Spanish-English bilingualism in the United States.


I have contributed to the study of the linguistic constraints on Spanish-English code-switching as produced by bilingual Latino speakers in the United States (summarized in the 1985 monograph Linguistic aspects of Spanish-English language shifting. My current project examines the frequently involuntary language-switching among semi-fluent bilinguals, including heritage speakers of Spanish as well as students of Spanish as a second language. Examples range from momentary insertion of phrases like you know, I mean, sorry to complete language shifts under duress (usually from Spanish to English). This line of approach complements well-established research paradigms based on the assumption that fluent bilinguals consciously and deliberately switch languages. The examination of stress-induced language shifts may yield further insight into bilinguals’ simultaneous activation of more than one language.


Representative publications: