Open Access
Anderson, Tyler Kimball
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 19, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, Committee Chair
  • Barbara E Bullock, Committee Member
  • Paola Eulalia Dussias, Committee Member
  • John Lipski, Committee Member
  • Codeswitching
  • attitudes
  • matched-guise technique
  • identity
  • gender
  • proficiency
  • insertions
  • borrowing
In order to assess attitudes towards grammatically felicitous and infelicitous codeswitching and determine the factors that contribute to these evaluations, this study presents Spanish-English bilinguals of diverse proficiencies with recordings of four fairytales differentiated by grammaticality of intrasentential code-switching. Reactions from 274 participants are collected via a matched-guise technique, which unveil a continuum of preferences that confirms in part that grammatical code-switching is more positively viewed than ungrammatical code-switching. While it was anticipated that higher proficiency bilinguals would differentiate more judiciously between grammatical and ungrammatical code-switches, the results indicated that these bilinguals failed to distinguish the two text types. Indeed, their evaluations were consistently positive, a finding which is attributed to higher proficiency bilinguals’ heightened identification with the code-switching texts. Results also indicate that listener-judges tend to distinguish grammaticality when listening to unfamiliar fairytales, which is attributed to a more acute concentration required for processing meaning; this attention amplifies the salience of the grammaticality of the switches. It is likewise evident from the results that female code-switchers are evaluated less positively than male code-switchers, a finding not unexpected given the extant literature on gendered speech which indicates that women are rated less positively than men when using ‘non-standard’ forms such as code-switching. In addition to the matched-guise survey, further analyses were carried out in conjunction with one female storyteller. Results from participant judges’ first impression of this storyteller demonstrate that on the aggregate participants’ evaluated this speaker differently when she used grammatical versus ungrammatical code-switching.