Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



Studies of Central American varieties of Spanish, including the Spanish spoken in Honduras, are scarce and the present study represents one of the few attempts to investigate the sociolinguistics of Honduran Spanish in the United States. Pronominal uses of voseo, tuteo and ustedeo are analyzed and compared between two speech communities located in the Central District of Honduras and the Baton Rouge Metro Area in Louisiana. Besides, the study explores linguistic attitudes towards pronominal forms of address in both communities. Language Variation Suite, a novel software application for sociolinguistic data analysis, was used as the primary tool to explore the interrelations of participant responses about pronominal uses and their social correlates. The results point to ongoing linguistic accommodation processes in Baton Rouge, confirming what has been observed in other Central American communities in the United States (Sorenson 2013, Rivera-Mills 2011): Uses of voseo and ustedeo decrease significantly, while tuteo gains ground. Further analysis showed that the external factors education, age and time of residence in the United States condition the use of address pronouns. With regard to attitudes, the study shows that voseo is accepted as part of the linguistic repertoire of Honduran Spanish in both communities, but attitudes towards this prounoun are not as positive as in Costa Rica (Jara Murillo 2008, Quintanilla Aguilar 2014) or in El Salvador (Quintanilla Aguilar 2009). The participants’ educational level produces the most significant differences in language attitudes. Lower educational levels result in less acceptance of voseo, which partially reflects pronominal usage patterns, since the lowest voseo rates are found in participants with only elementary or secondary education in Louisiana. Those participants show the highest accommodation towards tuteo.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Orozco, Rafael