Date Thesis Awarded

4-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Linguistics

Advisor

Rachel Varra

Committee Members

Kate Harrigan

Anya Lunden

Meghan Miller

Abstract

Past research has found that there appears to be some relationship between emotion and language, with evidence suggesting that emotion may influence a bilingual speaker to codeswitch from their L1 to their L2 (Aycicegi & Harris, 2004; Ladegaard, 2018). The present research examined from a corpus 10 sociolinguistic interviews with second-generation bilingual Spanish-English speakers, comparing the amount of codeswitching that occurred in emotional segments of discourse versus non-emotional segments of discourse. This study aimed to answer the question of whether the presence of emotion effects the tendency for a bilingual speaker to engage in codeswitching in order to better understand why bilingual speakers engage in codeswitching and uncover potential motivations for doing so. While the present study hypothesized, in line with past research, that emotion would lead to bilingual speakers codeswitching more, results indicated that discourse that is not strongly associated with affect- producing topics of conversation resulted in more codeswitching. This was demonstrated by codeswitching occurring in only 30.5% of emotional discourse while 54.9% of non-emotional discourse contained a codeswitch. The fact that the tendency to codeswitch was strongly related to what were considered ‘non-emotional’ contexts motivated a closer examination of codeswitching by individual discourse topics, yielding a significant relationship between discursive topic and codeswitching.

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