Cognitive and Societal Mechanisms in Mock Spanish
Dr. Juan J. Colomina Almiñana (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: In contrast to prevailing theories, this paper argues that there are several meaning layers in the formation of Mock Spanish, each of which requires its own explanation. Therefore, Mock Spanish meaning formation is best explained by accounting for phenomena dependent on the layer one addresses. In order to do so, I first critically assess the linguistic mechanisms in previous scholarship. I then discuss examples via the cognitive and societal mechanisms that create meaning, and defend my multi-layered account of Mock Spanish through presupposition and common ground. Finally, I conclude with the advantages of my layering theory for current research in language acquisition, a better way of thinking about and teaching a second language, and incorporating the hearer’s interpretation and not just the speaker’s intended meaning. My theory, therefore, demonstrates that the use of Mock Spanish can be bleached of their negative meaning and have a liberating potential when appropriated by native speakers (which shifts the power dynamics behind the phenomenon).
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