Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

New from Oxford University Press!


Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: Code-switching in Chicano Theater: Power, identity and style in three plays by Cherríe Moraga Add Dissertation
Author: Carla Jonsson Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Umeå University, Department of English
Completed in: 2005
Linguistic Subfield(s): Sociolinguistics; Ling & Literature;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Kenneth Hyltenstam

Abstract: The thesis examines local and global functions of code-switching and code-mixing in Chicano theater, i.e. in writing intended for performance. The data of this study consists of three published plays by Chicana playwright Cherríe Moraga.

Distinguishing between code-switching and code-mixing, the investigation explores local and global functions of these phenomena. Local functions of code-switching are functions that can be seen in the text and, as a consequence, can be regarded as meaningful for the audience of the plays. These functions are examined, focussing on five loci in which code-switching is frequent and has clear local functions. The loci are quotations, interjections, reiterations, 'gaps' and word/language play. Global functions of code-switching and code-mixing operate on a higher level and are not necessarily detected in the actual texts. These functions are discussed, focussing on two main areas, namely power relations (addressing questions of domination, resistance and empowerment) and identity construction (addressing questions of how identity can be reflected by use of language and how identity is constructed and reconstructed by means of language).

The study suggests that code-switching fills creative, artistic and stylistic functions in the plays and that code-switching and code-mixing can serve as responses to domination in that they can be used to resist, challenge and ultimately transform power relations.

Key words: code-switching, code-mixing, local functions, global functions, Chicano, Chicano theater, Chicano discourse, Spanish, English, style, power, identity, ethnicity, border culture, hybridity, third space, language ideology, resistance, symbolic domination, symbolic marketplaces, double-voicedness, heteroglossia, empowerment.