Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



“Mi mamá es cuatro pies”: A study of the use of calques in Hondurans and Salvadorans in Southern Louisiana Keywords: calques, language proficiency, bilingual, lexical borrowing, arrival age In this study, I explored calques among Hondurans and Salvadorans in Southern Louisiana. The study has a total of twenty-four Spanish-English bilinguals separated into three groups based upon their age of arrival to the United States. Similar to but modified from that of Silva-Corvalán (1996), group I, is comprised of participants who arrived to the United States after the age nineteen. The participants in group II immigrated to the United States between the ages of eleven and eighteen, while the participants in group III were born in the United States or immigrated to the United States before the age of ten. The following research questions motivated this study: 1. Is there a difference in the frequency of calque use among the three arrival groups? 2. Is there a difference in calquing frequency between sequential and simultaneous bilinguals? 3. Does dominant language significantly influence calque frequency? (i.e., English dominant, Spanish dominant or dominant in both) 4. How do the social factors contribute to the frequency of calque use? 5. How do the linguistic variables of the collocation of calque, the word prior to calque and the word after the calque contribute to the use of calques? In this study each participant completed two tasks; t an open-ended sociolinguistic interview and a question-answer activity. An analysis using Goldvarb X was performed and the social factors that condition the use of calques are age, formal instruction in English, socioeconomic status, and dominant language and the linguistic factors of word class of the word prior to the calque, collocation, and word class of the calque affect calque frequency. It was also discovered that the participants who moved to the U.S between the ages of eleven and eighteen produced the most calques, while those who moved to the U.S after the age of nineteen produced the least.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

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Committee Chair

Dorado, Dorian