Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



ABSTRACT This thesis addresses the linguistic production of Spanish preterit and imperfect in the Mexican community that reside at the south of the state of Louisiana. More precisely in Baton Rouge, Scott and Lafayette. Other literature have worked this topic noticing a variation while the past tense is used, among others are Silva-Corvalán (1994) noticed that the Mexican community in Los Ángeles, California uses the imperfect in preterit context with stative verbs. Montrul (2009), on the other hand, notices similar behavior in heritage speakers and Delgado-Díaz (2013) suggested that same behavior in the use of these forms can be seen in Puerto Rico and Buenos Aires dialects. However, this study uses a quantitative statistical method to test this Mexican community production of preterit and imperfect forms as past expression. The participants were divided into two groups with age of arrival to United States as a criteria of categorization. This allows to study syntactic and morphological acquisition under Critical Age Hypothesis Lenneberg (1967) and Patkowski (1980) perspectives. The results showed that Mexican community that lives at south Louisiana make variations during production of both forms, preterit and imperfect. These variations were found in different linguistic context and presented similarities with other linguistic models such as monolingual Spanish and bilingual English/Spanish communities. The findings, here, can be useful for future research in a variety of linguistic perspectives and interests.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dorado, Dorian