venezuelans, Peruvians, Dominicans, and other Spanish-speaking groups to South Florida.
 
As a result of the socio-demographic changes, Miami is now both the most Latinx large city in the U.S. (79%) and the most foreign-born (65%). It is also likely to be the most bilingual large city in North America. The richness of the sociolinguistic landscape raises important questions about the ways in which Miami’s linguistic diversity is perceived, narritivized, and enacted in social interaction. How are Spanish and English perceived in terms of sociocultural prestige? Which language is thought to be most valuable for success in Miami’s boom-and-bust economy? Do Latinos and non-Latinos differ in their perceptions of English and Spanish? Do Miami residents exhibit implicit biases toward Spanish or English? If so, how do these biases vary according to social categories, such as ethnicity? Do biases co-vary with length of residency in Miami? And does living in Miami strengthen or diminish an individual’s automatic preferences for English or Spanish? 
 
In this talk, I attempt to answer these questions by presenting the findings of two ongoing perceptual studies conducted with over 500 residents of Miami-Dade County. The first is a matched guise experiment (Lambert et al. 1956) designed to test perceptions of English and Spanish across a range of sociocultural and socioeconomic factors, including warmth and competence personality traits. The second is an implicit association test (IAT, Greenwald, McGhee, and Schwartz, 1998) designed to test biases to textual and oral stimuli in Spanish and English. Taken together, results show that in spite of Miami’s unique sociolinguistic situation, English prevails.
 
Phillip M. Carter is an Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English, and the incoming Director of the Center for Humanities at Florida International University in Miami, where he also holds affiliations with Latin American and Caribbean Center, the Cuban Research Institute, and African / African Diaspora Studies. This summer he was a United States Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Applied Linguistics at University of Warsaw. His research is interdisciplinary and focuses on the linguistic and cultural practices of immigrant communities in the United States, particularly with interest to Latinx communities.
 
He is co-author of Languages in the World: How History, Culture and Politics Shape Language, and author of dozens of articles and chapters in journals such as Latino Studies, Language in Society, Spanish in Context, Journal of English Linguistics, and Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. 
 
Professor Carter is also a recognized public voice on issues related to the intersection of language with immigration, politics, and education, and has appeared on major television networks in the United States such as CNN en espanol, Telemundo, and Univisión, and has been interviewed about these topics by news outlets around the world, including The New York Times and The Guardian.

Data opublikowania: 07.11.2018
Osoba publikująca: Iwona Hodur